Golden State star forward Kevin Durant left Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals against Toronto with what appeared to be a reaggravation of the same right calf injury that had kept him sidelined for a month.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Durant, the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, had been medically cleared to play after missing nine games with the injury.
Durant sparked Golden State immediately, scoring 11 points in 12 minutes on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range and having the Warriors look like the team that won the past two NBA crowns.
But for Golden State, the joy was all-too short-lived.
With 2:14 elapsed in the second quarter, Durant planted his right foot making a move with the ball and pulled up, taking a seated position on the court and he grabbed for the calf that had kept him out so long.
Durant was helped up by a trainer and escorted off to the locker room with the help of teammate Andre Iguodala, his attempt to help the Warriors appearing to be over.
Rapper Drake, while there to support the home team, was devastated for Durant as he walked off court.
Raptors fans cruelly cheered the injury of Golden State’s best player, prompting stars Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson to gesture for them to stop.
Raptors star Serge Ibaka helped the ailing star off the court as the second quarter waned.
The Raptors took Golden State to the brink of being dethroned, leading the best-of-seven series 3-1.
But the series is going to six after Monday night’s comeback from the visitors.
Stephen Curry scored 31 points and Klay Thompson added 26 as the defending champion Golden State Warriors edged Toronto 106-105 to sustain their hopes of winning the NBA Finals.
The Warriors pulled within 3-2 in the best-of-seven championship series and forced a sixth game Thursday at Oakland, California, with game seven if needed back in Toronto on Sunday.