Stephen Curry returned from a six-game absence with a right ankle injury only to strain his left knee after scoring 29 points, and the beat-up, undermanned Golden State Warriors held off the Atlanta Hawks 106-94 on Friday night
Curry grimaced as he hopped around and made it to the bench on a tender left side with 3:09 left in third after JaVale McGee fell over and the center’s right elbow appeared to pound into Curry’s left knee. The two-time MVP immediately sat in a chair and put his head down before going into the locker room.
Nick Young scored 24 points with six 3-pointers as the defending champions were already down their other All-Stars — Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
Young, Patrick McCaw, Jordan Bell and Zaza Pachulia joined Curry in the starting lineup. Pachulia had nine rebounds, while Bell scored 12 points.
McCaw went down hard and headed to the locker room at the 10:24 mark of the first quarter. He returned to start the second, playing with a bruised lower back. Young went to the locker room late in the first half but was OK.
Curry overcame a slow start in his return, shooting 10 for 18. He had rolled the ankle at Atlanta on March 2 but initially kept playing before re-injuring it again.
Boston 105, at Portland 100: Marcus Morris scored 30 points and the short-handed Celtics beat the Trail Blazers to deal Portland its second straight loss following a 13-game winning streak.
Terry Rozier added 16 points for the Celtics, who are second in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto but have had to deal with recent injuries to Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.
at Toronto 116, Brooklyn 112: Kyle Lowry had 25 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in his 10th triple-double with Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points and the Raptors beat the Nets for the 12th straight time.
at San Antonio 124, Utah 120 (OT): LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping the Spurs overcome Donovan Mitchell’s 35-point performance for the Jazz. The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.
Minnesota 108, at New York 10: Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and the Timeberwolves clinched their first winning record in 13 years.
at Cleveland 120, Phoenix 95: LeBron James scored 27 points in three quarters, Kevin Love added 20 and the Cavaliers welcomed back three players from injury, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood.
at Oklahoma City 105, Miami 99: Russell Westbrook scored 17 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Thunder beat the Heat.
Milwaukee 118, at Chicago 105: Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points and the Bucks overcame a sluggish start to beat the Bulls. Milwaukee star swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game because of a sprained right ankle.
Denver 108, at Washington 100: Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 25 points and the Nuggets kept their playoff hopes alive.