Durant will miss Warriors game in Houston with calf strain

Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors holds his calf during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at ORACLE Arena on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California.Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant will miss Friday’s NBA playoff game at Houston after an MRI scan revealed a strained right calf, the reigning league champions announced Thursday.

Durant, averaging a league-best 34.2 points in the playoffs, was removed in the third quarter of Golden State’s 104-99 home victory Wednesday over Houston, which gave the Warriors a 3-2 edge in their best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series.

There were fears Durant might have suffered a more extensive injury, but the team said in a statement the MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis of a right calf strain.

Durant will not travel with the Warriors to Houston for game six, instead remaining in the San Francisco Bay region for treatment ahead of being re-evaluated next week.

That raised the question about whether or not 30-year-old forward Durant would be available should the Rockets win Friday and force a seventh game on Sunday at Golden State, one the Warriors’ statement did not address.

Durant, an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player the past two seasons after leading the Warriors to back-to-back crowns, has also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocked shots a game for the Warriors in the playoffs this season.

With Durant sidelined, the Warriors are likely to rely upon Andre Iguodala off the bench as well as other reserves to try and contain the Rockets.

© Agence France-Presse