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After missing the previous two rounds with a fractured left elbow that was suffered in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Gary Payton II appeared in his first game since that injury, and it came in the NBA Finals. The versatile guard played 25 minutes, and was a +15. Knocking down a corner three and battling for extra possessions, GP2 did exactly what he does best, which is a little bit of everything.

After the game, Payton said, "I feel normal, back to myself. I'm not worried about the elbow." He said he was able to get a lot of work in while injured, including some extensive shooting drills as he neared a return. "I was itching to get out there, I was in the tunnel just walking back and forth and pacing, waiting for coach to call me... After I got on the floor I kinda calmed down."

Payton's father, NBA legend Gary Payton Sr., declared on Friday that his son was ready to contribute. "If he’s available, I think you should use him," Payton Sr. said. "Use him. You only got seven games, now you only got six... So I mean use him, shit you only got six more games, what are you saving him for? Just use him. How would you know if he’s gonna be effective for you if you don’t use him? So just use him and see what happens."

Steve Kerr admitted he was not comfortable playing GP2 in Game 1, but after a couple of good practices, Kerr gained the necessary confidence to use his versatile guard in this crucial Game 2. The decision proved to be a good one, as GP2 has now likely solidified more minutes from this point on.

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