Warriors star Stephen Curry optimistic about Game 4 chances

ByEthan Sherwood Strauss ESPN logo
Friday, April 22, 2016

HOUSTON -- Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry expects to play in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets on Sunday after missing Games 2 and 3 with a sprained right ankle.

Curry said he wanted to play in Golden State's 97-96 loss to Houston on Thursday, but coach Steve Kerr had said "it wasn't worth the risk."

"It was their call," Curry said Friday of the team's decision. "If I would have got the green light I definitely would have played and felt confident there. Hopefully that leads to even more confidence come Sunday."

Asked whether he would be surprised if the team sits him again Sunday, Curry responded, "Very."

The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 will be in Houston.

On Friday, Curry played in 3-on-3 games, a way the Warriors maintain conditioning for bench players while also building the stamina of stars coming off injury.

"It's a good session," Curry said. "Played a couple games. Got some rhythm, got through it."

Curry reported being "pretty close" to pain-free, but noted he was rusty in full-speed drills. When asked to assess his explosion and change of direction, Curry replied, "Awful."

Added Kerr: "Steph looked good. Played 3-on-3. He had a pretty good shooting workout afterward, reported no pain. Seemed to be moving well. All that's good news."

On Saturday, the plan will be to bring Curry back into a full run.

"Hopefully tomorrow we'll play some 5-on-5 and whatnot," Curry said. "That can go either way. You see a guy like Paul George last year. He came back from a year off and (he) couldn't miss his first time back on the floor."

Kerr said the team will continue to monitor Curry on Friday night and into Saturday.

"Hopefully tomorrow without any repercussions we'll just put him through the whole practice and get him another day of rhythm," the coach said.

Curry admitted he and the coaching/athletic staff have different opinions on his playing status when it comes to the injury.

"I'm sure coach and the athletic training staff are on similar wavelengths of being more on the precautious side obviously," Curry said. "I've been pretty honest about just how I feel making sure I don't do anything to damage my ankle even further, put myself in a bad position, so we want to get a proper feedback and not hide things.

"I think I could play through a little bit of discomfort and whatnot, especially in a playoff kind of situation. They have kind of the thought if there is any ounce of instability or doubt, to be on the more cautious side."

Kerr was noncommittal on a potential minutes restriction when Curry returns, saying, "There might be one that we impose based on conditioning, but we'll see."

One thing Curry won't have Sunday: a suit.

Since he was expecting to play, he hadn't brought one on the road trip, and as a result, he wasn't allowed on the bench for Thursday's Game 3. Asked Friday if he'd go buy a suit in case he doesn't play Sunday, Curry said: "I will not be going to any suit store.''