Kevin Durant will not have Stephen Curry on the court with him as he returns to the Warriors lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.
Curry has been ruled out because of the left knee contusion he suffered in Wednesday night’s win at the Suns.
Durant, meanwhile, is set to return after missing Golden State’s last 19 games with an MCL sprain and bone bruise to his left knee.
While Warriors coach Steve Kerr had said he wanted to ease Durant back into action, Durant is expected to start and his minutes will not be restricted. Durant is fully healed, team trainers told Kerr.
“It’s really about monitoring how he feels,” Kerr said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “If he gets fatigued, I’m going to take him out. I don’t really have a number of minutes played. It’s more just how it feels for him and fatigue.”
While the Warriors have the top seed in the NBA playoffs locked up, their intention to re-acclimate Durant with the rotation is hindered by Curry’s absence.
Durant’s not too concerned.
“I played 59 games with Steph, 58 games with Steph,” Durant said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “That’s a lot of games. I didn’t just get here yesterday. I’ve been here the whole season, just happened to miss 20 games. I’ve been here the whole year and we were playing well the whole season, so I’ve played with Steph long enough."
The Warriors have been just fine with Durant sidelined, going 15-4 in those 19 games and winning 13 in row.
Even with Curry out, the Dubs shouldn’t have a problem extending that streak to 14. They are massive 18-point favorites against a Pelicans club that’s been eliminated from the playoffs and will be without their two best players —DeMarcus Cousins (tendonitis in his right Achilles) and Anthony Davis (left knee).