It’s been 38 games since Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut heard his name announced in the starting lineup. After nursing an ankle injury since November 7, Bogut made a triumphant return in a 114-102 win against the Toronto Raptors Monday night at the Air Canada Centre, recording 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
"It's been a long season so far, a frustrating season both mentally and physically,” said Bogut. “Just to be out there running up and down the court again, especially getting the win is very satisfying."
In order to get the 7-foot center re-acclimated to the rigors of NBA basketball, his minutes were limited to 23. Nonetheless, on his first basket, Bogut looked like he never missed a beat—on his first touch, he drove baseline, took a few dribbles in the paint and floated a left hand hook over Raptors center Aaron Gray.
Bogut’s performance capped off a good night for the Warriors’ bigs. All-Star reserve David Lee had 21 points, 12 rebounds and Carl Landry provided 12 points and five rebounds off the bench. The now-healthy Warriors frontcourt had a lot to do with Golden State outscoring Toronto 62-34 in the paint.
"He was great, you can tell we're a different basketball team with him on the floor,” said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. “It's great to have him, makes me a better coach. He makes guys better and completes us as a team."
Unfortunately, an eye for an eye and an ankle for an ankle—Warriors point guard Stephen Curry suffered a twisted right ankle at the five-minute mark of the third quarter after stepping on Gray’s foot. Curry finished the game with 17 points in 26 minutes.
It’s Curry’s second ankle sprain this month after having that same ankle surgically repaired last April. Curry’s status for the Warriors’ upcoming game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday is not yet known.