Golden State Warriors hand superstar deserved rest ahead of final push

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Franchise superstar Stephen Curry will sit out the Golden State Warriors meeting with the Utah Jazz at Chase Center on Sunday, with the two-time MVP earning a well-earned rest prior to the last four games of the regular season.

Curry played over 66 combined minutes across Thursday and Friday's back-to-back in Houston and Dallas, having looked tired at points against the Mavericks as he shot 9-of-23 from the floor and 5-of-14 from three-point range.

The Golden State Warriors will enter Sunday's game against the Utah Jazz as heavy favorites despite the absence of Stephen Curry

The Warriors' struggle just to make the playoffs has put a burden on Curry that's been scarcely seen over the last decade. The 36-year-old has remained relatively healthy this season, culminating in 71 games thus far -- the most he's played since 2016-17.

Golden State have taken the opportunity to rest Curry against a Utah team that have well and truly put their eyes on next season. The Jazz have lost their last 11 games and 14 of the last 15, including three-straight defeats by a combined 66 points.

Star forward Lauri Markkanen is out for Utah, along with fellow key players Jordan Clarkson, John Collins and Walker Kessler. Kris Dunn is questionable with a left foot issue.

Lauri Markkanen, Brandin Podziemski
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

On the Warriors' side, Jonathan Kuminga remains questionable with knee tendinitis. The 21-year-old has now missed seven-straight games, with concern growing after an expectation that Kuminga's absence would be short-lived.

Fellow forward Andrew Wiggins is also questionable, having missed Friday's 108-106 loss to the Mavericks after suffering a slight ankle injury against the Rockets at Toyota Center on Thursday. Gary Payton II is probable with his own ankle issue, while Dario Saric remains out with a knee injury.

Golden State will be looking to continue their strong defensive output over recent games, with the franchise ranking fourth on that end across the last nine outings. Chris Paul is expected to have greater responsibility offensively without Curry, with Moses Moody likely to start again should Wiggins and Kuminga remain out.

The 42-35 Warriors sit two games back from the ninth-seed Sacramento Kings and 2.5 games from the eighth-seed Los Angeles Lakers with five games remaining in their regular season.