In just his second game back after missing 13 games with a calf issue, Gary Payton II had to leave the Warriors game against the Magic Tuesday night with a hamstring strain.
The incident happened in the third quarter, as Payton was pressuring full court, saw a screen coming and tried to adjust then went down to the ground in pain grabbing his hamstring.
Gary Payton II went to the locker room after getting shaken up on this play pic.twitter.com/Rkaji9hYeL
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 3, 2024
The Warriors called timeout, Payton limped back to the locker room, and soon it was announced he was done for the night.
Coach Steve Kerr did not have an update on Payton II’s condition postgame but hoped he would not be out too long. It may be reading the tea leaves, but Payton’s post on X (formerly Twitter) after the game did not seem optimistic.
Payton, primarily a defensive specialist off the bench, is averaging 5.7 points a game this season when he does get on the court. Payton is making $8.7 million this season with a player option for $9.1 million next season.
The Warriors went on to beat the Magic 121-115 behind 36 from Stephen Curry, who started slow but finished 12-of-20 from the field. Jonathan Kuminga added 19. The Magic were led by Paolo Banchero (27) and Franz Wagner (25).