OAKLAND -- One after another, the Warriors snuggled up to the party line. They talked about having faith, about avoiding conclusions and hoping, about waiting and seeing if Stephen Curry will be able to take the court Sunday.
But their voices were soft and their eyes were weary and there was a wobbly feel from a team that typically doesn't wobble, no matter the damage.
Playing on a surgically repaired right ankle and a recently sprained left ankle, Curry aggravated the left ankle in the final minutes of a 102-92 loss to San Antonio in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night at Oracle Arena.
Immediately after tweaking the ankle during a collision with the Spurs' Danny Green, Curry hopped away grimacing in pain. A hush went through the crowd. And though Curry played on for a few more minutes, he clearly was hobbling.
If Curry hobbles, so do the chances of the Warriors winning a series they now trail two games to one.
And if the Warriors did not sense the doom, they surely were grimmer than usual, perhaps realizing the potential consequences of losing Curry.
"He'll get treatment," coach Mark Jackson sighed through tight jaws and without his usual relentless vigor. "We'll see how (it) responds."
Curry was not having a good night. He was having, by his standards, a fairly atrocious evening. He started fast, scoring nine point in the first six minutes. He played another 36 minutes, scoring seven points, to finish with 16 on 5-of-17 shooting.
"Missed shots," Jackson lamented. "Give them credit. They did a good job defensively. He missed shots.
"This is a make or miss league."
This has been Curry's league for the past two weeks. There has been no bigger story in these NBA playoffs than his rise from pure shooter to global phenomenon.
And now all of that may be in peril, leaving the Warriors to hope and pray and wait.
"Hopefully, he's with us," said Klay Thompson, who led the Warriors in scoring with 17 points on 7-of-20 shooting. "He's our best player. He's our leader.
"But if he's not, we'll have to do it collectively and not let it bother us."
If voice tone and body language are any indication, the Warriors already have failed that test. If they weren't collectively moping, they surely were grappling with the gravity of the matter.
Yes, the Warriors took a deep breath and plowed forward in the wake of David Lee's torn hip flexor in Game 1 of the first round against Denver. They regrouped, recovered and fought like badgers to put away the Nuggets.
And, yes, they have spent the season knowing they would not see their best scorer off the bench, Brandon Rush, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the regular season.
Rarely at any point of the regular season were the Warriors sure about the status of Andrew Bogut.
But Curry is another matter. His ankles are the subject of concern more than any other body part on the team. They are the reason some questioned the team's commitment, the $44 million contract extension Curry signed last October. His right ankle, surgically repaired last year, has held up well. The left ankle betrayed him Friday, and not for the first time.
"He's probably going to tweak it now and then," rookie Draymond Green said softly. "But he's been fighting through it."
He had fought through it quite well and now comes the real test, for without Curry, the Warriors are just another team, talented but empty at the core.
"Hopefully, he's ready to play," Jackson said. "If not, credit again to our ownership group and our management group, (general manager) Bob Myers ... going out to get Jarrett Jack. We'll give him the basketball and trust that we'll be just fine."
That's a lot of trust, though Jack had some good and bad moments Friday, as did Curry.
There always is a feeling that Curry can bounce back from a poor game. He has made a habit of doing just that this season.
The ankle, however, may be another matter, though they will spend the day hoping it won't be.