Warriors

Abdul-Jabbar: Favorite player Curry is 'changing the game'

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Abdul-Jabbar: Favorite player Curry is 'changing the game'

A number of NBA greats have offered high praise for Stephen Curry during the Warriors' historic season, but it might be hard to top a recent compliment paid by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

When asked who his favorite player was in a Q&A session at St. Louis University Tuesday evening, the NBA's all-time leading scorer mentioned Thunder star Kevin Durant before settling on the reigning league MVP

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Kevin (Durant) ...  but Stephen Curry ... Stephen is changing the game," Abdul-Jabbar said, according to DefPen.com.

The Hall of Famer is particularly impressed by Curry's aptitude from beyond the arc, as he played in an era where 3-pointers were either rare or nonexistent. The NBA introduced the line in 1979, midway through Abdul-Jabbar's storied career.

“Now (Curry) is making those kind of shots, and starting to change the game of basketball," he said.

[RELATED: Curry fastest in NBA history to 1,500 career 3-pointers]

While Curry and the Warriors have had their fair share of critics this season, recent comments from former NBA stars have reviewed them in a more positive light. 

Since the All-Star break, Allen Iverson, Reggie Miller and Dennis Scott have all gotten behind Curry, and in the cases of Miller and Scott, defended him against the harsh words of fellow basketball retirees. 

Curry has already broken his own record for most 3-pointers in a season twice, and still has an outside shot of reaching 400 threes before the playoffs come around. He is also the NBA's current scoring leader, averaging over 30 points per game. 

Sources: Warriors' Steph Curry has surgery to remove pins from hand

Sources: Warriors' Steph Curry has surgery to remove pins from hand

The second surgery Steph Curry knew he needed on his broken left hand has happened.

Curry had surgery Friday to remove the pins that had been inserted in his hand, NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock confirmed through league sources.

The Athletic's Shams Charania was first to report news of Curry's surgery.

This procedure doesn't come as a surprise. Curry told the media on Nov. 11 that he would need a second surgery at some point in December, and last Friday, he told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that the surgery would happen within a week or two.

Curry is still on track to be re-evaluated Feb. 1.

The two-time MVP suffered the injury against the Suns on Oct. 30. In 19 games without Curry, the Warriors are 3-16.

[RELATED: Steph knows Warriors' pain can be worse]

Missing at least four months has been tough on Curry, as he told Poole last Friday.

“It’s just hardest on your competitive spirit,” Curry said. “When you get around basketball and get around the locker room with the guys, that’s the part I miss the most. And I love to play.

“Three months is -- and I’d only played three-and-a-half games -- just weird. It’s unfamiliar territory. I’m enjoying the downtime, because it was unheard of, in my experience, in the middle of a season. It’s just weird.”

Warriors vs. Bulls watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Bulls watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

Wins have been hard to come by for the transitional Warriors this season. But a stop in Chicago to close out the road trip could change their fortunes. 

The matchup comes at a particularly perilous time for the Warriors, who have lost the last four games by an average of just over 15 points. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports begins at 4:00 p.m. PT, with tipoff scheduled for 5:00 p.m. from the United Center.

[RELATED: Watch Warriors-Bulls right here]

While losses have come at a high rate for the Warriors recently, they beat the Bulls handily last month with Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell out of the lineup. With Russell back from a hand injury, a season sweep of Chicago remains in play. 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors
F Eric Paschall
F Draymond Green
C Willie Cauley-Stein
G Glenn Robinson III
G D'Angelo Russell

Bulls
C Wendell Carter Jr.
F Lauri Markkanen
F Kris Dunn
G Zach LaVine
G Tomas Satoransky

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Stephen Curry (Left-hand fracture), Jacob Evans (Left adductor strain), Damion Lee (Fractured right hand), Alen Smailagic (G-League Assignment), Klay Thompson (Left knee rehabilitation) are out. D'Angelo Russell (Left finger sprain) is probable. 

Bulls: Cristiano Felicio (Right wrist fracture), Chandler Hutchison (Right shoulder sprain), Adam Mokoka (G-League two-way), Otto Porter, Jr. (Left foot, bone bruise), Max Strus (G-League two-way), Thaddeus Young (personal reason) is out.  

ROTATION

Warriors: Russell returned to the lineup Wednesday, scoring a team-high 18 points, two rebounds and two assists in a loss to Charlotte ... The Warriors have used 12 different starting lineups through 23 games, and have lost their last four games by a combined 61 points ... Golden State enters Friday's matchup with the league's worst defense, giving up more than 114.7 points per game ... However, rookie forward Eric Paschall continues to shine, averaging 18.7 points per game over his last 12 outings.

Bulls: Despite controversy between its head coach and players, Chicago has won two straight games ... Guard Zach Lavine has been fantastic, averaging 22.5 points, four rebounds, and 3.9 assists, including a game-winning shot against Charlotte last month ... The Bulls defense leads the NBA in forcing 18.3 turnovers per game. 

Officials: Eric Lewis (Crew Chief), Gediminas Petraitis, Lauren Holtkamp