TORONTO — The Golden State Warriors escaped Toronto with a road split thanks to a Game 2 win in the NBA Finals, but it may have been costly.
Both Klay Thompson (hamstring) and Kevon Looney (chest) went down with injuries over the course of the game, and with Game 3 set for Oracle Arena on Wednesday and Kevin Durant (calf strain) yet to practice, Golden State could be coming home short-handed.
“Klay said he’ll be fine, but Klay could be half dead and he would say he would be fine,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “We’ll see … And Loon, something with his shoulder, so we’ll see.”
Looney was seen dragging his right shoulder throughout much of the first half, and was did not return to the court in the second half. X-Rays came back clean, and he was diagnosed with what the Warriors are calling a left chest contusion. Looney had been one of Golden State’s best reserves throughout the playoffs, ranking seventh among all postseason players in total plus-minus (plus-105) and second on the team, behind Draymond Green and Stephen Curry.
He played 10:23 on Sunday, but recorded just one rebound, three fouls and a turnover, with a plus-2 rating. The concern with a chest injury is the ability to breathe over the course of an NBA game, and taking contact in the post, where Looney has excelled as an athletic big who can cause trouble for the likes of Serge Ibaka. In 12 possessions against Ibaka in Game 1, Looney has held him to one assist, and 0-for-3 from the field.
Looney will undergo an MRI and CT scan on Monday.
Thompson’s injury is of perhaps greater concern, given what he was able to give Golden State on Sunday night, and the fact that he’s arguably the best jump shooter of all time. Before he went down, he was 10-of-17 from the floor for 25 points — a total that was still good for the team lead even though he missed the final eight minutes.
With 10:11 left in the fourth quarter, Thompson launched a 3-point attempt against Danny Green, and came down into the splits, doing the splits on what appeared to be a wet spot on the floor. He tried to plahy with it, but as Quinn Cook and Stephen Curry celebrated Cook’s second straight 3-pointer with just over eight minutes to go, Thompson was visibly uncomfortable, grimacing and wincing. He was taken out with 7:59 remaining, and did not return.
Thompson was diagnosed with left hamstring tightness, but Kerr called it a hamstring pull. He will undergo an MRI. In last year’s Western Conference Semifinals, Thompson severely sprained his right ankle, but didn’t miss a game — he was only listed as “questionable” before Game 1 of the conference finals, and played 42 minutes.
The franchise leader in playoff games, Thompson has played 120 in a row. He missed only one regular-season game in his first three seasons to attend his grandfather’s funeral, after playing 214 games in a row. When he fractured his right thumb in the second quarter of a game in March of 2017, Golden State’s medical staff reportedly wanted to shut him down until the playoffs. He was back in the lineup eight games later.
“He thinks it is minor,” Kerr said. “So, I don’t know what that means going forward.”