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Slam Dunk - $30.00 - Contest Completed | NBA Preseason

Warriors remain optimistic Durant will return in postseason

Fri May 17 6:26pm ET
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

Players: Andrew Bogut, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Steve Kerr remains optimistic Kevin Durant will return from a right calf injury to play for Golden State at some point this postseason but isn't guessing when that might be.

''There's definitely some gray area with any injury but with a calf injury like that especially,'' Kerr said Friday before the team traveled to Portland for Game 3. ''It's going to be how he responds to the treatment and how his body recovers over the next days and however long it takes.''

Warriors director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini told Kerr from the time Durant was injured in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Houston that it would be tough to predict the timetable for the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP's healing, based on the wide range in rehab and recovery for this injury.

Durant was re-evaluated before a 114-111 Game 2 win Thursday night and won't play in Games 3 or 4 of the Western Conference finals at Portland, Saturday and Monday. He is likely to miss the entire series given his next scheduled examination is Thursday, and Durant has yet to do any of the on-court work such as scrimmaging full court with contact the Warriors would require before he is cleared for game action.

''He's doing well. He's in the training room every day, he's around the guys. He's actually recovering well, he's doing well with his rehab,'' Kerr said.

The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-0, so if the two-time defending champions advance to a fifth straight NBA Finals there would be a chance for Durant to play again.

''What did I say last night, that it was a little more serious than we thought? The right way to put it would be with a calf injury there's kind of a wide range of how long a guy's going to be out,'' Kerr said. ''So he's had them in the past where he was out a week or 10 days. But right from the beginning Rick was telling me that you really can't put a number of days and weeks on this.

''There's a big range of how long it could be depending on how he responds and how bad the strain is. This one is taking a little bit longer than the ones he's had in the past but that's OK. He's coming along well and if he continues to improve at the rate he's moving now I'm confident that he'll be back. We just don't know when. "

Durant's 34.2 points per game lead all postseason scorers. An impending free agent this summer, he has missed the last three games since straining his right calf during the third quarter of Game 5 against the Rockets on May 8 and didn't travel to Houston for the Warriors' Game 6 clincher.

Andrew Bogut has started in Durant's place the past three games but Kevon Looney got the majority of the playing time in Game 2 as Kerr has used a bigger rotation to take advantage of Golden State's deep bench.

Injured Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins is slightly ahead of Durant in his recovery from a torn left quadriceps muscle that he hurt in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers, just Cousins' second career playoff game. He also is scheduled to be re-evaluated next Thursday.

''He's working really hard and he's been in the training room religiously over the last month and now he's getting out on the court,'' Kerr said. ''So he is ahead of Kevin in terms of the ability to get out on the court and run and really get a good basketball workout. He's a big guy, so conditioning is tougher for big guys than guards. He's got to continue to work on the stuff he's doing, which is the bike, going hard on the bike, getting sprints on the floor. When he's ready, we'll know he's ready.''

Player Notes
Brandon Ingram Jun 18 9:00am ET

The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a deal which nets them forward Brandon Ingram, guard Lonzo Ball and swingman Josh Hart, as well as three first-round draft picks, while the Los Angeles Lakers nab power forward/center Anthony Davis. One of the picks the Pels receive will be the No. 4 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, too. Ingram (arm) had thoracic outlet decompression surgery on his right arm in March, and the timetable called for a recovery in the neighborhood of June or July. In his final six games of the regular season he rolled up 27.8 points per game while snagging 7.5 boards per contest. If he can manage that type of production in the Crescent City over a much larger span, watch out. The Lakers might regret letting him get away. He is a budding fantasy superstar as long as he can stay healthy.

Josh Hart Jun 18 9:00am ET

The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to trade swingman Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram and guard Lonzo Ball, as well as three first-round draft picks, to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in exchange for power forward/center Anthony Davis. The Pelicans made quite the haul here. Hart (knee) is coming off of surgery in March for a torn right patellar tendon, and he joins a rather crowded backcourt in NOLA with Ball, Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore on the roster for now. The Pelicans might not be done molding their roster, but as it stands right now, Hart's fantasy outlook might actually be a little worse than it was in L.A.

Lonzo Ball Jun 18 9:00am ET

The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to trade guard Lonzo Ball, forward Brandon Ingram and swingman Josh Hart along with three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in exchange for superstar power forward/center Anthony Davis. The Pelicans did well to acquire Ball, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and two more first-rounders. The Lakers will likely be glad to be rid of the baggage that is Lonzo's dad, LaVar Ball, but they are still losing a potential superstar in his own right if he develops as many expect. Ball spent a good chunk of the 2018-19 season on the injured list, but when he was healthy he was good for 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He'll be one of the primary scoring options in New Orleans, and therefore his fantasy outlook for the new season is quite bright.

