Steph Curry's declaration that he'll play in Game 4 music to Warriors' ears

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Dubs have a chance with Steph declaring he'll play in Game 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

BOSTON – Strolling into the interview room Thursday afternoon without even the slightest hitch despite the tenderness in his left foot was Stephen Curry’s initial statement about his status for Game 4 of the NBA Finals scheduled to tip off 28 hours later.

His second statement was more definitive.

“I’m going to play,” Curry declared.

Those words were followed by a chorus of high-pitched hallelujahs from everyone with a rooting interest in the Warriors.

For Golden State to have any chance of tying the series against the Boston Celtics, it’s imperative that Steph is cleared to play. He’s a huge asset even at 90 percent of his usual health. Or 80 percent. Probably even 70 percent.

“It's just a pain tolerance thing that you've got to deal with,” Curry said. “Obviously, at this point in the series, if you are good enough to play, play.”

Klay Thompson, Curry’s teammate since 2011, fully comprehends the magnitude of Steph’s presence in the final series of the postseason.

“We need him if we want to win this thing,” Thompson said. “I know Steph is going to do everything he can in his power to play. I am really hoping he's okay because he's our identity, and without him, it will be very difficult.”

And that was Klay speaking late Wednesday night, when Curry’s outlook was considerably more tenuous. The sentiment is the same, though, as none of the other Warriors have been nearly as effective as Curry through the first three games.

Moreover, the same can be said of the opposing Celtics, who took a two-games-to-one lead in the series with a 116-100 victory Wednesday night at TD Garden. Jaylen Brown has been terrific, but Steph has been keeping the Warriors afloat.

Curry is averaging series-leading 31.3 points per game. Shooting 48.5 percent overall, a preposterous 48.6 from beyond the arc. He leads the Warriors in steals with eight. He’s second in assists with 11. He is No. 1 in making all of New England nervous.

That it’s the same foot that was sprained after Boston guard Marcus Smart plopped on it March 16 – sidelining Curry for a month – is one reason Steph expressed great confidence that he will play and won’t be greatly hampered.

“Because I went through what I went through in the regular season and coming back, I know exactly what it is and what I've got to deal with and the soreness/pain level and all that,” he said. “Once I got checked out last night, I knew I wouldn't have to go get any extra tests just because we've been through this before.

“There's a good understanding of what it is and all that. I guess 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.”

RELATED: Klay confident Draymond, Warriors will respond like champions in Game 4

Steph has scored 94 points over the first three games, six fewer than Andrew Wiggins and Thompson combined. Curry and Otto Porter Jr. are the only Warriors shooting better than 40 percent from distance.

“We just need to help Steph in general,” Thompson said Thursday. “He has been incredible this series.

“We'll all do our best. I think we'll respond. I think we'll come correct tomorrow, and I'm just excited for the opportunity. We still have a chance to even out the series and take home-court advantage.”

For the Warriors offense to have a reasonable chance of puncturing a Boston defense with the redoubtable Robert Williams III as the anchor, Steph’s presence is mandatory. Maybe even the difference.

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