Warriors 'desperately need' healthy Durant to three-peat, says Thompson
The Golden State Warriors "desperately need" Kevin Durant back if they are to three-peat, according to Klay Thompson.
A calf injury meant Durant was absent on Friday when the Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 118-113 in Game 6 to advance to a fifth straight Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors are due to host either the Denver Nuggets or the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena in the first game of that series on Tuesday, with coach Steve Kerr stating on Friday that Durant would be assessed again "in a week".
And though they beat the Rockets without him, Thompson stressed Durant will be vital if the back-to-back defending champions are to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls and Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers and three-peat.
"Like Steve Kerr said, we didn't have the ultimate luxury tonight - a guy who can go out there and get you 40 [points], on a whim," Thompson told reporters.
"We had to play a little more diligent with the ball, we had to be more crisp with our passes and the room for error was a lot less compared to when Kevin's out there.
"I'm happy we won so we can get some rest and get him healthy because if we're going to get this three-peat we desperately need him back, he's our best player.
"We dearly miss him. We'll hold it down while he's out but it's not the same without him, far from it."
Speaking about Durant's injury prior to Game 6, Kerr had said it looked "good for his return in the not-too-distant future".
However, with three games of the Western Conference Finals taking place next week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant may only become involved later in the series.
"We're going to re-evaluate him, I think, in a week," Kerr said after the win on Friday.
"And we'll see. There's really no way of making any predictions right now. It's an injury that requires an update every few days. As of now, we don't have any updates."
Given the Game 6 victory over the Rockets came without Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, another multiple All-Star currently sidelined by injury, Kerr was quick to stress the value of the win.
"It's one of the most satisfying victories we've had during this run," Kerr admitted.