The much-ballyhooed rematch after an NBA Finals featuring a Cleveland Cavaliers squad decimated by injuries instead saw the defending champion Warriors get stung by an injury to their biggest star.
Reigning MVP Stephen Curry left the Warriors bench in the second quarter to get his right calf re-taped after playing the entire first period and scoring eight points.
Curry originally injured his calf Wednesday night versus the Jazz when he was kneed in the third quarter.
He downplayed the severity of it, but had to take a trip to the locker room in the first half. He returned halfway through the second quarter but was clearly hobbled.
After the game Curry again downplayed his injury, insisting he was fine:
“It’s alright, I just needed a little tape adjustment in the first quarter, was able to just get through it, with two days off, a couple practices to hopefully get back to 100 percent.”
Despite his confidence it was evident Curry wasn’t at 100 percent as the Warriors struggled to find a rhythm, especially in the second quarter when they mustered a season-low 17 points but managed to head into halftime with a three-point lead.
The quick twitch-style usually on display was replaced with a labored trudge, but Curry was still able to remain effective constantly drawing double teams and dishing to open teammates.
He would finish the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 37 minutes despite his injury.
Veteran Shaun Livingston took over for the gimpy superstar to the tune of 16 points in 22 minutes while finishing an absurd 8-9 from the field.
Curry wasn’t the only one who sustained an injury as backup guard Leandro Barbosa was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with a shoulder strain and wasn’t able to return.
Golden State has two days off before hosting Sacramento on Dec. 28 and then traveling to Texas for a back-to-back with Dallas and Houston.