The Golden State Warriors will be without NBA MVP Stephen Curry again in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Houston Rockets. Up 2-0 after two games in Oakland, Curry has been ruled out for a second-straight game due to a sprained ankle sustained in a Game 1 win.
Head coach Steve Kerr announced the decision in his media availability prior to Game 3 at the Toyota Center. Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated tweeted the news, as well as an early update on Curry’s availability for Sunday’s Game 4:
The exact severity of Curry’s injury is not known, although he underwent an MRI on Tuesday that revealed nothing of serious concern. but it’s a safe bet that Golden State is being extra careful with him due to the confidence that they can beat Houston without him. The Warriors looked eminently comfortable against the disappointing Rockets in Monday’s Game 2, especially against a defense that lacks the cohesiveness and consistency of effort to stop a top-tier attack. For that matter, the Warriors beat the Rockets in the regular season without Curry, as well.
A Game 4 return would afford Curry the opportunity to get his playing legs back before a tougher matchup in the second round and, in a worst-case scenario, put the Warriors in very good position to end the series in no more than five games. He’s a competitor who wants to play, but it’s easy to see why the Warriors don’t want to risk his availability. As Kerr said after Game 1, they need him healthy for the next two months, not days.
As it stands, the Rockets have lucked into seeing Curry on the court for only 20 minutes in the first three games of the series. Falling into a 3-0 hole under those circumstances would be a fitting outcome for a team that has failed to impress with stunning regularity in the 2015-16 season.
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