Stephen Curry missed a date against his hometown Charlotte Hornets after suffering an ankle injury during a road trip earlier this month, and he won’t quite be ready for the rematch. Curry is expected to miss his 11th consecutive game when the Golden State Warriors host the Hornets on Friday.
Curry took part in practice on Thursday and scrimmaged 3-on-3 away from the glare of the media after practice, but the team isn’t ready to throw him back onto the floor quite yet. “I doubt he’ll play tomorrow with a back-to-back,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “I don’t think it would make much sense, but I think he’s probably going to want to. But it’s more likely he plays Saturday. If all goes well, I expect him to play Saturday, but even if it goes well, I‘m not expecting him to play tomorrow.” The Hornets are losers of 13 of their last 17 games and missed out on a chance to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this month when they dropped a 102-91 decision at home to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Charlotte is beginning a four-game California swing with Friday’s matchup and is just 2-12 on the road.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Charlotte), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE HORNETS (12-22): Charlotte needed to overcome an 18-point deficit to earn a 111-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday and fell into a 16-point hole at the half against the Celtics. “I talked to the guys in the locker room after the game about waiting too long and waiting until we get down to actually start playing the way we know how to play,” associate head coach Stephen Silas told reporters after Wednesday’s loss. “I thought we did that tonight. We did that in the last game and we won it, but that’s something we don’t want to continue because that’s not a good formula for consistent play.” Point guard Kemba Walker is trying to carry the team and is averaging 25 points over the last three games.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (28-7): Golden State hasn’t missed the two-time MVP Curry all that much while going 9-1 in his absence and is coming off a 126-101 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday in which it shot 59.3 percent from the floor and handed out 37 assists. “An ideal game,” Kerr told reporters. “Everybody really played well and chipped in. A lot of guys got going.” The Warriors’ success without Curry is attributable in large part to the efforts of Kevin Durant, who is averaging 29 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.1 blocks in the last 10 games.
1. Warriors SG Patrick McCaw scored a season-high 18 points on Wednesday.
2. Hornets C Dwight Howard totaled 33 rebounds in the last two games.
3. Golden State took the last seven in the series, including a 101-87 win in Charlotte on Dec. 6.
PREDICTION: Warriors 120, Hornets 103