NBA: Warriors rule Iguodala out for Finals opener

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Injured forward Andre Iguodala is out for a fifth consecutive playoff game with a leg injury, the Golden State Warriors announced on the eve of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Iguodala will not play Thursday when the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meet in the first game of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

According to the Warriors, Iguodala was evaluated this week and is making progress.

“However, the pain that accompanies the bone bruise persists, as does the inflammation of the nerve surrounding the left knee,” the team said Wednesday in a statement, adding Iguodala would be “re-evaluated again before Game 2.”

Head coach Steve Kerr said the injury, originally described as a bone bruise, had no defined timetable for recovery and is typically a matter of an individual’s pain threshold.

Iguodala was missing for the final four games of the Western Conference finals as the Warriors outlasted the Houston Rockets on Monday night in the finale of a seven-game series.

“He’s frustrated,” Kerr said Wednesday. “His body has not responded at this point.”

Without Iguodala, the Warriors are squeezing more minutes out of Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney. Bell, in particular, is helping the Warriors defensively and bringing energy at both ends of the court, Kerr said Monday.

“We’re thrilled with the way he’s played,” Kerr said.

Iguodala received a second opinion on the injury, which the Warriors are now classifying as a lateral (left) leg contusion. He was injured in Game 3 of the series with the Rockets when he bumped knees with Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

The MVP of the 2015 Finals, Iguodala and Klay Thompson shared the responsibility of defending LeBron James in the 2017 meeting between the teams. Golden State won the series last summer four games to one.

According to ESPN, Iguodala is actively seeking any remedy to the knee discomfort.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)

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