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sport / / NBCSBA: JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite loss

o NBCSBA: JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite lossRobin Miller

NBCSBA: JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite loss


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From: robin.mi...@invalid.invalid (Robin Miller)
Subject: NBCSBA: JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite loss
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2024 20:58:07 -0400
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 by: Robin Miller - Mon, 11 Mar 2024 00:58 UTC

JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite loss

By Michael Wagaman

• Published March 9, 2024

The Warriors have been searching for a consistent scorer to complement
Stephen Curry for most of the 2023-24 NBA season. Jonathan Kuminga is
starting to look like he might be that guy.

In a game where just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong,
Kuminga provided one of the few bright spots for the Warriors during
Saturday’s 126-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center.

Kuminga shook off a slow first half and provided Golden State with a few
bright spots during an otherwise ugly game. He sank eight of 11 shots in
the second half and finished with 26 points.

As always, Kuminga did his best work inside the key, where he has been
pretty dominant all season. He didn’t have many of his patent thunderous
drives down the lane, but he mostly was effective on a night when not
many Warriors were.

Unfortunately for Golden State, it wasn’t nearly enough -- even against
the worst team in the Western Conference missing its top two scorers.

The Warriors dug themselves a hole they couldn’t get out of.

“We let up a little bit starting the game,” Kuminga told reporters at
Chase Center. “It was tough to get back. The second half we tried to do
our best to get back in the game, but it was a little bit late.”

Kuminga’s night was far from perfect. He had two of the team’s 12
turnovers and committed a pair of fouls over the final seven minutes of
the fourth quarter.

Still, his overall game was solid. It was the fifth time in Kuminga’s
last seven games that he has dropped at least 20 points on an opponent.
He has done that 18 times in the 62 games he has played in during the
2023-24 season.

And it came on the heels of two very productive games that showcased
just how good Kuminga can be. He had 20 points, four rebounds, two
assists, two steals and three blocks in a dominant win over the
Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, then followed that up with 19 points and
10 rebounds in the loss to the Chicago Bulls a day later.

As they try to make a push for better positioning in the West, the
Warriors absolutely need more games like this out of the big guy.

Beginning with an 11-for-11 performance against the Atlanta Hawks on
Jan. 24, Kuminga has been shooting at a very effective rate. Including
his 10-for-17 outing against the Spurs, the 21-year-old is connecting at
an efficient 55.3-percent clip (177 for 320).

“Jon was great tonight at the rim,” Klay Thompson said. “Hopefully he
takes that same approach when we see them on Monday.”

Kuminga did all of his scoring against the Spurs inside the key, which
is nothing new. But without Stephen Curry on the floor, the Warriors had
spacing issues.

Kuminga, who usually is quick to attack when he finds an open lane
created by Curry, didn’t have many of those kind of opportunities with
the star guard sidelined and instead settled for short shots near the rim.

That made it extremely difficult for the Warriors and Kuminga to get
much going consistently.

Kuminga, however, wasn’t ready to latch onto the excuse of everything
falling apart because Curry didn’t play. The Warriors, he insisted, have
to be able to overcome pitfalls like that.

“I feel like we have a great team to compete against anybody,” Kuminga
said. “Of course we’re going to feel Steph’s absence, but [that] can’t
be a reason, because Steph’s not playing is why we’re losing. Obviously
he comes in and changes the game, but just because we’re missing him
don’t mean we have to go out there and lose.”

Curry isn’t going to play when the two teams go at it again Monday in
San Antonio, so they’ll likely face some of the same defenses and
hurdles that the Spurs threw at them at Chase Center.

But as long as Kuminga keeps playing the way he’s been, the Warriors
should have a chance to get things turned around quickly.

They have to because they have no other choice.

sport / / NBCSBA: JK proving to be consistent scorer for Warriors despite loss


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