Curry did not take part in the morning shootaround, getting treatment instead. He cut short his extensive pregame warm-up routine after about five minutes, appearing to be in discomfort, and left the court shaking his head.
He took the court some 90 minutes before tipoff and first went through his normal dribbling session before he started shooting. He put little pressure on his tender right ankle while taking several shots.
At one point, Curry lined up to shoot a long jumper from the right wing but didn’t release the ball and hopped in apparent discomfort before throwing the ball in the air. He left the court at Oracle Arena moments later.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob said Curry did not aggravate the ankle and that he simply wasn’t healthy enough to play.
Coach Steve Kerr said earlier in the day that he and Curry had a long chat.
“We will definitely err on the side of caution. If he’s not right, then he’s not going to play,” Kerr said. “It’s not worth risking turning this into a long-term issue. … We had a good conversation today before shootaround. Steph is a very rational person. He’s easy to speak with. We kind of went over the different scenarios. He understands we have, first of all, his best interest at heart, his career. We know that he had surgery on that ankle four years ago. He’s got a lot of basketball ahead of him. … I do know that we have to look after his health because the competitor that he is, he’s going to want to play.”
Curry injured his right ankle when he landed awkwardly late in the first half of a 104-78 win over Houston in the series opener Saturday. He tried to come back in the second half before being quickly pulled by coach Steve Kerr, who noticed Curry wasn’t right.
Golden State already beat the Rockets once this season without Curry, winning 114-110 in Houston on Dec. 31. Klay Thompson picked up much of the scoring load with 38 points that game, and Andre Iguodala added 20.
Thompson said it will take more than just him to replace Curry’s league-leading 30.1 points per game and everything else he offers.
“Obviously 30 points out of the lineup, a lot of playmaking, a lot of easy buckets,” Thompson said earlier Monday before Curry was ruled out. “We just have to do it in a more meticulous way as far as moving the ball, being more patient. Without Steph in the lineup, we don’t have those easy looks in transition he usually gives us. We just got to do it even more as a team now and rely heavily on our defense and get out on transition.”
Shaun Livingston will start in Curry’s place. Livingston averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 assists per game this season.
ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.