Andre Iguodala returns from injury, plays well in crunch time for Golden State

With the Golden State Warriors leading by a point and 1:37 remaining in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala elevated, his eyes centered on Cleveland Cavaliers defender Tristan Thompson.

Iguodala, who missed the previous six games with a bone bruise in his left knee, did not look 100 percent Wednesday night. He even suffered a right leg injury before halftime, forcing him to go to the locker room early. But that did not prevent him from making an impact in the Warriors’ 110-102 win.

Nor did it prevent him from completing the right-handed slam on top of Thompson.

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala defends LeBron James in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo)
Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala defends LeBron James in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo)

“He’s not like most players in terms of needing rhythm and needing minutes to get his conditioning back,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “He just never gets tired.”

Iguodala played 22 minutes in his first game back, the fifth-most among all Warriors. He tallied eight points in that span, grabbed two rebounds and recorded a plus-14 night. Not to mention, he also guarded LeBron James.

As was the case in Game 2, JaVale McGee completed the Warriors’ starting five – not Iguodala, who came off the bench. The two-time NBA champion and 2015 NBA Finals MVP entered the game nearly six minutes into the first quarter.

Iguodala’s first points came on a dunk a minute into his action, and he played until the end of the first quarter. With 57.9 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Iguodala exited with a contusion on his right leg.

Fortunately, for Golden State, he played through it.

After checking in with three minutes at the end of the third quarter, Iguodala returned to the scorer’s table with 7:34 to play. He remained on the floor for the rest of the game, bringing what Kevin Durant said postgame was a leadership that is hard to match.

That includes the dunk late in the fourth quarter, a dunk that helped seal the Warriors’ Game 3 victory.

“Having Andre out there gave KD a little bit of a rest, gave Draymond a little bit of a rest and Klay,” Kerr said, “so I think we were able to stay fresher over the course of the game with Andre back.”

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