Kevin Durant’s night ended in short order after he returned for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Monday.
In the second quarter, Durant pulled up after planting his foot while dribbling near the three-point line and then fell to the floor and grabbed the lower part of his right leg. Originally, the Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers announced it was a right lower leg injury and that Durant would receive an MRI Tuesday. After the 106-105 win, told reporters it was an Achilles injury.
Durant left the arena on crutches while wearing a walking boot:
Phil Barber @Skinny_Post
Durant leaving Scotiabank Arena on crutches https://t.co/eccyf5bB8f
He had been out since the second round of the playoffs with a strained calf.
According to USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt, Myers and Andre Iguodala helped Durant to the team’s locker room.
Golden State couldn’t have asked for a better start from Durant. He shot 3-of-5 from the floor for 11 points in 12 minutes.
KD drills consecutive threes and the @warriors are 5-5 from downtown! 🔥 #StrengthInNumbers 19 #WeTheNorth 13 🇺🇸: ABC 🇨🇦: Sportsnet https://t.co/PLVyqVmJUn
With the team trailing 3-1 in the series, Durant’s Finals arrival was a much-needed shot in the arm for the Warriors. Head coach Steve Kerr’s starting lineup was a sign of the squad’s desperation, as DeMarcus Cousins went to the bench and Durant, Iguodala, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green opened the game.
Durant’s health had been one of the biggest storylines of the Finals.
Heading into the matchup, it looked like Golden State might be able to cope without him against the Toronto Raptors. That idea was quickly dismissed as the Raptors won Game 1.
The Warriors were unable to get a firm time frame for Durant’s recovery, which made the situation even more frustrating for the reigning champions. The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported Sunday that Durant’s continued absence was “causing a mixture of confusion and angst among several of his teammates.”
Now it appears Durant’s season, and possibly his tenure with the Warriors, has come to an end.