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sport / / BANG: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies in blowout

o BANG: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies in blowoutAllen

BANG: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies in blowout


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies
in blowout
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2024 19:40:41 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 02:40 UTC

Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies in blowout
Behind efficient nights from their forwards, the Warriors blew out the
Grizzlies in the second half

>Golden State Warriors’ Jonathan Kuminga (00) makes a dunk against the
Memphis Grizzlies in the second quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in
San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay
Area News Group)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: March 20, 2024 at 9:26 p.m. | UPDATED: March 21, 2024 at 7:43

SAN FRANCISCO — After not leading for a single second against the Knicks
on Monday, the Warriors handled business.

A 22-0 run that wrapped around halftime — the franchise’s biggest run
since 2021 — surged the Warriors past the outmanned Grizzlies.

Jonathan Kuminga (26 points) and Andrew Wiggins (22 points) combined to
shoot 21-for-31 (68%) from the field. Klay Thompson added 23 and Chris
Paul notched a season-high 14 dimes off the bench as the Warriors
(36-32) fully controlled the second half in a 137-116 victory. The
blowout allowed veterans Steph Curry and Draymond Green to get off their
feet for much of the fourth quarter, which is a major win for two
players who have dealt with recent injuries.

As a team, Golden State tallied a season-high 43 assists while
committing only seven turnovers.

“The ball was moving beautifully,” Steve Kerr said postgame.

The Grizzlies — without Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Brandon Clarke and Luke
Kennard — launched 3 after 3 and crashed the offensive glass hard,
trying to muck up the game with shooting variance and physicality.

For a short-handed team with the worst offense in the league, they
needed to scrap however they could to generate offense.

It worked well enough for the Grizzlies to make the Warriors sweat in
the first half. So well, frustrations began to boil.

After Santi Aldama skied for an offensive rebound and scored inside over
Draymond Green, the Warriors center shoved him in the chest.

That chippiness went uncalled, but more extracurriculars ensued. Moments
later, after a Grizzlies timeout, Green walked toward Aldama by Memphis’
bench and was confronted by Desmond Bane, who’s built like an edge
rusher. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins hit the deck in the
kerfuffle, which ended with offsetting technicals on Green and Bane.

The Warriors knew Memphis would play hard. They didn’t know Aldama would
shoot the way he did. The 6-foot-11 stretch big came in at 34.2% from
deep but hit six of his first nine tries.

But the scrum Aldama partly incited seemed to kick Golden State into
gear. By being much more physical at the point of attack, closing out
hard to Aldama and getting their hands into passing lanes, the Warriors
broke the game open with that 22-0 run to bridge the end of the first
half and the third quarter.

Over that four-minute blitz, Wiggins got loose for a pair of transition
finishes, Aldama air-balled a 3 and Kuminga soared for two transition
slams. Kuminga has now scored at least 20 points in nine of his past 12
games and holds the franchise record in the play-by-play era for dunks
in a season.

“It’s the force that he played with tonight,” Kerr said. “I thought it
was maybe the best game I’ve ever seen him play. At both ends. He was
playing with intensity defensively, got deflections, he was guarding the
ball. But the way he played downhill, spreading the floor. He is so
fast. He’s electric. And he’s really learning to use that more often in
key times.”

Steph Curry also broke loose to crack the 300 3-pointer mark on the
season, which he has done five times in his illustrious career. There
are only two other such seasons.

At 38, Chris Paul’s still got it
Mailbag: Klay Thompson in Warriors starting 5? 49ers to trade Aiyuk?
Steph Curry isn’t running from a future in politics. What do experts
think of his chances?
Photos: Watch Steph and Ayesha Curry surprise Oakland Marathon runners
Warriors must reset expectations after home letdown against Knicks

Curry didn’t have to shoulder too heavy a load against the Grizzlies.
Kuminga and Wiggins slashed constantly, helping the Warriors outscore
Memphis 62-46 in the paint. Their force controlled a tension-less second
half; Curry and Green only needed to log 24 minutes.

Deploying Green almost exclusively at center allows the Warriors to play
Kuminga and Wiggins simultaneously. The pair of forwards have had to
figure out how to share the court together to optimize the team’s
athleticism. Golden State won the transition battle 20 to three in large
part due to their frontcourt pushing the pace off misses and turnovers.

The combination hasn’t always been pretty. But it was a winning formula

sport / / BANG: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins power Warriors past Grizzlies in blowout


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