OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were sidelined with injuries for Monday night’s game against Sacramento, while key backup Andre Iguodala was available to play after earlier in the day being listed as doubtful with a sore left knee.
Curry has a bruised right hand while NBA Finals MVP Durant was set to miss his third straight game and fourth game in the last five because of a sprained left ankle. He played in a loss to the Thunder last Wednesday at his old Oklahoma City stomping grounds though coach Steve Kerr said afterward Durant should have sat out that one, too.
“KD it’s just been lingering a little bit,” Kerr said. “It’s not a huge level of concern. We’ll just take it day by day.”
Kerr didn’t know until after Saturday’s game about Curry’s injury when head of physical performance and sports medicine Chelsea Lane let him know the two-time MVP’s hand had become swollen.
“There’s not a huge level of concern long term. I think he’s already better today,” Kerr said. “He could’ve played. Chelsea told me if he had been hit on the hand it could’ve gotten worse. We’re not going to take that chance. I think he’ll play Wednesday, there’s a likelihood.”
Omri Casspi was moved into the starting lineup in place of Durant and second-year guard Patrick McCaw for Curry.
With both superstars out, there’s a lot of production gone.
Curry is averaging a team-leading 26 points, 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds and Durant, 24.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.06 blocked shots.
“No one can make up for what those two do individually, so we have to do it with nine or 10 guys,” fellow All-Star Klay Thompson said after Monday morning’s shootaround. “… Obviously it makes it challenging. That’s 50 points out of our lineup and a ton of assists and rebounds and great defense. We’ve got guys who’ve been in this league a long time. They know what to do.”
On Friday, the Warriors beat Chicago at home 143-94 with Durant out and Draymond Green resting.
Green, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was available to play Monday despite a bruised right foot he said he injured in the first quarter of Saturday’s win against the Pelicans.
Kerr doesn’t want to take any chances with his stars. After hosting the Kings, defending champion Golden State goes on a six-game road trip spanning 10 days.
The Warriors, with a deep rotation Kerr trusts, endured without Durant for 19 games late last season as he nursed a left knee injury.
“It’s great for the fans because they get to see how talented our team really is,” Thompson said. “Obviously, some guys can be an afterthought when you’ve got such talented players like Steph and Kevin always out there performing. … Everybody gets to show what they can do. The beauty of our team is everyone makes the most of it when their number is called.”
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