Jonathan Kuminga entered the game surprisingly late, making his debut with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter, despite not being in Coach Steve Kerr’s initial plans for the matchup against Portland. With a deep roster, Kerr faced challenges juggling minutes and had yet to anticipate Kuminga’s role.
Yet, the Golden State Warriors heavily relied on Kuminga’s dynamic play against the Trail Blazers’ youthful vigor. Overcoming a slow start, Stephen Curry contributed 31 points, while Kuminga’s energetic performance of 13 points proved crucial in the Warriors’ comeback victory of 110-106 on Wednesday night.
“I’m always prepared,” Kuminga affirmed.
Kuminga’s impactful dunk from a Draymond Green alley-oop with 1:03 left and his perfect six-field goal record highlighted his standout performance. His steal from Toumani Camara at 29 seconds, with the Warriors leading 105-104, set up a pivotal 3-pointer by Curry.
“JK was instrumental; his readiness was key,” Kerr acknowledged. “He wasn’t in the rotation due to the challenge of playing 10 guys. But tonight, we needed him against Portland’s youthful athleticism.”
Anfernee Simons led the Trail Blazers with 28 points, while Shaedon Sharpe contributed 26 points, six rebounds, and five assists, missing a crucial free throw with 1:18 remaining.
Despite the win, the Warriors struggled from long-range, hitting only 10 of 34 attempts, with five coming from Curry. Klay Thompson’s limited performance with 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting, including a 1-for-8 on 3s, didn’t deter the team. However, his layup at the 1:59 mark proved pivotal.
Golden State committed 17 turnovers, allowing Portland to capitalize with 23 points. The return of Andrew Wiggins and Chris Paul from injuries brought depth, with Paul missing two previous games due to a lower left leg nerve contusion, while Wiggins was sidelined for the same games against the Clippers due to right finger soreness.
Kuminga’s steal and lightning-fast dunk at 3:37 in the third narrowed the Warriors’ gap to 77-74. Dario Saric’s layup at 10:31 remaining in the game leveled the score at 86, followed by a 3-pointer at 9:26.
“Contributing like that, it’s our role as the young guys,” Kuminga expressed. “We’re here to energize and support our team.”
Camara’s 13 rebounds concluded the Blazers’ five-game road trip, marking their first clash against the Warriors this season. This matchup was added to the schedule after eliminating both teams from the In-Season Tournament.
Despite Green’s attempt for a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, he fell short with a 0-for-2 record from beyond the arc. Portland’s rookie Scoot Henderson acquired his third foul early in the initial quarter, facing the Warriors for the first time. Curry had previously mentored Henderson and his family before the NBA draft last spring.
The Warriors have clinched victory in their last three encounters and secured six consecutive wins against Portland when playing at home.
Kevon Looney’s 214th consecutive regular-season game tied him with Thompson for 10th place on the franchise’s list for successive appearances.