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BC-BKN--Warriors-Durant Hurt,2nd Ld-Writethru

May 9, 2019
AP Sports Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State star Kevin Durant strained his right calf during the third quarter of the Warriors’ 104-99 playoff victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, leaving his status uncertain for the remainder of the Western Conference semifinal.

The Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, but Durant’s status cast a shadow over the win.

“He’s obviously down because he’s injured and doesn’t really know the extent of it,” Stephen Curry said.

Durant was scheduled for an MRI exam Thursday and his status for Game 6 on Friday night in Houston had yet to be determined.

“You lose your best player, it’s deflating,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 27 points and had a layup to seal it with 4.1 seconds remaining.

Curry and the rest of the Warriors were thankful Durant wasn’t more seriously hurt.

Even coach Steve Kerr initially feared Durant might have injured his Achilles.

“When I walked into the coaches office after the game the replay of the play was going on and I thought the same thing because he kind of looked back like he had been kicked or something,” Kerr said. “I thought, I’ve seen that before with guys who have hurt their Achilles. That was my first question and I was assured it’s the calf. It’s a calf strain and not the Achilles.”

Durant limped to the locker room after landing awkwardly on his right foot following a baseline jumper with 2:11 left in the quarter.

“That looked like it was way worse than a calf strain,” teammate Draymond Green said.

He finished with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP was averaging 35.4 points in the playoffs coming into the day.

“Disappointed for him,” Kerr said. “Excited about the win but concerned for Kevin and disappointed for him. He’s been on this incredible playoff run and I’m proud of our guys for pulling the game out. We’ll see how Kevin’s doing tomorrow.”

Kerr said the coaching staff would use time on the flight to Texas on Thursday to reconfigure the rotation with the idea Durant might have to sit out Game 6.

The Rockets were hopeful of seeing Durant on the court Friday.

“You hate to see anybody go down, especially somebody we know that well,” Houston’s Chris Paul said. “We want their best shot. That’s their go-to guy. Hopefully he’s all right. We’ll see.”

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