Short-handed Warriors try to break skid at Suns

The Golden State Warriors aren't expecting Stephen Curry back until Sunday, but they'll nonetheless feature two familiar faces when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Curry has scrimmaged twice with end-of-the-benchers and Warriors coaches this week in his attempt to complete a comeback from a broken left hand suffered in October.

The Warriors have indicated -- but not promised -- that Curry could return Sunday, when the club completes a back-to-back sequence with a home game against Washington.

A final determination likely will not come until pregame warmups.

In the meantime, the club will take an eight-game losing streak into Phoenix to face a Suns team that began a back-to-back of its own Friday with a 113-111 home loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The Warriors' healthy bodies these days include Marquese Chriss, who played his first 2 1/2 seasons with the Suns after having been the No. 8 overall pick of the 2016 draft, and Dragan Bender, who Phoenix snatched four picks earlier in 2016.

Neither came close to living up to expectations in Phoenix, where Chriss averaged 8.5 points in 154 games, while Bender played 171 games and averaged 5.3 points.

Chriss was dealt to Houston and then to Cleveland before landing with Golden State as a non-guaranteed free agent this season. He played so well that he was eventually signed to a guaranteed contract through the end of next season.

Bender, meanwhile, left Phoenix for Milwaukee as a free agent last summer, only to get waived by the Bucks earlier this month. He got a 10-day contract with the Warriors 13 days later.

"Dragan picks things up really easily," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Bender's Golden State debut earlier this week. "I'm excited about him. He's a really talented player, and he could be a good fit for us. He's just gotta get comfortable."

Bender will make his first return to Phoenix as a visitor, while Chriss will get a third homecoming, having contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds to a 112-106 Warriors road loss to the Suns earlier this month in his most recent visit.

While the Warriors hope to get Andrew Wiggins back from the back soreness that kept him out of Thursday's 116-86 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns won't have the services of Kelly Oubre Jr. anytime soon. He suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee earlier in the week.

Oubre had 15 points in the Suns' win over the Warriors 17 days ago.

Before Friday's loss to Detroit, veteran Ricky Rubio spoke to reporters of the importance of Oubre.

"I've been saying since Day 1 he's kind of the heart of the team," Rubio observed. "He brings a lot, and not just scoring. He brings energy, momentum. Good energy and he just, on and off the court, helps us. Hopefully he can come back soon."

Rubio had 16 points and 13 assists in Friday's loss to Detroit. Devin Booker led the Suns with 26 points, while Deandre Ayton had a double-double of his own with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Suns fell to 0-2 on a six-game homestand.

--Field Level Media

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