Gary Payton II

GP2 ruled out of Warriors-Kings NBA Play-In Tournament clash

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The Warriors' path to a first-round playoff series will continue without a key player.

Gary Payton II will miss Tuesday's win-or-go-home NBA Play-In Tournament matchup with the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center, Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed to reporters Monday. And if Golden State defeats Sacramento and advances to its second play-in game against the loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 seed game, Payton will miss that game, too.

Payton missed the final three games of the 2023-24 NBA regular season due to a calf injury.

The winner of Tuesday's play-in game will face the loser of the Los Angeles Lakers-New Orleans Pelicans game for one final shot at the playoffs on Friday.

Kerr said if the Warriors still are alive past Friday, Payton will be re-evaluated over the weekend.

"If we advance, we're hopeful he would be able to play in the first round," Kerr said.

Payton played in just 44 games this season, averaging 5.5 points on 56.3 percent shooting, with 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists. His impact, however, goes beyond a stat sheet, as his defensive prowess and high-flying athleticism certainly will be missed for the Warriors this week.

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