Report: Warriors' Kevin Durant Expected to Play in Game 5, Officially a GTD

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 09: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors arrives on June 9, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kevin Durant reportedly will return to the Golden State Warriors for Game 5 of the NBA Finals and is "expected to be a full go," according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The report comes on the heels of 

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Kevin Durant worked out privately with some of the younger guys yesterday. Was it a 3-on-3, 5-on-5 game setting? Steve Kerr, enjoying the vague messaging: “A little of this, a little of that.” https://t.co/znPlCpJaZJ

head coach Steve Kerr telling reporters Monday morning that Durant is a game-time decision for the contest, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

"He looked good, and we'll see where it goes," Kerr added.

Durant, who has been out of action since he strained his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets, returned to practice Sunday for the first time since he went down. 

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Steve Kerr said, if Kevin Durant does go, there’s no firm minutes restriction, just a feel thing on how he reacts conditioning wise.

Kerr also told reporters Durant went through the team's full shootaround Monday and was getting treatment, and that if he does play Monday night, he won't necessarily be on a minutes restriction.

The Warriors, who are trailing the Raptors 3-1 in the NBA Finals, desperately need him back. Durant, 30, has been spectacular this postseason, averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He's shot 51.3 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from three, and his ability to generate his own offense against virtually any defender makes the Warriors nearly unguardable. 

The Raptors defense has largely solved the Durant-less Warriors to this point, holding them to 104.8 points per game during the Finals. To put that in perspective, the Warriors averaged 117.7 points per game during the regular season. 

Golden State's injury woes haven't helped, as DeMarcus Cousins is working his way back from a quad tear after a long layoff, and Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney each missed Game 3 because of hamstring and rib injuries, respectively. Having Durant on the floor would be a huge boost for these Warriors, and he may be able to get them back into this series if he's able to go Monday night.