It's too soon to call it a Pyrrhic victory, but there was a dose of bad news delivered along with the good in the Warriors' 106-93 win at Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Stephen Curry rolled his left ankle while driving to the hoop in the third quarter, left the game shortly thereafter and did not return. Though Curry will be listed as "day to day," this development is of particular concern given the point guard's history of ankle problems.
It's a very good thing the Warriors have Andre Iguodala, who finished with 20 points and six assists, generally serving as the point guard in Curry's absence.
"It's a tough, unfortunate injury," coach Mark Jackson said. "I have guys that I believe in . . . Andre showed how important he is, comfortable and moving over handling the basketball and facilitating our offense."
Curry said afterward that he "probably" would be able to play on Friday, when the Warriors travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs on the third of the four games on this road swing that concludes Saturday at Memphis.
"It's fine," said Curry. "I was going to try and force and get back out there, but you've got to be smart long-term about this being a nagging thing down the road – especially when guys are playing well."
The good news came in the return of small forward Harrison Barnes, who entered in the first quarter and paid immediate dividends. He scored 14 points in 14 minutes, looking completely rust-free.
Barnes, who missed the first four games of the season, anchored the Warriors' best bench effort thus far, outscoring Timberwolves backups 27-10 and being a factor in the win.
"Our bench was huge – scoring, rebounding and defending," Jackson said. "Guys came in and gave great minutes and it was a thing of beauty. Harrison was very good for his first game, gave us scoring off the bench, made a huge pass to Mo (Speights) for an open 3.
"It was a good win for us, against a team that other than one night had been playing very, very well."
Another key factor in the victory was Curry's Splash Brothers sidekick, Klay Thompson, who scored 30 points, including 19 in a furious fourth quarter that put away the Wolves.
"(I) challenged him at halftime and he is an incredible shooter and he had a spectacular second half," Jackson said.