2019 NBA Finals: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors
Kerr: Thompson expected to play in Game 4
Kevin Durant will remain sidelined on Friday
From NBA Twitter and media reports
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is expected to play in Game 4 of The Finals on Friday (9 ET, ABC).
Coach Steve Kerr confirmed that Thompson is planning to play “barring something unforeseen.”
Thompson said he knew after Game 3 that he would be ready to go on Friday.
“Yeah, I knew it. I could feel it,” Thompson said on Thursday. “My body feels really good and just that extra night of rest really helped. Now I just can’t wait to get out here tomorrow.”
He also confirmed that he would not be on a minutes restriction when he returns.
Thompson was listed as questionable before Game 3 and was evaluated by the training staff before tipoff. He did some running and shooting earlier in the day but Kerr said the Warriors weren’t going to play him “if there’s risk.”
“The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series. So that was the decision we made, and I feel very comfortable with it,” Kerr said after Game 3. “I never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt. So you live with the decision you make. You make a wise decision, the wisest one you can, and then you live with it and move forward.”
With Thompson back, the Warriors must now figure out when fellow star Kevin Durant will return to the lineup. Kerr said during media availability on Thursday that Durant will remain sidelined for Game 4.
“Kevin will not play tomorrow,” Kerr said. “He will continue to get treatment, get on the court and continue to work. But he will be unavailable for Game 4.
“I was hoping that today would be the day he could get back on the floor,” Kerr said when asked if Durant had suffered a setback. “It’s not going to be today, it’s going to be probably tomorrow … the following day … the next couple days. So the hope would be that he could still make it back at the end of the series. But there was no setback.”
Forward Kevon Looney also missed Game 3 after suffering a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture in Game 2 of The Finals. He was considered to be out for the series, but there is a chance he could return in The Finals, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The Warriors will run more tests on Looney further to determine the next steps for him.
After undergoing further evaluation of the non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture he suffered in Game 2, Warriors forward Kevon Looney could potentially return during the NBA Finals, league sources told ESPN. More testing will determine next steps for Looney.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 6, 2019
Thompson had appeared in all of a possible 120 career playoff appearances, but saw veteran guard Shaun Livingston start in his place Wednesday night. However, the Warriors were not about to jeopardize Thompson’s availability for the rest of the series with a potential hamstring tear.
Despite being ruled out for Game 3, the Warriors officially listed Thompson as active. He spent time on the bench in warm-up gear and was stretching and staying warm on the off chance Kerr would put him in the game.
“He was giving it everything he had to be out there tonight. But I think wisdom prevailed in terms of this is potentially a seven-game series,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “You would like to take advantage of tonight, but his overall health is important in terms of not taking away the rest of the series with something catastrophic happening. So hopefully he’s back for Game 4.”
Thompson is averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists this postseason, including 23 ppg in The Finals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.