Warriors, sans Curry, hosts Lakers
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors will be without star guard Stephen Curry for the third consecutive game Wednesday night when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to sweep the season series between the California rivals.
Curry sat out the Warriors' winless two-game trip to Portland and Minnesota last week after turning his troublesome right ankle in Thursday's home victory over San Antonio.
The Warriors announced after cancelling practice Tuesday that Curry would miss at least the next four games, and would be re-evaluated in a week.
Quinn Cook, who has played a majority of the season in the G-League, has stepped into Curry's starting spot the last two games.
The change has been noticeable. In Friday's loss at Portland, for example, Cook recorded a true rarity -- no assists as the starting point guard in 30 minutes.
"Without Steph there, Quinn is asked to do a lot," observed Kevin Durant. "It's definitely a different dynamic when, as opposed to Steph Curry, you have Quinn Cook."
The Warriors also will be be without Draymond Green (sore right shoulder) against the Lakers, and Klay Thompson (sprained right thumb) is no sure-thing.
Golden State has gotten used to playing short-handed against the Lakers this season. The Warriors were without Curry and Green when they beat the Lakers 116-114 in overtime on the road Dec. 18, and again had to go without Curry in their 113-106 home victory four days later.
Durant has dominated the three-game series, going for 29, 36 and 33 points. He had 40 and 39 in the losses at Portland and Minnesota.
The Lakers also will take the court in less-than-ideal circumstances Wednesday night.
They also will be without a key player, standout second-year player Brandon Ingram (strained groin), and will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, having rallied past the Denver Nuggets 112-103 in an emotional game Tuesday night.
The Lakers successfully avenged a 125-116 loss at Denver on Friday, a game that ended with young Nuggets guard Jamal Murray celebrating on the court, catching the attention of Los Angeles players and coaches.
The Lakers have motivation against the Warriors as well. Los Angeles has not been swept in a season series by Golden State since 1994, although the Warriors have won 15 of the last 19 matchups.
This season's three losses could hardly be attributed to Ingram. He had 32, 19 and 12 points in the games, two of which have gone to overtime.
The 20-year-old is the NBA's leading scorer among all players under the age of 21, having totaled 1,664 points in his two seasons. He doesn't turn 21 until September.
The Warriors, who have won seven in a row at home, will be seeing the Lakers for the first time since their acquisition of Isaiah Thomas from Cleveland at the trade deadline.
Thomas has scored 20 or more points five times in his 13 games as a Laker, including 20 in Sunday's matchup with his former team, the Cavaliers, and 23 in Tuesday's victory over Denver.
"I keep saying the world knows what I bring," said Thomas, insisting he has nothing to prove after disappointing as a Cavalier. "I'm trying to move on."
Three Lakers starters were burned for 39 or more minutes in Tuesday's win over Denver.
Updated March 14, 2018