Curry returns and helps Warriors in 106-94 win; leaves ball game early with knee injury

photo from sfgate.com: Golden State’s Stephen Curry bent over with pain from his injured left knee after receiving a right elbow to the knee from teammate JaVale McGee in Friday night’s contest at Oracle Arena against the Atlanta Hawks

By Jerry Feitelberg

There was good news and bad news at Oracle Arena Friday night as Curry returned to action and the Warriors downed the Atlanta Hawks 106-94. Curry started slowly but heated up and tallied 29 points before he injured his left knee with 3:09 to play in the third quarter. The injury occurred when JaVale McGee’s right elbow landed on Curry’s left knee when McGee was falling down. Curry was not able to continue, and the fans and the Warriors could not believe what happened.

Curry sprained his medial collateral ligament and was scheduled for an MRI on Saturday. The Warriors said: “We’ll see what the MRI says tomorrow, there’s not a whole lot we can do or predict keep your fingers crossed.” said head coach Steve Kerr. “We’re hoping for the best after everything he’s gone through, that was tough to see him go down like that” said Warrior point guard Quinn Cook.

“Kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate,” Kerr said. “He rehabs his ankle for the last couple weeks, he gets that strong and then the knee goes. So we’ll see what happens and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Atlanta won the first half 51-43. The Warriors scored just 16 points in the first quarter. They played a little better in the second quarter, but the Hawks outscored the by six to finish the half with an 8-point lead. The Warriors continued to own the third quarter as they poured in 36 points and the defense held the Hawks to 23. The Warriors won the fourth quarter outscoring the Hawks 27-20.

Game Notes and Stats: The Warriors were without the services of Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. As mentioned earlier, the extent of Curry’s injury is unknown, and the Warriors are holding their collective breaths until the results of the MRI are known.

Patrick McCaw returned to action after missing substantial playing time due to a broken wrist. Jordan Bell started in place of Draymond Green, and he finished the night with 12 points, four assists, seven rebounds, and one blocked shot. Nick Young started in place of Klay Thompson, and he added 24 points to the winning effort. Quinn Cook, who had played so well in Curry’s absence and now coming off the bench, kicked in with 13.

The Hawks were led by strong forward Taurean Prince 20, Dennis Schroder 16, Damion Lee 10, Tyler Dorsey 13, and Mike Muscala 11.

The Warriors improve to 54-18 and Atlanta falls to 21-52.

Up Next: The Warriors meet the Utah Jazz Sunday afternoon at 5:30 pm PST.

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