May 23, 2019 / 7:17 PM / a month ago

Warriors' Durant, Cousins unlikely for start of Finals

The Golden State Warriors said Thursday it is unlikely forward Kevin Durant will be ready for the start of the NBA Finals, but they are hopeful he can return during the series.

FILE PHOTO: May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Finals begin on May 31, pitting the two-time defending champion Warriors against either Milwaukee or Toronto. The Bucks and Raptors are tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals entering Thursday night’s game in Milwaukee.

Sidelined with a right calf strain, Durant has not been cleared to begin on-court activities but continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation, according to the team.

“At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it’s hopeful that he could return at some point during the series,” the team said.

A two-time Finals MVP, Durant sat out Golden State’s close-out Game 6 win against the Houston Rockets on May 10 and missed all four games of the Western Conference finals sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Warriors also provided an update about center DeMarcus Cousins, who hasn’t played since the first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers because of a torn left quadriceps muscle.

Cousins practiced with the team Thursday for the first time since suffering the injury on April 16.

“It’s anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals, but the exact date is to be determined and depends on his progress,” the team said.

The Warriors will provide an update for both players again next Wednesday.

—Field Level Media

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