Gary Payton II, Auto Porter Jr. and Andre Igudala – who are each dealing with a variety of injuries – were fully involved in the practice of the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
The Western Conference champions will host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, so gaining extra strength on the bench could be a positive development for Steve Kerr.
“Gary, Andre and Otto all took part in the exercise today,” Kerr told reporters Tuesday. “We didn’t do a live scrimmage, but we did scout-teamwork, half-court offenses and defense… it was definitely work that was ramped up. Looks like everyone got through it well, but we’ll learn more tomorrow and then we’ll have another practice tomorrow. “
Payton, 29, has been out since the conference semifinals when he injured his left elbow against Memphis Grizzlies. Payton told reporters Tuesday that he was “beginning to feel normal” but that he was “not me yet.” Kerr said Payton recently expanded its shooting range.
“It’s a part of what he will do tomorrow to determine if he can play,” Kerr said of Payton.
According to a report from the stadium on Tuesday, Payton will make a game-time decision for Game 1 of the final. Payton has led Steele’s team this season, averaging 1.4 per game.
On Friday, the 29-year-old Porter missed three matches in the last two rounds with leg pain. Igudala did not play in Game 4 of the first round due to chronic neck problems.
Porter was the Warriors’ sixth-leading scorer and third-best rebounder this season, averaging 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. A former final MVP, Iguodala is the team’s oldest fighter at 38 years old.
Also on Tuesday, Payton was nominated as the winner of the new Bob Lanier Community Assistance Award “for his ongoing support of troubled youth and learning disabilities,” the NBA said.
Game 1 of the NBA Final Tips at 9pm EST on Thursday.
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