The Golden State Warriors were without superstar forward Kevin Durant for Game 2 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. They’ll now be without another key member of the team for Saturday’s road Game 3 at Moda Center.
The Warriors announced roughly three hours before tipoff that head coach Steve Kerr will not be on the sidelines for Game 3 due to an illness. Assistant coach Mike Brown will lead the bench in his place:
UPDATE: Steve Kerr will not coach Game 3 at Portland tonight due to illness. Mike Brown will serve as acting head coach tonight.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 22, 2017
Kerr’s status was questionable in hours before the pregame announcement. The exact circumstances of his illness are not known, but they do not appear to have anything in common with the headaches and complications from back surgery that kept him away from the bench to begin the 2015-16 season. Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area quoted a Warriors spokesman as stating Kerr was merely “under the weather.”
Golden State enters the game up 2-0 on Portland and should be fine with Brown as temporary head coach. He has occupied that role in 83 career playoff games as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, so it’s not as if he’s in unfamiliar territory.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported later in the night that the Warriors would keep Durant out for his second straight game, as well.
The Warriors have decided to hold Kevin Durant (calf) out of Game 3 in Portland, league sources say, so no Durant or Steve Kerr tonight.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 23, 2017
With a two-game advantage in the series, the Warriors are not taking any chances with key figures’ health. However, that could make Game 3 more difficult in front of what’s sure to be a loud Blazers home crowd.
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