Raptors vs. Warriors: Latest Comments and Odds for 2019 NBA FinalsJune 4, 2019
The Golden State Warriors were breathing easier after their Game 2 road victory over the Toronto Raptors Sunday night, but head coach Steve Kerr has a new set of injury problems as the two-time defending NBA champions prepare for the third game of the series.
The Warriors and Raptors will meet Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET at Oracle Arena in Oakland. However, they may be without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. The Warriors will almost certainly be without key role player Kevon Looney, who suffered a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture in Game 2, per Mark Medina of the East Bay Times.
The bigger worry is Thompson, who missed the final seven minutes and 59 seconds of the 109-104 victory after he landed awkwardly following the release of his jump shot. Thompson had an MRI Wednesday, and he suffered a mild hamstring strain. The Warriors are hopeful that Thompson will be able to play, but he is listed as questionable.
Game 1: Raptors 118, Warriors 109
Game 2: Warriors 109, Raptors 104, Series tied, 1-1
Game 3: Toronto at Golden State, June 5, 9 p.m. ET
Game 4: Toronto at Golden State, June 7, 9 p.m. ET
Game 5: Golden State at Toronto, June 10, 9 p.m. ET
Game 6: Toronto at Golden State, June 13, 9 p.m. ET, if necessary
Game 7: Golden State at Toronto, June 16, 8 p.m. ET, if necessary
Thompson will receive treatment for the injury Tuesday before any determinations are made. He said that he would play in Game 3 after Sunday night's win, but that will be dependent on his pain tolerance and ability to move on the court.
"Honestly, it’s hard to say," Thompson said after Game 2, per Medina. "Thank God we got a couple of days off. But I think I’ll be good to go."
If Thompson can't play or is limited in terms of his minutes on the floor or effectiveness, backup Quinn Cook is the logical player to step into the void. He made three of five three-point shots Sunday, and he is unafraid to unleash long shots. He is a career 42 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
Durant has been out with a calf strain since suffering the injury in Game 5 of the second-round series against the Houston Rockets. He is getting closer to playing, and there is a chance he could return in Game 3, but there has been no announcement from the team.
Kerr has said he wants Durant to participate in one practice before returning to game action, and he has not been officially cleared to return to the practice floor. That could change at any time.
The Warriors are also contending with lesser physical problems for a number of key players, including Stephen Curry (dehydration), Andre Iguodala (banged his head) and DeMarcus Cousins (recently returned from a quad injury).
Despite the slew of Golden State issues, the Warriors are listed as six-point favorites over the Raptors in Game 3, per VegasInsider.com. That spread was three points immediately after the conclusion of Golden State's Game 2 win, and the number has gone up despite the team's issues. The return of Durant would have an influence on the line.
The Raptors had the Warriors on the ropes after winning Game 1 and leading in Game 2, but they fell after giving up an 18-0 run at the start of the second half and Iguodala's game-clinching three-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining.
Guard Fred VanVleet said the Raptors have to move on after mounting a late comeback but falling short of the victory in Game 2.
"We fought back, and we know that going towards Game 3 we’ve got to play a lot better," VanVleet said, per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. "And it’s going to be even harder on the road, but we’re capable and we know what we bring to the table.
"So, just got to regroup, flush it and get back to work."
VanVleet has been a consistent contributor in the Eastern Conference Finals and the NBA Finals, but if the Raptors are going to stop the Warriors and win the series, it will almost certainly come down to getting big games from Kawhi Leonard.
He is averaging 30.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting 49.6 percent from the field. Leonard is coming off a 34-point, 14-rebound effort in Game 2.
The Warriors suffered key injuries in Game 2 to Thompson and Looney, yet the point spread is increasing in their favor.
The oddsmakers are inviting a play on the visiting Raptors. That may be a foolish enterprise because the Warriors have demonstrated their ability to win championship games under all circumstances.
Thompson will fight to play in the game, and Kerr will give him that opportunity. The Warriors will play well enough on their home court to pick up the victory while covering the point spread.
Golden State emerges from Game 3 with a 2-1 series advantage.