Warriors’ Joe Lacob expects Kevin Durant back in series

The Golden State Warriors are down 2-1 in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, and there’s no better time for Kevin Durant — y’know, one of the greatest scorers in hoops history — to make his long-awaited return. 

According to Warriors owner Joe Lacob, that return may be right around the corner.

Asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith before Wednesday night’s Game 3 if he believes Durant will return in this series, Lacob said, “I do.”

“Not tonight, but I do. … I’m serious as a heart attack.”

Durant has been out with a calf strain since Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against Houston — a game that was played over four weeks ago. The Warriors have remained vague about his status ever since.

The Warriors were also without Klay Thompson (hamstring, expected back for Game 4) and Kevon Looney (chest, out for series) in the 123-109 loss at Oracle Arena, and they now face the biggest test of their dynasty.

Before Game 3, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Durant still hasn’t done any “three-on-three, five-on-five” work, but hopes that he’ll be able to get on the court with “some of our young guys, maybe a few of our coaches” on Thursday. 

Game 4 tips off at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, and if the Raptors can pull off another victory on the road, they head back home for Monday’s Game 5 with a chance to capture the first championship in franchise history.

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