Jonathan Kuminga

Draymond credits JK for igniting Klay's late flurry vs. Clippers

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Klay Thompson erupted in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 120-114 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on a special night inside Chase Center.

The Splash Bro dropped 10 points in 90 seconds of the final frame, and he finished with 22 points on 44.4-percent shooting, with six rebounds, two assists and one block in 34 minutes. While Thompson helped lift Golden State to victory Thursday night, Draymond Green praised the player who handed him the baton which ignited his fourth-quarter outburst.

"It was beautiful to watch," Green said of Thompson's performance. "And it all started with Jonathan Kuminga giving him a handoff in the corner. JK could have shot it, could have drove it, and he went uphill, DHO and got Klay going. And I told him in that timeout, 'You just got him 10 points. Off that one move. No one will celebrate you for it, no one will acknowledge you for it, but I will. You just got him going.'

"And that is incredible. That is growth on JK's part. Honestly, we all know what Klay's capable of. And he's starting to play a lot better over the course of these last five games. But for JK to get him going like that, that was special. And like I said, it shows the growth in JK's game."

With about 10 minutes remaining in the game, Kuminga grabbed a rebound off a missed Russell Westbrook shot and ran it the other way. After the Warriors set up their offense, rookie Brandin Podziemski drove down the middle and kicked it out to Kuminga in the corner, who had the opportunity and spacing to knock down a triple or blow by Clippers big man Daniel Theis.

Instead, the 21-year-old forward decided to hand it off to Thompson, who sank a deep trey. And there was more where that came from. Thompson proceeded to knock down a 16-foot jump shot a few seconds later, followed by an explosive and-1 layup and another layup.

Ten points. Ninety seconds. One unselfish pass.

"JK, the sky is the limit for his career," Thompson said after the win. "He can do things you can't teach, especially his ability to elevate above the rim. … He took great shots and played very good defense on some of the best players in the world. It's just a joy to see him grow. Sometimes we forget he's only 21 years old and he's got so much basketball ahead of him."

Kuminga has stayed patient and ready for his number to be called after falling in and out of the rotation last season.

In 18 games this season, he's averaging 11.3 points on 45.3-percent shooting, with 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20 minutes played.

"It was great," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Kuminga's performance Thursday. "He didn't foul. Not one foul. And he's out there guarding Kawhi [Leonard] and Paul George. Really tough matchups. [He] used his athleticism. Had five rebounds in the first half. The game just felt really clean to me for JK. He kept it simple. And that's what we've been harping on.

"[I'm] very happy for him because JK's a great young guy. He wants it so bad. But he gets frustrated at times like a lot of young players. And things haven't gone his way lately, and he really stayed with it. The approach paid off and I'm really happy for him."

The Kuminga praise didn't end there.

Warriors superstar Steph Curry also applauded Kuminga, calling him a "dawg" on defense and referring to his stat line as "beautiful."

Without Gary Payton II (calf), Chris Paul (leg) and Andrew Wiggins (finger), the Warriors found a way to come out on top against a star-studded Clippers squad. Kuminga played a big role in that, and the team will rely on the young forward as the season progresses.

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