The Boston Celtics started their West Coast road trip with a bang on Wednesday night, taking down the red-hot Golden State Warriors, 110-88. They snapped Golden State’s four-game win streak and bounced back from a tough loss against the Dallas Mavericks.
And while it was a blowout for the majority of the game, the major story from the night came with just over four minutes left in the second quarter. Marcus Smart dove for a loose ball, colliding into Stephen Curry’s legs in the process.
Curry would not return to the game and is set to undergo an MRI on his foot. The incident led to multiple heated confrontations between Smart and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
The interaction between Marcus Smart and Steve Kerr after Steph Curry was headed for the locker room. pic.twitter.com/y0NbQ20Upp— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 17, 2022
After the game, Smart caught up with ESPN’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, who asked him about the play. Smart said that it was just a case of him playing hard and that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He also spoke about it in his postgame press conference.
“Everybody who knows me knows I’m not trying to hurt anybody. I play hard. I leave it all on the line. I leave my life on the line on this court every single night. I made a play that I make every night and unfortunately, and it’s killing me right now, Steph got hurt.”
And as far as his confrontation with Kerr, Smart said he wouldn’t expect anything different. He wished Curry well and stated that Kerr was simply “backing his guy.”
“I hate to see anybody getting hurt, especially when they’re playing their heart out. I just wish that everything is alright. But Steve, he was doing he’s supposed to do - backing up his guy.”
Despite Kerr’s frustrations, Smart said that the pair cleared the air after the game. He referenced their past relationship on Team USA and once again said that he hopes Curry is alright.
“He felt a way, which is understandable. Me and Steve got a relationship from USA that we can talk like that. And afterwards, he told me, ‘I want you on my team. You’re one of those type of guys that everybody wants on a team. I had to back my guy up, much respect to you guys.’ That’s what it’s all about. Like I said, I hate that it happened, and I feel really bad, and I hope he’s alright.”
Kerr also commented on the matter after the game. And while he did say that he and Smart ended the night on good terms, he still believes that it was a dangerous play.
“A lot of respect for Marcus. He’s a hell of a player. Gamer… We talked after the game, we’re good, but I thought it was a dangerous play and I let him know.”
In addition, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka commented on the issue. When asked, he said that he saw nothing wrong with the play and that he told Smart “not to worry about it.”
“The play that they were complaining about was totally legal and not malicious at all to me. One guy dough for one guy reached for it and it was a loose ball on the floor… So I told Marcus, don’t worry about that. Let me handle all that.”
Smart received a flagrant foul for an incident that occurred just moments after when he accidentally kicked Klay Thompson in the arm on a drive. But other than that, no penalties were issued.
The Celtics continue their west coast trip on Friday night when they take on the Sacramento Kings. That game tips off at 10:00 p.m EST.