Durant faces a nervous wait. Picture: AP
Durant faces a nervous wait. Picture: AP

Durant injured in Warriors’ play-off win

ANDREW Bogut's Golden State Warriors have overcome a leg injury to star Kevin Durant to beat the Houston Rockets and take the lead in their NBA Western Conference semi-finals series.

The Warriors won 104-99 on Thursday (AEST) in Oakland to go up 3-2 and can eliminate the Rockets with a win in game six in Houston on Saturday (AEST)

However, they will be sweating on Durant's fitness.

The Warriors were up 68-65 late in the third-quarter when Durant landed after taking a jump shot, felt pain in his right leg and hobbled off the court.

There were initial fears it was an Achilles injury, but it was diagnosed as a less serious right calf sprain.

Steve Kerr was asked by TNT for an update on his star shortly before the fourth quarter, Warriors head coach had little to say.

 

The club moved to ease fears of a serious injury, tweeting "Kevin Durant (right calf strain) will not return to tonight's game.

Steph Curry stepped up after Durant left the court, scoring 16 of his 25 points after the injury.

Steph Curry stepped up for the Warriors.
Steph Curry stepped up for the Warriors.

"The way the team responded down the stretch was what we are capable of and we will carry that momentum into Friday," Curry said.

Klay Thompson had 27 points and Draymond Green contributed eight points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, also sank late three-pointers to hold off the Rockets. James Harden led the Rockets with 31 points.

Bogut, the Warriors' veteran Australian centre, did not play for a second straight game.

Fellow Australian centre Aron Baynes had a tough night as his Boston Celtics were knocked out of the playoffs by the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks booked a place in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001 with a 116-91 win in Milwaukee which clinched their semi-final series 4-1.

"They are one hell of a basketball team," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

Aron Baynes’s playoffs run has ended. Picture: Adam Glanzman
Aron Baynes’s playoffs run has ended. Picture: Adam Glanzman

The Bucks, the top overall seed, will play the winner of the series between Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors lead 3-1 and can progress with a win in Thursday's game six in Philadelphia.

Stevens elevated Baynes to the starting line-up in an attempt to combat the length and power of NBA MVP candidate Antetokounmpo and it helped.

Baynes put his body on the line and repeatedly thwarted Antetokounmpo from launching to the basket, but the 'Greek Freak' was successful in finding open shooters.

Antetokounmpo, averaging 27 points in the playoffs, had 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two blocks in the game five clincher. Baynes was scoreless but had six rebounds in 10 minutes on the court.

The Celtics, with the return of injured All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward this season, were expected to challenge for the championship but locker room turmoil took its toll.

Melbourne-born Irving dominated the offence, openly criticised his younger team- mates and is expected to depart the Celtics and sign with the New York Knicks or another suitor in the off-season.

Irving said he did not know if he would stay in Boston or move on to a new team. "For me, it is moving on to the next thing and just seeing where that ends up," Irving said.

News Corp Australia

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