Steph Curry injury prompts Warriors' familiar routine to resurface

Steph Curry injury prompts Warriors' familiar routine to resurface

The Warriors saw it, fans around the NBA have seen it and Stephen Curry actually felt it.

With 3:21 remaining in the first quarter Tuesday night in New Orleans, Curry’s right ankle gave way without contact and he crumpled to the floor. He got up, adjusted his ankle brace and played on for another 46 seconds before raising his hand indicating he needed to come out.

As Curry jogged into the locker room, a familiar routine resurfaced. Everyone affiliated with the Warriors or cheering for them – or merely hoping to see Curry at his full powers in the postseason – went through various stages of concern, from panic to hope to worry to anxiety.

In an instant, the Warriors and their fans were reminded of the thin line between rolling confidently into the postseason and easing in under a cloud of apprehension.

Curry was diagnosed with “mild sprain” of his right foot, according to the Warriors.

That’s not what coach Steve Kerr said to reporters at Smoothie King Center.

“Sprained ankle,” he said after the Warriors’ 112-103 win over the Pelicans. “He’s in (the trainer’s room) icing it.

“We think he’s going to be fine. He tweaked it and we weren’t going to mess around.”

Curry already was scheduled to sit out the regular-season finale Wednesday in Memphis, and Kerr reiterated that the team’s catalyst “probably” will sit – he definitely will sit – adding that he expects Curry to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend.

This was, of course, the scenario the Warriors wanted to avoid. Citing overall team health as a priority, Kerr planned to rest some veteran regulars Tuesday and the others Wednesday in the regular-season finale in Memphis.

It appears the Warriors got lucky here, but there’s no way to know for sure until Wednesday at the soonest. If there is swelling, go ahead and sweat. If not, go ahead and exhale.

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There is a long history of Curry spraining his ankles/feet and his recovery time has ranged from the worst – surgery nearly seven years ago – to miraculously immediate, as when he left and returned in the third quarter on Feb. 27, 2016 at Oklahoma City, and ended up drilling a game-winning, 37-foot 3-pointer in overtime.

Which is why there is dread and hope. Always. Fortunately for the Warriors and Curry, hope has the edge for now.

One more game to go, and no doubt Warriors fan will be crossing their fingers.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in win 112-103 over Pelicans

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AP

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in win 112-103 over Pelicans

BOX SCORE

With Kevin Durant sick, Klay Thompson resting and Stephen Curry injuring himself early Tuesday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, the Golden State Warriors (56-24) got their best bench performance of the season in a 112-103 win over the Pelicans (33-48). 

In the Warriors' sixth straight win, the bench unit combined for 65 points, helping Golden State stay in contention for the league's second-best record. 

Here are the takeaways from Tuesday's game. 

Steph's Scare

Curry went down early in the second half as a result of two words the Warriors never want to hear: rolled ankle. 

While the Warriors say that it's a mild foot sprain and that he was sat out for 'precautionary reasons,' the question remains, with two games left in the season and a first seed wrapped up: Why even play Curry in the first place?

That's a question for Steve Kerr and co. going forward, and it will certainly have ramifications for Wednesday's game in Memphis. 

Jacob Evans shows signs of growth

When Warriors general manager Bob Myers drafted Evans, the hope was that the rookie could find an instant role on the team as a defender. Instead, he toiled for much of the season in the G League, sparking some whispers about his long-term viability. 

That changed Tuesday when Evans, playing 90 minutes from his hometown of Baton Rouge, finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three steals. 

It's been a long season for Evans, but if Tuesday was any indication, he could still have a future in this league. 

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Damion Lee keeps shooting

The Splash Brother-In-Law poured in 20 points, on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. 

As Golden State's two-way player, Lee has played well during his time with the Warriors, providing quality shooting. Earlier this season, he played well enough to garner buzz about possibly getting his contract converted to a guaranteed deal for the postseason. 

For now, with the season finale Wednesday evening, Lee will be looking to continue to add to his highlight tape for the summer. 

Anthony Davis wears 'That's All Folks' shirt to Warriors-Pelicans game

Anthony Davis wears 'That's All Folks' shirt to Warriors-Pelicans game

The Warriors are in New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Tuesday night. It's the penultimate regular-season game of the year for Golden State.

For the Pels, it's the final game of a very tumultuous season, which included their franchise cornerstone demanding a trade.

Anthony Davis is not going to sign an extension with New Orleans this summer and will assuredly be shipped out of town at some point in the coming months.

That means that tonight likely will be last time The Brow suits up for the home team at Smoothie King Center. And he chose to arrive in a t-shirt that is sure to cause a stir.

"That's all folks," as in "I'll be traded soon."

Davis, who has not been in uniform the last six games, was initially listed as probable. However, shortly before tip-off, the Pelicans ruled him out for the game with back spasms.

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The 26-year old was drafted No. 1 overall by New Orleans in 2012. He led the Pelicans to the playoffs in 2015 and 2018 (they lost to the Warriors both years) and was named All-NBA First Team three times.

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