Kevin Durant was back ... and then he was gone.
The Golden State Warriors megastar scored 11 points in his return to the Warriors in Game 5 before going down with a right Achilles tendon injury. The Warriors rallied to win in spite of Durant's exit, but it's extremely bad news for a team that now has to figure out how to win two more games without him and for a star whose 2019-20 season may have just been derailed.
Injuries are never fun for anyone, but they're especially painful when they happen in a title match -- there's a pervading sense of pointlessness if an entire season's worth of work and struggle gets nigh-invalidated with the finish line in sight. Regardless of how this series ends, Durant can take some solace in the fact that he's not the first player to suffer a devastating injury on his sport's biggest stage.
Breanna Stewart, 2019 EuroLeague Final Four championship
An unusual case of a player's injury in one league affecting her play in another, Breanna Stewart's Achilles tendon rupture while playing for Dynamo Kursk in Europe meant she's likely to miss the entirety of the Seattle Storm's 2019 season.
Lauren Cox, 2019 women's national championship
Baylor's star forward had to leave the game on a wheelchair after injuring her left leg in the third quarter of the women's NCAA tournament title game. She returned to the bench wearing a knee brace, and despite her absence, Baylor held on to beat Notre Dame 82-81.
Kyrie Irving, 2015 NBA Finals
The Cavaliers' first attempt at taking on the Warriors dynasty was derailed very quickly, with Kyrie Irving leaving with a fractured kneecap in overtime of Game 1. Cleveland still managed to take Golden State to six games, but the Cavs' incredible comeback story would have to wait until the next season. Fortunately, Kyrie came back strong in the 2015-16 season, even hitting an incredibly clutch shot in the Cavaliers' Game 7 win.
Anderson Silva, 2013 middleweight title fight
In his attempt to avenge his upset loss to Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in UFC history. Silva shattered his left fibula and tibia when Weidman blocked an attempted leg kick. Since then, Silva has fought six times, with only one legitimate win and another win overturned due to a positive drug test.
Ted Ginn Jr., 2007 BCS championship
This one's particularly painful, because it was so easily avoidable. Ted Ginn Jr. took the opening kickoff of the 2007 BCS title game 92 yards to the house. During the celebration, one of his teammates got a bit too excited and slid into his left foot. Ginn was out with a sprain, and the Buckeyes could only manage one more touchdown in a 41-14 rout by the Gators.
Willis McGahee, 2003 Fiesta Bowl
McGahee ended up having a solid NFL career, but that wasn't a sure thing in the fourth quarter of the 2003 national championship game, when a hit by Ohio State's Will Allen bent his knee backward and tore his ACL, MCL and PCL. The Hurricanes would go on to lose in double overtime.
Magic Johnson and Byron Scott, 1989 NBA Finals
This was a rare 1-2 injury punch. Byron Scott went out with a left hamstring injury before Game 1 even started, and Magic Johnson pulled his hamstring and left the series early in Game 2. The Pistons would go on to sweep the Lakers in a series of close games, and though Los Angeles would make (and lose) another Finals two years later, this might have marked the unofficial end of the Showtime era.
Tim Krumrie, Super Bowl XXIII, 1989
Pro Bowl nose tackle Tim Krumrie suffered a horrifying injury while playing for the Bengals against the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII. While he was trying to make a tackle, his left leg twisted on the turf, causing both his fibula and tibia to break. The Bengals would go on to lose 20-16, although Krumrie would recover and play for six more seasons.
Mickey Mantle, 1951 World Series
In Game 2 of the 1951 World Series, Yankees rookie Mickey Mantle tripped over an exposed drain pipe while trying to catch a fly ball off the bat of Willie Mays. Though the Yankees would win the series in six games, Mantle would play the rest of his Hall of Fame career with a torn ACL as a result of the injury.