I don't take any of this for granted - Cousins happy to contribute in Game 2
- Thrust into the starting line-up, DeMarcus Cousins was a key contributor for the victorious Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
DeMarcus Cousins reflected on an "incredible moment" after he played a key role in helping the Golden State Warriors draw level in the NBA Finals.
Having played just eight minutes off the bench on his return from injury in a losing cause in Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors, centre Cousins was named a starter by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Sunday.
The 28-year-old justified his elevation too, contributing 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists during his 28 minutes on the court.
Kerr praised Cousins for a "fantastic" performance after Golden State secured a 109-104 victory on the road, meaning the series stands at 1-1 as it moves to California.
"I've leaned on my whole team-mates throughout this whole process, but this was an incredible moment for me," Cousins told the media.
"I'm not satisfied and I'm looking forward to Game 3."
A four-time All-Star who signed with Golden State while still recovering from a serious Achilles injury, Cousins appeared in danger of missing out on the Finals after suffering a torn left quadriceps muscle on April 15.
However, having made it back in time to feature against Toronto, the former first-round pick is just happy to contribute to the team in any way possible.
"I told Steve [Kerr] coming into this [series] that whatever he needed off me, I was okay with it. If it was coming off the bench or starting, if it was playing eight minutes or 40, I'm cool with whatever," Cousins said in his post-game press conference.
"I'm going to come in and help the team with whatever is needed and when I step on the floor I'm going to leave it out there.
"This is what I've worked for my entire career, to be on this stage and have this opportunity to play for something.
"I don't take any of this for granted. I've seen how quick this game can be taken away from you, so every chance I get to go out there and play I'm going to leave it on the floor."