DeMarcus Cousins felt good in his return during Game 1 on the NBA Finals.
Despite the Warriors’ 118-109 loss to the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena, Cousins said it was an “incredible feeling” to be out on the floor where he finished with two assists, two steals and three points in eight minutes.
“It felt good,” Cousins told reporters after the game. “It felt good to be a part of the energy tonight. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t take any of these moments for granted. To be out there on the floor tonight in this atmosphere was an incredible feeling. I’m extremely happy to be a part of it and I enjoyed the moment.”
The center entered the game at the start of the second quarter while Golden State was trailing Toronto 25-21, and he immediately contributed with an assist.
Before Thursday’s game, Cousins had not played since April 16 when he injured his left quad in Game 2 of the Warriors’ opening-round series against the Clippers when he fell down chasing a loose ball on a fast break.
“I’m healthy enough to play, it’s just a matter of when” – @boogiecousins
— E:60 (@E60) May 28, 2019
The Warriors could look for more minutes from Cousins as they wait for the return of injured Kevin Durant.
“I thought DeMarcus did a really nice job,” coach Steve Kerr said. “(He) made some great passes, we could run some offense through him. It’s so early in the process for him. He played eight minutes and I thought his minutes were good, but it’s a huge adjustment to play after a six-week, seven-week absence, especially at this level in the NBA Finals against a team that is pretty fast already.
“I thought he did really well and we’ll look at the tape, and we’ll see what we decide to do with his role going forward.”
Cousins, 28, signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Golden State in July and missed the team’s first 45 games as he continued to recovery from a torn Achilles.
He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will tip off at 8 p.m. ET Sunday in Toronto.