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Finals Of The Nba 2019: Kevin Durant Will Play In Game 3?



The Golden State Warriors remain convinced Kevin Durant will play a role in the NBA Finals, but a return date has not yet been set.

The two-time and reigning NBA Finals MVP is still recovering from a right calf strain that has kept him out since May 8, when the Warriors went 3-2 up against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.

Durant sat out the final game of that series and the missed the entire Western Conference Finals, where Golden State swept the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 30-year-old has also missed the first two games of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. With the series moving to Oakland, California, for Games 3 and 4, the Warriors expect Durant to feature at some stage. However, the defending NBA champions are not yet sure as to when the 10-time All-Star will make his long-awaited comeback.

Before Game 2 on Sunday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was “feasible” Durant would be able to play after just one practice session.

“He still has to get through a full-speed practice, probably an individual workout and then practice with some light contact or something that simulates, the best you can, an NBA game,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Greg Papa of Warriors Playoff Central on Sunday when asked to elaborate on Kerr’s comments.

“Until he does that, you really don’t know whether he’s coming back for whatever game it might be because you clearly have to do those things, you have to be able to go 100 percent by yourself first, then with a little contact, then get through a practice.”

Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during their game against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 8 in Oakland, California.
Getty/Ezra Shaw

Durant has averaged 34.2 points per game in this postseason but his injury did not appear to derail the Warriors’ quest for a third consecutive title, with Golden State winning six of the seven games he has missed.

Last week, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported the Warriors believed Durant would return in Game 4, with Game 3 considered a more optimistic option.

However, with injury problems mounting, Golden State might need him back sooner rather than later.

Klay Thompson suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2, while Kevon Looney was ruled out for the rest of the series with a right upper body fracture and Andre Iguodala is dealing with a calf problem.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggested Durant could play in Game 3 on Wednesday, exactly four weeks on from suffering his injury, if Thompson was to be ruled out.

While the Warriors are mindful not to rush the 30-year-old back, they are unlikely to keep him out for longer than needed.

Game 3 tips off at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night in Oakland, with the series tied at 1-1.



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