Andrew Wiggins made his long awaited return to the Golden State Warriors‘ rotation on Saturday night, in the team’s Game 1 defeat against the Sacramento Kings. Wiggins logged 28 minutes off the bench, scoring 17 points, blocking 4 shots, and grabbing 3 rebounds in the losing effort.
Following Golden State’s 126-123 loss at Golden 1 Center, the Canadian wing discussed what it was like to play in his first game since February 13.
“I felt good, I felt good. I feel like I made some good plays early. Second half, I didn’t make as many shots, but still competed,” Wiggins said via NBC Sports Bay Area.
Wiggins was asked if he approached his first ever game as a reserve any differently than the rest as a starter.
“I approached it the same way, didn’t really switch nothing up because I haven’t came off of the bench before,” he replied. “But, I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do and then when I go out there and step on the floor I compete.”
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Wiggins’ potential-go-ahead 3-point attempt was off the mark in the closing seconds, allowing the Kings to secure their first playoff win since 2006. The 28-year-old told reporters that the shot felt amazing coming off of his hand.
“That last one felt amazing, it did. Didn’t go in though. It’s only up from here. I know I’ll make my shots. I mean I’m here to compete. I believe in myself and what I can do. You know, I missed that shot tonight, but I know the next one’s going in.”
Steve Kerr on Andrew Wiggins’ Warriors Return: ‘Wiggs Was Great’
“Wiggs was great,” Kerr said via 95.7 The Game. “So awesome to have him back… First half he was amazing. Second half he wore down a bit but that was expected.”
Kings’ DeAaron Fox Discusses Guarding Warriors’ Stephen Curry
The Warriors ultimately weren’t able to overcome a strong playoff-debut from Kings guard DeAaron Fox, who poured in a game-high 38 points in the opener.
“Did you all see that clip with JR Smith talking about Delly guarding Steph? That sh— real,” Fox said, laughing, via the Sacramento Kings official YouTube channel. “It’s real. I mean honestly I didn’t guard Steph the entire game, but most of the first quarter, most of the fourth quarter I guarded him. Yeah, that clip is real. Obviously, my team wants me to do things offensively. Mike [Brown] talked about it as soon as he got here, he’s not worried about what I can do offensively. He wants to see me be better defensively. And that’s something I want to take the challenge of doing. I think we’ve all seen it in spurts, but I want to do it throughout the course of a game. Playing 40 minutes and scoring 38 points is cool, but just trying to be as disruptive as possible while guarding the best player to ever shoot a basketball, not just off the catch but off the dribble. Guy’s probably one of the craftiest players to ever touch the ball. Just being able to be try and be disruptive for me is the biggest step and I think that’s kind of something that… I want to prove to myself that I can go out there and just try to hound some of the best guards in the league.”
Curry still put together a solid showing for Golden State. He scored 30 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished 2 assists in Saturday’s defeat in Sacramento.