Even without one of the very best players on the planet in Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors looked like they were in total control against the Portland Trail Blazers, running them out of the gym in a 115-94 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday.
While getting KD back would clearly be a boost for the two-time defending champs, Durant will officially not suit up for Game 2, as he is still nursing a calf injury sustained in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Houston.
Golden State star Kevin Durant (calf strain) will not play in Game 2 of the WCF against Portland, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 15, 2019
While losing a world-beater and two-time reigning Finals MVP would normally be cause for alarm, the Warriors are the one team in sports who could shoulder this loss and still find ways to thrive. After the Game 1 victory, they have now won 28 of their last 29 games in which Durant hasn't played, with Steph Curry stepping up in a big way in those games.
With Kevin Durant ruled out for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals vs the Trail Blazers...should the Warriors be worried?— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 14, 2019
Well, Golden State has won 27 of their last 28 games that Kevin Durant has sat & Stephen Curry has played. Curry averages 27.9 PPG in those games. pic.twitter.com/VTITtz82wr
While Portland has the size inside to give the Warriors pause without Durant, Golden State has the uncanny ability to make up for KD's absence by going unconscious from three-point range at the snap of a finger. What a luxury.