OAKLAND — The Warriors will not have Kevin Durant in a critical Game 4 on Friday night.
A day after sounding optimistic about Durant’s recovery from a strained calf, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said there would be no on-court work for Durant Thursday.
“There was no setback. So I was hoping that today would be the day when he could get out on the floor. It’s not going to be today,” Kerr said. “It’s going to be probably tomorrow, the following day, the next couple of days. So the hope would be that he could still make it back at the end of the series.”
The Warriors will get Klay Thompson back from the strained hamstring that kept him out of Game 3, Kerr said.
“Klay will plan on playing tomorrow,” Kerr said. “So we expect him to play, barring something unforeseen. He’s continued to improve.”
Durant has been out since May 8, when he strained his calf pushing off to run up the court in Game 4 against Houston. The Warriors were able to close out the Rockets and sweep the Trail Blazers without Durant.
The Raptors are a different story.
Toronto creates real matchup challenges, however, getting Thompson back — without restrictions — is a big boost. Particularly on the defensive end, where Thompson can matchup on Kawhi Leonard, allowing Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green to play more as help defenders and on role players.
“People fall in love with his shooting and how hot he can get on the offensive end, but the way that our team plays defensively and the chemistry that we have and the experience, he’s right at the forefront of that,” Stephen Curry said of Thompson. “And it’s a tough adjustment when, like I say, guys who haven’t been in that position consistently and in these type of moments are thrown into his minutes. So you would love to have him out there on that end of the floor as well, especially with a team like Toronto who can — who is versatile and can space the floor, but he can guard a lot of different guys, and kind of straight up too.”
The Warriors need what Thompson brings to be enough on Friday night. Golden State knows if it goes down 3-1 it will be nearly impossible mountain to climb to get their three-peat.