COVID-19 protocols will limit availability for Warriors, Kings
The Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings will put out COVID-shortened rosters when the Northern California rivals meet in San Francisco on Monday night.
The Warriors placed forward Andrew Wiggins in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols on Sunday. Golden State guard Jordan Poole also has been sidelined due to the league’s health and safety measures.
The Kings were without seven players — six in health and safety protocols — plus interim coach Alvin Gentry and additional staff members on Sunday during a 121-114 home win over the San Antonio Spurs.
On Saturday, the Warriors sent five players, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Wiggins, home early from the five-game trip that they concluded that day in Toronto. The team hoped an extra day of rest would benefit the club more long term than the predictable defeat they took against the Raptors would hurt in the short run.
Golden State fell 119-100 to Toronto when rookie Jonathan Kuminga’s season-best effort wasn’t enough for a nine-man roster that included four guys who have played in the G League this season.
The Warriors managed to complete a 3-2 trip that was made more taxing than most as they played two back-to-backs over a six-day span.
Kuminga took advantage of his opportunity to score 26 points against the Raptors. In the process, the 19-year-old became the youngest in Warriors history to score 20 or more in a game.
His previous season high had been nine.
“JK is a dynamic athlete,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “He’s powerful and explosive. He can get downhill, so you see the potential. It’s great to see him knock down some 3-point shots. That’s going to be a big part of his development. He’s got to get more than one rebound in 36 minutes, especially with athletic ability and frame. He had six turnovers.
“He kind of showed how talented he is, how young he is, how high his ceiling is and how far he has to go — all in one night. But that’s the whole point of getting him reps.”
Kuminga got his first start in Toronto, and could be in line for another with Wiggins out and Poole’s status unclear for Monday.
While the Warriors were relaxing on the couch watching football Sunday afternoon, the Kings were winning a home game despite their limited roster.
Tyrese Haliburton, who has dealt with a sore back of late, amassed 27 points and a career-high-tying 11 assists, Buddy Hield bombed in a game-high 29 and Damian Jones added a career-high 23 in the win, which was just Sacramento’s second in its past six games.
Haliburton (37 minutes), Hield (40) and Harrison Barnes (40) all logged high minute totals on the front end of a back-to-back.
Hield’s big game, which included seven 3-pointers in nine attempts, came after he and veteran forward Mo Harkless had gotten into an argument in the bench area in the first quarter.
Acting coach Doug Christie applauded, rather than penalized, the brief spat.
“For me, that’s good,” Christie said afterward. “It shows that you care.”
The Kings were without Richaun Holmes, who sustained a cut inside his right eye last week, as well as protocols-restricted De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III, Davion Mitchell, Terence Davis, Louis King and Alex Len in the win. Typical of COVID cases, none of the latter six has a timetable for a return.
The clubs will be meeting for a second time this season, with the Warriors having won 119-107 at Sacramento in the opening week of the season. Curry scored a game-high 27 points in that contest.
–Field Level Media