Warriors' Stephen Curry Says 'I Felt Like Myself Again' in Return from Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2023

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

Although the Golden State Warriors fell 125-113 to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, they managed to leave with a positive takeaway in the form of superstar guard Stephen Curry returning from injury and showing signs of being his usual self.

Playing for the first time in nearly a month following a left shoulder subluxation, Curry netted 24 points and said the following about how he felt being back on the court, per ESPN's Kendra Andrews:

"It's hit or miss with how much rust you will have and how close you can get to the speed of the game. The first quarter, it felt good just to be out there, running with our guys. ... I felt like I got stronger as the game went on. ... In the fourth, the intensity of the game picked up. We were playing very desperately trying to come back and make some plays. I felt like myself again."

It was far from a perfect game for Curry, who went just 8-of-22 from the field and finished with three assists, one rebound and one steal, but he seemingly got stronger as the night went on, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter.

With Curry returning, the Warriors had their full starting lineup intact for the first time since Dec. 3, and while Curry had a solid scoring output and Klay Thompson led the team with 29 points, the Warriors got little out of the trio of Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney offensively, as they combined for 16 points.

Before going down with a shoulder injury, Curry was enjoying another MVP-caliber campaign. In 27 games this season, he boasts averages of 29.7 points, 6.7 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 5.0 three-pointers made, while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

After returning to the top of the league and winning the NBA championship last season, the 2022-23 season has largely been a disappointment for Golden State thus far.

The Dubs are just 20-21, placing them eighth in the Western Conference, meaning they would have to participate in the postseason play-in tournament if the playoffs started today.

Impressively, the Warriors did manage to keep their heads above water while Curry was out with a 6-5 record, but they have now dropped three games in a row.

Tuesday's loss was especially unexpected since the Suns were without arguably their top three players in Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.

Despite that, the Warriors were unable to contain them defensively, as Mikal Bridges, Damion Lee and Duane Washington Jr. each scored over 20 points.

Injuries and inconsistent play have prevented the Warriors from reaching the performance level they did last season, but there is now some hope that they can turn things around.

Tuesday's showing made it clear that the Warriors have to work some of the kinks out, but now that they are essentially fully healthy, they once again have one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league, led by Curry.

Golden State will have a chance to turn the page on Tuesday's loss on Friday when it returns to action in a road game against the 13-28 San Antonio Spurs.