Stephen Curry spent the morning of Thursday’s off day at the Warriors’ downtown Oakland practice facility, getting treatment on his right ankle and knee and showing off improvement in his bruised right elbow.
The swollen bursa sac, which Curry said looks like a tennis ball, didn’t need to be drained, and the team’s medical staff said the swelling will continue to diminish before Sunday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City.
So confident is the team about Curry’s prognosis that it isn’t expected to list the point guard on its injury report and he’s expected to start and play his usual minutes in Game 3.
“The elbow is fine,” Curry said after scoring 15 of his team-high 28 points in a two-minute sequence in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 118-91 Game 2 win Wednesday. “It looks like it has a tennis ball on top of it, but it doesn’t affect range of motion or anything, so I’ll be all right.”
It’s remarkable that Curry escaped his Superman dive over the first row of fans without a more serious injury. Chasing a loose ball in the closing three minutes of the first quarter, he landed at the foot of the second row, which is the start of the stadium-style seating. Curry smacked his elbow on the metal platform that supports the slightly elevated row.
Warriors power forward Draymond Green was one of the first to race to the scene.
“Flying over the seats like that, you don’t know if it’s his elbow, his leg, his head,” Green said. “…I was just hoping that he was OK. Once I got over there, I saw that he was OK, but that elbow is definitely a little puffy.”
The Warriors took a timeout to assess the damage to Curry, and reserve center Marreese Speights used the break to check on the fans near Curry’s fall and jokingly berate them for not catching the two-time MVP.
Speights then sought out the rest of the Warriors’ bench players and said: “If he does that, we’ve got to do that. We’ve got to play hard like that.”
Curry took only one shot — a missed left-handed layup — in the second quarter, but proved that his elbow was unaffected in the third quarter during his latest Curry Flurry.
He scored 15 points in a 1:58 span on 4-of-4 shooting (including three three-pointers and four free throws) to run Oklahoma City off the floor.
That onslaught may have actually been fueled by Curry’s elbow injury. He said he banged his throbbing elbow again when Kevin Durant challenged his layup attempt and sent him careening to the floor.
“When you get an injury, it’s usually a magnet for another hit and another bang,” Curry said.
He shook off the pain while taking his time on four straight free throws — three after being fouled by Durant on a three-pointer and one on a technical foul Durant drew while protesting the call — then knocked down three more shots from at least 22 feet as the Warriors built a 20-point lead.
He finished the game with five three-pointers, extending his NBA-record streak to 46 straight postseason games with at least one three. He also shot 5-of-5 from the foul line to bump his postseason numbers to 18-for-18.
With a safe lead, Curry spent the majority of the second half on the bench, showing off his swollen elbow to his teammates and laughing.
“It’s something I’ll have to pay attention to before we leave for OKC” on Saturday, Curry said. “If the swelling goes down, then I should be all right. I think (draining) is not as invasive a procedure, so either way, I’ll be fine.”
Thunder vs. Warriors
Series tied 1-1
All games on TNT
Game 1: Thunder 108, Warriors 102
Game 2: Warriors 118, Thunder 91
Sunday: at Oklahoma City, 5 p.m.
Tuesday: at Oklahoma City, 6 p.m.
Thursday: at Oracle Arena, 6 p.m.
May 28: at Okla. City, 6 p.m.*
May 30: at Oracle Arena, 6 p.m.*
* if necessary