OAKLAND -- Even while winning eight consecutive games and sitting atop the Western Conference standings, there was a layer of discomfort beneath the good work of the Warriors.
Throughout the veneer of bliss over the first three weeks, the one thing they feared most of all has been lingering in the shadows. Injuries.
They’re now out in the open for all to see and fret. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is the latest, a strained left adductor forcing him out in the third quarter Thursday night as his Warriors were clobbered, 134-111, by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Curry will undergo an MRI test Friday. His injury comes one game after three-time All-Star Draymond Green was sidelined with a toe sprain, which had him watching in street clothes on Thursday and likely will keep him out until next week.
Valuable reserve guard Shaun Livingston has played in four of the team’s 12 games, missing the last six in a row with soreness in his right foot.
Valuable wing Andre Iguodala has missed two games but continues to deal with soreness in his left calf.
Both Warriors losses this season have come with a rotation player on the inactive list. It was Livingston on Oct. 21 at Denver and it was Green on Thursday.
“I don’t think tonight had anything to do with Draymond, honestly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after losing by 23. “It had to do with our overall focus.”
No one adjusts the focus of the Warriors better than Green, and he’s not expected to play on Saturday, when the Brooklyn Nets come to Oracle Arena.
What’s worse is Green almost certainly will be joined by Curry, who has been playing at MVP level.
Pending the results of Curry’s MRI test, none of the injuries is considered serious enough to sideline anyone for a significant portion of the season. But even “minor” injuries, when they keep coming, can have a significant impact.
The Warriors are not in trouble. Not yet. They have the best record (10-2) in the Western Conference, second-best in the NBA.
But the road ahead is starting to look more perilous. This was only one very emphatic loss, but the damage to the Warriors as they journey through November is only partly reflected by the scoreboard.