OAKLAND, Calif. – Stephen Curry and Tony Parker limped off the court following the San Antonio Spurs' 102-92 Game 3 victory over the Golden State Warriors Friday night, giving each team reason to worry about the health of its star guard in a postseason already littered with significant injuries.
Curry sprained his left ankle with about five minutes remaining in the game while Parker was kicked in his left calf in the fourth quarter. They won't have much time to recover: Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals series – which the Spurs now lead 2-1 – is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon.
Curry hurt the same ankle in the opening round against the Denver Nuggets. His status for Sunday will be a game-time decision, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. With All-Star forward David Lee limited by a hip injury that was initially thought to have ended his season in the first round, the Warriors hope not to suffer even more of a talent drain.
"Hopefully, he's with us," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. "He's our best player. He's our leader.
"But if he's not, we'll have to do it collectively and not let it bother us."
Curry was hurt after running off a screen set by teammate Carl Landry to briefly spring open behind the 3-point line. As Curry began his shooting motion, Spurs guard Danny Green jumped at him to distract the shot. Curry's ankle buckled. After getting rid of the ball, Curry limped down the floor, and the raucous crowd at Oracle Arena fell silent.
Curry didn't speak to reporters after the game. He finished with 16 points in 42 minutes while missing 12 of 17 shots.
"I talked to him," Warriors guard Jarrett Jack said. "He said he was OK. I think he is tougher than whatever obstacles are put in front of him. Hopefully, he will be able to go Sunday."
Curry has starred in these playoffs, but has a long history of ankle problems. He scored 44 points in 58 minutes in the Warriors' double-overtime Game 1 loss in San Antonio, but has missed 25 of 37 shots in the two games since.
"He has been playing on a hobbled ankle the entire playoffs," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "He's probably going to tweak it every now and then. But at the end of the day he's been fighting through it. He's going to continue to fight through it. It always hurts."
Curry asked to stay in the game after the injury. He was eventually replaced after the Spurs went up 99-90 with 34.6 seconds left. The Warriors will only watch film Saturday at their practice facility, and Curry will spend much of the day getting treatment and resting.
Jackson said Jack will start if Curry can't play Sunday. Golden State was 2-2 with Jack as the starting point guard during the regular season.
"I've been placed in that role before," Jack said. "Hopefully, we will be at full strength Sunday."
The Spurs have the same wish for themselves. Parker scored 25 of his game-high 32 points in the first half and also had five assists and five rebounds. He said he was going to have treatment on his swollen calf throughout Friday night, but expects to play Sunday.
"Got kicked pretty bad," Parker said. "I don't know if it was [Andrew] Bogut or Jack. But right now it's a good one."
Injuries have already left a void of star players in this season's NBA playoffs. Kobe Bryant missed the Lakers' four-game loss to the Spurs in the first round and Steve Nash made only two appearances. Derrick Rose has yet to play since having knee surgery a year ago, and Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich have joined him on the sideline. Russell Westbrook is out for the remainder of the Oklahoma City Thunder's playoff run after hurting his knee in the first round. A knee injury also ended Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo's season in January.
The Warriors don't want to see Curry end up on that list.
"Hopefully, Steph is ready," Jackson said. "If not, we got guys more than capable of going out and getting us a win."
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