Dub Nation fan favourite Gary Payton – II received a heartwarming standing ovation as he returned after recovering from a fractured elbow. In his first full season with the Golden State Warriors, the 29-year-old wing has quickly become an important piece on both ends of the court.
Hence his absence was certainly felt in the last 11 games as he has not played since Game 2 of the second-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Shortly after entering the game, Payton hit a big 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining on the clock. He ended this fixture against the Boston Celtics after scoring seven points while going perfect from the field in his 25 minutes.
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Gary Payton II got a standing O after making his Finals debut 🙌
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 6, 2022
With great performances from Steph Curry and Jordan Poole, the Dubs won Game 2 of the finals 107-88. But the Warriors took the game away from Boston in the third quarter where they took a 35-14 lead. Addressing this performance, GSW coach Steve Kerr praised Steph Curry and the team for dominating the game after losing the first match. He said “Yeah, Steph was breathtaking in that quarter. Not just the shot-making but the defensive effort. He just doesn’t get enough credit for his level of conditioning, physicality and defence.”
“People go at him to try to wear him down because they know how important he is to us offensively, and it’s pretty dramatic the difference in Steph’s strength and physicality in his body now than from eight years ago when I first got here. So the guy’s amazing. He just keeps working on his game, his strength, his conditioning year after year, and it’s a pleasure to watch him play every night”, Kerr added.