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Steph Curry’s Ankle Injury Might Ruin Christmas

The Warriors star is reportedly expected to miss at least two weeks, which might affect the annual holiday Finals rematch with LeBron James and the Cavaliers. But that’s a small bummer in an overall positive diagnosis.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The right ankle sprain Steph Curry suffered Monday night against the Pelicans will sideline him for at least two weeks, according to multiple ESPN reports.

With just under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors-Pelicans matchup, and the Warriors up seven, Curry attempted to steal a Dante Cunningham pass to the wing when his ankle bent at a gruesome angle. Curry was able to limp to the locker room under his own power but left the arena on crutches.

The MRI on Curry’s ankle Tuesday morning came back negative and revealed no structural damage, only “significant swelling.” Curry will be reevaluated in two weeks, according to the team. That timeline likely puts the two-time MVP out until late December. Nine of Golden State’s 12 remaining games in 2017 are at home. Only five of those are against teams currently above .500.

One of those teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s unclear at this point whether Curry will be able to play in the much-hyped Warriors’ regular-season rematch against the Cavaliers on Christmas Day. Golden State is also a half-game behind the scorching Rockets for the West’s no. 1 seed, a distinction they’ve held for the past three years.

Injuries are often talked about as the only event that could derail yet another Warriors run to the Finals and, aside from Kevin Durant’s knee injury that kept him out for a month last season, the Warriors have had good luck staying healthy. But Curry is arguably more important than any other player on the roster. He is the franchise’s crown jewel both on and off the court, and this season, he has been Golden State’s best player (his PER of 27.58 is fifth best in the league). Through 25 games, Curry is shooting the 3-ball at a career-worst percentage, but it hasn’t affected his impact on the team: The Warriors have outscored opponents by an astounding 16.6 points per 100 possessions when he's on the court.

Without him, the Warriors will likely turn to a committee of Shaun Livingston and Pat McCaw at the point guard position, with both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green serving a larger role in shot creation. This will also place Durant fully at the forefront of the offense. Durant will get a chance to tap back into the score-first mentality that he honed in OKC. So while Curry’s injury tempers the Warriors as a whole, it will unleash Durant for at least two weeks.