Curry must keep cool against rough stuff, mindful of Ariza ‘cheap shot’

Jay Mariotti

Steph Curry James Harden

You do wonder if someone, at some point, will try to thug up the angel. With an NBA Finals berth at stake, an opponent isn’t about to let Stephen Curry roam freely in his dreamy cocoon without a harsh physical reminder that this is basketball and he is merely 185 pounds. He mentioned Monday how Houston’s Trevor Ariza, the last time the teams played in late January, had walked by with intent and bumped him, shoulder on shoulder.

“A cheap shot,” Curry called it.

The episode was much more heated than that. The Rockets, coached by noted postseason elbow-thrower Kevin McHale, tried to bully Curry during a technical-foul filled third quarter in which all hell nearly broke loose at Oracle Arena. First he was harassed by Patrick Beverley, who talked trash and leaned in aggressively. When Curry shoved back, he was whistled for a technical foul. Then came the sequence…

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