Stephen Curry is back for the Golden State Warriors after an 11-game absence with a partially dislocated left shoulder, rejoining the starting lineup as the defending champion hosted the Phoenix Suns.
While Curry didn’t have a strict minutes restriction Tuesday night, coach Steve Kerr noted “he’s not going to be playing a heavy load.”
Golden State had its regular starting five again, as Klay Thompson also returned after he had been a late scratch Saturday in a loss to Orlando because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Andrew Wiggins returned Saturday from missing 15 games for a strained muscle in his right upper leg and a non-COVID illness.
Reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry had been sidelined since he injured the shoulder trying to strip the ball from Pacers forward Jalen Smith with 2:04 remaining in the third quarter of a 125-119 loss at Indiana on December 14. The Warriors went 6-5 without him, but had lost two straight at home for the first time all season.
The 34-year-old career 3-point leader entered the game averaging 30.0 points, 6.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds in his 14th NBA season.
In an on-court ceremony before the game, Curry was set to present brother-in-law Damion Lee — now with the Suns following four years on the Warriors — his championship ring from last season’s title run.