OAKLAND - After the Warriors lost to the Spurs on Friday night, going down 2-1 in their semifinal series, and after Stephen Curry sprained his left ankle and limped off the court, he did what any normal, reasonable young man would do. He phoned his mom.
"She's my voice of reason," he said after the Warriors beat the Spurs 97-87 on Mother's Day, and tied the series at two apiece. "I was trying to vent my frustration. It seems like every time I feel somewhat healthy there's a setback."
What wisdom did Mom impart to her kid?
"It will battle test you," she said.
That meant something like, "Stop complaining and play."
Even Sunday morning, a few hours before the shockingly early 12:30 p.m. tipoff, Curry felt doubt, something he doesn't usually feel. He drove over to the Warriors' facility for early treatment and when he got out of his car, he was sore and he wasn't walking right.
Which means the Warriors' backcourt star barely could walk a few hours before the game.
He got treatment and felt his confidence rise -- not much. During warm-ups, backup point guard Jarrett Jack stole a few looks at Curry and told himself, "There's no way this kid is playing."
An hour before the game, with nothing decided, coach Mark Jackson made his approach to Curry. Jackson must have felt trepidation even though he swears by Jack, who ended up scoring 24 points. But Jack is not Curry and, this we know, the Warriors cannot defeat the San Antonio Spurs with Curry lounging on the bench, his ankle swollen and throbbing.
"How are you feeling?" Jackson asked Curry.
"I'm going to give you what I got, Coach," Curry said.
"That's not the language he speaks," Jackson told himself. He was talking about Curry's words being tentative and conditional.
Jackson knew Curry was not 100 percent and needed to discuss this with general manager Bob Myers, whom he accosted in a hallway.