Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry made the decision to not start Saturday night in his return to the lineup.
"He said that watching [Klay] Thompson come back from his injuries—particularly the way the Warriors would allow Thompson to get 45 minutes of rest in real time before he returned to the floor—gave Curry insight into how to manage his minutes restriction. But it also gave the Warriors the flexibility they wanted within the limits of Curry's minute restriction," according to ESPN's Kendra Andrews.
Curry finished with 16 points in 22 minutes in his first game since suffering a sprained ligament and bone bruise in his left foot on March 16. Golden State earned a 123-107 win over the Denver Nuggets.
"I thought he looked great," Klay Thompson told reporters of Curry. "His shot was short in the first half, but that's to be expected when you come off a long layoff. But he's still Steph Curry. ... Just his gravity and the threat of him being out there is the best. It makes us a championship team."
Curry missed the last 12 games of the regular season. Prior to being sidelined, he was averaging 25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.
The Warriors initially struggled without him, losing six of seven. But they eventually found a groove and finished the regular season with five consecutive wins.
In Curry's absence, third-year guard Jordan Poole took on more offensive responsibility. In the month of March, he averaged 25.4 points while shooting 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
His "splash brother," Thompson, also found his shooting stroke down the stretch of the regular season, ending the year with three straight games of at least 30 points.