Warriors

Warriors

The Warriors' 116-94 victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals was in hand with still several minutes remaining in the final quarter, giving head coach Steve Kerr an opportunity to play someone who had been waiting a very long time to get back out on the court.

With Golden State leading 111-94 with 1:42 left in the fourth frame, Damian Jones checked into a game for the first time since Dec. 1.

Jones was cleared for contact last week, prompting the final stage of his recovery from a torn pectoral muscle. He participated in some 3-on-3 games over the weekend, and sure enough, got a chance to appear in a Warriors' playoff victory Tuesday night.

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In his limited playing time, Jones scored three points, made the only field goal he attempted and hauled in a rebound.

Jones' return to game action can only deepen Golden State's playoff rotation, but more than anything, it was a tremendous development for a player who has endured more than his fair share of poor injury luck throughout his young career.