All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who has not played since May 8, missed his third straight playoff game for the Golden State Warriors and will sit out at least the next two games.
The team confirmed in a release that while Durant has shown “good progress” he isn’t yet “ready to advance to on-court work.” They did note that DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quad; suffered April 15) had made that step, though he remains out of live action.
Additionally, Warriors President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area that Durant would not travel to Portland for the next two games.
Bob Myers said pregame on @NBCSAuthentic that Kevin Durant won't travel to Portland. Game 5 is back in Oakland, next Wednesday, six days from now.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 17, 2019
Durant has missed Golden State’s last three playoff games — Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals and Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals — because of a right calf strain. The Warriors injury report confirms earlier reporting by Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes and Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Golden State star Kevin Durant (calf strain) will not play in Game 2 of the WCF against Portland, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 15, 2019
“There’s no mental adjustment, you just play. You go out there with what you have,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “This is our third game, 3 + games really, without him. We’re just trying to hold down the fort. Hopefully he continues to progress. And he has made progress but it’s a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning, so we’ll see how it all goes. He’s in there all day long getting treatment. Hopefully he’ll be back at some point.”
Durant’s 34.2 points per game lead all postseason scorers, but since his absence, guard Stephen Curry has taken on a greater scoring load.
“He’s handled it great. He’s vocal. Still being a leader. Staying in all of our ears. Vocal during film,” said Quinn Cook, a reserve Warriors guard and close friend of Durant. “I know he’s been putting in extra work. I know he’s excited to get back. We can’t wait to have him back.”
Andrew Bogut has started in Durant’s place the past three games.
“With him on the court, there’s just another great offensive player, and so when you put him out there with Steph and Klay (Thompson), it’s really challenging from a defensive standpoint. And his versatility in his offense,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Thursday. “When you take him out of it, I think they do play a different style. Certainly Curry gets more involved, I think Klay gets more involved, because they need to. And so the focus or emphasis on those two guys probably becomes a little bit more.”
On Monday, Kerr said people should “slow down” when estimating Durant’s return.
“He hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet,” Kerr said on Monday. “We’ve tried to remain somewhat vague because the injury is really sort of open-ended in terms of how long he’s going to need to recover. But I think in doing so, people have gotten the idea that he’s going to come back … be Willis Reed or something.
“He still has pain. So there’s time ahead of him on the rehab process,” Kerr continued. “We’ll have a more detailed update on Thursday.”
Overall, Durant is averaging 34.2 points on 51.3 percent shooting (41.6 percent on 3-pointers), 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
An MRI exam last Thursday confirmed the Warriors’ initial diagnosis of Durant’s strained right calf. The Warriors closed out the West semifinals vs. Houston on Friday night, defeating the Rockets 118-113 in Game 6 behind a 33-point night from star guard Stephen Curry. Durant did not travel with the team for that game, remaining in the Bay Area to get treatment for his injury.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.