Warriors

Warriors vs. Suns Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Suns Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

With 17 consecutive victories over the Suns, the Warriors have a compelling reason to make it 18 when the teams meet Friday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports begins at 5:00 p.m. with Warriors Pregame, followed by tipoff from Talking Stick Resort Arena at 6:00 p.m. Warriors Postgame follows the telecast.

Among the goals of the Warriors (38-15) is to post the NBA’s best record, thereby earning the No. 1 overall seed throughout the postseason. The Western Conference leaders are two games behind the Bucks, who lead the Eastern Conference.

But the race to the top of East got more treacherous this week, with the Raptors, 76ers and Bucks making significant trades bound to tighten the race over the final two months of the season.

[RELATED: Curry, Kerr unfazed by trade deadline arms race in East]

The Suns (11-45), meanwhile, are in tank mode, competing with the Knicks in a race to the bottom, both teams hoping to parlay that into improved position for the June draft.

Put simply, the Warriors and Suns both have incentive -- to proceed in completely opposite directions.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Kevin Durant
F Draymond Green
C DeMarcus Cousins
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Suns

F Mikal Bridges
F Dragan Bender
C Deandre Ayton
G Josh Jackson
G Elie Okobo

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) is listed as out.

Suns: SG Devin Booker (right hamstring tightness), G De’Anthony Melton (right ankle sprain) and F T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) are listed as out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr said Friday morning that he has no plans to rest anyone, which suggests he’ll stay with his nine-man rotation, with F/G Andre Iguodala, PG Shaun Livingston, C/F Kevon Looney and F Alfonzo McKinnie.

That said, it’s also likely that PF Jonas Jerebko could get minutes.

PG Quinn Cook is in the throes of his worst shooting slump since he came to the Warriors before last season. He is 4-of-29 from deep over his last 13 games.

Suns: The absence of Warren, the team’s No. 2 scorer, puts a massive void in the Phoenix offense. F Kelly Oubre Jr., acquired from Washington in December provides the best chance to fill it.

Assuming Booker starts for the Suns -- he was a full participant shootaround, Thompson will get the defensive assignment.

Ayton, the No. 1 overall draft pick, is having a fine rookie season, averaging 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds. He’ll make the All-Rookie team, but the Rookie of the Year award already is engraved with the name of Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic.

Officials: Rodney Mott (chief), JT Orr, Leon Wood.

Steph Curry first found troubles of fame going to Charlotte in 2013

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AP

Steph Curry first found troubles of fame going to Charlotte in 2013

Steph Curry is a superstar. He might be the most recognizable player in the NBA. Maybe even in all of sports. 

But that wasn't the case not too long ago. Before the two MVP award and three NBA Finals titles, Curry could actually enjoy some peace and quiet with his family. 

Curry first found out about the troubles of stardom with fans while traveling home to Charlotte, N.C. in 2013. 

“Back when I was taking commercial flights,” Curry said in a lengthy interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “I never flew private.”

It was after his fourth season in the NBA. Curry was coming off a career-high 22.9 points per game at the time, and he led the Warriors to playoffs where they upset the Nuggets in the first round and battled the Spurs in a second-round loss. 

Curry, along with his wife Ayesha and a newly born baby daughter Riley, were recognized relentlessly in the airport. From the security line to trying to get to the gates, the Currys were constantly surrounded.

“One of the worst experiences of my life,” Curry said. “Getting bothered left and right from the time we showed up at the airport to the time we got to the house in Charlotte. That was probably when it was like, OK, this is crazy. And, yeah, it’s got even crazier from there.”

Two years later, Riley became a sensation by joining Steph at the postgame podium in the playoffs. As he looks back it now, it's one of the only things Steph regrets

[RELATED: Steph Curry's Charlotte popularity a boon to NBA All-Star Weekend]

"I didn’t know how much that would blow up and how much of a splash she [would make] on the scene," Curry said. "If I could take that one back, I probably would, just because my goal is just to give my kids the best chance at success and at seeing the world in the proper way." 

This weekend, Curry and his family are back in Charlotte for NBA All-Star Weekend. He'll face his brother Seth in the 3-Point Contest, and it's safe to say all these years later, he'll know how to deal with the masses following his every move.

Steph Curry predicts he'll beat Seth, win 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest

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AP

Steph Curry predicts he'll beat Seth, win 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest

The greatest shooter on the planet is headed home for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. 

And he's coming for another title. NBA 3-Point Contest title that is. 

"Oh, I am," Warriors superstar Steph Curry said Friday when asked who is going to take home the crown.

Curry will be competing against his brother Seth, along with Buddy Hield, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, Joe Harris, Dirk Nowitzki, Danny Green, and Kemba Walker. 

Steph, who won the contest in 2015, isn't the first to make a bold prediction for this year's shootout. Lillard went as far as saying, "I'm shooting against the Currys in they hometown ... I'm going to win, I'm in there to win," late last month. 

[RELATED: How the Currys are leading the second generation of NBA athletes]

To add to the fun, Curry also swished a half-court shot and met one of his biggest fans Friday at Jr. NBA Day.