While the Warriors were flexing their muscles in the second half of Game 2, Klay Thompson strained one. The sharpshooting guard exited Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals with left hamstring tightness, according to the team. He did not return.
Just minutes before tip-off, it’s been decided that Thompson won’t play against the Toronto Raptors and Shaun Livingston will draw the start in his place. Thompson was previously being listed as active for Game 3.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors wanted Thompson to sit, but the star guard had been making his case to remain in the lineup.
An MRI on Monday confirmed that Thompson did indeed suffer a mild hamstring strain, and he was listed as questionable for Game 3, according to a press release from the franchise.
Early on in the fourth quarter of Game 2, the veteran shooting guard suffered the injury during an awkward landing on a 3-point shot attempt.
After the Warriors’ 109-104 win, Steve Kerr said that Thompson reassured the head coach that his hamstring would be fine. However, Thompson also said that it was “hard to say” whether or not he’ll be ready in time for Game 3.
The Warriors are already dealing with a number of injuries as it is. Kevon Looney missed the majority of Game 2 after an awkward fall in the first quarter, and will be out indefinitely due to a fractured collarbone. Meanwhile, Andre Iguodala temporarily exited at the end of the first half following a hard screen from the Raptors‘ Marc Gasol. He eventually returned at the beginning of the second half, and went on to hit the game-sealing 3-pointer. Plus, the Warriors are of course also playing without Kevin Durant due to his calf strain.
It’s worth noting that Thompson has never missed a playoff game during his NBA career so this will be a first for the All-Star.