'Different mindset' Mikal Bridges returned from dislocated right pinky finger in Suns-Warriors showdown rematch

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Dec 3, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) dribbles the ball away from Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) in the first quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) dribbles the ball away from Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) in the first quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO — Deandre Ayton didn't think his draft classmate and Suns teammate was going to come back from it.

Then Mikal Bridges reappeared on the bench ready to check back in after dislocating the pinky finger on his right shooting hand in Friday's 118-96 loss to Golden State at Chase Center.

"I seen the look on his face," Ayton said. "I'm not too sure what happened. Still lost on what happened, but I know for fact that dude, him coming back and then guarding the best player in the world (Stephen Curry), that's something different. That's a different kind of mindset."

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives against Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu).
Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives against Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu).

Bridges hit the floor after a collision with Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson in the first quarter and braced his fall by extending his hands out.

Bridges grabbed at his shooting hand and eventually left the game with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

"I just told him I was so proud of the sacrifice for the team and I was so grateful that he didn't break it," Suns coach Monty Williams said. "The look on his face, it looked like he broke it. My heart just sunk not because he was hurt, but because of what he means to our team. What he means to me and how hard he works and for him to come back and basically play with one hand, basically says a lot about who we are as a ball club. Just grateful it wasn't worse."

After getting treatment on it, Bridges returned with his right finger taped up with 5:10 left in first half. He went to the break with four points on 1-of-3 shooting.

Bridges took one more shot from the field in the second half that he made, a 3, in finishing the night with seven points. He was hardly a threat offensively as Suns' leading scorer Devin Booker sat a second straight game with a strained left hamstring, but battled through a painful injury.

"Man, a lot of grit," Suns All-Star Chris Paul said. "When I saw him hurt his hand, I was like, 'damn.' Not even for our team, but for him. Definitely didn't expect to see him come back. Shows you what he's made of."

In his fourth NBA season, Bridges has never missed a game.

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 'Different mindset' Mikal Bridges returned from dislocated right pinky finger in Suns-Warriors rematch