SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry is expected to return to the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time this postseason in Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets, sources told ESPN.
The move comes a day after the team announced Curry would no longer play under a minute restriction and the Warriors try and close out their first-round series against the Nuggets.
Kevon Looney will move to the bench, sources told ESPN, and Draymond Green would slide to center, meaning the Warriors’ new lethal small-ball lineup comprised of Curry, Green, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins would start.
The small-ball lineup has been a momentum-shifter against the Nuggets. In Game 1 against Denver, it outscored the Nuggets by 14 points. In Game 2, it went on a 22-8 run. Through the first four games of the series, all five players in this lineup are shooting 60% from the field while playing together. Curry has led the group in scoring, putting up 41 points in the 32 minutes the group has played.
Curry has been averaging 27.5 points on 45.25 field goal shooting, including 40% from three, in 28 minutes per game off the bench.
Curry voluntarily came off the bench through the first four games against Denver as he worked his way back from a left foot strain that held him out a month. As soon as Curry was ready to come back into the starting lineup, the Warriors would make that adjustment, sources told ESPN.
Multiple players also told ESPN that the way Curry initially came off the bench set the tone for how the rest of the team would respond to lineup adjustments throughout the series and playoffs at large.