Warriors forward Kevin Durant will not play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors while center DeMarcus Cousins is questionable, coach Steve Kerr told reporters Monday.
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.
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“Just taking it a second at a time,” Durant told reporters last week. “I try to focus on (the present) and not think too far down the line because I don’t really know too much about this injury. I’m just leaving it to the hands of the team doctors and I trust the direction they are trying to put me in.”
Durant was having a stellar postseason before the injury. He averaged 34.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 51.3% from the field in 11 playoff games.
“It’s not the first time there’s been quite a few injuries or nags this time of the year,” Durant said. “We have veterans that have been through the grind for a long time, so I think we can lean on that more so than anything.”
Cousins, meanwhile, tore his left quadriceps muscle during the Warriors’ first-round series in mid-April. He has recently participated in two scrimmages with Golden State, Kerr said.
Kerr: “KD’s not playing Game 1.”
Cousins’ status remains questionable. Kerr says Cousins has gone through two scrimmages. He still doesn’t appear to be moving very well yet.
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“Initially, I thought it was worse than what it was,” Cousins told reporters last week. “It was obviously a panic, but once the diagnosis came out and I realized what it was, I had to gather myself after a couple of days of frustration and anger, sadness, all of the above, and tell myself to get back to work and just do it all over again. So that’s what I did, and that’s what I’m continuing to do.”
Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors in July and missed the team’s first 45 games as he continued to recovery from a torn Achilles. He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance.
“I think people know what I can do,” Cousins said. “It’s just about me being healthy. Of course, I want to be out there to help my team and play the game that I love to play, but I also just want to be healthy. So it’s an opportunity to do that, and hopefully it happens for me.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors will tipoff Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto.