Andrew Bogut avoids setback and contributes in road win

USA TODAY Sports

It came as a surprise that the Warriors' big man came back this early, but the fact that he was instrumental in the team's 114-102 win on the road was almost shocking.

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut returned from injury on Monday night to contribute in a much greater capacity than anyone could have imagined.

For more on this story, visit Golden State of Mind

The former No. 1 overall pick scored 12 points and added eight rebounds and was a key component of Golden State's 114-102 win on the road against the Toronto Raptors. More important than his offense, however, was his presence on the defensive end, particularly in the paint. He collected four blocked shots and repeatedly made things difficult for the Raptors to find easy buckets in the restricted area.

Toronto scored just 34 points in the paint, while the Warriors pounded the ball inside, scoring 62. Bogut started the game after missing more than two months with an ankle injury. The Warriors were being extremely cautious and non-committal on his status as questions continued to arise about where he was in terms of recovery.

Apparently, he was much further along than anyone would let on, as he recently described himself as injury prone.

The Warriors have surged to a 27-17 record this season, largely without the help of Bogut. Given the team's success without him in the lineup coupled with the tangible defensive skills he brings to the table, there's a lot to be excited about in the Bay Area.

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