Kevin Durant suffered an injury scare as the Golden State Warriors slumped to a 112-108 defeat against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Warriors star Durant limped out of the game in the first quarter at Washington’s Verizon Center after team-mate Zaza Pachulia fell awkwardly onto his left leg.
The Warriors later confirmed Durant had suffered a hyperextended left knee and that an MRI scan had been scheduled. There was no further information about the Warriors’ All-Star’s long-term condition.
“We’ll know a little more tomorrow. I’m always concerned about any injury because you never know how bad it’s going to be. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
It was an unhappy homecoming of sorts for Durant, who grew up in the nearby Maryland suburbs and who had been courted by the Wizards during his free agency last year before choosing to join the Warriors.
That snub clearly still rankles with some Washington fans, who subjected Durant to boos during the introduction and whenever he touched the ball.
The Wizards took full advantage of Durant’s absence to claim a narrow victory that saw them improve to 35-23 in the Eastern Conference Standings.
Bradley Beal led the scoring for the Wizards with 25 points, three assists and four rebounds.
Markieff Morris added 22 points, six rebounds and one assist. Guard John Wall also shone, with 12 points, 19 assists and six rebounds.
But the Wizards were left sweating after they saw the Warriors overhaul a 19-point deficit before the hosts finally clinched victory in the final minute.
Warriors coach Kerr said he was proud the way his team had responded after being forced to reorganise following the early departure of Durant.
“It was a great response. It was a hell of a basketball game,” Kerr said. “The fans got their money’s worth.
“I liked how we came back after we were thrown for a loop early on. We had to change all of our rotations. I thought after we took that first blow we got back into the game — we just couldn’t close it out.”
NBA MVP Stephen Curry led the scoring for the Warriors with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Klay Thompson (16), Draymond Green (14), Shaun Livingston (14) and Pachulia with 12 also made double-figures for the Western Conference leaders, who have already booked their place in the playoffs.