SAN FRANCISCO — In a matter of months, the once-unbeatable Golden State Warriors have gone from a starting lineup featuring five All-Stars to a cast of youngsters almost nobody knows.

At least to start the season, they had Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney to lean on for leadership.

Now, Curry and Looney are hurt and Green is dealing with a balky back. And the Warriors have looked anything but dominant during a 1-3 start.

“It’s been a tough start for us on many levels, so we’re just trying to find our footing,” Coach Steve Kerr said. “This puts us in a tough spot, so we’ll assess it and go from there.”

Curry joined Klay Thompson as the latest sidelined star. The two-time MVP broke his left hand in a 121-110 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night, and it remained unclear a day later how long he might be sidelined. He underwent a CT scan Thursday, but the team said it would have specialists evaluate the results before providing an update on his status.

Thompson, meanwhile, could miss the entire season recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee that he hurt during the NBA finals.

Many already consider it a lost season, with playoff hopes in the powerful Western Conference grim at best. Golden State might instead be lining itself up for a lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft.

Curry was injured after a collision with Aron Baynes while driving to the basket. The two-time MVP came down head first and landed awkwardly on his hands to brace himself from the court, with Baynes crashing onto Curry’s left hand.

SUSPENSIONS: Philadelphia center Joel Embiid and Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns have been suspended two games without pay for an on-court altercation and continued escalation.

Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the suspensions Thursday, a day after the undefeated 76ers’ 117-95 home victory over the Timberwolves.

The star players were ejected after tangling with 6:42 left in the third quarter and the 76ers ahead, 75-55. Embiid shoved Towns, who answered with a punch that missed as both men fell to the floor. Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons jumped in and forcefully held down Towns as other players and coaches ran onto the court.

Simmons found himself in the middle of the controversy after putting Towns in a choke hold, but he was neither fined nor suspended.

Embiid will sit out Saturday night at Portland and Monday night at Phoenix. Towns will miss games Saturday night at Washington and Monday night at home against Milwaukee.

NETS: Brooklyn will have to wait until next season to see Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the court together.

Durant appeared Thursday morning on ESPN’s “First Take” and said he doesn’t plan on playing this season as he continues to rehab from right Achilles tendon surgery.

When asked if he has completely ruled out the possibility that he can return this season, Durant answered, “Yeah.”


HEAT 106, HAWKS 97: Kendrick Nunn scored a career-high 28 points to add to his record-setting start, and Miami won in Atlanta.

Nunn’s 112 points are the highest total through the first five games for any undrafted player in NBA history. Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns scored 105 points in his first five games of the 1969-70 season.

Nunn, a 6-foot-2 guard from Oakland University in Michigan, scored 14 points in the third quarter.

Another rookie, Tyler Herro, had 17 points. Herro scored 29 points off the bench in the Heat’s 112-97 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night to set a franchise record for a rookie reserve.

Jabari Parker led Atlanta with 23 points. DeAndre Bembry had 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Comments are not available on this story.