Stephen Curry understands that a smooth ride isn’t guaranteed now that both he and Andre Iguodala are back from injury.
Curry returned for Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers from an 11-game absence due to a left leg injury, while Iguodala played for the first time since Jan. 13 and just the fourth time this season after battling hip ailments.
Curry and the Warriors are hoping for better results down the stretch, beginning with Tuesday’s matchup against the host Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We have to maintain trust in each other as we do that because we’re all aiming for the same goal — to win at the highest level — and understand that everybody has to be a part of that,” Curry said. “It’s not just about me coming back. It’s not just about what Andre can bring. It’s about trying to lift everybody up together because we need everybody to win.”
Curry was 8 of 20 overall and 5 of 13 from beyond the arc in Sunday’s loss, which snapped Golden State’s five-game winning streak.
The Warriors come into Tuesday’s action just five games back of the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference but also just a game up on the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers, who are in the first two play-in spots.
“It’s weird to say, we’re still trying to win championships but we’re trying to avoid the play-in. Both can be true,” Curry said. “Until we get beat, we still feel we’re a tough matchup for anybody. That is the confidence we’ve got to have down the stretch.”
Tuesday’s game is the second of a stretch in which the Warriors play eight of 10 games away from home.
While Golden State is 27-7 at home this season — only Denver has as many home wins among Western Conference teams — the Warriors are just 7-24 outside of San Francisco.
The Thunder wrap up a six-game homestand against Golden State.
After dropping their first three to extend their overall losing streak to five, Oklahoma City has won back-to-back games. The Thunder swept a pair of games against Utah over the weekend.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s return went a bit more smoothly than Curry’s.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who came back after missing five games, had 38 points on 10-of-17 shooting in Sunday’s win over the Jazz.
Gilgeous-Alexander has been dealing with an abdominal strain, and also was in the league’s health and safety protocols before returning.
Thunder coach Mark Daigneault adjusted Gilgeous-Alexander’s regular rotation, at least in his first game back.
“I thought he was moving really well, and (his foot) was obviously on the gas,” Thunder coach Daigneault said. “We’re just trying to shorten some of his stretches, just with the nature of that injury.”
Tuesday’s matchup is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. Golden State has won each of the first two, averaging 134.5 points per game.
In the most recent game, Golden State’s 141-114 blowout Feb. 6 in San Francisco, Klay Thompson scored 42 points — hitting 12 3-pointers. The Warriors hit 26 3-pointers in that win, even without Curry.
–Field Level Media