Warriors get DeMarcus Cousins back for Game 1 of NBA Finals | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Warriors get DeMarcus Cousins back for Game 1 of NBA Finals

In this Feb. 6, 2019, file photo, Golden State Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins celebrates a score against the San Antonio Spurs during an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif. Golden State coach Steve Kerr says Cousins is available for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Ben Margot, File
May 30, 2019 - 9:10 PM

TORONTO - DeMarcus Cousins got his first taste of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Playing for the first time in 6 1/2 weeks, Cousins logged eight minutes in Golden State's 118-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the title series. Cousins finished with three points and two assists.

Cousins had not been on the Warriors' active roster since tearing his left quadriceps muscle early in Game 2 of the Warriors' opening-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors originally thought Cousins' quad injury would be season-ending. He got hurt on April 15.

Cousins has been doing more on-court work leading up to Game 1, and the Warriors believe he's ready to contribute — even if he isn't fully recovered.

"I'm happy that he's back," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game. "But I feel badly for him. You want to be in the finals. You want to be in the best shape and on top of your game as you can possibly be. Life doesn't work that way. It's not always perfect."

Cousins said at finals media day Wednesday that he's anxious to get a feel for what the title series is all about.

"I believe this is the stage that every basketball player, as a kid growing up, dreams of," Cousins said. "To be here is a huge honour and it's an incredible feeling, so I'm extremely excited about it and it makes me that much more antsy to get on the floor and help my team. If that opportunity is presented to me, I plan on taking full advantage of it."

The comeback from the quad injury is just one in a series of comebacks over the last year for Cousins.

He ruptured his left Achilles in January 2018 and missed nearly a full year of NBA action. The injury dramatically reduced his asking price on the free-agent market last summer — instead of potentially being a max-contract player, the six-time All-Star signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Warriors.

It was a low-risk, high-reward move for Golden State. The Warriors were coming off two straight titles and got to add an elite talent for mid-level money.

Cousins appeared in 30 games during the regular season, working himself into shape for the playoffs. He got hurt while chasing a loose ball and taking an awkward fall in the second post-season game, and now will be working his way back into a rhythm for the Warriors — who are still without Kevin Durant while he recovers from a calf strain — during the finals.

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News from © The Associated Press, 2019
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