Stephen Curry ‘[Is] Not Scoring 54 in the Garden’ Against the Celtics, Courtney Lee Says


Avery BradleyIf the Celtics were looking for another storyline as the Golden State Warriors come to TD Garden on Friday night, they have one: It’s the 54-point scorer versus the … pit bull?

That’s what Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee have taken to calling themselves, apparently, and that pit bull mentality will be out in full force on Friday night, when Stephen Curry plays his first game since dumping 54 points on the Knicks on Wednesday. Lee and Bradley know Curry can be a handful when he goes off, but that has not kept from them from issuing the most ill-fated words in sports: a guarantee.

“No way. No way,” Bradley said when asked if Curry would be able to score against Boston like he did against New York.

Lee backed him up.

“First of all, listen. You can put this on record: He’s not scoring 54 in the Garden. … The pit bull is not letting that go down,” Lee said, pointing at Bradley, according to ESPN. “And when the pit bull gets tired, you’ve got the other pit bull right here, growling.”

Curry sank 11 3-pointers (on 11-of-13 shooting from that range) and had 54 points in the Warriors’ 109-105 loss to the Knicks on Wednesday, but the Celtics think they may be able to lend a little more defensive pressure this time around. Even Paul Pierce was praising Bradley, who has some of the best numbers in the league when it comes to measuring defense.

“Great offense trumps great defense every time when you have a special player like [Curry],” Pierce said. “It’s going to be tough — unless you have a guy like Avery Bradley on him.”

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Bradley’s ability to pressure the ball will make the biggest difference. Rivers said after Curry’s Wednesday night explosion that he didn’t think the Knicks did much to break up Curry’s game, and Bradley’s strength — staying on the ball-handler and keeping the rest of the game from flowing — will likely make a difference. Lee said Bradley would blanket Curry full-court, trying to tire him out.

A 54-point player coming into his house may be just what this pit bull needs to get worked up.

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