OAKLAND -- Warriors point guard Stephen Curry sat out practice Thursday and is questionable for Game 3 of the playoff series against the Denver Nuggets after his sprained left ankle worsened overnight.
Golden State, already missing All-Star forward David Lee, will have to wait until game-time Friday at Oracle Arena to find out whether it will have its star point guard.
"I still have a little ways to go, but it should be all right," Curry said before Thursday's practice. "I can only speak about how I feel right now, and I wouldn't be able to play right now. But there's still a day and a half to get it right, and I think I have enough time to do it."
X-rays on Curry's left ankle came back negative. An MRI revealed it was just a sprain.
If it's any consolation, Curry doesn't seem too worried about the ankle, which he sprained late in the third quarter of Game 2.
For about an hour on Twitter, fans sent him ankle jokes and puns. Not only did Curry ask fans to take their best shot, but he was the one who started it.
"No ankle left unturned!" he tweeted, initiating the onslaught of ankle jabs.
All jokes aside, Curry's latest sprain -- though it's not his surgically repaired ankle -- is pretty serious. He was able to play the rest of the game Tuesday after rolling it late in the third quarter trying to come to a sudden stop. But it turned out to be worse than expected.
Curry said it would "kill him" if he had to miss Friday's game. With Lee out (torn right hip flexor) for the rest of the playoffs, Curry knows his absence could be the opening Denver needs to take back control of the series. He tortured the Nuggets defense for 30 points and 13 assists in Game 2. The Warriors won 131-117 to even the series.
Curry said just his presence won't be enough for the Warriors to take a 2-1 series lead. While it's probably not possible for him to be 100 percent Friday, Curry said he needs to be productive on the court.
"I can't be ineffective on the offensive end throughout the course of a game," Curry said. "I don't have to shoot the lights out. Just keep the defense honest and when I have open opportunities, if they're not double-teaming or trapping, be able to knock them down."
Curry is an unofficial ankle expert, as he's suffered nearly 20 sprains the last three seasons. His right ankle has caused him to miss 52 games since 2010 and has undergone two surgeries, one in May 2011 to repair torn ligaments and one in April 2012 to clean out debris and scar tissue.
He said the surgeries worked, as his ankle bounced back quickly from three sprains this season.
The first came Oct. 19 during a preseason game in Portland. Blazers swingman Wesley Matthews, trying to run by, kicked Curry in the heel, twisting his right ankle. He sat out the final two preseason games before returning to action in the season opener on Halloween.
The second sprain came at a shootaround on Jan. 16 when, chasing a rebound, he stepped on the foot of rookie center Festus Ezeli. That sprain forced him out two games, and he returned to action Jan. 19 at New Orleans. Then in March, Curry sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter against Washington. Two days later, he was back in the lineup against the Los Angeles Lakers. Tuesday's sprain wasn't the troubled ankle. But part of Curry's confidence is that he knows how the process works. He's been getting round-the-clock treatment since Tuesday night.
"I told our (athletic) trainer Chad (Bergman) he very well could be the MVP of this series," coach Mark Jackson said, later adding, "We've just got to trust the process."
The process includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Curry must pass a series of tests to be cleared. But he said he'd be willing to take a painkilling shot, something he ruled out during the regular season.
He said his ankle has responded well to treatment. He expects the treatment he will receive up until pregame warm-ups Friday will get his left wheel ready.
He must believe it. Otherwise, when a fan tweeted a Photoshopped picture of him playing Twister -- with the note "Doubt you play this game very much" -- Curry wouldn't be able to laugh along.
Kawakami: With Warriors' hopes riding on Curry, don't count him out. PAGE 3
Notebook: Lee proud of his teammates' effort in Game 2. PAGE 3
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