(Field Level Media) Kevin Durant will not play in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Head coach Steve Kerr said Thursday the Golden State Warriors would not have their top scorer, who is putting up historic numbers in the postseason but left Game 5 on Wednesday with a calf injury.
“He’s not going to play Game 6,” Kerr said, per The Athletic. “We can all pretend and say he’s doubtful, but he’s not playing Game 6.”
ESPN reported Durant was diagnosed with a mild right calf strain and is not expected to be re-evaluated until next week.
Without Durant, the Warriors rallied to win Game 5 in Oakland. They are 29-4 in games without Durant in which Stephen Curry is available.
But the All-Star forward could be done for the series, and his status for the remainder of the postseason — if Golden State closes out the Rockets and advances to the Western Conference finals — is up in the air. Curry also is dealing with a dislocated finger.
Durant sank a fadeaway jumper with 2:05 left in the third to give the Warriors a 68-65 lead, then began hobbling as he turned to head up the court.
He immediately was replaced on the floor by Andre Iguodala. Less than a minute later, the Rockets took their first lead since 14-12 in the first quarter, but the Warriors rallied to win 104-99 and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Durant will not travel to Texas with the team for Game 6 and instead will undergo treatment in hopes he can return for Golden State next week.
Because of the way Durant reacted, social media erupted with opinions — some educated — that Durant had torn his Achilles tendon.
“It’s not the Achilles,” Kerr said. “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. I (thought), ‘I’ve seen that before with guys who have hurt their Achilles.’ So that was my first question, and I was assured that it’s a calf strain and not the Achilles.”
Already thinned by injuries, the Warriors could be playing with an extremely short bench in Game 6.
Iguodala was questionable entering Wednesday’s game and the Warriors are still without DeMarcus Cousins (thigh).
“Honestly, it was a little deflating for a second,” Curry said of losing Durant, who was averaging 35.4 points per game in the playoffs entering Wednesday’s game. “Then we rallied. So all the different rollercoaster of emotions tonight. At the end of day it’s about winning or losing, trying to endure to the finish line.
“… We’ll see what happens the next 24, 48 hours on the injury front. But we’ve had the next-man-up mentality for a long time now. Hopefully the situation will be no different. It will be challenging. It’s tough to replace the output that KD has been doing this whole entire playoff run.”