UPDATE: 6.11.2019 Warriors Management being questioned for downplaying severity of Kevin Durant’s May 8 “calf injury.”
Watch Warriors GM Bob Myers post game presser. I have rarely seen such raw emotion live on television.
Game Six will be the final game at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday night. Next season the Warriors will move across the Bay to the new Chase Arena. The final game at Oracle should be emotional and a classic.
Excerpted from New York Times 6.10.2019
TORONTO — A script-defying N.B.A. finals continued Monday night when the Golden State Warriors welcomed Kevin Durant back from a monthlong injury absence, watched in horror as Durant reinjured himself after a storybook start — and then still managed to keep these N.B.A. finals going.
Durant lasted only 12 minutes in his comeback before reinjuring his lower right leg, but the Warriors managed to pull themselves together after his emotional departure and dig out a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5. That narrowed Toronto’s series lead to three games to two and prevented the Raptors from securing the first championship in the franchise’s 24-year history.
Fighting back tears, Bob Myers, the general manager of the Warriors, said after the game that Durant had sustained an injury to his Achilles’ tendon rather than reinjuring his calf. The extent of the damage will not be known until his M.R.I. on Tuesday, but if the tendon is ruptured Durant could miss much of the 2019-20 season.
“I know Kevin takes a lot of hits sometimes, but he just wants to play basketball, and right now he can’t,” Myers said.
Asked after the game to describe his range of emotions, Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said he couldn’t and alluded to Durant’s injury.
“I just told the team I didn’t know what to say,” Kerr said. “It’s a bizarre feeling we all have right now. It’s an incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 10 of his 26 points in a stunning fourth-quarter flurry that erased the last of Golden State’s 14-point lead and appeared to swipe the momentum from the Warriors. But late 3-pointers from Stephen Curry (31 points in the game) and Klay Thompson (26 points) and a huge defensive stop on Toronto’s final possession — when Draymond Green blocked Kyle Lowry’s corner 3-point attempt — enabled Golden State to escape with an improbable victory.
Yet there was grave concern about Durant’s status. He left the arena on crutches and with his right foot in a walking boot in the third quarter, and will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Tuesday — less than three weeks before he is expected to hit the marketplace as one of the most coveted free agents in league history.