Curry out — for how long?

War­riors’ guard deal­ing with ad­duc­tor strain

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - SPORTING GREEN - By Con­nor Le­tourneau

Stephen Curry is so vi­tal to the War­riors that his most mi­nor of in­juries are cause for con­cern.

Late Thurs­day night, even as they watched Curry laugh and joke in the locker room af­ter hurt­ing his groin in a loss to Mil­wau­kee, his team­mates hoped that Curry’s lat­est set­back wouldn’t be more se­ri­ous than it ap­peared. Lit­tle more than 12 hours later, Golden State got some good news: An MRI exam re­vealed that Curry had suf­fered only a mild-to-moder­ate left ad­duc­tor strain.

Curry is ex­pected to miss mul­ti­ple games, start­ing with Sat­ur­day night’s matchup against the Nets at Or­a­cle Arena, and head coach Steve Kerr said the two-time MVP will need “at least a few days” be­fore re­turn­ing to prac­tice. With five months un­til the play­offs, the War­riors see no need to rush the face of the fran­chise back to the court.

“The MRI was en­cour­ag­ing,” Kerr said. “It’ll be kind of a day-to-day thing. Ob­vi­ously, we won’t do any­thing crazy. He’s go­ing to be out un­til he’s healthy.”

Dray­mond Green will miss

his sec­ond straight game Sat­ur­day with a sprained right foot and toe, but Kerr is op­ti­mistic Green will be avail­able Mon­day against the Clip­pers in Los An­ge­les. Shaun Liv­ingston played some 3-on-3 af­ter prac­tice Fri­day as he re­cov­ers from a sore right foot that has side­lined him two weeks.

With both Curry and Liv­ingston out, Quinn Cook will start at point guard against Brook­lyn. It helps that Cook — who was waived four times and signed three 10-day con­tracts be­fore carv­ing out his niche with Golden State last sea­son — knows how to stay ready. Af­ter sit­ting back-to­back games, he posted a com­bined 28 points, nine re­bounds and six as­sists this week against Mem­phis and Mil­wau­kee.

A solid three-point shooter who sel­dom gets fraz­zled, Cook rec­og­nizes how Golden State’s of­fense must change with­out Curry in the lineup.

When rolling their sys­tem through Curry, the War­riors sub­sist on chaos, run­ning few plays as they move off screens and let Curry’s mere pres­ence open up the floor. With Cook ini­ti­at­ing the of­fense, Kerr calls more sets, slows the pace and lets his All-Stars fo­cus on ex­ploit­ing mis­matches.

With Curry forced to miss 16 of Golden State’s fi­nal 17 reg­u­lar-sea­son games last sea­son with an­kle and knee in­juries, Cook thrived as the fill-in starter, av­er­ag­ing 15.8 points in those games Curry sat.

“You’ve al­ways just got to work, come in early and stay late, stay en­gaged,” Cook said. “Just learn­ing from th­ese vets. Just see­ing th­ese vets pre­pare them­selves ev­ery day. You can only get bet­ter.”

In­stead of pun­ish­ing his play­ers dur­ing Fri­day’s prac­tice for their most lack­adaisi­cal per­for­mance of the sea­son, Kerr high­lighted some of their mis­takes dur­ing video re­view, walked them through a few sit­u­a­tions and called it a day.

“If this were 1956, they would’ve been run­ning sprints all day,” Kerr said.

Kerr has been around the NBA long enough to rec­og­nize that even ros­ters flush with All-Stars aren’t im­mune from the oc­ca­sional dud. Af­ter watch­ing his team cruise to the West­ern Con­fer­ence’s best record at 10-1, he didn’t panic when it looked out of sorts de­fen­sively against one of the league’s best teams.

“Eighty-two games, there are nights when you let your guard down. The im­por­tant thing in this league is you can’t let your guard down mul­ti­ple times in a row,” Kerr said. “Now it’s up to us to be the ag­gres­sor, to be a step ahead de­fen­sively, mak­ing our ro­ta­tions, box­ing out — all the things that we didn’t do last night.”

In his 15th NBA sea­son, An­dre Iguo­dala is amused by how NBA fans — es­pe­cially those who root for the War­riors — of­ten over­re­act to losses. A game in No­vem­ber has al­most no in­flu­ence on how a team plays come April, May and June.

What mat­ters most for Golden State is stay­ing healthy for the post­sea­son. With Curry and Green ex­pected to re­turn to the court soon, the War­riors can stom­ach a 23-point beat-down by Mil­wau­kee at home.

“Some­times we’ve spoiled a lot of peo­ple,” Iguo­dala said. “We don’t lose of­ten, but it’s go­ing to hap­pen in the NBA from time to time. We’ll fix it. Some­times it brings the hunger back, so it can be good for you.”

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

War­riors point guard Stephen Curry will be out for mul­ti­ple games, though his in­jury is con­sid­ered mi­nor.

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