The Golden State Warriors went into Thursday night’s game against the Houston Rockets up 2-0 in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. The team was without its superstar point guard, Stephen Curry, who tweaked his ankle in game 1.
The team decided to sit Curry in game 2 in order to prevent further injury to his ankle. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green stepped up in Steph’s absence and led the team to a 115-106 victory. Thompson contributed 34 points, while Draymond Green had a double-double (14 rebounds and 12 points).
James Harden put up a double-double for the Rockets; however, his lackluster defense overshadowed his offensive performance.
In game 3, Thompson and Green both struggled offensively. Thompson went 0/7 from behind the arc and Green scored just nine points. It was the Warriors bench, specifically, Marreese Speights (22 points), who helped the team make a comeback.
Golden State’s bench briefly gave them the lead late in the fourth; however, the controversial game winning shot by James Harden propelled the Rockets over the Warriors. The league reviewed Harden’s game winner and determined that it should not have counted. During the shot, Harden initiated contact and pushed off Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors still had an opportunity to win; however, Draymond Green dribbled the inbound pass off of his foot and out of bounds. Houston won 97-96, making the series 2-1. The two teams will face off again Sunday in Houston. Curry is expected to play in Sunday’s game, but is he truly ready to compete? On Wednesday, Curry stated via the SF Gate:
“Based on how I feel right now, I probably couldn’t play,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “Tomorrow, it could be different. … The trainers are trying to get me right, but how I feel on the floor is a big part of it.
“That’s why I didn’t play in Game 2. I tried to simulate moves I’d probably have to do in the game (during warm-ups), and I couldn’t do it. If that happens tomorrow at full speed, then we’ll adjust accordingly.”
As Golden State continues to chase history, it will take a healthy Curry to get there. The team has proven that they can beat the Rockets without him, so is it worth taking the chance if he’s not 100 percent?