HOUSTON — Stephen Curry has won most of his battles on the basketball court over the past few seasons, but he lost the debate with the Warriors staff about playing in Friday night’s Game 3 against the Rockets. His sprained right ankle is improving, but not enough to get him back into the lineup.
“We talked to him after shootaround today and he felt pretty good,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “He moved well. He wanted to play. But ultimately we didn’t feel comfortable after four straight days of inactivity throwing him into the middle of a playoff game not knowing how the ankle was going to respond.
“His thought was he would be OK. We just felt a lot more comfortable putting him through 3-on-3 tomorrow, probably a 5-on-5 on Saturday and really seeing if he’s OK or not.
“It wasn’t worth the risk if we put him out there tonight and he re-injured it. It’s too big of a risk. So we’ll see what happens the next couple of days and hopefully he’ll be ready to go for Game 4.”
It was a group consisting of team orthopedist Dr. William J. Maloney, the training staff, general manager Bob Myers, Kerr and Curry that arrived at the consensus despite evidence that the ankle had improved.
“We kind of teamed up on him,” Kerr said. “He wanted to play. But he’s also very practical and he understands the thinking and he understands that it’s better safe than sorry.
“It was a very easy decision. Weighing the pluses and minuses, a very easy decision.”
As for Game 4 on Sunday?
“We’re hoping,” Kerr said. “The biggest thing for him is to play 3-on-3 tomorrow at our practice and see how he feels after that. Again, without having done anything for four days, no conditioning, no rhythm, no actual live contact, it would have been irresponsible, I think, to put him out there.”