Warriors 95, Kings 77: Shaun Livingston makes surprise return in season opener

SACRAMENTO – Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston surprisingly didn’t miss the start of the season Wednesday after his recovery from toe surgery cost him weeks of training camp and the entire preseason.

Shortly before the season opener that the Warriors went on to win 95-77, coach Steve Kerr approached Livingston about the possibility of playing since they were short-handed with David Lee and Brandon Rush sidelined.

“I was ready,” Livingston said, noting he’s been ready for a week now.

Livingston played four minutes after sing his status change from out to doubtful to questionable leading up to the game. The early return of Golden State’s top offseason signing could be crucial as the team looks to solidify the reserve point guard role that was a weakness last season. Kerr has experimented with Andre Iguodala as a point-forward in Livingston’s absence.

Stephen Curry hadn’t even realized Livingston would be able to play.

“I’m sure it’s just big for him to get a feel for our system and a new environment and what his role’s going to be, and it’s going to huge off the bench coming in and running our second unit along with Andre (Iguodala) and (Leandro) Barbosa,” Curry said.

“I know how great of a player he is and how big a part he’s going to have in our long-term success with the lineups we can throw out there and what have you. For him to be able to get in Game 1 to kind of insert himself into a lineup and not miss too much time is huge because you want to kind of establish an expectation of how everybody’s going to play.”

Diamond Leung