A Game 1 loss in the NBA Finals to the Raptors may be forcing the Warriors to speed up Kevin Durant’s rehab from an injured calf.
Steve Kerr said on Wednesday that Durant was cleared to take part in individual on-court basketball activities after ruling him out for Game 1. Now, according to a report from Yahoo citing league sources, Durant will see critical game action “at some point midway through the NBA Finals.”
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Durant has been out since straining his calf in Golden State's Game 5 win over the Rockets in the second round. The Warriors went on to close out Houston in six games before sweeping the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.
Durant, who was having a stellar postseason before the injury, traveled with the team for Games 1 and 2 in Toronto.
Warriors forward Draymond Green said before Thursday’s loss that the team “needs” Durant back for the championship series, and it showed in a 118-109 defeat. Now it seems Durant will have a chance to put his mark on the series.
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"I know it's killing him not to be out there," Warriors guard Shaun Livingston told reporters ( via ESPN.com) . "He's been very vocal in here. At halftime he was having a one-on-one talk with Stephen [Curry]. Giving him what he sees, his perspective. After the game, he was speaking up amongst the team. He had the floor."
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will tip off on Sunday before the series moves to Golden State’s Oracle Arena for Game 3 next Wednesday.