Anthony Davis Jun 18 9:00am ET

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade power forward/center Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday in exchange for swingman Lonzo Ball, forward Brandon Ingram and guard Josh Hart, as well as three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, according to sources. Davis gets his wish and will now play in La La Land next to aging, but still potent, superstar LeBron James. Will it be a match made in heaven? We'll see. But Davis might be rejuvenated playing for what he and Laker Nation hope will be a powerhouse for years to come. He remains a first-round fantasy talent regardless of the jersey he is wearing as long as he can stay healthy.

Kawhi Leonard Jun 14 6:10am ET

Toronto Raptors shooting guard/small forward Kawhi Leonard took home the Finals MVP in the 114-110 series-ending win over the Warriors on Thursday. Leonard recorded 22 points and added six rebounds with three assists and two steals with a block in 41 minutes of action. Leonard put up a legendary performance this postseason and hushed up any doubters after a bizarre season last year with the Spurs. The Raptors are hoping to retain their franchise cornerstone for next season, but either way, what we saw this offseason was truly remarkable from the Claw. In the words of Mark Jackson, "Mama, there goes that man!"

Kyle Lowry Jun 14 6:00am ET

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry came out on fire on Thursday recording eight points in the game's first three possessions for his club and finished the night with a huge line to secure the NBA Championship. Lowry finished the night with 26 points and added 10 assists with seven rebounds and three steals across 42 minutes of action. Lowry bounced back after a couple of rough games and hushed any doubters after averaging a solid 16.2 points, 7.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds over the entire series. Lowry is on the books for next season and the 33-year-old will look to continue filling up box scores.

Serge Ibaka Jun 14 5:50am ET

Toronto Raptors power forward/center Serge Ibaka pumped in 15 points to help secure his club's first NBA title on Thursday. Ibaka brought the energy once again off the bench and the veteran averaged 16.7 points on a sizzling 67% shooting over the series' final three games. Marc Gasol struggled offensively in this one going 0-for-5 from the floor for three points but added nine rebounds. Ibaka is locked in for next season with the Raptors and depending on what happens with Marc Gasol, Ibaka again should be mid to late-round player in most formats next season.

Fred VanVleet Jun 14 5:50am ET

Toronto Raptors guard Fred Vanvleet poured in 22 points and provided elite defense throughout the night on Stephen Curry to help secure the Raptors' first NBA Championship. VanVleet stepped things up massively since Game 4 versus the Bucks as he averaged 14.7 points over the last nine games and was a major difference maker in these finals. VanVleet could see an even larger role if the Raptors do not resign Danny Green for next season. Keep an eye on the Raptors this offseason as there are many question marks regarding their roster.

Pascal Siakam Jun 14 5:40am ET

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam came out firing in Game 6 when he connected on two triples in the game's first four minutes and finished the night with 26 points. Siakam finished the with a double-double as he added 10 rebounds with three assists and a steal with a block in 46 minutes of action. Siakam came into the game missing 12 threes in a row but showed much more confidence on his catch-and-shoot threes in this one. Siakam was a fantasy stud this season and depending what happens with Kawhi Leonard this offseason, we could Siakam as a top-30 player next season.

Stephen Curry Jun 14 5:30am ET

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry provided just 21 points on a rough 6-for-17 shooting in the Game 6 loss to the Raptors in his club's last game at the Oracle on Thursday. Curry came into the game averaging 32.4 points in the series' first five games, but the Raptors did all they could to force the sniper into tough shots. The Raptors went back to the box-and-one defense after the Warriors lost Klay Thompson (knee) for the night. With a lot of questions surrounding the Warriors this offseason, and some players looking to miss large chunks of next season, Curry has been catapulted to a top-3 player in next year's drafts.

Draymond Green Jun 14 5:20am ET

Golden State Warriors power forward/center Draymond Green did all he could on Thursday with his shorthanded club to try and get the win, but it was not enough in the 114-110 loss. Green provided a monster triple-double with 19 rebounds, 11 points and 13 assists with three steals and two blocks. Green struggled on the offensive end for most of this series but this valiant effort will not go unnoticed on this night. If the Warriors lose a superstar or two this offseason, we can easily see Green going back to his top-25 fantasy player status as he regularly filled up box scores with his injury-plagued club this postseason.

