- Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who ranks eighth in the league in scoring at 20.5 points per game and 12th in assists at 6.6, will not play after suffering a sprained right ankle in shootaround this morning. Curry — who has started all 36 Warriors games to this point, playing a team-high 1,373 minutes — incurred the injury stepping on the foot of teammate Festus Ezeli and X-rays taken earlier today were negative, a team spokesman said. This is the same ankle that has troubled Curry for much of his NBA career, causing him to miss 40 of 66 games last season. Coach Mark Jackson is optimistic about the degree of this injury, however: “I’m not a doctor, but I can’t imagine it turning into something more (serious).”
- Jarrett Jack will start in Curry’s place. This will be only Golden State’s fourth different lineup this season. Jackson was noncommittal when asked how it will effect his finishing lineup, which often features Jack and Curry together.
- For Miami, center Joel Anthony and forward Shane Battier are both expected to play, coach Erik Spoelstra said. If Battier plays, it will be his first appearance after three games missed due to a strained right hamstring. Anthony suffered a sprained ankle against Utah on Monday.
- All eyes will be on Heat forward LeBron James — or more so than usual. James needs just 18 points tonight to become the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points in his career. James (28 years, 17 days) is more than a year younger than the current record-holder: Kobe Bryant, who reached the milestone at 29 years, 122 days.
– Geoff Lepper