CLEVELAND — One day after suffering a thigh contusion in Game 3, Golden State’s Klay Thompson says he will be able to play through the injury in Game 4 of The Finals.
“I’m just gonna ride the bike today, try to get it loose,” said Thompson before practice today. “It’s just sore. It doesn’t hold you back, but it’s just there. A lot of guys got those at this point of the year, so you gotta play though it.”
Thompson injured his left thigh at the end of the first quarter following a collision with Cavs center Timofey Mozgov, who was in the process of setting a pick for Kyrie Irving. After going to the floor in pain, Thompson limped to a hallway outside the locker rooms and stretched before returning to finish the game.
Thompson went on to play 30 minutes and finished with 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting, including 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. Cleveland’s guards also had a breakout night, totaling 50 points against the defense of Golden State’s Splash Brothers.
Immediately following Game 3, Thompson questioned Mozgov’s motives on the play. “Obviously, didn’t feel good,” Thompson said in the post-game press conference. “But I’ll be all right. Luckily for us I’m going to take the day off tomorrow and get healthy. But it’s The Finals. Nothing’s going to keep me out of it… I’m just confused why [Mozgov]’s trying to set a screen in the middle of the key when we’re both running full speed downhill. It seemed kind of dirty to me. He stuck his knee out too, but, you know what? That’s basketball.”
(Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue saw things a different way: “Timo was running in to set a high pick-and-roll, and at the same time the ball handler was moving going forward, so he just tried to stop and they ended up running into each other. But I wouldn’t say it was a dirty play.”)
A day later, Thompson had softened his stance. “As I watched the replay, it might have just been bad luck, too,” Thompson said before practice. “A knee to the thigh never feels good. I don’t think [Mozgov] meant to do it maliciously. But usually when someone sets a screen you do it with your chest or something. But I’m not going to hold a grudge. It’s basketball.”