The box score for the Golden State Warriors' 112-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs will show that LaMarcus Aldridge didn't have his best shooting night, but the extenuating circumstances that caused this to happen don't show up in the box score.
The power forward dislocated his right pinkie finger in the first quarter when attempting a reverse layup which was blocked by Andrew Bogut.
This could've forced the big man to leave the game for good, especially as the Spurs don't have much to play for in the remaining games, but credit to Aldridge as he returned to the floor soon after Spurs trainer Will Sevening popped the finger back in place.
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As soon as the All-Star touched the ball upon his return, however, the finger popped out again and he was unable to get his shot going after that.
Aldridge ended up playing 29 minutes but finished the game with just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. Speaking after the game he said the entire situation was an unsavoury one and it certainly put him off his game as the Spurs once again suffered a heavy loss to the Warriors at the Oracle Arena.
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"It freaked me out," Aldridge said, via ESPN. "I never had it happen to me before. I looked down, and it was going the other direction. So it definitely caught me off guard, and kind of threw me off tonight. It didn't really feel right the whole night. Every time I shot, it just didn't feel natural out there. So I was just trying to play through it."
For those of you who can stomach it, here's an image of the finger in the opposite direction:
With one of San Antonio's best scorers on the bench getting treatment, the team struggled to put the ball in the basket going 2-11, and Golden State took full advantage racking up a 14-2 run on their way to an unassailable lead which they wouldn't relinquish.
With this freak injury, you would expect Aldridge to be shut down for the rest of the campaign to recover in time for the opening round of the playoffs, but coach Greg Popovich revealed post-game that he plans to play the same line-up when the two sides meet again on Sunday.
"When Golden State comes back to us, we'll play that game full because we're going to sit everybody in Denver," Popovich said. "We don't want to sit them two nights in a row going into the playoffs. That doesn't make much sense. No matter who we're playing tomorrow, we'd sit them; doesn't matter. So the opponent's not the thing. It's about minutes, time, age, all that stuff."
With a 39-0 record at home, Popovich may be keen for his team to become the first team in NBA history to go an entire regular season unbeaten at home though he'll never openly admit that. The Spurs have two more encounters at the AT&T Center, with the Oklahoma City Thunder to follow their clash with the Dubs.