Warriors coach Steve Kerr announces Kevin Durant is out for Game 3 of NBA Finals vs. Raptors
Warriors' Kevin Durant (calf) is out for Game 3 of NBA Finals.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2019
Durant’s awaited return has been a pressing matter throughout this series, one that has been even tougher to ignore with injuries to Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney, who was just ruled out indefinitely with a collarbone ailment.
The Warriors have been playing with a next-man-up mentality through the course of this postseason, but the margin for error has been filleted thin with nearly every Warriors starter suffering a significant injury through this postseason, with the exception of Draymond Green.
Durant was leading the NBA postseason with an average of 34.2 points per game — his best playoff run to date — before he came up lame late in the third quarter of Game 5 against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The reigning two-time Finals MVP has been out since May 8, nearly a full month of action since he departed from his torrid run with this team.
Kerr has wanted his top scorer to get through a successful full-contact practice before incorporating him back into the fold, given the fragile nature of his strained calf injury, which can flare up if not treated or nursed properly.
With the series tied at 1-1 at this juncture, the Warriors can take a massive lead by defending home court and winning the next two games, though that will be easier said than done against a battle-tested Raptors team that has come back from the grave many times this postseason.