(Reuters) – Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said on Sunday he was hopeful that MVP Kevin Durant would be fit for their must-win game five of the NBA Finals.
FILE PHOTO: Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors warms up before his NBA pre-season game against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, U.S., September 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo
The Warriors trail the Toronto Raptors 3-1 ahead of Monday’s game in Canada, where the home team can become the first to bring the championship north of the border.
Durant has missed the whole series due to a calf injury.
Kerr said Durant would train with the team on Sunday.
Asked if his hopes of a Durant return had risen in the past couple of days he told reporters: “Yeah, because what he’s going to do today he hasn’t done.
“He’s doing more today and then we’ll know more after that.
“He’s going to practise with us today, and he’ll get some extra work in with some of our younger players. We’ll gauge it from there.”
Durant has won back-to-back Finals MVP awards over the past two seasons, leading Golden State to consecutive championships.
But without Durant this time the Warriors have struggled against the Raptors.
Golden State were outscored 37-21 in the third period of game four on Friday, and Kerr is grateful for a three-day break to pick up the pieces.
“We made a lot of defensive mistakes that seemed borne from just the frustration and maybe fatigue, just from we’re playing guys heavy minutes and all that stuff,” he said.
“That’s why I’m pleased that there will be two days before the next game and the next couple after that, if we can keep extending the series.
“As we get healthier and have some time to heal and rest, I like our chances.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris