Steph wrong, Warriors right — ‘would have been a dumb decision'

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NEW ORLEANS -- Stephen Curry can admit it now. He was wrong.

He felt he was ready to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against New Orleans last Saturday, and even trying to persuade Warriors coach Steve Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

They vetoed the idea, delaying his return until Game 2 on Tuesday, and five days later Curry appreciates their decision.

“If it was up to me, I probably would have played and it would have been a dumb decision,” he said Thursday night, on the eve of Game 3. “But we handled it well.”

That’s because the Warriors remember how Curry looked late in the 2016 postseason.

Curry was incredible in his first game back after missing two weeks with a Grade 1 knee sprain, scoring 40 points, including an NBA record 17 in overtime, to lead the Warriors to a 132-125 win in Game 4 of the conference semifinals.

As fantastic as that performance was, Curry’s recovery didn’t go particularly well. Though he played, all the way through the NBA Finals, his games were inconsistent. Moreover, his explosiveness and cutting ability were a tick off his norm.

That surely was among the factors in the Warriors losing their only postseason series under Kerr.

So, this time, with Draymond Green playing wild-eyed defense, and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson handling the scoring load, the Warriors took no chances.

“I’ll put it this way: the three days that I had between Game 1 and Game 2, I noticed a significant difference in how my body felt,” Curry said. “It was a wise decision because of how we played in Game 1 but also for my own health. It definitely paid off to be patient with it.”

Curry said he felt some slight soreness in the hours prior to Game 1. He felt nothing in the hours before Game 2 -- or the day after.

“I felt pretty good waking up Wednesday morning,” he said. “It might not have been that way Sunday morning. So patience was key.”

Curry said he feels “great,” that there is no lingering soreness after playing 27 spectacular minutes in Game 2. He’ll be in the starting lineup for Game 3 and his minutes should go up.

“It’s safe to say we’ll ramp that up a little bit more,” Kerr said. “There’s no formula, there’s no restriction. But it’s safe to say he’ll get over 30 minutes.”

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