OAKLAND -- Veteran forward Andre Iguodala will start in place of Kevin Durant Wednesday night when the Warriors face the Timberwolves at Oracle Arena.
Coach Steve Kerr made the announcement during his pregame news conference.
“Defensively, I like the matchup,” Kerr said. “I like Andre’s ability to give us tough defense against a really good wing combination that we’re facing. And it’s just gut instinct. Give him a start, change it up little bit.”
Durant will miss the game with a bruised left thigh.
Minnesota starts 6-foot-8 Andre Wiggins at small forward and 6-8 Jimmy Butler at shooting guard. Klay Thompson and Iguodala, the Warriors’ top wing defenders, will be assigned to Butler and Wiggins.
A finalist for Sixth Man of the Year last season, Iguodala is averaging 4.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists over 26 minutes per game. His 8.5 assist-to-turnover ratio is the best in the NBA.
This is Iguodala’s first start of the season and only his second regular-season start since 2014. Normally the first player off the Warriors bench, Iguodala last started a regular-season game Jan. 2, 2016 against the Nuggets.
Durant’s injury is not serious, Kerr added, saying the 6-9 small forward would be on the court if this were a playoff game.
"We’re going to miss him, at both ends,” Kerr said.
“It makes perfect sense to give him tonight off. We’ve got a couple more nights before our next game. He should be fine, I would think, by then. Those quad bruises are painful and not something you really want to mess around with. So we’re going to be cautious about it and get it right.”