Men Playing Basketball

Severity of Steph’s ankle injury could make Warriors’ bad loss even worse

Severity of Steph’s ankle injury could make Warriors’ bad loss even worse originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – This one is going to sting. In more ways than one. And maybe longer than the Warriors would like.

The sight of Stephen Curry leaving the Chase Center court with right ankle soreness in the fourth quarter of a 125-122 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night brings an abrupt end, at least for now, to the Golden State’s momentum toward the playoffs. .

It is too early to know the severity of the change. It’s not too early to wonder if the Warriors, even with their depth, have the firepower to withstand Curry’s absence for any length of time.

“I don’t know yet,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He has his foot in a bucket of ice right now. I haven’t spoken to the training team yet.

Even though Curry is still in his most inconsistent streak of the season — he was 5 of 18 in 28 minutes before going out — the Warriors needed this game. The fact that they came so close to getting it only makes the outcome even more devastating.

Jonathan Kuming anxiously relived the moment he bit a pump fake from famed pump-fake artist DeMar DeRozan that resulted in a 3-point play that gave Chicago a 121-119 lead with 26 seconds remaining.

“Give them credit,” Kerr said. “DeMar made that and-1 shot in the final minutes. We need to tighten up defensively and execute better. But he succeeded. Give him credit.

Draymond Green’s triple-double (11 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds) was of no use. He will quickly forget it.

Brandin Podziemski will be haunted by the missed layup that would have tied the game 20 seconds later.

This was frankly a game in which the Warriors had to hope they wouldn’t even need Curry in the fourth quarter.

It was the second night of a back-to-back set for both teams, but the Bulls had an overnight flight from Salt Lake City. The Warriors are four weeks into an exciting stretch and have been living above .500 for three solid weeks, while the Bulls haven’t been above .500 at any point this season.

But the defense that lifted the Warriors from pure mediocrity drifted away from Chase Center in the second quarter, sending them on a path to a loss that leaves a deep wound.

Chicago outscored Golden State for 38 points in the second quarter and 36 more in the third, shooting 60.4 percent to put up those 74 points, which allowed them to take a 10-point lead into the fourth.

“I just didn’t feel like we were putting pressure on the ball and turning it over quickly,” Kerr said. “It was like we never had an impact on them. They went about their business. We had occasional good possessions, but we never felt like we had a period where we locked them down for a few minutes, where we could run.

The defense came back in the fourth quarter, limiting the Bulls to seven field goals while forcing six turnovers and turning them into 10 points. This reignited the passions of the sold-out crowd (18,064) and even allowed the Warriors to briefly overtake the Bulls.

But this 3-point lead (114-111, 3:35 from the end) was not enough to contain the Bulls. The previous damage was, ultimately, too much to overcome.

“It’s a great experience for all of our kids,” Kerr said. “JK and BP were in the pick-and-roll exchange, so it’s good for them to feel that way. Moses (Moody), too, to feel these big situations. I have no problem with our efforts. We were just dominated.

It’s a bad defeat for a team with high ambitions. It will be much worse if Curry is forced to sit on the sidelines, even for one game.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk podcast