LOS ANGELES — Another Golden State win; another Stephen Curry injury scare.
The Warriors blew out the Lakers 109–88 at the Staples Center on Tuesday, but the reigning MVP sustained another blow to his injured left shin, one that left him hobbling around the court during the third quarter.
Curry previously missed two games last week with the injury and played limited minutes in a win over the Nuggets on Saturday after re-aggravating the injury. He wore a pad on his leg against the Lakers in hopes of preventing another re-injury.
“It’s just frustrating and annoying,” Curry said. “Long-term it’s not something I’ll have to worry about, it’s just playing with an injury that’s there. That doesn’t get worse if I play on it, unless I get kicked, which has happened three times since I did it. Hopefully it won’t keep happening.”
Curry sustained his latest injury while banging his left leg against Roy Hibbert’s leg as he completed a driving lay-up with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter. He immediately hopped around the court in evident pain, causing the Warriors to take a timeout.
Warriors interim coach Luke Walton told reporters that Curry insisted on re-entering the game, even though Golden State was comfortably ahead. The Warriors’ trainers examined Curry and cleared him to return.
“I wasn’t going to put him back out there at first but he was pretty adamant about going back out there,” Walton said. “The trainers said he was good. So we put him back out … We let him run it out … If both him and the trainers say he’s good to go, then we’ll play him.”
Curry remained in the game until the 2:46 mark of the period, as Golden State went on a 22–0 run to put the game away. He finished with 17 points (on 6-of-13 shooting) and six assists in 26 minutes.
The Warriors announced early in the fourth quarter that Curry would not return to the game, which by then was well in hand.
During his post-game comments, Curry acknowledged that he will need to continue playing through the pain for the time being because doctors advised him that his leg would take “four weeks” to heal fully.
“I’m not going to sit out four weeks, so I have to figure out how to protect it when I’m out there on the floor,” he said. “We’ve done it a good amount and have had a couple of unlucky plays.”
After sitting out a loss to the Mavericks and a win over the Rockets last week, Curry returned Saturday in a win over the Nuggets. He played just 14 minutes, though, as he banged his left leg while defending Jameer Nelson. That injury didn't linger. Curry bounced back to log 31 minutes in a blowout win over the Hornets on Monday.
The Warriors improved their league-best record to 33–2 by beating the Lakers, who fell to 8–28.