Durant out, Thompson uncertain for NBA Finals game three
Injury-hit Golden State will not have Kevin Durant or Kevon Looney for Wednesday’s third game of the NBA Finals while guard Klay Thompson remains questionable for the defending champion Warriors.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr updated the injury list Tuesday ahead of the matchup at Oracle Arena, which comes with the best-of-seven title showdown against Toronto deadlocked at 1-1.
The Warriors seek a third consecutive NBA crown and their fourth in five seasons while the Raptors are in the finals for the first time in their 24-season history.
Thompson, averaging 19.5 points in the playoffs, is listed as day-to-day for game three after an MRI exam Monday showed him with a mild left hamstring strain.
“From the progress I’ve made these last two days, I’m very encouraged that I’ll be able to go out there tomorrow night,” Thompson said.
“It will be a game-time decision. For me personally, it would be hard to see me not playing. Hopefully I’ll feel much better tomorrow and be a go for tip-off.”
Thompson left Golden State’s 109-104 victory Sunday at Toronto with 7:59 to play with hamstring tightness.
“He says he’s feeling well and a lot better than yesterday and thinks he’ll be ready to go,” Kerr said.
“What we’ll have to determine is if that’s a risk. If there’s a risk we’d rather you have the next couple days.”
Thompson is content to leave the decision in the hands of trainers and medical staff, not wanting to risk an injury that could take him out for the remainder of the finals.
“I would do anything I can to be out there, but it’s all in their hands. If there’s any pain, it will be a no-go just because of the position we’re in,” Thompson said.
“This could be a longer series, so there’s no point in trying to go out there and re-aggravate it and potentially keep myself out of the whole entire finals instead of just one game.”
– Durant still improving –
Durant, this year’s top playoff scorer for Golden State with 34.2 points a game and Most Valuable Player in the past two NBA Finals, has been out for nearly a month with a right calf injury.
Kerr has said the superstar forward must take part in a practice before playing and that while he missed Tuesday’s workout he would take the court at the team’s training facility.
“Kevin is going to get on the floor at the practice facility later,” Kerr said. “He’s out for tomorrow but improving.
“Kevin won’t play tomorrow. He’s ramping up his exercise routines and workouts.”
Warriors reserve forward Looney, averging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in the playoffs, is done for the finals after an MRI Monday showed Looney with a fracture of the cartilage connecting the right ribs to the sternum.
“Looney is out for the series,” Kerr said. “It’s not going to be anything bad long term. But it’s going to keep him out the rest of the series. Fortunately it won’t affect him in the future but it’s a big loss for us.”
– Resiliency will be key –
DeMarcus Cousins, who only returned last week after six weeks out with a torn left quad, will play a lot of minutes with Looney out.
“He’s going to be huge for us the rest of the series,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “He’s reminding people of how special of a talent he is and how versatile he is. It’s only going to continue to improve as the series goes on.”
Kerr also said 2015 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Andre Iguodala, who was bothered by a nagging leg injury in game two, will play Wednesday.
“A lot of guys showed that resiliency in game two. It’s going to have to continue for us to get three more wins,” Curry said.