Just one half after returning to the Golden State Warriors following two games on the shelf with a right ankle injury, reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry has once again been sidelined, suffering a sprained right knee that kept him out of the remainder of Game 4 of the Warriors' first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets.
Curry suffered the injury in an unfortunate slip-and-fall in the closing seconds of the second quarter:
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With the clock winding down toward halftime, Rockets star James Harden and big man Donatas Motiejunas crossed paths in the open floor, resulting in Motiejunas falling as he passed half-court, hitting the deck and sliding across the playing surface. Soon after, Curry followed while defending Houston's Trevor Ariza, and slipped in the wet spot Motiejunas left in his wake, his legs splaying out underneath him. Curry's right knee hit the floor, and he grabbed it as he rolled over, in evident pain as he turned. He quickly got up and began to move toward the locker room, as the game had gone to halftime, but he was clearly limping as he did so.
After a tense intermission, Curry was listed as available to return, and came out of the locker room wearing a brace on his right knee. He didn't look especially comfortable heading back to the court, though:
Curry went through a warmup and tried out some defensive slides, but quickly went to the sideline, where he an athletic trainer checked him out. After some brief words from head coach Steve Kerr and teammate Draymond Green, a somber-looking Curry walked back to the locker room:
A distraught Stephen Curry walks back to the locker room pic.twitter.com/husNQifl19
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) April 24, 2016
Shaun Livingston took the court at the point to start the second half. Shortly thereafter, the Warriors announced Curry was done for the day.
After Curry's exit, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala took over, leading the Warriors to a 41-point third quarter and a 121-94 win in which they set a new record for most 3-pointers made in a single postseason game, and moved within one win of eliminating Houston for the second straight season.
We won't know the extent of Curry's injury until after he undergoes the requisite tests, which won't come until Monday:
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 24, 2016
As shown in Game 2 and Game 4, Golden State is plenty capable of knocking off Houston without its signature star. Still, though, the sights of Curry slipping into a near-split and walking off the court with his hands on his head have to give the Warriors and their fans serious cause for concern as they look ahead in their quest to defend their NBA championship. The sports-watching world now awaits the results of Monday's MRI; the fate of the 2016 postseason could hang in the balance.
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