Warriors hold off Rockets despite Durant's injury

Warriors hold off Rockets despite Durant's injury

Javier Howell
May 16, 2019

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has been ruled out for Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinals matchup against the Houston Rockets after sustaining a calf injury.

Jason Kidd and Juwan Howard interviewed for the job - as did Monty Williams, who was named head coach of the Phoenix Suns - and ESPN reported three others will visit with the team this week: Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson. DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half of that win in Houston and played in all four of Golden State's games without Durant. He did not return to the game.

The Warriors are just a win away from advancing to the conference finals for the fifth straight time, but will have to do it without NBA-playoffs leading scorer Kevin Durant, who will miss the rest of the series with a strained right calf.

DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Warriors: Averaging 118.1 points, 43.6 rebounds, 28.5 assists, 7.0 steals and 5.6 blocks per game while shooting 48.6 per cent from the field. It was a chance to make Game 5 the last Warriors game at Oracle Arena.

Kerr echoed Curry's sentiments about reworking the offense without Durant, something he said coaches would do during the team's flight to Houston on Thursday afternoon. He needs three more for a one-game suspension, with potentially two series left to play. "(Durant's) done a lot for us and we have to have his back. "He's been phenomenal", Kerr said Thursday night, confirming Durant is several days or more from being able to play basketball.

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"Guys who haven't had opportunities yet (in this series) will have opportunities", Kerr said.

"Hopefully", Kerr said, "we get Kevin back at some point". "We can pretend and just say he's doubtful".

On the bright side for the Warriors: They're up 3-2 in the series going into Friday's 9 p.m. ET game (ESPN).

Golden State leads the best-of-seven series three games to two with Game 6 scheduled for Friday in Houston. With Durant sidelined, the guard should keep the Rockets' title hopes alive for at least another night. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 19 of the Warriors' 32 points in the fourth period, with Thompson feeding Draymond Green for a critical 3-pointer at the 3:22 mark before converting a layup with 4.1 seconds left to secure the victory.