Kevin Durant out for rest of Warriors-Rockets series
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant will miss the rest of the NBA playoff games against the Houston Rockets after an MRI scan revealed a strained right calf, the reigning league champions announced Thursday, May 9 (Friday, May 10, Manila time).
Durant, averaging a league-best 34.2 points in the playoffs, was removed in the 3rd quarter of Golden State's 104-99 home victory Wednesday over Houston, which gave the Warriors a 3-2 edge in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
There were fears Durant might have suffered a more extensive injury, but the team said in a statement the MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis of a right calf strain.
Durant will not travel with the Warriors to Houston for Game 6, instead remaining in the San Francisco Bay region for treatment ahead of being re-evaluated next week – virtually forcing the former league MVP out of the series should the Rockets win Friday and force a Game 7 on Sunday at Golden State.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said others are going to have to pick up the slack.
"He's been the best player in the NBA in the playoffs. He's been phenomenal," Kerr said. "Guys who haven't had opportunities yet (in this series) will have opportunities."
"I think it's good news [that it's not as serious as initially thought]," Kerr added. "Calf strain, he's had them before. He's responded well. Obviously, we're disappointed he won't be able to play in this series. If we're able to win the series and move on, looks good for his return in the not too distant future."
Durant, an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player the past two seasons after leading the Warriors to back-to-back crowns, has also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocked shots a game for the Warriors in the playoffs this season.
With Durant sidelined, the Warriors are likely to rely upon Andre Iguodala off the bench as well as other reserves to try and contain the Rockets. – Rappler.com