The Golden State Warriors haven’t won back-to-back road games since their championship finishers over the Boston Celtics in last year’s NBA Finals. But on Wednesday night, they finally slashed their all season long slump when out of San Francisco as they trampled the Dallas Mavericks, 127-125.
Facing a fellow contending team that is pumped up by urgency to nail a postseason spot in the highly competitive Western Conference, the Dubs channelled their “Strength in Numbers” mantra, as six different Warriors scored double-digit marks. They also shot a highly efficient 55.6 percent collectively to overwhelm the Mavs to a nail-biting clash.
Within these significant numbers by Golden State, it was Jonathan Kuminga who contributed massively to help the club in taking down the Mavs, as he went off with 22 points, three boards and shot 9-for-11 from the field. At the defensive end, he also fulfilled his challenging assignment of containing superstar Luka Doncic, limiting him with game worsts 11-for-27 shooting and five turnovers.
Kuminga’s impressive two-way performance off the bench earned positive praise from coach Steve Kerr, who commended the high flying forward’s consistent showings recently.
“Probably the best five-game stretch of his career because the game looks like it is coming simpler for him and easier somehow,” Kerr said of Kuminga in postgame. “He’s more at ease with himself on the floor at both ends. It’s fun to watch. It’s hard for young guys to come into this league and pick up everything that’s being thrown at them, but he’s done that.
“Here we are near the end of his second year, and he’s just dramatically better than he was when he first arrived. Testament to him and his work ethic and his resilience in the face of a lot of adversity, a lot of difficult ups and downs.”
Kuminga has been showing flashes of promising talent in his last ten games for the Warriors, tallying 16.2 points, 4.6 boards, 1.2 steals and shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
After taking plenty of inactivity earlier this season, his performances and sudden emergence at this time can’t be more important given the fact that both Andrew Wiggins (personal reasons) and Gary Payton II (right adductor) are still taking their time being out of the team activities.
“He was huge. He was playing great, though. He’s been playing great for a while,” Draymond Green said of Kuminga. “[From] couple of months, few months, he’s turned the corner. Just for him to continue to build the confidence like he’s been doing.
“He’s great, He’s defending, using his god-given abilities and taking on that role. It’s huge, it helps us a lot.”
Golden State will be more looking forward to Kuminga’s showings as they are set to go home and duel the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.