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Brooklyn Nets won’t have to contend with Stephen Curry

DENVER — The Nets will be heavy underdogs Saturday at Golden State, but they’re apparently going to face an injury-riddled version of the two-time defending champions.

Already without Draymond Green because of foot and ankle woes, the Warriors also lost star guard Stephen Curry on Thursday night to an adductor injury.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday that an MRI exam on Curry was “encouraging,” but the point guard already has been ruled out against the Nets. And frankly, he’s liable to miss several more games.

When asked about how worried he was about the injury, Curry told The Undefeated: “I’m not nervous. I have nothing to go off of. If this was an ankle I could tell you four days, 12 days. But I will see tomorrow. … I’ve honestly never done this before so I have nothing to go off off.”

“God got me,” he added.

The Nets and their fans are familiar with how tricky adductor injuries can be. Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson suffered one Aug. 4, playing in ex-teammate Jeremy Lin’s charity game in China. Hollis-Jefferson was essentially sidelined for more than two months, and is still working to get back to full strength.

Green may return Monday against the Clippers, so it seems the Nets will catch a huge break in facing neither star. Guard Shaun Livingston (foot) has also been out for the Warriors. For the Nets, Treveon Graham (hamstring) still hasn’t begun practicing and is still a ways from playing.

The Nets’ team defense is vastly improved from last season. The next step is consistently backing that defense with rebounding — something they’ve largely failed to do.

“We know as a team, defensively we’re pretty good when we limit the other team to one shot. But in this league you can’t give teams second and third opportunities,” guard Caris LeVert said before the Nets’ 112-110 win over the Nuggets on Friday night. “For us that’s going to be the challenge going forward, making sure the team only gets one shot, and when we do that we’re a pretty good defensive team.”

The numbers back that up. The Nets’ effective field-goal percentage defense is eighth-stingiest in the NBA at 50.1 percent, and just 49.8 in their previous three games coming into Friday at the Nuggets. But they’ve been hurt by giving up too many second and even third chances, and their defensive rebound percentage is third-worst in the league at .684.

“I’d like to say our defense has been really good when we get teams in the halfcourt. I think our half-court defense, we’re a top-10 team,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s going to be three words: Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding. Are we going to be able to rebound with those guys. That’s a huge challenge for us.”

The Nets have won three straight, and four of five for the first time since 2016-17.

Brooklyn limited its turnovers to a season-low eight. After being dead last in the NBA through the first five games (19.2), they’re best in the league over the last seven (11.4).

Jarrett Allen had a season-high 18 points, nine boards, two assists and a career-high-tying five blocks in 31 minutes.

DeMarre Carroll had nine points in 14:08 in his regular season debut after ankle surgery during preseason. He said he came through the game fine.

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