The Golden State Warriors dropped Game 3 Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs, 102-92, and might have lost their best player in the process. In the middle of the fourth quarter, point guard Stephen Curry did what all fans were afraid he'd do: He rolled his ankle.
UPDATE: Sunday, May 12, at 3:00 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Game 4 starters: GSW -- Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Landry, Bogut; SAS -- Parker, Green, Leonard, Duncan, Splitter.— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) May 12, 2013
---End of update---
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson clearly expects his star guard Stephen Curry (ankle) to play in Game 4 today, according to Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson.
Jackson: "I'd be shocked if he doesn't play."— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) May 12, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Saturday, May 11, at 6:54 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
Sam Amick of USA Today passes along this quote from Curry, who believes he will play in Game 4:
I'm pretty optimistic I'll be able to play in whatever the capacity, I'll be on the floor. If I can give the team anything, I will play. I feel like if I can get to a point where I'm not hobbling and I can cut how I want to (he can play). It doesn't have to be 100 percent, as long as I can be confident that it won't do any further damage. I have a feeling I'll be at that point tomorrow, no problem.
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Saturday, May 11 at 3:30 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
Curry is going to be a game-time decision for Game 4 of the Warriors' series against the Spurs, and according to Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News, the early start time is going to work against him.
Curry X-Rays negative. No MRI scheduled. Game-time decision officially. Early start makes it dicey— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) May 11, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, May 11 at 3:15 a.m. ET by Stephen Babb
NBA.com's Scott Howard Cooper is reporting that the Warriors don't have an official prognosis for Curry's ankle just yet—leaving Warriors fans in uncomfortable suspense after a tough Game 3 loss.
Mark Jackson says no immediate prognosis for Stephen Curry heading toward Game 4 on Sunday afternoon. More will be known Sat.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) May 11, 2013
Meanwhile, first-hand accounts of Curry's condition are mixed, but not exactly encouraging.
Again, when Steph Curry walked by me, it was pretty quick, I looked down at his feet, didn't see a noticeable limp. Maybe a bad angle?— Poor Man's Commish (@poormanscommish) May 11, 2013
Wait, what? RT @kylebonagura: Steph Curry limping pretty badly in the Warriors locker room.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 11, 2013
Based on the tweets, it sounds like Steph Curry is walking fine around some reporters and limping horribly around others. What to believe?!— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 11, 2013
What we do know is that Curry got treatment after the game instead of having to deal with media.
Curry isn't talking to media. Getting treatment. Not sure that's a good sign for status of his ankle.— Jimmy Spencer (@JimmySpencerNBA) May 11, 2013
---End of Update---
Curry has avoided any serious issues with his oft-injured ankles so far this season, but the nightmare scenario hit Warriors fans like a brick.
Curry, trying to stop on a dime and make Danny Green look foolish on yet another one of his patented pump fakes, rolled his left ankle. The Oracle Arena crowd was the quietest it has been this entire postseason.
Bleacher Report's Twitter account had a great look at the injury as it happened:
Steph Curry rolls his ankle but he is staying in the game for now. twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 11, 2013
Curry stayed in the game, largely because he refused to acknowledge the trainers on the bench and avoided all eye contact with head coach Mark Jackson (h/t Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle):
Steph Curry won't look at the bench, so he can't see that Mark Jackson is trying to sub him and his sprained ankle out of the game.— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) May 11, 2013
Although he played through the pain at the end of Game 3 against the Spurs, Curry did not score after the injury occurred, and the Warriors faded down the stretch at home to drop an important game in this best-of-seven series.
To add insult to injury, Curry continued to struggle when Green tracked him all over the court. Green, who helped keep Curry to his second-lowest scoring output of the postseason so far (16 points on 5-of-17 shooting), has held Curry to just 2-of-19 shooting so far through three games in the series (h/t ESPN Stats & Info):
Stephen Curry is now 2-for-19 when guarded by Danny Green in this series.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
Excluding the Game 3 setback, Curry has been the best individual player of the 2013 postseason.
Averaging 26.5 points, 8.9 assists, 3.9 three-pointers, 46.3 percent shooting and 42.3 minutes per game (heading into Friday night), Curry has established himself as one of the NBA's most unguardable playmakers when he's hot.
Unfortunately, he can't get hot if his ankle keeps him off the court.
This isn't the first time that Warriors fans have had to suffer through Curry's ankle problems. The four-year pro from Davidson has never completed a full regular season of games. His big setback came in 2011-12, when he missed over half of Golden State's 66 games in the lockout-shortened season.
While the 25-year-old star was able to tough it out for the final few minutes of Golden State's Game 3 loss, Curry's ankle issues are nothing to take lightly. Team officials held him out of the end of the 2011-12 season, not wanting to risk further injury and long-term problems.
But this is the postseason—the Warriors are closer to glory than they've been in quite some time. Unless a medical scan reveals this issue to be something greater, expect Curry to be in uniform in Game 4 and keen on getting back to his stellar scoring ways.