This current Golden State Warriors funk may have been as inevitable as a setback to the fragile right ankle of Stephen Curry.
As much success as the Warriors enjoyed through the first two months of the season, the team is now struggling during an exceedingly difficult stretch of the schedule and all Curry can do is watch from the sideline.
Curry missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right ankle as the Warriors fell 95-88 on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
“I was really happy with my team’s energy and effort,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We took care of the basketball. We competed. We lost to a very good team in their building.”
It’s not to say the Warriors are revealing their inabilities as a contender, but the team has struggled during a start to a January schedule that has featured seven consecutive games against opponents with winning records.
The Warriors have lost three in a row for the first time all season and have dropped five of their last six games.
Unlike recent games, at least the Warriors competed on Friday, a reason for some optimism from Jackson after the game.
“Disappointed in the loss but at the same time I really like the way my team got after it,” Jackson said.
The Warriors travel to face a New Orleans Hornets squad on Saturday that has won six of their last seven games.
An update on Curry
Curry remains day-to-day with the right ankle that he sprained during shootaround on Wednesday morning. His treatment will continue and he remains day-to-day heading to face New Orleans.
Jackson didn’t give much of an update on Curry after the game on Friday, stating: “We don’t know. We are taking it day-by-day. He’ll be fine though. We’re taking it day-by-day and just being very cautious with it and just making sure he’s right before he comes back.”
Not another one
David Lee gave the Warriors a big scare when he drove through the lane in the third quarter, stepped on the foot of Gary Neal and rolled his left ankle. He took a light sprint down to the other end after the roll, grimaced and seemed to be okay. He appeared to be fine and played the remainder of the game without any signs of injury.
Jackson was asked about Lee’s ankle after the game and responded: “He battled, got back on the floor. He’s icing it; I’m sure he’ll get treatment.”
Social media trainer
@TJWhidby: “Mandatory Ankle Braces for all Warriors. #WarriorsTalk”
How it went down
The loss, the 28th consecutive to the Spurs at their place, wasn’t for a lack of effort.
The Warriors battled throughout the night, and had the game tied at 82-82 with seven minutes remaining. The Warriors had led by as many as seven points in the second half but trailed 80-73 entering the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, it was too much from Spurs’ Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan and superstar point guard Tony Parker. The tandem, responding after the Warriors tied the game, worked the two-man game as the Spurs went on a 13-7 run to end the game.
Danny Green hit a three-pointer to give the Spurs a 93-86 advantage with a minute-and-a-half to play to close out the victory.
Duncan finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Parker’s flip shot was working as the veteran point guard scored 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting and eight assists.
The Warriors had three starters with 20 points or more. David Lee scored 22 points and tallied seven assists and six rebounds. Jarrett Jack started at point guard in place of Curry, scoring 20 points and adding 10 assists while Klay Thompson added 21 points on 7-for-20 shooting.
The Warriors shot 38.9 percent from the field and 16.7 percent (1-for-6) from three-point range in the fourth quarter. Golden State did a better job holding on to the ball than in recent games, limiting itself to nine turnovers.
A basket malfunction delayed the game at halftime approximately 25 minutes. Because of a loose rim on the side of the Warriors bench, the side Golden State shot at in the first half, the basket at AT&T Center had to be changed.
A strong beginning
Thompson needed a good game as much as the Warriors needed him. The second-year shooter entered Friday’s game as a 27 percent shooter in the team’s last five games.
Early on, Thompson gave the Warriors exactly what they needed. Thompson had 10 of his team’s first 14 points and the Warriors committed just one turnover to lead 26-19 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors led 26-19 after the first quarter and led 47-46 at halftime.
Thompson cooled off dramatically and finished 4-for-11 from three-point range to score his 21 points.
The Warriors led 58-51 early in the second half before the Spurs went on a 9-0 run to take the lead at 60-58. With the game tied at 67-67 with 3:15 remaining, the Spurs finished the third quarter with a 78-73 lead.
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