OAKLAND, Calif. — His spirits down, his left ankle limp and his team’s season hanging in the balance, Stephen Curry wondered whether he could recover for the biggest game of his career until a text message popped up on his phone around 2 a.m. Saturday.
Curry called back his mother, Sonya, and vented his frustrations about his latest — and most inopportune — injury setback. Finally, she spoke up to calm his concerns.
“She just reminded me and battled tested me to rely on my teammates for support,” Curry said.
What followed was a Mother’s Day masterpiece.
Curry scored 22 points to go with six rebounds and four assists on a bum ankle, rallying the Golden State Warriors past the San Antonio Spurs 97-87 in overtime Sunday to even the Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece.
“It seems like every time you get on a roll and feel somewhat healthy there’s a setback,” said Curry, who shot 7 of 15 from the floor, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. “And it just tests you. It changes your routine. It changes your outlook on the game, your preparation. You’ve got to deal with the injury and the adjustments you’re making as a team.”
Game 5 is Tuesday in San Antonio.
Curry and the Warriors overcame the obstacles with contributions from all over.
Rookie Harrison Barnes had a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, Jarrett Jack added 24 points in reserve and Andrew Bogut grabbed 18 rebounds to help Golden State erase an eight-point deficit in the final five minutes of regulation. The Warriors scored the first nine points of overtime to whip the yellow-shirt wearing crowd of 19,596 into a frenzy and give this topsy-turvy series yet another twist.
Even Warriors coach Mark Jackson doubted whether Curry could play, especially after his star point guard took an anti-inflammatory injection in the morning to ease the soreness in his sprained ankle and still had trouble getting loose. Jackson cornered Curry outside the chapel service at the arena to see how he felt.
“He said, ’I’m going to give you what I got, coach.’ That’s not the language he speaks. I knew right away that he was not 100 per cent,” said Jackson, who conferred with general manager Bob Myers in his office before letting Curry play.
“Once again, it’s that same spirit flowing through that locker room that refuses to quit.”