Gary Payton II

GP2 sustains hamstring injury in Warriors' win vs. Magic

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Playing in just his second game back after missing a month with a right calf injury, Gary Payton II was hurt again in the Warriors' 121-115 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at Chase Center.

This time, it’s Payton’s left hamstring that forced him out of the game.

Payton was defending down low underneath the Orlando basket when he appeared to get hurt. He grimaced and ripped off his headband then threw it into the crowd as he walked into the locker room.

“I feel bad for him more than anything,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I feel bad for us, too, but mainly for him. Worked hard to get back to this point. He makes such a big impact for us.

“Fingers crossed that he’s not out too long.”

Before getting injured, Payton was a plus-10 with two points and four rebounds. After the game, he shared an ominous post on social media. Payton's teammate Chris Paul was hopeful the injury isn't serious, and explained what the star defender means to the Warriors after Tuesday's win.

"It’s tough," Paul said. "He’s such a big part of our team. People may not realize it but his energy is consistent, every day, every practice, every game. Him coming back to our team has been huge for us. I hope what it is isn’t something that’s going to take a long time. For him, it’s going to be about just getting as healthy as possible.

"He’s a competitor, I know how bad he wants to play and how hard he’s been working to get back out there. We’ll see what happens but that’s unfortunate for a guy like GP who works as hard as he does."

Any extended absence will be a big blow to the Warriors, who were counting on Payton to inject life into a defense that has had all sorts of problems this season.

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