After Golden State's 97-96 loss to Houston on Thursday, Stephen Curry returns to the court on Sunday for the first half of Game 4 of NBA Western Conference playoff series. While the Warriors dominated the Rockets with a 121-94 win, Curry had a nasty fall that was initially diagnosed as a right knee sprain, so he did not play in the second half of the game.
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In the 19 minutes that Curry played, he scored only six points with a 2-of-9 shooting but had five assists. Shortly after, he slipped on a wet spot on the floor just before the buzzer expired and fell and embraced his leg with his hands before walking off the court on his own.
NBA's three-point hotshot Stephen Curry missed the first two games of the series after spraining his right ankle in the first game. During the team's practice on Thursday, Golden State's point guard said he experienced no pain.
The 2015 NBA champion Warriors currently lead the Rockets 3-1 in their best-of-seven series.
Here's what you should know about Game 5 of the Warriors vs. Rockets playoff series:
Date: April 27, Wednesday.
Start time: 7:30 PM PST
Location: Oracle Arena, Calif.
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Prior to Game 4, the Warriors coach and Curry himself gave an optimistic assessment on the MVP playing in the next few games. The setback in Game 5 poses a question on whether Curry's first injury really had no problem.
"I would expect Steph to play," Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN. He added Curry played full-court 5-on-5 in the team's last practice so he should be fine in the next game against the Rockets.
There are also concerns about Curry's conditioning after he had not played in the last two games. However, Kerr said Curry does not take too long to get his rhythm back.
Furthermore, Curry also assured fans that his right ankle is stable, and he can do everything that he needs to do on Sunday.
For the Rockets, it is clear that Curry's absence is the reason why they are still in the series. Curry scored 24 points in the Warriors' 104-78 win in the opener. When he didn't play in the second game, the Rockets came closer with 115-106 final score in favor of Warriors. On Thursday, the Rockets won by just one point, 97-96.
James Harden's stepback jumper with 2.7 seconds left sealed the Rockets' victory in the third game. Interestingly, during Curry's absence, Harden produced 63 points and 20 assists. Sports analysts say the Rockets would give the ball more to Harden, giving him the opportunity to produce bigger points.
For the part of Warriors, Klay Thompson produced 17 on Thursday on 7-of-20 shooting. Forward Marreese Speights was the only Warrior who reached 20 points. Shaun Livingston, Curry's replacement, had 16 points.
With Curry's return, it is expected that he will pour points from the three-point line and make plays for his teammates.