Warriors

Charles Barkley swears Kevin Durant-less Warriors can't beat Rockets

Charles Barkley swears Kevin Durant-less Warriors can't beat Rockets

With four minutes left in the third quarter of Wednesday night's Game 5 between the Warriors and Houston Rockets, the air was sucked out of Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant was limping back to the Warriors' locker room after suffering a lower-leg injury that many Twitter doctors feared was a torn Achilles. To make matters worse, the Dubs had blown a 20-point lead and Steph Curry still was looking for his shot. 

Things looked dire, but these are the Warriors, lest we forget. The greatest collection of individual talent in NBA history would not be undone by the loss of one of its three stars, would they?

The answer, at least in Game 5, was a resounding no. Curry found his stroke, pouring in 16 of his 25 points after Durant's exit to lead the Dubs to a 104-99 win and a three-games-to-two series lead. 

While the Warriors survived Game 5 without their 7-foot offensive robot, Charles Barkley doesn't think they can do it again. Against the Rockets, or any other team remaining in the playoffs. 

Following Golden State's Game 5 win, Barkley gave the Dubs no shot of advancing if Durant is unable to play.

"They don't got no chance to win it without Kevin Durant," Barkley said. "This series or any other series. Kevin Durant made them unbeatable. They are not going to beat the Rockets without KD, and they are not going to beat Portland or Denver without KD. That's how important he is. He made them a dynasty. Don't sleep on that. 

"People say, 'They won one,' Well they did, and they was terrific. And they won 72. They lost that series. But that was like five years ago. People act like that was two years ago. They did not become a juggernaut until KD got there. Everybody who knows basketball, he's the guy who made them a dynasty. They are not going to beat the Rockets."

The Warriors announced Thursday that Durant has a mild right calf strain and will be re-evaluated in a week. He will not be available for the remainder of the series against the Rockets.

The Warriors' "Core Four" turned back the clock a bit Wednesday, as Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green powered them to a crucial win. But they'll need to be even better to finally eliminate the Rockets. Golden State certainly has the firepower to win one more game against their rivals and then regroup for a Western Conference finals battle with either the Denver Nuggets or Portland Trail Blazers.

[RELATED: Steph's dislocated finger reportedly is a 'more significant problem']

But without Durant, the Warriors' margin for error shrinks considerably. Their bench has been borderline unplayable at times against the Rockets, and now they might have to find a way to survive without their security blanket. It will be up to Curry to lead the Warriors past James Harden and Co. and into the Western Conference finals. It won't be easy, but the Warriors have the talent and championship pedigree to weather the storm.

The Warriors have been sticking to a seven-man rotation for the most part against the Rockets, with Alfonzo McKinnie playing sparingly. But now, the two-time defending NBA champions must adjust their lineup and gameplan if they plan to continue their march to a third straight NBA title. 

NBA free agency 2019: Ten shooters who can help Warriors next season

NBA free agency 2019: Ten shooters who can help Warriors next season

Immediately after the Warriors dispatched the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry called Toronto's strategy 'janky" after the Raptors used a box-and-one to corral the star.

Now, weeks later - with free agents Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant out for the majority of next season if not gone forever- the Warriors will need to fill out roster space with shooters to combat the 'janky' strategy. However, with Golden State deep in the luxury tax, the team only will be able to sign players via the midlevel exception and minimum contracts.

Click here for 10 shooters who could help the Warriors next season

Warriors announce 2019 NBA Summer League roster, broadcast schedule

Warriors announce 2019 NBA Summer League roster, broadcast schedule

The Warriors announced their roster and broadcast schedule for NBA Summer League in Sacramento and Las Vegas.

They will play in the California Classic in Sacramento:

-July 1 vs the Kings at 8 p.m.
-July 2 vs the Lakers at 6 p.m.
-July 3 vs the Heat at 12 p.m.

And then in Las Vegas:

-July 5 vs the Hornets at 6 p.m.
-July 6 vs the Raptors at 9 p.m.
-July 8 vs the Lakers at 8:30 p.m. (on NBC Sports Bay Area)
-July 10 vs the Nuggets at 8:30 p.m.

The roster includes 2018 first-round pick Jacob Evans and 2019 draft picks Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall.

Additionally, big man Damian Jones -- the No. 30 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft -- will suit up in Sacramento only.

Jones sustained a torn pectoral muscle on Dec. 1 and didn't return until the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jimmer Fredette -- the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (Klay Thompson went No. 11) -- will take the floor for the Dubs.

[RELATEDOutsiders Film Room: How Dubs first-rounder Poole can help]

The 30-year-old played in China the past three seasons before finishing the 2018-19 campaign with the Phoenix Suns.

The full roster:

NO

PLAYER

POS

HT

WT

BORN

PRIOR TO NBA/FROM

NBA EXP.

00

Ky Bowman

G

6-1

188

6/16/97

Boston College/USA

R

40

Malik Dunbar

F

6-6

230

1/27/96

Auburn/USA

R

10

Jacob Evans III

G

6-6

210

6/18/97

Cincinnati/USA

R

33

Jimmer Fredette

G

6-2

195

2/25/89

Brigham Young University/USA

6

15

Ebuka Izundu

C

6-10

232

6/28/96

Miami/Nigeria

R

25

Damian Jones*

C

7-0

245

6/30/95

Vanderbilt/USA

2

18

Dedric Lawson

C-F

6-9

235

10/1/97

Kansas/USA

R

19

Kevin McClain

G

6-3

190

10/21/96

Belmont/USA

R

7

Eric Paschall

F

6-9

255

11/4/96

Villanova/USA

R

3

Jordan Poole

G

6-5

195

6/19/99

Michigan/USA

R

31

Davon Reed

F-G

6-5

208

6/11/95

Miami/USA

2

22

Malachi Richardson

F-G

6-6

205

1/5/96

Syracuse/USA

3

44

Brandon Sampson

G

6-5

184

5/1/97

LSU/USA

1

6

Alen Smailagic

C-F

6-10

215

8/18/00

Santa Cruz Warriors (G League)/Serbia

R

8

Juan Toscano-Anderson

F

6-6

209

3/10/93

Marquette/USA

R

20

Travis Wear

F

6-10

230

9/21/90

UCLA/USA

2


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