Warriors' Klay Thompson Back from Injury for 2019 NBA Finals Game 4 vs. Raptors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Alfonzo McKinnie, from left, sits on the bench with Jonas Jerebko, Klay Thompson and Damian Jones during the second half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will play in Friday's Game 4 NBA Finals matchup against the Toronto Raptors after nursing a hamstring injury. 

Speaking to reporters before Game 4, head coach Steve Kerr said Thompson will not have a firm minutes restriction, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole

Thompson sat out Game 3 after suffering the injury in the Warriors' Game 2 victory in Toronto. Kerr said Thursday that he expected Thompson to play.

"The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series. So that was the decision we made, and I feel very comfortable with it," Kerr told reporters after Game 3. "I never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt. So you live with the decision you make. You make a wise decision, the wisest one you can, and then you live with it and move forward."

Thompson lobbied the Warriors to play him in Game 3, but the medical staff felt it was best to hold him out and avoid any potential aggravation that would keep him out the remainder of the series. The Warriors will again be without Kevin Durant, who is yet to be cleared for a return to practice. It's becoming increasingly unlikely that Durant will play at all in the series, though the Warriors are holding out hope.

Because of injuries to Durant and Kevon Looney, Thompson's status became paramount to the Warriors having a chance to stretch the series. It was clear in Game 3 that Stephen Curry couldn't do it alone. His 47-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist performance was one of the greatest in NBA Finals history in a loss. The Warriors never had control of the game and clearly missed Thompson's defense on the perimeter.

"Yeah, I knew it. I could feel it," Thompson said of whether he'd be ready to play in Game 4. "My body feels really good and just that extra night of rest really helped. Now I just can't wait to get out here tomorrow."

Thompson is averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 44 percent shooting in the playoffs.