The Warriors expect to have Stephen Curry back in the lineup to face the Lakers on Friday, and there are at least 30.3 reasons why they really, really need him.

In two games without Curry, the Warriors are 0-2 and average 77 points.

In eight games with Curry, the Warriors are 8-2 and average 107.3 points.

The 30.3-point difference is dramatic, yes, but no more so than that between an offense with Curry on the court and an offense with him observing from the bench.

As the Warriors were stifled in an 88-81 overtime loss to Memphis on Wednesday, it became apparent how crucial Curry is to their offense. And it hardly matters whether he's in his usual role as point guard or the occasional role of off guard.

Because Curry usually has the ball and is the Warriors' best playmaker, opposing guards and wings are forced to devote a piece of themselves to the passing lanes. This requires energy that can lead to fatigue that is exacerbated if the Warriors are playing at their preferred fast pace.

The result is better spacing throughout the game and, often, cleaner looks later.

“It changes the spacing, it changes where guys are on the floor, where guys catch the ball,'' forward David Lee said. “And we discussed that after our loss at San Antonio without Steph.''

The challenges of playing without Curry became evident when the Warriors mustered a season-low 74 points and lost to the Spurs by 2 back on Nov. 8. Acknowledging it is one thing, however, overcoming it quite another.