Report: Kevin Durant ‘not close’ to returning for Western Conference Finals

It sounds like the Golden State Warriors won’t be getting Kevin Durant back anytime soon.

The Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals over Portland on Thursday night, but the victory was partially clouded by a report on Durant’s ailing right calf.

That news came from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who says Durant is “not close to returning.”

Warriors GM Bob Myers confirmed Thursday that Durant will not travel with the team to Rip City for games three and four.

The Blazers nearly won game two on the road, but fell short in-part thanks to a 37-point effort from Steph Curry.

To this point, Golden State hasn’t missed a beat without Durant. The Warriors rallied to win game five vs. Houston after he sustained the injury and have now won three straight games.

From a gambling perspective, the Warriors are 2-1 ATS without Durant. They were four-point favorites in game two against Portland, but won 114-11. Entering game three on the road, Golden State is a consensus 2.5-point underdog.

Portland is 5-1 straight up at home this postseason, its only loss coming as a 116-112 loss to Denver in game four. The Warriors are certainly capable of winning on the road (4-2 straight up this postseason) but the Blazers won’t be an easy matchup without Durant.

Through the first two games of this series, Curry has 73 points on just 45 attempts. He’s shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc while also averaging 7.5 assists and 7 rebounds per contest. If his play slips even a little bit in Portland, it could be the only opening the Blazers need.

From a futures perspective, the Warriors are still big favorites even with no timetable for Durant’s return.

Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals is slated to tip off at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

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