The Warriors need to pick up the slack now for KD—who has carried them throughout the postseason—according to teammate Stephen Curry.
Head coach Steve Kerr says the Dubs, despite not having their best player for the remainder of the series against Houston, remain extremely confident.
“I think there’s an advantage to have championship experience, and to have rings on your fingers,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “This group will never be doubted. This group has nothing to prove, so there’s a freedom that comes with that.”
In recent weeks, as the Warriors relied increasingly on Durant, Curry failed to provide one of his scoring binges. But after Durant left late in the third quarter Wednesday with the calf injury, Curry scored 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting — a big uptick from his 4-for-14 start.
“We’ve got to have (Durant’s) back the way he’s been honestly carrying us the entire playoff run,” Curry said. “That’s what makes a great team: whoever is out there is just making plays.”
The Rockets have scored 546 points to the Warriors’ 552. If Golden State can beat Houston once without Durant, it likes its chances of welcoming him back during the conference finals. In each of the past two seasons, Durant sustained minor calf strains, only to return within a week.
“We’ll just find somebody on the bench who can give us 35 points, two blocks, and 11 boards and nine assists,” Kerr said with a smirk. “It’s obviously a huge loss, but our team has a lot of confidence. There’s no reason why we can’t go get a win.”