Gary Payton suffers injury vs. Bucks, will miss Warriors’ next game

MILWAUKEE — Gary Payton II exited the Warriors’ loss to the Bucks Thursday in the first quarter and didn’t return. The injury will keep Payton out at least one more game, Steve Kerr said after the 118-99 defeat.

Payton, who got his eighth start in the past 10 games, suffered lower back tightness and won’t play Friday against the Chicago Bulls in the second leg of a back-to-back. He saw only 4 minutes, 55 seconds before leaving the game Thursday night.

“Gary won’t play tomorrow,” Kerr said. “It’s always a concern when somebody gets hurt. Back tightness was all I heard, so we’ll see how that goes.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what play the injury occurred, but Payton did slip and fall to the hardwood on a drive in the first quarter. He didn’t score a point but recorded two assists, a steal and a rebound in 5 minutes.

Payton started in place of Draymond Green, whose right calf tightened up on him during warm-ups two games ago. Green didn’t travel with the team and Kerr didn’t have an update on his progress rehabbing at home with Dr. Rick Celebrini, the Warriors’ director of performance.

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“I haven’t checked in since (Wednesday). He told me (Wednesday) that Draymond was doing well,” Kerr said. “Next time I check in with Rick, probably (Friday), we’ll see how that’s going and hopefully get Draymond back soon.”

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Payton appeared on the injury report prior to Tuesday night’s loss in Memphis but still earned plaudits for his defense on Grizzlies star Ja Morant. In addition to his stifling defense, Payton has carved out a crucial role on the Warriors by honing his offensive game; over the past 12 contests prior to Thursday, had had scored in double figures 10 times after doing so six times in his first 28 games.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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