On Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors took on the Sacramento Kings in their first game of the playoffs. Unfortunately, things didn’t go their way, as the Kings got the last laugh. Sacramento took down Golden State in a game that came down to the wire.
The Warriors had a bunch of players put in solid shifts against Sacramento, including Andrew Wiggins, who made his long-awaited return to the court. After the game, head coach Steve Kerr sent a message on Wiggins and his performance against the Kings.
“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.”
In his first game back, Wiggins wasn’t a part of the starting lineup. Instead, the Warriors brought him off the bench, where he played 28:12. He finished the night with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, and four blocks on 7-of-16 shooting from the field. Unfortunately, he shot just 1-of-8 from behind the three-point line.
Before Saturday night, Wiggins had last appeared in a game on February 13. With just a few games remaining in the regular season, Wiggins returned to the team. However, the Warriors decided to hold him out until the playoffs, choosing instead to get him ramped up in practices.
While he wasn’t able to help his team get a win, Kerr was still clearly impressed with his performance. His stamina wilted as the game went on, but as he continues to get used to game speed, he’ll get back to normal.
Steve Kerr Praises Jonathan Kuminga
Meanwhile, ahead of the series, Kerr sent a message on Jonathan Kuminga, as the young forward has made major strides this season.
“I think he’s doing great, given that he started playing basketball late in his life, relatively speaking, and this is just his second year in the league playing on a championship team, with a lot of expectations,” Kerr said via the LetsGoWarriors YouTube channel. “That’s not easy. So, I think he’s handled everything really well. A lot of ups and downs. But the improvement has been consistent, and that’s the main thing. He continues to work, he continues to get better, and I think he’ll be dramatically better a couple of years from now. But where he is now, as somebody who can help us win, he’s an important part of our team.”
De’Aaron Fox Discusses Steph Curry & Warriors
Before the series, Kings star De’Aaron Fox spoke about the team’s plan on how to guard Golden State’s stars, noting that they want to play physical.
“How we guard them will be key,” Fox said via the Kings’ official YouTube channel. “How physical we are with them will be key. Obviously we want to try to limit their freedom of movement. Just because how much they move, especially guys like Klay [Thompson], Jordan [Poole], and Steph [Curry]. You just want to be able to try and control them. You can’t let them dictate the way that they want to play.”