PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry returned from a right knee sprain for Game 4 of Golden State's playoff series against the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Curry did not start but came in with 5:58 left in the first quarter. He scored on a pair of jumpers before going back to the bench at the end of the period.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Curry's return would depend on how he looked in pregame warmups. Moments later, the star guard did not appear to be hampered by the sprain he sustained in Game 4 of the first-round series against Houston.
The Warriors announced his availability a short time later.
"He's not really under a minutes restriction from (the) training staff," Kerr said. "It's more what he can handle conditioning-wise."
Curry had not played in the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals against the Blazers. The Warriors led the series 2-1 going into Monday's game.
Curry led the Warriors to an NBA-record 73 wins in the regular season, a year after leading the team to its first NBA championship in 40 years. He averaged just more than 30 points this season.
Curry's return comes as a person with knowledge of the award tells The Associated Press that Curry will repeat as NBA MVP, with the announcement coming as early as Tuesday. It has been widely speculated for much of the season that he'd win the award again.
Curry returned to practice last Friday with a brace on his knee. The team did not scrimmage, but Curry ran through an extensive post-practice shooting routine.
He worked out in a 2-on-2 drill before Saturday's Game 3, which the Warriors lost 120-108. He went 3-on-3 on Sunday and at Monday's shootaround, Kerr upgraded him from doubtful to questionable for the game.