Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala entered midway through the first quarter Wednesday night for his debut in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against Cleveland and made his one lone shot.
Iguodala then went to the locker room with less than a minute left in the the first half. He has a right leg contusion, according to the Warriors, but he returned to play late in the third quarter.
Iguodala’s missed the past six games with a bone bruise around his left knee.
“Andre helps us in every regard,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s one of the smartest players in the league.”
The Warriors lead the series 2-0 over Cleveland despite being without the services of Iguodala, who was the 2015 Finals MVP.
Iguodala has averaged 11.4 points in 18 past finals games — including a 20-point showing for Golden State in last year’s title clincher against the Cavaliers. He had been starting for Golden State in these playoffs, part of what is known as the Warriors’ “Hamptons 5” lineup in a nod to the four players who went on the recruiting trip to lure Kevin Durant to their team two summers ago.
Iguodala is averaging 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in this postseason.
“We talk about his versatility all the time,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “We talk about the ways that he can fill holes defensively and offensively for us, especially against teams that we have such familiarity with. He’s such a high-IQ type of guy that he’ll most likely find himself in the right place at the right time and help our rotation get back to what we’re consistently used to.
“Just for him, just as a person, to be healthy and be able to play in The Finals now that we’re here, I think that would mean a lot to him and give us an emotional boost as well.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.