OAKLAND -- The Warriors got their point guard back, as Stephen Curry rebounded from his ugly season opener to score a game-high 26 points. Still, the Warriors suffered two losses Friday at Oracle Arena: one was a 104-94 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, the other was sixth man Brandon Rush.
The fifth-year swingman suffered a serious injury to his left knee that is likely to knock him out for the season. On a dunk attempt midway through the first quarter, Rush was fouled in the air and landed so awkwardly on his left food that his knee seemed to dislodge.
Rush, 27, immediately grabbed his left knee and tried to get up. Clearly distraught and in obvious pain, he was helped up by his teammates and headed straight
"His initial reaction kind of said everything," said Curry, who also had seven assists, five rebounds and four turnovers in 43 minutes. "You try to brush it off. The message is that injuries happen, guys have to step up. But when you see one of your brothers go down like that, with the emotion that he had, it was really tough."
Without the usual offense from Rush, who averaged 9.8 points per game last season, Golden State didn't have the firepower to keep up with Memphis. Curry knocked down half his 20 shots, including six 3-pointers. Forward Carl Landry scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. But that was basically it.
The Warriors got a quiet
It certainly wasn't enough to keep up with Memphis' horses. The Grizzlies front line of Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol totaled 54 points and 28 rebounds. Memphis point guard Mike Conley scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half to go with seven assists, offsetting most of Curry's big night.
The Warriors trailed 28-20 after the first quarter and got down by as much as 12, but Curry got hot and pulled them back into the game. He scored Golden State's first 12 points of the second quarter. A dunk by Lee tied the game at 38.
But the Warriors offense disappeared in the third quarter, as they scored just 16 points on 7-of-20 shooting with seven turnovers. Golden State got back down by 12 and was never able to make a run serious enough to scare the Grizzlies.
"We are a very good offensive team," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We are going to score the basketball. We've got to defend without fouling and minimize our turnovers. When we do that, we are going to be just fine."
It is uncertain if Rush will be fine. With 4:09 left in the first quarter, Rush came down the left side on a partial fast break and went up for a one-handed tomahawk dunk. He was fouled in the air by Randolph and landed awkwardly. Judging from television replays, it appeared Rush dislocated his left knee.
Jackson had come to rely on Rush, who had 14 points off the bench Wednesday in Golden State's season-opening win at Phoenix. His absence would leave the Warriors without their best perimeter defender and one of their most efficient scorers.
"I was actually looking at him in the air," Jackson said. "I didn't realize until he came down in pain that he was actually hurt. I think that took a little bit out of us just because this is a tight-knit group, and we know how big of a year this is for him. Just an unfortunate, unfortunate break."
Three minutes later, Gasol came charging down the middle of the lane, but Bogut stuffed Gasol's runner, drawing an ovation from the crowd. The next time down the floor, Bogut took a charge on Gasol.
Jackson said before the game that Bogut will sit out the game Saturday at the Los Angeles Clippers. Jackson doesn't want to play Bogut -- after only his second game since fracturing his left ankle in January -- too much too soon and risk another injury. He also said he's going to keep Bogut's minutes to around 20 per game through this month.
"I'm not going to drag him out there 30 to 35 minutes to get a win in early November," Jackson said.
Jackson said third-string center Andris Biedrins will play some Saturday against the Clippers and that rookie Festus Ezeli will start in place of Bogut.