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Stephen Curry calls latest ankle surgery a “relief”

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Stephen Curry wanted to get back on the court this season, but five weeks of rehab on his recurring sprained ankle could not get it done. He had to go back under the knife.

Curry didn’t talk with the media through the rehab process or after the surgery in April, that was until last weekend when he broke the silence to the San Francisco Chronicle (via CSNBayArea.com).

“It was a tough one. I went through diligent rehab for five weeks, but I ran out of time to return this season,” Curry said from a charity event in Oakland. “We didn’t want any questions going into next year, so I could play with a clear mind….”

He expects to be fully healthy when training camp opens in October, something he couldn’t have said with confidence before the latest surgery. Curry had surgery to repair the outside two ligaments in the ankle last May, but he re-injured the ankle in December and missed 40 games, including the final 28, with five severe ankle sprains.

Curry wanted to avoid a second surgery, but he and team’s medical staff came to mutual agreement near the end of the season that a procedure was needed to identify the source of the recurring sprains. He had been told that the two surgically repaired ligaments were fine and that the new problem was most likely the tendon at the bottom of the foot.

The Warriors are banking on Curry and newly acquired center Andrew Bogut (fractured left ankle) being healthy and ready to go next fall. If those two can stay healthy, play close to their potential and blend in with Klay Thompson, David Lee and the rest of the roster the Warriors could be a playoff team in the West.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).