Since then, it's paid off with two titles that Durant has played a part in winning, earning the last two NBA Finals MVPs.
It's not very often that the best player on a championship contending team can get injured without massive consequences.
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half Golden State closed the game on a 14-3 run to earn 114-111 win over Portland - it outscored the visitors 64-46 in the second half.
Maybe the most impressive aspect of the Warriors' road success under Kerr: In the 18 total playoff series Golden State has played in since 2014-15, the Warriors have won and covered at least one road game in every series.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr insisted his team stole this game with a sensational final few minutes and another, familiar third-quarter outburst.
Lillard led the Blazers with 23 points. "You know, so. good defensive play".
- After Portland fails to regain the lead, Stephen Curry and Draymond execute the pick-and-roll to perfection. Green has consistently been able to defend 1-5.
The Warriors, though, have an impeccable record without Durant this season, as long as Stephen Curry is on the floor. "They gave us a great punishing". Each of those teams will pose a worthy threat to a Warrior team with a healthy Kevin Durant in its starting five, much more so, in the event Durant doesn't become available for a possible Finals matchup with either team. "We can't wait to have him back".
"I think they are harder to guard (without Durant)", Curry told Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Carlos Ramirez of Telemundo asked Thompson how it felt to have that "front row seat" to the two brothers' antics throughout the game, but Thompson stopped him shy of calling him a mere spectator.
Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn quad in Game 2 of the Warriors' opening-round playoff series against the Clippers, and is "unlikely" to return this season.