SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors just can't stay healthy this season. Once again, their superstar could be sidelined.
Steph Curry had to head to the locker room late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 119-113 victory against the Dallas Mavericks with a lower left leg injury.
Curry scored 21 points in 26 minutes with six rebounds and seven assists before his injury. Curry pointed to his left knee and shin area as he walked back to the locker room, as he was hurt while guarding McKinley Wright IV driving to the hoop.
It's hard to tell the nature of the injury, but it appears Wright's knee made contact with his leg on the drive. Curry briefly talked with director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini and got checked out on the bench before limping off the floor.
According to the Warriors, initial X-rays were negative but Curry will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't have much information beyond that shortly after the game.
"That’s all I have is he’s gonna get an MRI," Kerr said. "I haven't talked to him or Rick (Celebrini) or anybody yet."
The Warriors don't want to lose Curry again, as he already missed 11 games this season with a left shoulder subluxation injury in mid-December to early January. Golden State went 6-5 without Steph during that stretch, something that gives Kerr confidence his team can handle it again if necessary.
"If he's out, then we do move forward," Kerr said. "We do have some games to lean on, some game film to look at. We'll be ready for OKC (Monday) regardless."
The Warriors led 98-78 at the time of Steph's injury and the Mavs cut to five late, but Golden State fended off a comeback attempt. The Warriors labored once again in the fourth quarter, in a disturbing trend that's plagued them all season. Golden State's offense became stagnant without Steph, as they were outscored 27-17 while shooting just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the floor in the final period.
"I didn't think we closed the game well at all," Kerr said. "We made a lot of mistakes at both ends. I'm thrilled with the win but I'm disappointed with the way we closed the game."
The game was already lacking some star power, as Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic was out while nursing a foot injury he suffered Thursday. Curry is in the midst of his ninth All-Star season after recently being voted to be a starter from the West. Steph is averaging 29.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists and 4.9 3-pointers per game. The All-Star Game will be held on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.
It's been a frustrating year with injuries so far for the Warriors, who can't seem to keep their whole core healthy. Players like Andrew Wiggins, JaMychal Green, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Curry have all missed extended time this year due to ailments.
Green has been a major force since returning from his extended 14-game absence, when he was out due to the NBA's health and safety protocols then a leg infection. He scored 14 points in with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 16 minutes of action, on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting.
Green admitted he was "overthinking" to begin his tenure with the Warriors but now he's playing more "free." Green and Kuminga's consistent contributions have stabilized the frontcourt in recent weeks. Kuminga has settled into Kerr's rotation as a defensive stopper and also been a reliable spot-up shooter since returning from a right foot injury that sidelined him eight games.
"It's been an up down season for us," Green said. "Sometimes we get going and we think that we clicked and we'll take a hit. It's a lot of adversity that we're fighting through, but we'll be fine."
Last year, Steph missed the final 12 games of the regular season after Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart rolled up on his left ankle, but he returned strong in the playoffs. Golden State has 29 more games remaining in the regular season after Saturday's contest.
Kerr admitted there is a "concern level" any time an MRI is required. Whether it be his hand, his foot, his ankle, his shoulder or his tailbone, Curry has endured his fair share of injuries over his career.
"This has happened many many times over the years," Kerr said. "Fingers crossed he’s OK."
Steph isn't the only vet dealing with an injury.
Draymond was a late clearance to the starting lineup as he deals with calf tightness. Though he finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists while flirting with a triple-double, Draymond appeared to have a slight limp toward the end of the game.
"Just tight but I’m fine," Green said.
Draymond ended up playing a team-high 32 minutes on Saturday, including 10 in the fourth quarter as the team needed his need defense.
"I've been concerned about the overall minutes over the last 10 games for both Steph and Draymond," Kerr said. "They've both been creeping up. I felt like tonight we wanted to make sure we kept both of their minutes down as much as we could."
Backup guard DiVincenzo knows the Warriors have to keep their next-man-up mentality.
"We gotta weather the storm," DiVincenzo said. "Those guys have a lot of mileage on their bodies."