- Associated Press - Monday, March 10, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry says his strained right quadriceps is slowly getting better and he is planning to start for the Golden State Warriors against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Curry only participated in the walkthrough portion of Monday’s practice. He said the pain in his leg is tolerable and believes he can continue to play through it while the muscle heals.

“It’s just a matter of making sure it doesn’t get worse,” Curry said.

The All-Star point guard injured his quad during Golden State’s win at Boston on Wednesday and began to feel pain again during Friday’s victory over Atlanta. An MRI on Saturday revealed the strain.

Curry shook off the pain and played more than expected Sunday night, when he had 18 points and nine assists in 30 minutes in the Warriors‘ 113-107 win over Phoenix. That included making a 3-pointer and handing out six assists during a key 23-4 run in the third quarter that helped Golden State pull away.

Curry said this is an important stretch for the Warriors and he wants to do as much as his body allows.

Golden State is 9-2 since the All-Star break and a season-high 16 games over .500. The Warriors (40-24) are two games ahead of Dallas (38-26) for sixth place in the jammed Western Conference standings with 18 games to play.

The Warriors also entered Monday four games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Warriors and Clippers meet for the final time this season on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Golden State has won two of the first three meetings.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said there’s no strict limit on Curry’s minutes. He said he will communicate with Curry during games to determine when - and how much - the point guard plays.

“Very pleased that he came out (against Phoenix) where it’s not any worse,” Jackson said. “It’s something we’re going to have to continue to monitor, but very pleased.”

Curry, who has had two surgeries on his right ankle, said he has not dealt with a quad injury before. He said the pain increases later in games when his muscle becomes fatigued or when he sits for an extended time.

“There’s potential when that muscle fatigues for other things to creep up,” Curry said, “and that’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP