Thursday's NBA: Curry's diagnosis for Game 4 of finals: 'I'm going to play'

Associated Press

Boston — Even as he lay on the court, with 240-pound Celtics center Al Horford on top of his recently recovered left ankle, Stephen Curry knew what was wrong.

And as soon as he stood up and took a few steps, he knew he would be OK.

“I’m going to play. That’s all I know right now,” the Warriors star said on Thursday, a day before Golden State will face Boston in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, left, is caught under Boston Celtics' Al Horford (42) during the fourth quarter of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Boston.

“I know exactly what it is,” said Curry, who hurt the same ankle on a similar play in a late-season game against Boston. “I guess (there’s) comfort knowing I’ve been through it before, but also you would rather not have to deal with something like that at this point in the season.”

Curry wound up at the bottom of a pile Wednesday night as players from both teams dove for a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Draymond Green said he heard Curry scream in pain, but the Warriors star remained in the game until coach Steve Kerr sent in the bench trailing by 14 with two minutes left.

The Celtics held on to win 116-100 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Golden State needs a win on Friday night to avoid falling behind 3-1 before the series shifts back to San Francisco.

A key to them avoiding the brink of elimination: Curry not just remaining healthy, but playing like a two-time NBA MVP. The Warriors guard scored 31 points in Game 3, but just two of them came in the fourth quarter as the league-leading Celtics defense chased him around the court.

Golden State held a film session Thursday, but the team's regulars did not practice. Curry appeared to walk without a limp when he entered the media room to talk to reporters, and he took the steps to the podium three at a time. He had no bandage or brace on his leg.

Curry said he got plenty of sleep — 10 1/2 hours — and spent some time with his foot in an ice bucket. But he said he did not need an MRI because the injury was the same as the one he sustained when Celtics guard Marcus Smart landed on his foot in a March 16 game in San Francisco.

“This one just wasn’t as bad as that one,” said Curry, who missed the last 12 games of the regular season. “As soon as you started to take a couple of steps, you kind of know whether you can run normal, cut normal or not. Back then, I couldn’t. Yesterday, I could. That gave me a little bit of confidence knowing it wasn’t as bad.”

Asked Thursday if he would be sitting out if it were a regular-season game, Curry said he couldn't say for sure.

But for Game 4 of the NBA Finals, there's no question.

“I know I’m going to play,” he said.

Police arrest man suspected of selling fake NBA tickets

Boston — Police in the Boston area have for weeks been warning about NBA playoff ticket scams, and now there has been an arrest.

A 29-year-old Connecticut man allegedly in possession of forged or counterfeit tickets was arrested in the area of the TD Garden at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, a half hour before Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, Boston police posted on the department's website.

Officers also learned that the suspect “was wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Wrentham District Court for forged admission ticket and unlicensed ticket resale," the post said. He will be summoned to court at a future date, police said.

Police also reiterated their warnings about ticket sales on the secondary market. “The BPD encourages fans to only buy tickets from authorized ticket agencies. Fans who purchase tickets from a secondary source are taking a chance and do so at the buyer’s own risk," police said.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police last month warned about scammers arranging to meet fans who need tickets at MBTA stations, where it is easy to quickly melt into the crowd before the buyer realizes they have been duped.

No. 1? Magic work out Jabari Smith in advance of NBA draft

Orlando, Fla. — Jabari Smith didn’t even attempt to minimize the significance of what was happening. He was in an NBA gym, wearing NBA apparel, getting guidance from NBA coaches.

It was a big moment for him.

It'll lead to a big decision for the Orlando Magic.

Smith did the first of his two planned pre-NBA draft workouts on Thursday, the former Auburn All-American going through drills for the Magic — the team that holds the No. 1 pick for the June 23 draft. His other workout will be for Oklahoma City, the team that has the No. 2 selection.

Auburn's Jabari Smith speaks to reporters Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Orlando, Fla. after going through a workout with the Orlando Magic, who hold the No. 1 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft. Smith is a top candidate to go first overall.

“If I said I wasn’t nervous, I’d be lying,” Smith said. “Coming into it, I was nervous. But everybody talking to me and getting me through it just kind of relaxed me a little bit. And then, just have some fun with it — that’s what I tried to do.”

The workout at the AdventHealth Practice Facility at Amway Center, the team’s home arena, was closed to everyone except Magic personnel. But a few fans, so to speak, got in anyway: As Smith’s workout went on, the doors on one end of the court kept opening as interested parties kept arriving -- Magic players, including Cole Anthony, Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac.

There was applause at times, even a few audible cheers. Clearly, at least some of the onlookers were enjoying the show. Smith said he was getting help from the players who were watching, even if it just meant a few handshakes and a quick bit of praise.

“It was my first workout, so the first experience that I’ll never forget, really,” said the 19-year-old Smith. “It was it was fun to get out here and push myself and get through it.”

The consensus is that there are three players above most others in the draft — Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero. All are forwards, all at least 6-foot-10 (Holmgren is a 7-footer), all played one year of college ball and all figure to be meriting serious consideration for the No. 1 spot.

Smith averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in his lone season at Auburn, shooting 43% from the field and 42% from 3-point range. Against teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 when facing Auburn, Smith averaged 20.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. But it’s the two-way game — Smith excels defensively — that might rate him the edge in the race to be the No. 1 selection.

“I just think it’s my will to win that sets me apart,” Smith said. “I don’t really care about stats and glamour and all that. I just want to really win and play to win every game.”

When it was over and the workout was done, Smith looked around for a moment at the gym, taking it all in. On Thursday, he was a guest, auditioning.

In a couple weeks, the same gym might become home.

“I think I can fit in it really well,” Smith said. “Seeing the guys and seeing the players, this is a young team, one of the youngest in the league. So, adding me would just add another young player who was hungry and got a lot left in the tank. So, I’ll add some energy and just another person wants to come in and work and get this organization where it needs to be.”