The Warriors will have to open the Western Conference Finals against the Trail Blazers without their leading postseason scorer, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
A source tells Shelburne that Kevin Durant will miss at least Game 1 of the series on Tuesday. The star forward, who is battling a calf strain, won’t be re-evaluated until Thursday, so he’s also considered “unlikely” to play in Game 2, which is scheduled for that night, per Shelburne.
Durant’s injury isn’t expected to be a long-term ailment, so there’s an expectation that he’ll be able to return to the court at some point during this series. Still, if he’s unable to suit up for the first two games, it’ll be a huge opportunity for the Blazers to try to steal a game in Oakland before heading back to the Moda Center.
Of course, the Warriors showed in Game 6 of the Western Semifinals against Houston that they’re still a force to be reckoned with even without Durant in their lineup. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 60 points in that game and Andre Iguodala had five steals and five 3-pointers as Golden State eliminated the Rockets on the road.