OAKLAND, Calif. — Warriors star Kevin Durant will miss the upcoming Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals for Golden State in Portland as he continues to recover from a strained right calf.
Durant was re-evaluated Thursday before Game 2 of the best-of-seven series with the Trail Blazers and is not ready for on-court work — a necessary step before the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP can return to game action. He will be re-examined in another week.
The Warriors said Durant “has shown good progress since beginning his rehabilitation program one week ago. At this point, Durant is not ready to advance to on-court work.”
Durant’s 34.2 points per game lead all post-season scorers. He strained his right calf during the third quarter of Game 5 of the conference semifinals against the Rockets last Wednesday and didn’t travel to Houston for the Warriors’ Game 6 clincher. He then sat out Game 1 against Portland on Tuesday and again Thursday.
“He’s handled it great. He’s vocal. Still being a leader. Staying in all of our ears. Vocal during film,” said Quinn Cook, a reserve Warriors guard and close friend of Durant. “I know he’s been putting in extra work. I know he’s excited to get back. We can’t wait to have him back.”
Andrew Bogut has started in Durant’s place the past three games.
In addition, centre DeMarcus Cousins will be re-evaluated again in a week as he works back from a strained left quadriceps muscle sustained in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers on April 15 — just his second career playoff game.
Cousins has begun doing extensive on-court work such as running, shooting and agility moves, “but is still not ready for live action,” the Warriors said.