At one point late in the first quarter of Wednesday night's NBA Finals game three, Klay Thompson was forced to the sidelines to receive treatment on a sore thigh.
That pain came after a collision with Cleveland Cavaliers big man Timofey Mozgov and, more specifically, on an illegal screen as Thompson attempted to make up ground on Kyrie Irving.
Speaking after the game, a humbling 90-120 loss for his Golden State Warriors, the 2016 All-Star has now accused Mozgov of being guilty of a "dirty" play:
"I didn't get it. I don't know. I'm guarding Kyrie, running full speed downhill, I just don't know who is trying to set a pick on me in the middle of the key," Thompson explained during the post-game press conference. "If it's on the perimeter, I understand. But didn't make sense to me."
"It seemed kind of dirty to me...He stuck his knee out too, but, you know what, that's basketball."
Thompson was able to return to the game after the pick - footage of which can be seen via this link - but he did admit that it was painful and he will likely miss today's practice session in order to receive further treatment.
The 26-year-old backcourt star was, however, keen to emphasise that there was no way the incident was going to keep him from taking to the hardwood in game four on Friday night:
"Obviously didn't feel good but I'll be all right," he continued. "It's the Finals. Nothing's going to keep me out of it."
Mozgov's play, whether "dirty" or not, was indicitive of more intense play all around from the Cavaliers in game three.
Having been on the receiving end of consecutive blowout losses to open the 2016 Finals, Cleveland stepped things up across the board at the Quicken Loans Arena and the Warriors simply couldn't find an answer for their competitive opponents.
Thompson, for instance, ended the night with just 10 points and shot just one-of-seven from three-point range.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr also made reference to his roster being out-fought when speaking after the game:
"We were soft," he said, via NBA.com. "When you're soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over."
With the series now finally poised at 2-1 in Golden States' favour, the intensity and tension out on the court will only increase as both teams give it their all to get their hands on the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Timofey Mozgov's move on Thompson will by no means be the last time players play on the edge before the championship is won.News Now - Sport News