OAKLAND, USA (UPDATED) – Golden State guard Klay Thompson will not play in Wednesday’s third game of the NBA Finals due to a strained left hamstring, the defending champion Warriors announced just before tipoff.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it would be a game-time decision about Thompson, with the major concern being the possibility of the 29-year-old guard doing more damage to the hamstring if he played with the best-of-seven final level at 1-1.
“Our training staff will let us know the risk,” Kerr said before the decision was announced. “It’s still early in the series, so if there’s risk, then we won’t play him.”
Thompson, a five-time NBA All-Star, had never missed a playoff game in his career, a streak of 120 in a row that ended with him being benched.
The only player with a longer active streak of playoff appearances for his team is Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James at 239.
Thompson was put onto the active roster and warmed up with his teammates before being benched.
Thompson, averaging 19.5 points in the playoffs, was listed day-to-day after an MRI exam showed him with a mild left hamstring strain.
Thompson underwent a final evaluation with trainers after showing progress earlier in the day.
“He’s making a very strong case. He wants to play no matter what,” Kerr said. “We’ll see what the trainer’s assessment is.
“He’s trying desperately to be out on the floor tonight and we’ll have to weigh all the factors and make the decision.”
Thompson suffered the injury in the 4th quarter of Golden State’s 109-104 victory in game two Sunday at Toronto.
Kevin Durant, Golden State’s top playoff scorer with 34.2 points a game, was ruled out of Game 3 on Tuesday.
The 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player has been out for nearly a month with a right calf injury, the Warriors going 6-1 without him.
Kerr said Durant has had good workouts the past two days and he hopes to put him in scrimmage situations on Thursday with an eye to game four on Friday.
“He’s got to continue to improve and not have any setbacks,” Kerr said. “That’s the main thing.”
Golden State has lost backup forward Kevon Looney for the remainder of the finals to a chest injury and swingman Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, is playing despite a calf injury.
The Warriors seek a third consecutive NBA crown and their fourth in five seasons while the Raptors are in the finals for the first time in their 24-season history. – Rappler.com