What we learned as Splash Brothers lead Dubs past Raptors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay area
SAN FRANCISCO – Entering the game Friday night against the Raptors, the Warriors had a 2-8 record in the 10 games when opponents scored 35 or more points in the first quarter.
They are now 3-8 after allowing Toronto to ring up 41 and still finding a way to victory.
The Warriors’ 129-117 win before a sellout crowd at Chase Center was a matter of doing just enough at just the right times, intelligent ball movement – and getting a remarkable performance from Stephen Curry.
Curry scored a game-high 35 points and recorded 11 assists, while Klay Thompson poured in 29 points and Donte DiVincenzo produced 12 points and 11 assists.
Here are three observations from a victory that lifts the Warriors (25-24) above .500 for the eighth time this season:
Kuminga burns Raptors from deep
One day after sitting at the interview room claiming that, among other things, he can make 3-point shots, Kuminga went out and proved it.
With the Raptors playing off him, practically daring him to fire from distance, Kuminga made four – two from the right corner, one from the left corner and another from near to the top of the arc.
His fourth triple, from the left corner, came with 2.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter. That it fairly ended the quarter and was his third in a row over a roughly two-minutes span brought the crowd to its feet.
As impressive as the accuracy was for someone shooting 28.8 percent from deep this season, Kuminga’s sense of timing was just as impeccable. He launched when it was the smart move, and he passed when that was right move.
Kuminga finished with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep. His shot of him clearly is improving, and the Warriors are at least as delighted to see that his feel of him for the game and the moment have come a long way.
Excellent work from Donte
DiVincenzo was the first player off the bench for the Warriors and he needed only eight seconds to make an impact.
A 3-pointer, drained. Followed by layup two minutes later, and a steal 14 seconds after that, leading to a transition layup for Curry.
Instant impact be your description.
DiVincenzo’s biggest shot might have been his 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Warriors an 11-point lead (125-114) with 1:43 remaining, effective putting the game out of Toronto’s reach.
DiVincenzo’s 12 points on came on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He added a season-high 11 assists – with one turnover – two rebounds and two steals to finish plus-24 over 33 minutes.
In his spare time, DiVincenzo made sure to harass anyone wearing a Raptors jersey.
This is the kind of performance that further solidifies DiVincenzo’s place on the team’s pecking order. He’s reliable on defense and offense and he is excelling at playing the way the Warriors wish to play.
There was, after all, a reason he was in the finishing lineup.
Not one look for Wiseman
When Kevon Looney picked up three fouls in before the game was eight minutes old, he went to the bench and was replaced by Ja Mychal Green.
When Looney was whistled for his fourth foul with 3:05 left in the first half, he was immediately subbed out. And replaced, once again, by Green.
All while James Wiseman was seated on the Golden State bench wearing sweats and looking as if he was eager for an opportunity.
Toronto’s collection of rangy athletes, several of whom enjoy soaring above the rim, would seem to provide an opportunity made for the Warriors’ rangiest and most athletic big man. If only for trials. A few minutes. Nope.
RELATED: Why Kerr “feels bad” for Wiseman amid turbulent NBA career
Wiseman last played on Dec. 28. He was injured (sprained left ankle) most of that time, but he is healthy and available. The rationale for multiple trips to the G League was to “get reps.” NBA hotel beds are nicer, but there are no reps when watching from the bench.