UPDATE: Curry out at least two weeks with Grade 1 MCL sprain in right knee.
After missing games two and three against the Rockets, Warriors’ superstar Steph Curry came back for game four.
For just 19 minutes.
On the last possession of the first half, Curry was playing defense and took an awkward fall. After grabbing at his knee, he got up and hobbled to the locker room. He came out with the team for warmups before the second half, but eventually returned to the locker after consulting with his coaches.
Here’s the injury:
The initial diagnosis came back as a sprained right knee, and an MRI will be conducted today.
To say that Curry struggled in his return to action would be a severe understatement. The reigning MVP shot just 2/9 from the field for six points and had five assists, but turned the ball over five times.
Fortunately, Golden State was well off without him. The series lead was stretched to 3-1 as the Warriors waxed the Rockets 121-94 and set an NBA playoff record with 21 made threes. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala powered them to victory with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Draymond Green had a big game as well, tallying 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. The three players mentioned above were lights out from behind the arc and combined for 14 of Golden State’s threes; the trio only needed 21 attempts to do so.
Since we are talking about a knee injury, it would be foolish to have Curry come back before he’s 100%. Clearly, the Warriors have the talent to beat the Rockets, and they’ll most likely do so next game. During Curry’s absence, Shaun Livingston will fill the starting role, and Ian Clark will be given even more minutes. Between the two games Livingston started, he averaged 16 points on 59% shooting, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Clark played well in game three and tallied 11 points and five assists in their heart-breaking loss.
Golden State plays the winner of Portland/Los Angeles and the three of rest, plus how many days it is until the next round, could give Curry enough recovery time depending on what the MRI shows. Being at full strength is instrumental to the Warriors having success against either team they face up with as Curry will matchup against either Damian Lillard or Chris Paul.