The Golden State Warriors overcame the Houston Rockets 121-94 in game four of their first-round playoff series to take a commanding 3-1 lead, but the victory came at a price with Stephen Curry suffering a fresh injury.
The MVP slipped awkwardly late in the second quarter and suffered a sprained right knee and didn't return for the second period. He joined his teammates on the floor after the interval but after going through some dribbling exercises it was clear he was in some discomfort and couldn't continue.
It is a fresh blow for the point guard who returned to the lineup after injuring his ankle in game one and subsequently missed the following two games.
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In his 18 mins on the court, Curry wasn't really having a huge impact on the game in scoring terms, putting up just six points on 2-of-9 shooting and just 1-of-7 from behind the arc. He was having an impact in other ways, however, as he had five assists in the first half.
In his absence, the Warriors put on a third quarter clinic to blow the game wide open after the Rockets put up a fight in an even opening period which saw them head into the break tied at 56.
The Dubs outscored the home side 41-20 in the third to put the game beyond the reach of Houston who couldn't continue their impressive play from the first half.
After breaking numerous records in the regular season, the Warriors added another in the postseason as they scored an NBA playoff record 21 three-pointers without Curry, which once again displayed the depth of Steve Kerr's team.
Klay Thompson had the hot hand, hitting 7-of-11 from deep for his game-high 23 points at the Toyota Center. Draymond Green was also in fine form from the three-point line hitting 4-of-6 on the way to his 18 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Andre Iguodala was also huge for the road team as he contributed 22 points off the bench on 9-of-11 shooting as the defending champions rallied without their star player.
For Houston, it was a demoralising defeat after performing so well in the first half on both ends of the floor. Dwight Howard had his best game of the series and ended the game with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Michael Beasley came up big for the home team with 17 points off the bench in the first period before tailing off after the break. James Harden was three rebounds shy of a triple-double as he finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, but he didn't have the best of shooting nights, going 4-of-13 from the floor.
The Rockets, in comparison to the Warriors, had a poor night from three-point range, shooting just 18.5 percent which resulted in the heavy defeat. Golden State shot 51.7 percent from the field and 52.5 percent from downtown and when they post numbers like that they are tough to beat, even without their MVP.
However, the loss of Curry to yet another injury is the major talking point from this game and will sour what was a good win for the men from Oakland.