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NBA Warriors to use Looney despite ‘series-ending’ injury

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By Agence France-Presse

Golden State forward Kevon Looney, who had been declared out for the NBA Finals due to a chest injury, will suit up again for the defending champions, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday.

Just minutes before the opening tipoff of game four with Toronto owning a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, Kerr reversed his pronouncement of three days earlier.

“Kevon is going to give it a go tonight,” Kerr said. “Further evaluation, a second opinion and then a lot of research and making sure there’s no long-term risk involved with him playing. And it all checked out.

“He’s dying to play so we’ll give him a shot and we’ll see what he’s got.”

Looney, a reserve, is averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds a game in the playoffs for the Warriors, who seek a third consecutive title and fourth crown in five seasons.

“The guy is just tough and he wants to play,” Kerr said. “And the injury is in an area where it allows him to move well enough to give it a shot to play.”

Looney suffered a cartilage fracture between right ribs in Golden State’s 109-104 game-two triumph at Toronto. After an MRI Monday, Kerr said Tuesday that Looney was done for the series.

“I’m comfortable with the fact the training staff is comfortable with him giving it a shot,” Kerr said.

The Warriors need all the help they can get with star forward Kevin Durant sidelined for a month with a right calf injury.

Golden State will also be aided by the return of starting guard Klay Thompson, who missed game three on Wednesday with a strained left hamstring.