Warriors guard Stephen Curry sparked excitement about his outside shooting and then concern about his durability.
In his first game since missing the past six with a sprained right ankle, Curry had an MCL sprain in his left knee. That made the Warriors’ 106-94 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday at Oracle Arena an afterthought.
“A strange, cruel twist of fate,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Curry finished with 29 points, showing efficiency from the field (10-of-18), 3-point range (3-of-8) and free-throw line (6-of-6) in 25 minutes after shooting only 1-of-6 in the first quarter.
Curry did not become as fortunate, though, in avoiding another injury. Curry just converted on a four-point play to give the Warriors a 66-64 lead with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter, suggesting he finally shed his rustiness. On the next play, though, Warriors center JaVale McGee contested a shot, fell down on the ground and tumbled into Curry’s left leg.
Immediately, Curry hobbled around the court. Curry kept pacing in hopes to shake the ailment off. Instead, Curry kept limping. Curry then sat on the bench with his head down on his hands with 3:09 left in the third quarter. Curry soon went to locker room with the Warriors’ training staff. Curry will receive an MRI on Saturday afternoon, though most injuries of that nature sideline a player for weeks, not days.
“I feel very bad for the fact that I was a part of that. I was just going to block a shot and I ran into him,” McGee said. “I pray to God that nothing is wrong with him and that he’ll just miss a couple of games.”
Curry did not speak to reporters after the game, though the Warriors said he plans to soon. Kerr described Curry as “disappointed.” But Kerr added, “he’s hanging in there.”
That left the Warriors trying to offer optimism despite Kerr saying the locker room felt “a little somber” afterwards.
“I’m so positive. He didn’t get carried off. He didn’t get a stretcher out there,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant told The Bay Area News Group. “You’re not going to look at me and get the negative side of things. I’m going to be super positive about this no matter what. Everything is going to be alright.”
The Warriors are also sidelined with their other All-Stars in Durant (rib), Klay Thompson (right thumb), and Draymond Green (pelvic contusion). Durant said he will “be back there soon,” though when is unclear. Green could practice on Saturday in hopes to play on Sunday against Utah, though that is not guaranteed.
“I definitely do not have an ominous feeling,” Kerr said. “I’m disappointed for Steph mostly tonight. We’ll see how long he has to be out. But we’ll have guys coming back in the next couple of weeks. We have enough and we can push forward and we can win a lot of games.”
The Warriors’ role players are also nursing injuries.
Warriors guard Nick Young had a right knee injury in the second quarter, but stayed in the game en route to 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 6-of-11 from 3-point range.
“I’m all right,” Young said. “It should be all right next game.”
Although Kerr said he plans to keep veteran guard Omri Casspi on the playoff roster, he missed a third consecutive game because of a sprained right ankle. He expressed hope to
The Bay Area News Group about completing running drills on Saturday. Warriors reserve guard Patrick McCaw described his lower back contusion as “pretty bad right now” after taking a fall early in the first quarter. But he stayed in the game and had five points on only 2-of-10 shooting.
“I got to find my rhythm, regardless of being hurt at this point,” McCaw told The Bay Area News Group. “I have to get ready for the playoffs.”
So does Curry, though that might not be realistic.
“He should take some time. We need him for the postseason,” Young said. “I told him I didn’t come here for you to be hurt. You need to get right. I need to throw some champagne a little bit.”