Stephen Curry got another injection in his sprained left ankle. David Lee logged more minutes on his torn right hip flexor. Rookie Harrison Barnes took a career-high number of shots.
Even Andris Biedrins saw his first action in a month.
The hobbled, desperate, underdog Warriors pushed every button, squeezed out every ounce. And after the 97-87 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, it all felt so worth it.
“I’m just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what’s been taking place in this area,” coach Mark Jackson said. “Just a big-time win. This is a heck of a series.”
Golden State reached deep to muster a late surge to force overtime, then pulled away to knot the best-of-seven playoff series at 2-2. A loss and the Warriors would’ve headed to the Alamo for Game 5 needing a miracle to advance. But they hustled and scraped and willed the series back into a dogfight.
Curry started but was clearly limited by his ankle. With only 38 hours to recover, he said he took an anti-inflammator shot before the game because he said the swelling was a problem. He said previously he was hoping that wasn’t an option. But losing was less of an option, apparently.
He was in the starting lineup and finished with 22 points, four assists and six rebounds. But he was robbed of the sudden bursts and change of direction he lives on.
He did most of his damage when he was at point guard.
Then, he said, he could control his tempo and needed less work to get open. Three of his five 3-pointers came off the dribble, and his three free throws came off drives to the basket.
It wasn’t quite his previous third-quarter explosions. But considering the circumstances, his 10-point fourth quarter felt like it. It fueled the charge that swung the momentum to the Warriors and triggered the sense of urgency and belief.
“I wanted to play regardless of what I could give,” Curry said. “I was hurting, but I was good enough to play. … I doubt it’ll be 100 percent for the foreseeable future, but knowing that I can be on the court as a threat, I’ve got to be ready.”