OAKLAND, California — 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 (Thursday, Manila time).
The Warriors grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal, but Durant’s status cast a shadow over the win.
Durant was scheduled for an MRI exam on Thursday and his status for Game 6 on Friday night in Houston had yet to be determined.
Even coach Steve Kerr initially feared Durant might have hurt 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.
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.