Warriors’ Gary Payton II could miss more time with hamstring strain

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SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors forward Gary Payton II could miss more time after sustaining a left hamstring strain in the third quarter of Golden State’s 121-115 win against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game that he didn’t know the severity of the injury and wasn’t sure how much time Payton could potentially miss.

“I feel bad for him, more than anything. I feel bad for us, too, but mainly for him,” Kerr said. “He makes such a big impact for us. So, fingers crossed that he’s not out for too long.”

This was Payton’s second game back after missing the previous 13 because of a right calf strain.

As Payton tried to fight over a screen set by Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, he took an awkward tumble, scrambling to get up on his feet and then continuously grabbing at his left thigh once he was up.

The Warriors called a timeout, and Payton immediately headed toward the locker room, nearly throwing his headband in frustration and pulling and biting his jersey.

“He’s such a big part of our team,” Chris Paul said. “People may not realize it, but his energy is consistent every day — every practice, every game. Him coming back has been huge for us. So I hope whatever it is isn’t going to take a long time. I think for him, it’s going to be about getting as healthy as possible.”

While Payton wasn’t going to be an automatic fix, the Warriors were looking for him to help improve their defense, especially as they await Draymond Green‘s return from his indefinite suspension.

Payton was a plus-10, a team high at the time, in his 10 minutes.

“He relieves so much pressure for us, as far as guarding,” Klay Thompson said. “I’m sure we’re going to miss him, but we just want to be healthy.”

First appeared on www.espn.com

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