Stephen Curry

Steph Curry goes on rant over how Celtics-in-Finals comments were interpreted

Steph Curry goes on rant over how Celtics-in-Finals comments were interpreted

Stephen Curry wasn't taking the bait this time. Instead, he decided to fight back.

After the Warriors erased a 22-point halftime deficit to stun the 76ers in Philadelphia on Saturday, a reported tried to get Curry to talk about a possible NBA Finals matchup with the 76ers just like he had after Thursday's game against the Celtics. It didn't go well for the reporter. Curry wasn't having it.

"Hot takes. You can literally take one line of what I said and and say ‘very, very likely.’ Read the whole comment. I hate when that happens. I stand up here and talk for 45 seconds about that question and you want to take five words that put the Boston Celtics in the Finals. That’s the hype beast. I’ll be more specific next time about how I see the futures that surrounds who’s going to be in the Finals, even us. Whatever," Curry said.

A different reporter asked Curry if the situation frustrated him.

"Yeah, it did because, obviously, it was a question about Boston’s chances and how well they’ve been playing. I literally said they have to beat Cleveland because Cleveland has been there three times in a row. Obviously I made a joke because I haven’t been in Boston in the summer in a while. Probably nice weather. But the video is going crazy, so watch the whole video, watch the whole comment and you’ll get it right," Curry said before leaving the gathering of reporters.

Kevin Durant: 'Steph Curry is the face of the franchise'

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AP

Kevin Durant: 'Steph Curry is the face of the franchise'

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here

When Kevin Durant signed on to join the Warriors before the 2016-17 season, chatter started up on if he would become of the new face of the franchise. Just ask Durant himself though, and he'll turn right to the two-time MVP. 

“Steph Curry is the face of the franchise, and that helps me out, because I don't have to,” Durant said to GQ Magazine.

In Golden State, Durant can take a step back and do everything as a collective whole with all the Warriors' star power. And that includes being a leader. 

“I don't want to have to be the leader. I'm not a leader," Durant said. "I'm bad at saying, ‘Stand behind me and follow me.’ No. I'm one of those guys that's just like, ‘Let's do this shit together. Let's just work everybody together. I don't mind being on the front line with you, but let's come and do it together.’"

Don't think that means Durant shys away from a leadership role. It's just not in the same way as Curry and Draymond Green, among others, and Durant certainly appreciates he can just be who he is. 

"That's my way of leadership. I'm leading by example.”

Since joining the Warriors, Durant has been named an All-Star and won his first championship and NBA Finals MVP, all while averaging 25 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Gameday: Classic duel of Curry vs Kyrie as Warriors take on Celtics

Gameday: Classic duel of Curry vs Kyrie as Warriors take on Celtics

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here

They’re the hottest teams in the NBA and they own the best records in their respective conferences, and that explains why TD Garden will be white-hot with intensity when the Warriors and Celtics meet on Thursday.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 5:05.

The Warriors (11-3) have won seven in a row as they begin a four-game road trip on the East Coast. A bruised thigh kept Stephen Curry out of the game against Orlando on Monday night, but practiced Wednesday and is expected to rejoin the lineup.

Though the Celtics (13-2) underwent a roster makeover in the offseason and opened the season by losing their first two games, they have not lost since and will bring a 13-game win streak into the game.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 7.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving: Arguably the two best floor leaders in the NBA today, with Curry leading the championship race 2-1 and the MVP race 2-0. Curry has the benefit of superior scorers, notably Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, to ride with. With Hayward out, Irving absolutely has to get buckets. This is a classic duel, even when they don’t always guard each other, and they’ll spend a lot of time on each other in this game. Beware of the close game, for Irving is a fantastic closer.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (R thigh bruise) will play after missing one game. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Celtics: F Gordon Hayward (L ankle fracture) is listed as out.

GAME OFFICIALS

James Capers (crew chief), Tyler Ford and Pat Fraher.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams have split two games in each of the past two seasons, with each winning on the other’s court. The Warriors have won seven of the last 10 meetings overall, including the last four in Boston. Their last loss at TD Garden was on March 1, 2013.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

IMMOVABLE VS. IRRESISTIBLE: The Warriors lead the league in scoring, 119 points per game, and offensive rating at 116.1. The Celtics allow a league-low 94.5ppg and own a league-best 95.8 defensive rating. Boston’s length (four of the top six players have 7-foot wingspans) and switching ability stifles opposing offenses, which is how it has the league’s best record despite its 26th-best field-goal percentage. Can the Warriors create holes? Don’t be surprised if there’s more pick-and-roll than usual.

THE VERSATILE FOURS: Draymond Green of the Warriors and Al Horford of the Celtics are power forwards who sometimes masquerade as centers. They’re superb defenders, capable of guarding multiple positions. They can score inside and out; Horford is shooting 48.8 percent from deep, Green 38.3. Green will be the primary defender on Horford, but expect Horford to split time defending Green and Durant.

THE BENCH WAR: Warriors reserves are shooting a league-best 54.2 percent, while Boston is firing at a league-worst 35.9 percent. Worse, Boston’s bench is shooting 29.2 percent beyond the arc to 35.7 for the Warriors. Unless the Celtics work some magic with rotations, their second unit is in danger of being scorched by the deeper Warriors.