By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Reporter
BOSTON (AP) — Bodies were strewn across the court, diving after a loose ball late in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Stephen Curry limped out of the heap.
Draymond Green got away with his sixth foul.
The Warriors’ last chance at a comeback victory ended with 3½ minutes to go Wednesday night in a scrimmage that, like the game, went Boston’s way. Marcus Smart grabbed the ball and the Celtics held on to beat Golden State 116-100 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
A game after the Warriors roughed up Boston to tie the championship series 1-1, the Celtics pushed back – coming away with a 47-31 advantage in rebounds and a 52-26 advantage on points in the paint, and leaving Golden State’s leading scorer with a sore leg.
Curry said the injury was similar – “but not as serious” – to the one he suffered when Smart rolled his ankle during a regular-season meeting in San Francisco in March. Warriors coach Steve Kerr called the play “dangerous”.
But the two-time NBA MVP said it wasn’t serious enough to keep him out of Game 4 on Friday night.
“I’ll see how he reacts. I don’t feel like I’m missing a game, though,” Curry said. “Take advantage of these next 48 hours to prepare.”
Golden State trailed up to 18 points in the first half, but it was a 12-point lead over Boston with about four minutes left when Jayson Tatum missed a jumper from the foul line. The rebound was hit and three Celtics and as many Warriors went to the floor to try to secure the basketball.
During the scramble, Celtics center Al Horford landed on Curry’s leg. Green said he heard his teammate scream in pain, and that’s why he pulled Smart away – defending Curry, but picking up his sixth foul.
“I saw him dive and that was pretty much it. So I picked up my foul by pushing him away because he’s screaming at the bottom of the pile,” Green said. “I will take the blame. I’m going to get rid of his legs anyway.
Curry stayed on the ground while Green chewed on the referee.
“He said I dove on someone. Stephen dove his legs. I just said, ‘Isn’t that the same thing?’ Green said. “He told me it wasn’t the same.”
Curry stayed in the game but, after the teams traded baskets to leave Boston ahead by 14 points, Kerr emptied his bench. Curry finished with a game-high 31 points.
“The injury didn’t force him out of the game, but I knocked him out 14 with two minutes left because we weren’t going to catch up,” Kerr said, adding he no longer had information to share. about the injury. “We will know more” on Thursday.
Green was credited with setting the tone in Golden State’s Game 2 win with nine points, seven assists, five rebounds and one technical foul — and almost another. But he finished with just two points and four rebounds on Wednesday.
“I was sweet,” Green said, also using an expletive to describe his game with his 5-year-old son sitting next to him on the post-game podium.
“When you allow a team to get comfortable, especially at home – in front of the home crowd, then it’s tough,” Green said. “We will be better. I will be better. Get out, win game 4. Come back 2-2.
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