WASHINGTON • Kevin Durant was the subject of an injury scare as the Golden State Warriors slumped to a 112-108 National Basketball Association (NBA) defeat against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Warriors star Durant limped out of the game in the first quarter at Washington's Verizon Centre after team-mate Zaza Pachulia fell awkwardly on 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.
The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Durant is likely to be out for months - meaning he could miss the rest of the season - while ESPN reported that the Warriors are close to signing swingman Matt Barnes in a bid to cope with his absence.
Durant is Golden State's leading scorer (25.3 points per game) and rebounder (8.2 per game).
It was an unhappy homecoming of sorts for the 28-year-old, who grew up in the nearby Maryland suburbs and was courted by the Wizards during his free agency last year. That snub clearly still rankles with some Washington fans, who booed him during the introduction and whenever he touched the ball.
The Wizards took full advantage of Durant's departure after only 93 seconds 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. He added 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 (50-10) overhaul a 19-point deficit before the hosts finally clinched victory in the final minute.
Kerr was proud of the way his team responded after being forced to reorganise early in the game.
"It was a hell of a basketball game," he said. "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."
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points. He also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Klay Thompson (16 points), Draymond Green (14), Shaun Livingston (14) and Pachulia (12) also made double figures for the Western Conference leaders, who have already booked their place in the play-offs.
Scott Brooks served as coach for eight seasons at the Oklahoma City Thunder with Durant. Now in his first year with Washington, his sideline presence helped the Wizards turn a dismal start into an 18-3 run over their last 21 games before the All-Star break.
"It was obviously a hard-fought game," Brooks said. "Both teams were clawing, grabbing and punching each other trying to win. I'm glad we made a few more plays."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS