OAKLAND, Calif. — A black sleeve protecting his sore right elbow, MVP Stephen Curry insists he’s fine after yet another postseason injury.
Curry banged his right elbow on what he thought was a metal platform after diving into the stands at the 2:54 mark of the first quarter during Wednesday night’s 118-91 Game 2 win over the Thunder. That evened the best-of-seven Western Conference finals at one game apiece as the series shifts to Oklahoma City for Sunday night’s Game 3.
”It’s fine. The swelling went down, so no worries,” he said following Friday’s practice. ”It’s sore just because of the impact. The spot it’s at doesn’t affect the range of motion, so I can shoot and dribble and do all I need to do. It’s uncomfortable but not necessarily pain. … It’s nice to have three days in between to get your body right.”
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Curry said after the game the elbow was so swollen ”it looks like it has a tennis ball on top of it.”
Yet Curry had plenty left, scoring 15 straight points in less than 2 minutes during a third-quarter frenzy on his way to 28 points. He made 5 of 8 3-pointers and shot 9 for 15 overall.
”It’s fine. Nothing wrong,” coach Steve Kerr said. ”There doesn’t appear to be any swelling.”
Curry has watched the replay of his plunge, and still seems quite surprised nobody tried to catch him, and one fan clicked a photo.
”I saw it once. Not a lot of help, that’s all I’ll say,” he said, noting the front row, ”they’re the first responders. It’s kind of coming at them pretty quick. The row behind … I wanted to do a crowd surfing kind of deal. They weren’t ready.”
After already losing their superstar point guard for parts of the first two rounds because of ankle and knee injuries, nobody wants Curry hurt again.
Some teammates and others in the organization have suggested Curry not repeat that frightening dive, and it did take him a while to get up – silencing Oracle Arena.
”For the most part other than split decisions you don’t really weigh the options or the risks when you’re chasing a loose ball,” he said. ”Obviously I would rather stay on the floor as much as possible. It’s kind of dangerous but I don’t know how you can play hard and do what you need to do in those situations, 50-50 balls, with any doubt in your mind, `all right, protect yourself,’ especially in a playoff situation.”
Thunder star Kevin Durant thought the MVP did all he could once it was clear he was going into the seats.
”It’s kind of a weird thing because you don’t want to fall on the fans, but you don’t want to fall straight to the ground. So he did a good job protecting himself,” Durant said. ”I thought he didn’t have to jump over. I thought he could have leaned into the fans in the front row. But it looks good when you jump over. I understand that.”