Jonathan Kuminga

What we learned as Kuminga takes flight in Warriors' emotional win

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SAN FRANCISCO – The night began with an emotional tribute to assistant coach Dejan Milojević and ended with the Warriors carving out a much-needed 134-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at Chase Center.

Milojević died suddenly last week of a heart attack while attending a team dinner in Utah. Against Atlanta, Golden State wore jersey patches with Milojević’s initials. A similar logo is on the court at Chase Center near the Warriors' bench.

Steve Kerr implored the fans to rise for an ovation during pre-game ceremonies, and the crowd remained noisy all night.

For good reason.

The Warriors were stumbling in recent weeks and had dropped down to the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference before their mostly dominant win over the Hawks in Golden State’s first game in nine days.

Seven Warriors scored in double digits.

Stephen Curry led the way with 25 points and eight assists. Klay Thompson got off to a slow start then got hot, finishing with 24 points and five 3-pointers. Jonathan Kuminga scored 25 and extended his streak to 21 consecutive games in double figures, while making some Warriors history along the way.

Draymond Green had 12 points and was a plus-19, Andrew Wiggins put up 12 and Dario Šarić added 10 in his fourth consecutive start. Brandin Podziemski also scored 10.

It’s the second time in four games and sixth time overall that the Warriors have scored 130 or more points.

Here are the takeaways:

Curry finds his rhythm

Curry has struggled with his outside shot recently and instead had been doing a lot of driving to the hoop. That pattern held up early against Atlanta before Curry caught fire and began draining shots from the outside.

He made a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, added another in the third and finished 5 of 8 beyond the arc. In his previous three games, the two-time NBA MVP was shooting only 29.3 percent on 3s.

Curry also made a nifty lob pass to Kuminga for a dunk in the first half.

Getting Curry going, and keeping him going, is absolutely vital to the Warriors’ offense. Finding a consistent scoring threat to complement him is a big key to helping that to happen.

Kuminga stars off bench

Back to his role of coming off the bench, Kuminga played just as smoothly and efficiently as he did while starting.

Kuminga made all 11 shots he took, his second game this season without missing a shot, and tied Chris Mullin's franchise record for most shots in a game without a miss.

More importantly, Kuminga aggressively attacked the basket all night and did the majority of his scoring in the paint.

Kuminga’s name has been mentioned in several trade rumors, but the young forward continues to play like he wants to remain with Golden State. An emphatic one-handed dunk in the fourth quarter that brought the crowd to its feet was a reminder how powerful he can be.

The issue is that he might be the one of the only players on the Warriors' roster – Curry is untouchable – worth trading for. It’ll be intriguing to see what kind of offers Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. might receive for Kuminga in the next two weeks.

Green's strong night

One day after being omitted from Team USA roster, Green put together a strong effort against Atlanta.

Still coming off the bench as he works his way back into the lineup, Green showed a smooth shooting touch when he connected on a pair of open corner 3-pointers in the first half. He shot 5 of 6 overall and added five rebounds, two steals and a block.

Green’s impact often times can’t be found in the stat box. This game against the Hawks was proof of that, as it felt like there was a different energy when he was on the court.

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