Every time the Warriors try to gain any momentum toward turning their season around, they hit a speed bump.
The latest obstacle in their way is Steph Curry's lower left leg injury, which he sustained in the Warriors' 119-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night at Chase Center.
Curry suffered the injury while playing defense late in the third quarter and he limped to the locker room where he underwent X-rays, which came back negative. The next step is an MRI, presumably Sunday, that likely will have a major impact on the rest of the Warriors' 2022-23 season.
Coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the win that he hadn't spoken to Curry or Warriors trainer Rick Celebrini, but any time imaging is required for an injury, there's a level of concern.
"We'll just have to wait and see the results," Kerr told reporters.
For the second straight game, Curry came up hobbling. On Thursday night, he came down awkwardly on a 3-pointer attempt against the Denver Nuggets and suffered a left leg contusion. He began Saturday as probable for the game against the Mavericks and ultimately was cleared to play.
And Curry showed no effects of the contusion, as he had a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting when he left the contest.
For as hard as Curry plays and as much running as he does during games, it's not unusual for him to get banged up and come up limping. More times than not, he manages to stay in the game after walking it off, much like Thursday night.
But two nights later, Curry wasn't able to keep going.
"This has happened many, many times over the years, so fingers crossed that he's OK," Kerr said.
When Curry left the game following a timeout, the Warriors had a 20-point lead. But over the final 14 minutes of the game, Dallas outscored Golden State 35-21.
With or without Curry, it was another case of the Warriors not finishing a game well. But Draymond Green wasn't ready to blame Curry's injury on how the game ended.
"It was so sudden, I didn't even realize he left the bench, so I just think it was so sudden, I don't think it necessarily changed the emotion," Green told reporters after the game. "I think, you know, you get a lead, you let your guard down, that's what happens. Quite the thing with this team."
Dub Nation has seen Curry suffer numerous injuries throughout his 14-year NBA career, but veteran big man JaMychal Green is getting his first taste of watching the reigning NBA Finals MVP get dinged up.
While talking to NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke on "Warriors Live" after the game, Green's initial reaction to Curry's injury likely was exactly how Warriors fans felt.
"My heart dropped," Green told Burke. "He's the heart of the team and we definitely don't need him to be injured going into the second half (of the season). But he said he's good, though."
The win pushes the Warriors to 27-26 and vaults them to the seventh seed in the Western Conference. But if they don't have Curry for an extended period of time, that climb up the standings becomes exponentially harder.
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The silver lining for Golden State is that when Curry missed 11 games earlier this season due to a left shoulder subluxation, they went 6-5. Treading water around .500 with Curry isn't optimal if they want to avoid the play-in tournament, but the alternative might torpedo their playoff chances.
For now, as Kerr said, the franchise has its collective fingers crossed as they await the MRI results.