ORACLE ARENA – Injury reared its ugly head Saturday night, claiming Stephen Curry’s right ankle in the Warriors’ 101-92 victory over the Wizards.
Curry, who finished with a game-high 35 points, was fouled by former Warrior Cartier Martin on a fast break with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter and grabbed his twice-surgically repaired ankle as soon as he went down.
A sold-out Oracle Arena fell nearly silent as fans clad in Curry jerseys looked on, hoping that history wasn’t repeating itself. When Klay Thompson subbed for Curry, the crowd erupted in applause, partly for Curry’s massive contribution, and also because he was walking off the court, not being carried.
X-rays came back negative, and after the game Curry was already talking about getting ready for Monday’s game against the Lakers:
Warriors guard Stephen Curry
“I’m fine, don’t worry about my ankle. It’s just another little episode, I’ll get through it like I usually do, just gotta get my treatment and get ready for Monday.”
Washington went into the game shorthanded with guard Bradley Beal out with a sprained ankle and forward Trevor Ariza out with the flu.
The Wizards’ main reason for their recent success, John Wall, was Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson’s main concern coming into the game Saturday.
But Golden State caught another break when midway through the third quarter Wall received his second technical foul after getting into the face of Klay Thompson, and was ejected from the game.
With the loss, the Wizards finished their road trip 2-2. After the game Wall said he was disappointed with himself for getting angry and said it was a missed opportunity for another road win:
“It’s been a great road trip, I feel like we could have went 4-0 really, but tonight I let the team down getting ejected.”
Andrew Bogut, who finished the night with 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks, told SFBay that it was both a point of relief and a sign that Washington wasn’t ready to give up:
Warriors center Andrew Bogut
“We’ll always take that, if their best player get’s ejected we’ll put our hands up and take that one. But some other guys stepped up, Cartier Martin knocked down a bunch of big threes for them and they seemed to move the ball a little bit more when John [Wall] wasn’t in there, side to side which is a little bit harder to guard, rather than having the speed of John which we kind of contained pretty well for the whole game.”
The Warriors started the night with an 8-0 run trying to set the tone for the rest of the night. With the score at 15-7, John Wall received a foreshadowing technical foul.
By the end of the first half the Warriors led 58-40 and during the game led by as many as 21 points. But 21 Golden State turnovers, Martin scoring a career-high 23 points for the Wizards, and all the other help from Washington’s bench helped cut the lead to just eight points late in the game, which Curry answered with his sixth trey of the night.
Coach Jackson said that even with the turnovers and problems in careless play, he is confident in his team to finish the season right:
Warriors coach Mark Jackson
“We’ll continue to get better and continue to build on what we are doing. I thought we did a very good job defending them and a very good job executing. Careless at times, but we’re young and we’re improving.”
Saturday’s game was the first of five straight at Oracle for Golden State, its longest homestand left in the season.
The Warriors ended the night with the ‘W,’ but they’ll have to turn things up — and hope to get Curry back — if they want to win Monday against the Lakers who are fighting to stay in playoff contention.
David Lee recorded his league leading 47th double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. … Stephen Curry had his league leading 17th game with five-or-more 3-pointers made. … The Warriors posted their 40th win of the campaign, the first time the team has posted 40 wins since the 2007-08 season. … Cartier Martin had a career-high 23 points and a career high six 3-pointers made. Golden State finished with all five starters in double figures, with the bench scoring a season low 11 points, all coming from Jarrett Jack.