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SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 8: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors directs a play in the first half against the Utah Jazz in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 8, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Stephen Curry Scores 23 Points In Return After Sitting Out Four Months With Broken Hand

The Warriors finally have something positive to look forward to after Stephen Curry returned to the court Thursday night following his recovery from a broken hand that kept him out the last four months. As Curry was announced in the starting lineup, the Bay Area faithful rose to their feet with a loud cheer that echoed throughout the Chase Center as they welcomed back their basketball hero.

Curry told ESPN after the game that it was weird to be on the court without Draymond Green who is nursing a knee injury, and  instead surrounded by younger players he hasn’t developed chemistry with yet.

“That actually hit me during two-line layups because I have a lot of routines that I rely on in terms of getting ready for the game,” Curry said. “Draymond usually throws me a pass to the corner at a certain time; he wasn’t out there. Nobody got hype for my little scoop shot, so really weird for sure. That’s the nature of the season, we’re trying to build something new based off the culture that we have and that championship identity. It’s going to take some time, but it was fun just getting out there and playing with the guys where you’re trying to build chemistry on the fly.”

Curry was able to delight the crowd with patented long range three pointers and stellar passes throughout the evening, including a behind-the-back pass to the recently acquired Andrew WigginsThe 31-year-old six-time NBA All-Star finished the night with 23 points and shot 6-16 including 3-12 from three-point range to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors fell to the Raptors 121-113. Toronto clinched a playoff spot with the victory.

“He makes everyone great,” Wiggins said. “He makes everyone play better. He finds open men. He’s like the most unselfish superstar. That’s a good way to put it. He attracts so much attention that he’s going to find the open man, and he makes the right play, so it was fun.”

Following the game, coach Steve Kerr was adamant about the excitement Curry brought to the team who were desperately looking for a spark.

“I thought he looked great, moved well,” Kerr said. “It was not the ideal set of circumstances for him — we were taking him in and out of the lineup to keep his minutes down and to keep his stints shorter. He’s not used to that. But he obviously gave us a huge lift, and he changes the whole game when he’s out there. Our fans could see it, they could feel it. We’re a different team, obviously, when he’s on the court. So, great to have him back, and it’ll be fun the next week or so to continue to build up his minutes and get him back into the groove.”

Kerr later added, “To me, it feels like it’s on again. We’re now through the woods, as I said before the game. We can start looking ahead and using these games to prepare ourselves for trying to reach a higher level of play.”

Kerr understandably played Curry for short bursts to be cautious about the possibility of re-aggravating the broken left hand, but Curry showed no signs of rust and even fell on the hand at one point before quickly getting back to his feet.

Although Golden State is in last place in the Western Conference, Kerr feels optimistic about the team moving forward.

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“I do think there will be a sense of energy and enthusiasm the rest of the season,” Kerr told ESPN before the game. “Because to me, this is sort of the beginning of next season in a lot of ways; and I think we’re all starting to get some clarity as far as what our team’s gonna look like. And having Steph back is, obviously, a huge, huge part of that now. The next step will be getting Klay back, but that won’t be till next season. But I think these last 20 games are really going to be a springboard into next year, so I think that energy will be high and remain high.”

 

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Written by Frank DeLorenzo

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