Warriors’ Curry will return to face Pistons
The wait is finally over for Stephen Curry.
The league’s two-time Most Valuable Player will return to action on Saturday when the Golden State Warriors play at Detroit.
Curry has missed the last 11 games with a groin injury. The Warriors have gone 5-6 in his absence.
“He wants to play. He’s ready to play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Curry was hoping the team’s medical staff would give him the green light on Thursday. The Warriors (15-8) lost in overtime at Toronto 131-128, the first of five consecutive road stops.
“We obviously have a lot of smart people that are taking care of us and trying to make sure we’re protected from ourselves in certain situations,” Curry said. “Obviously, it’s been three weeks or so, so I’m itching to get back. I’m obviously excited that the end is near.”
Power forward Draymond Green, who starred at Michigan State, will not play in his home state. Green has been sidelined with a toe injury and needs some practice time, according to Kerr.
Kevin Durant has been on a scoring rampage over the past three games. He’s averaging 48 points during that span, including a season-high 51 against the Raptors. He’s now averaging 30.1 points this season, second only to Houston’s James Harden.
“I just think I have to do what’s required at this point,” Durant said. “There’s going to be some games where we have a great team game going, where we can beat teams with the flow of our offense, from moving, moving our bodies and moving the ball. And, there’s going to be some games where I need to go get buckets. (Thursday) we were down early, we were down big and I tried to be aggressive and go get a bucket.”
Durant hit the 50-point mark for the sixth time in his career.
“He’s just in a groove. He’s that talented,” Kerr said. “If he starts to feel it, he can get any shot he wants, pretty much any time.”
The Pistons (12-7) have won four straight, all at home. They’ll be playing the second game of a back-to-back after they defeated the depleted Chicago Bulls 107-88 on Friday.
The matchup against the Warriors will hold special meaning to backup center Zaza Pachulia, who won two rings with them the past two seasons.
“Right now, I can start thinking about tomorrow’s game,” he said during a postgame TV interview. “Of course, it was marked on my calendar. It’s going to be a different feeling, obviously. I’ve been in battles with those guys over the last two years. But now I’m going to play them as an opponent. I’m a Piston now, so we’re going to go out there, play hard, play smart, play together and try to get the win.”
That task will be even more difficult with the return of Golden State’s All-Star point guard.
“We know Steph is going to be back and they’re a hell of a team,” Pachulia said. “But when we play our game, we’re a pretty good team, too.”