SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Jonathan Kuminga is earning more minutes for his defense, and he showed everybody the big strides he has made as a stopper with veteran Andre Iguodala as his guide and mentor.
Klay Thompson scored 29 points and Kuminga delivered on both ends down the stretch, including a gutsy steal that helped the Golden State Warriors hold off the Charlotte Hornets late for a 110-105 win Tuesday night.
Kuminga cherishes getting a chance with the game on the line late, which isn’t always the case.
”If Coach trusts you and puts you in there, you’ve got to go and execute things and make things happen,” said Kuminga, a second-year forward.
In one flashy sequence, Kuminga had a steal on one possession and then a defensive rebound and go-ahead dunk moments later on the other end. He made a short floating jumper from the baseline with 1:22 to go, and then dunked again with 21 seconds left. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
”He’s playing really well defensively,” coach Steve Kerr said. ”Just wanted to stay with him because of the impact he was making on the ball and with his energy.”
Jordan Poole had 24 points and six assists for Golden State. Kevon Looney finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Thompson went 5 for 12 from 3-point range and also had five rebounds and four assists.
LaMelo Bell overcame 7-of-25 shooting – 2 for 11 from deep – to finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds as Charlotte completed the second game of a back-to-back after losing 124-113 at Portland on Monday.
Terry Rozier scored 19 points and Mason Plumlee grabbed 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who went 2-4 on a six-game West Coast road swing.
The backcourt of Thompson and Poole delivered with Stephen Curry sitting out a sixth straight game with a partially dislocated left shoulder on a night when his father, Dell, was in town working the Hornets broadcast.
Golden State’s Draymond Green contributed nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists while dealing with right foot soreness.
After Golden State got six technicals in a 123-109 Christmas Day matchup with Memphis, Kerr chatted with his team about it leading into Tuesday.
”The message is we have to show more poise than that, we can’t be in a battle with officials every night,” Kerr said. ”There’s going to be some games where you get frustrated and there are plenty of games that go perfectly well. There’s going to be some of both, you just have to be able to play through that. We haven’t done that.”
Hornets: Charlotte shot 4 for 23 from deep in the first half and 10 of 38 overall. … G Kelly Oubre Jr. missed the game against his former team with a sprained right hand. He played part of the 2020-21 season with Golden State before signing with the Hornets as a free agent in August 2021. … Charlotte has lost the last three on the Warriors’ home floor dating to a 93-87 victory on Nov. 2, 2019, in the team’s initial visit to Chase Center. … The Hornets fell to 3-9 playing on consecutive days, swept for a third time.
Warriors: The Warriors are 3-3 without Curry. … All-Star Andrew Wiggins missed his 11th straight game and 13th overall with a strained muscle in his right thigh area. ”Unfortunately, he’s sick now,” Kerr said. ”He’s been cleared to play but he’s not in the building tonight because he came down ill yesterday.” … F JaMychal Green remains in the league’s health and safety protocols and there’s no timetable for his return.
Hornets: Host the Thunder on Thursday night to begin a four-game homestand riding a three-game winning streak in the series.
Warriors: Host the Jazz on Wednesday night in the back-to-back.
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