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Gary Payton II will be available tonight vs. Pelicans

Good news for the Warriors.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Per Steve Kerr, Gary Payton II will be available tonight vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. Payton was listed as questionable due to left Achilles soreness.

Payton made his return on the court for the Golden State Warriors last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and looked like he didn’t miss a beat. In addition to seeing reps on Anthony Edwards (and doing a pretty good job, per usual), Payton was a menace off the ball:

While also providing a glimpse of what he could be with Donte DiVincenzo as his defensive partner:

Offensively, Payton was his usual screen-setting small “big” man, while also thriving as a dunker-spot release valve:

Payton showed everyone why he belonged — as if he never left:

Payton’s presence will be crucial. The Warriors haven’t been exactly sharp on defense since the All-Star Break — not that they’ve been terrible, but they haven’t been championship level, either.

They’ll need all hands on deck.

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