Warriors' Kevon Looney Will Play in Game 4 vs. Raptors Despite Rib Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 7, 2019

TORONTO, ONTARIO - MAY 30:  Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors dunks the ball against the Toronto Raptors in the second half during Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on May 30, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kyle Terada - Pool/Getty Images)
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Golden State Warriors forward/center Kevon Looney, who missed Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors with a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture, will play in Game 4.

Head coach Steve Kerr revealed the news to reporters in the hours leading to the game's 9 p.m. ET start on Friday at Oracle Arena.

"He's dying to play, so we'll give him a shot and see what he's got," Kerr told the media.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported earlier Friday that Looney was lobbying the Warriors to play:

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

The other day @TimBontemps reported there was a chance Kevon Looney plays in the Finals w/ a fracture near his collarbone. Today he’s listed as questionable in the injury report for Game 4. Word is he’s been lobbying hard to play as the doctors believe the injury won’t get worse

Looney suffered the injury in Game 2, and he left after seeing only 10 minutes of action. The Warriors initially declared him out indefinitely.

A Looney return is a huge boost to the Warriors. The third-year pro has averaged 7.2 points on 73.0 percent shooting in addition to 2.6 rebounds during this year's playoffs. He's been remarkably efficient during his 20.6 minutes per game and has come through in the clutch when the Dubs have needed him most.

Namely, Looney had 12 points and 14 boards in a Western Conference Finals-clinching win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He also scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the Western Conference Semifinals-clinching victory against the Houston Rockets.

Looney will likely back up center DeMarcus Cousins, who returned for Game 1 of the Finals after missing 14 contests with a quad injury. Cousins, who came off the bench in the series opener, has started the last two games.

The Warriors have suffered a litany of injuries but appear to finally be getting healthy for the most part. In addition to Cousins' and Looney's returns, Klay Thompson is back for Game 4 after missing Game 3 with a left hamstring strain.

Kevin Durant, who has been out with a strained right calf since Game 5 of the Houston series, will not return for Game 4. However, Kerr told reporters that the team hopes the 10-time All-Star can come back for Game 5 or 6:

The Athletic @TheAthleticSF

Kerr says the Warriors are still hopeful Kevin Durant can return for Game 5 or 6, but he won’t be giving any updates on planned activities in between games anymore. https://t.co/6MmU9kO8GC

The Warriors are five-point favorites entering Game 4, per Caesars Palace.