SALT LAKE CITY — With all the talk about concussions in sports these days, Golden State star Stephen Curry was a little worried after getting his head smashed between Marvin Williams’ body and the EnergySolutions Arena hardwood Monday night.
The misfortune happened early in the fourth quarter as Curry scrambled for a loose ball, only to have Williams land on him — his head specifically.
After laying on the floor for several minutes with teammates huddled around him, Curry slowly got to his feet and walked into the locker room with a towel draped over his head.
“I’ve got a pretty nasty headache,’’ he said later in the Warriors’ locker room. “I haven’t had any concussion episodes before and when it first hit the floor, it rung my bell pretty hard. I wanted to make sure I took my time.’’
Curry is apparently OK — he showed no concussion symptoms later — and Golden State coach Mark Jackson was thankful to get out of town without a serious injury to one of his key players.
“I’m glad we got out of here healthy and whole,’’ he said. “(Curry) has a little headache right now, but it could have been a lot worse.’’
Curry is one of the NBA’s elite players, as evidenced by him being on the cover of the Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue. He’s known for his amazingly quick yet smooth shot and his ability to score in bunches.
That’s what he did against the Jazz on Monday as he jump-started the Golden State offense and helped break open a tight game in the second quarter.
He started slowly, missing his first four shots in a scoreless first quarter. But early in the second quarter, he scored eight points in a 71-second span and sent the Warriors on their way to an easy victory.
First he sank a 17-footer, then followed with a 3-pointer from the right side. Next time down he buried a 3 from the top of the key. Then he stole the ball from Mike Harris and hit Klay Thompson, who hit his own 3. Suddenly the Warriors led by eight and before the end of the quarter, the lead had stretched to 23.
“I was a little frustrated in the first quarter because I hadn’t shot the ball well for a couple of games,’’ Curry said. “David (Lee) did a great job of staying in my ear and giving me confidence. I was overthinking my shot, but I stepped up and held my follow through.’’
"It was a close game and they made three in a row and we panicked a little bit,'' said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin.
When Curry was forced to leave the game at the 8:50 mark, the Warriors led 87-67 and though the Jazz cut the lead to 11 thanks to Ian Clark’s Curry-like flurry, the game was never in doubt.
Curry ended up leading the Warriors with 22 points, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. He also led his team with eight assists and three steals.
“He got it going,’’ said Jackson. “The shots he got early were good shots and he just happened to miss them. We did a good job of setting screens and getting him open and he made the defense pay.’’
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