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Kevin Durant to play Game 5 of NBA Finals

Kevin Durant

Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant reacts after making a three-point basket during the first half in Game 6 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, April 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


TORONTO – It had been suspected and reported. Now, Steve Kerr finally said it:

Kevin Durant will play Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Down 3-1 to the Raptors, the Warriors are still in trouble. But Durant’s return can turn the frustration surrounding his month-long absence into a jolt of enthusiasm for a team that badly needs it.

Durant can provide a scoring punch, match up defensively with Kawhi Leonard and unlock Golden State’s death lineup. If healthy.

Kerr said Durant would start and play short bursts. The Warriors will evaluate his endurance and ability from there.

“He’s still such a huge threat,” Kerr said. “He can get his shot off against anybody. We’ll see. I don’t want to put too much of a burden on him.

“But just his mere presence makes a huge difference for us.”