Thompson questionable, Looney out for injury-hit Warriors
Golden State guard Klay Thompson is questionable for Wednesday’s third game of the NBA Finals with a left hamstring strain while reserve forward Kevon Looney is out indefinitely, the Warriors announced Monday.
The setbacks are the latest bad news for the injury-hit defending NBA champions, who are level with Toronto at 1-1 in the best-of-seven final entering games three and four this week in California.
An MRI exam Monday showed Thompson has a mild left hamstring strain. He left Golden State’s 109-104 victory Sunday at Toronto with 7:59 remaining in the fourth quarter with hamstring tightness.
“Klay said he’ll be fine, but Klay could be half dead and he would say he would be fine,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after game two. “We’ll see. He pulled his hamstring. He thinks it is minor, so I don’t know what that means going forward.”
Looney was sidelined from game two with what the team called a chest contusion but Kerr said after the game the problem was “something with his shoulder.”
An MRI showed Looney with a fracture of the cartilage connecting the right ribs to the sternum.
The Warriors, trying to win their third straight NBA Finals and fourth in five years, have already been without top playoff scorer Kevin Durant for nearly a month with a right calf injury, leaving Kerr wondering just who will be healthy enough to play against the Raptors.
“We’ll see about all the injuries,” Kerr said. “You need your bench, no matter what, but in particular when you’ve got a lot of injuries.”
Two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant must take part in a practice before playing, Kerr said, but he called it “feasible” that Durant could take part in a Tuesday workout and return in game three Wednesday.
Durant joined the team in Toronto but only continued rehabilitation work.
DeMarcus Collins played nearly 28 minutes in game two as he fights back from a torn left quadriceps that had sidelined him for six weeks until the finals.
“He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there, his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence,” Kerr said.
“He feels good in there right now so we do feel confident we can continue to get good minutes from him. We’re going to need them with all these injuries.”
Cousins stepped into the pressure of his first NBA Finals start a produced 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“It feels great,” Cousins said. “It was an incredible moment for me. But I’m not satisfied and I’m looking forward to game three.”
– Curry didn’t feel right –
Warriors’ 3-point sharpshooter Stephen Curry started 0-for-6 and felt bad early but sparked a rally with a late second-quarter surge.
“Just didn’t feel right at the start of the game,” Curry said. “But at the end of the day nothing’s going to keep you from playing in the finals. So I have plenty of time to recover before game three. Don’t really know what the cause was. Just didn’t feel right.”
Kerr said Curry “may have been a little dehydrated. That was the word I got. He just was feeling a little bit lightheaded and went back into the training room and came back and was doing much better.”
Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, ignored a nagging left calf injury to sink the winning 3-pointer in the dying seconds.
“We’ve battled injuries. Every year throughout a playoff stretch, someone went down,” Iguodala said. “It’s a mindset. You go play. Not saying it’s smart, but you only have about a week left to gut it out and see if you can help the team.”
– Warriors trust bench –
It’s no wonder the Warriors are struggling to figure out who will be healthy enough to play and which reserves need to play crucial minutes.
“We’ll just continue to go to those guys and trust them,” Kerr said. “They’ve proven that they can really help us.”
The Warriors’ motto is “Strength in Numbers” and Curry says that depth tribute is true now more than ever.
“Everybody’s going to have a chance to help us at some point,” Curry said. “Just stick with it and be patient.”