DeMarcus Cousins Jun 14 5:20am ET

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins provided a solid lift off the bench in Game 6 on Thursday when he scored 12 points and added five rebounds across 19 minutes of action. The Warriors opted to go with Kevon Looney as the team's starter in the middle, but Cousins came out aggressively and provided some buckets in crucial moments. The Warriors even opted to a zone defense on some possessions in order to hide Cousins more on the defensive end. It will be an interesting offseason for Cousins who was coming off one serious injury and then injured his quad this postseason.

Andre Iguodala Jun 14 5:20am ET

Golden State Warriors shooting guard/small forward Andre Iguodala was given the opportunity and he took full advantage of it on Thursday in Game 6 versus the Raptors. Iguodala scored 22 points with two boards and added two assists with a block across 32 minutes of action. Iggy had provided just eight points in the previous two games and he stepped things up after Klay Thompson (knee) left the game for good in the third quarter. He is now 35 and is on the books for next season, but we can expect Iggy to once again have restrictions in hopes on conversing himself for the 2019-20 postseason.

Klay Thompson Jun 14 5:10am ET

Golden State Warriors shooting guard/small forward Klay Thompson was putting forth a heroic effort in Game 6 before injuring his knee. Thompson landed awkwardly on his left knee and started exiting to the locker room before returning to shoot his free throws to leave the door open for a possible return. It was later revealed that he would not return to action after scoring 30 points across 32 minutes. Thompson had a massive series and it was a major blow to his club losing him in the series' most crucial game. It was later revealed that he indeed tore his ACL and we wish him a speedy recovery in hopes of a return at some point next season.

Stephen Curry Jun 11 6:00am ET

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 23 of his 31 points in the opening half to help secure the Game 5 win over the Raptors in Toronto on Monday. Curry connected on 10 of 23 shooting from the floor and added eight boards with seven assists and five makes from three. Curry and backcourt teammate Klay Thompson led the charge after Kevin Durant (Achilles) exited the game and will once again be the lead players in Game 6 with the series on the line. Expect another monster night from Curry on Thursday, making him a must play.

Draymond Green Jun 11 5:50am ET

Golden State Warriors power forward/center Draymond Green once again filled up the stat sheet and just missed out on a triple-double in 41 minutes of action on Monday. Green scored 10 points with 10 rebounds and handed out eight dimes with a steal and a block. The Raptors dared him to shoot from downtown and Green made them pay as he nailed two of four from range. Green lost his cool on a couple of occasions in this emotional game and he picked up his sixth technical foul of the postseason, with one more leading to automatic one-game suspension. Green has been solid this postseason and is always a welcome addition to any lineup in DFS.

Kevin Durant Jun 11 5:50am ET

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (Achilles) made a heroic return to action on Monday after missing nine postseason games, only to exit the game with an Achilles injury in the second quarter. In the emotional game, Durant came out on fire, scoring 11 points in the opening frame before the injury occurred. The Warriors sadly believe that he has torn his Achilles and the official results will be released on Tuesday after an MRI. If it is indeed a tear, we can expect the superstar to miss most of the 2019-20 campaign. Stay posted on Tuesday for updates and we wish the best for KD and his recovery.

Klay Thompson Jun 11 5:50am ET

Golden State Warriors shooting guard/small forward Klay Thompson nailed seven triples with one coming in crunch time to help secure the one-point win over the Raptors in Game 5. Thompson finished the night with 26 points and added six rebounds with four assists and a steal in 42 minutes of action. Thompson nailed a massive three with 57 seconds left on the clock to snap a 103-103 tie and it would later be the winning basket. Thompson has been an under-the-radar star this series and there are no signs of him slowing down for Game 6.

Kyle Lowry Jun 11 5:30am ET

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry provided a solid line and made some big plays on Monday, but it was not enough in the 106-105 loss to the Warriors in Game 5. Lowry scored 18 points while handing out six assists with four rebounds and blocked two shots with a single steal in 42 minutes. The Warriors again struggled with guarding the high pick and roll with Lowry being the ball handler and he made them pay as he was able to get two feet in the paint that led to floaters for Lowry or open looks for teammates. Lowry is confident and focused right now and we can expect another big night from the veteran in Game 6.

Kawhi Leonard Jun 11 5:30am ET

Toronto Raptors shooting guard/small forward Kawhi Leonard struggled early on but came up big in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough in the one-point loss to the Warriors. Leonard started the game just 5-for-18 from the floor, but then put up 10 points with a monster block during a two-minute span that got the Raptors the lead. He finished the night with 26 points on 9-for-24 shooting and surprisingly had five turnovers after having zero in Game 4. Leonard is a must play on Thursday as he will be ready to close out this series rather than coming back to Toronto for a Game 7.