Curry Recounts Scary Fall in Western Conference Finals

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The basketball world held its breath during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals as Stephen Curry soared over the back of Trevor Ariza and slammed onto the court. Minutes of uncertainty lingered while the NBA MVP lay face down after hitting his head. Curry was diagnosed with a head contusion and, after passing the league’s concussion protocol, returned in the second half. The end result – a Rockets’ 128-113 victory to avoid elimination – was overshadowed by the unnerving moments that took place during the game.

Curry remembered it all.

“I felt like I was in the air for a long time and trying to brace [myself],” Curry told reporters after the game. “Once I hit the ground, kind of hearing voices from trainers and people just telling me to take my time and not rush yourself getting up. [I wanted] to make sure that I passed all the tests that I needed to do so that I could get back on the floor.”

The injury was a result of Curry’s attempt to stop Ariza at the basket. When 6’8 Ariza tried to evade his defender, 6’3 Curry found himself in mid-air without cushioning below.

“I’ve had worse symptoms and stuff like that from getting hit in the head, but that was the worst one because you’re in the air for a long time and not knowing how you’re going to hit the floor, know that it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable, but you’re up there just trying to brace yourself,” he said. “In the seconds afterwards, it’s just a scary feeling, hearing all those voices saying, ‘Take your time.’ You just want to gather yourself, regroup, and trust the process.”

Curry, who recalled two other instances in which he had to go through the concussion protocol tests, rode the exercise bike and ran in the hall before returning.

His father, former NBA player Dell Curry, joined him in the back, which he called “comforting.” After being cleared to return, he checked back into the game halfway through the third quarter.

“A guy hits his neck, you worry about that,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “We were all over there out of concern. Then fortunately he was up, came back into the locker room with the doctors. We played out the half, checked on him at halftime. He was going through a series of tests and that’s why he didn’t start the second half. We wanted to make sure he was okay, but our doctors cleared him and he’s doing fine.”

Curry finished the night with 23 points off 7-for-18 shooting from the field (including 6-13 from three-point range) in 31 minutes. The Warriors will look to close out the series in Game 5 Wednesday night at home with Curry on the court. He is averaging 25.9 points (and hitting 44.9 percent from three), 4.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game this postseason.

“It was all minor stuff compared to how it looked,” said Curry. “Since it happened to now, nothing has gotten worse. I expect that to continue in the hours leading to Wednesday.”