What we learned as a complete team effort drives the Warriors win over Spurs

By | March 12, 2024

What we learned as a complete team effort fuels Warriors’ win over Spurs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN ANTONIO – Jonathan Kuminga scored seven of his 22 points during a crucial game-changing sequence in the second half, and the Warriors won for the first time in five games this season while playing without star Stephen Curry and the San Antonio Spurs with 112 defeated. 102 on Monday at Frost Bank Center.

Klay Thompson, back in the starting lineup, added 21 points with four 3-pointers, including his 200e of the 2023-2024 NBA season. It’s the ninth time Thompson has reached that milestone, the second time in NBA history behind three-point king Curry, who has done it 11 times.

Chris Paul scored 19 points and had eight assists and nine rebounds to help Golden State snap its two-game losing streak. Andrew Wiggins, also back in the starting rotation, had a solid night with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

Trayce-Jackson Davis had a season-high 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and made the play of the night when he dove over Spurs star and No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama and was fouled late in the fourth quarter.

Brandin Podziemski scored 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists to finish with a plus-17.

After a slow first quarter that was largely in the hands of the Spurs, the Warriors looked nothing like the team that slept and clawed its way to a 126-113 loss to the same team two nights earlier.

Still, it took until the third quarter for Golden State to take command.

Trailing 68-58 in the second half, the Warriors went on a 30-6 run to turn the momentum in their favor. Kuminga led the wave, but received plenty of help. Paul dished out six of his assists during the run, while Jackson-Davis scored six points and had a pair of dunks.

The Warriors (34-30) moved within half a game of the Los Angeles Lakers to ninth place in the Western Conference.

Curry sat out a second straight game with a right ankle injury. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday, but coach Steve Kerr said after the game that he does not expect the Warriors star to play in Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks in Dallas.

These are the conclusions from Monday’s match:

Get Wiggy there

Back in the starting lineup after a lackluster game off the bench when the two teams played Saturday at Chase Center, Wiggins looked very much like the key player the Warriors believe he can be.

Wiggs made four of his first five shots and played with much more energy and aggression than he showed two nights earlier. He got a key putback on a Podziemski miss and then scored an open 3-pointer in the third quarter as the Warriors took a double-digit lead.

That all came while Wiggins spent part of the game defending Wembanyama, a job shared by several Golden State players. Wembanyama had a double-double, but needed 25 shots to do so.

Wiggins just seemed more comfortable overall, an encouraging sign as the Warriors look to improve their NBA playoff position.

On the defense

The Warriors ramped up their defensive intensity in the second and third quarters, which helped them keep the game from getting out of hand until the offense got going.

After the Spurs were able to operate relatively freely early — San Antonio scored 37 points while shooting nearly 63 percent in the first quarter — Golden State tightened things up considerably in the second quarter.

The Warriors blocked many of the open looks they allowed in the first twelve minutes, preventing the Spurs from making any big runs.

Golden State allowed just 23 points in the second quarter and just 18 in the third. San Antonio couldn’t recover after that.

Kuminga’s dilemma

Although he was a bit reckless at times, Kuminga was much more aggressive offensively than during Saturday’s loss. Some of that was due to another lineup change that allowed JK to slide back into his more natural power forward slot.

A perfect example of his aggressiveness came when Kuminga went coast-to-coast for a thunderous dunk in the first quarter.

Kuminga is at his best when he attacks and drives, but when he does that he needs to have more control. He had a shot blocked at the rim, lost possession in the key on another drive, and was later called for an offensive foul when he drove and tried to kick the ball to Thompson in the corner.

Another issue is that Kuminga wants to show that he can be an all-round scorer with a capable outside shot. That sometimes leads to him settling for jumpers instead of going to the high bar.

He had some success with that in the rematch against the Spurs, but there aren’t many defenders in the NBA who can shut down Kuminga if he decides to attack.

If he can develop a steady outside shot, so much the better. But the Warriors want him to focus more on his inside game.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *