Warriors Observations

What we learned as Klay, Kuminga fuel Warriors' win over Jazz

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SAN FRANCISCO – Having secured a spot in the NBA play-in tournament before they took the court Sunday, the Warriors played loose and free in an easier-than-it-looked 118-110 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Chase Center while Stephen Curry sat on the bench in street clothes.

Curry received a planned day off to rest for Golden State’s upcoming stretch run. Andrew Wiggins (ankle) also was held out.

Against the Jazz, it didn’t matter how short-handed the Warriors were.

Klay Thompson had a fantastic game, notching 32 points with six 3-pointers. Thompson shot 12 of 23 overall and 6 of 13 behind the arc.

Jonathan Kuminga returned from a nearly two-week absence and showed no lingering effects from the lengthy layoff. Kuminga came off the bench and had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Golden State’s third win over Utah this season.

Rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis also came up big. Podziemski had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for a plus-17. Jackson-Davis scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards.

Having won seven of their last eight, the Warriors (43-35) need one more victory over the final four games to match their win total from a year ago.

Golden State, which secured a play-in spot with the Houston Rockets’ loss to Dallas Mavericks earlier Sunday remains hopeful of moving up in the Western Conference. The Warriors have a slim chance of catching the ninth-place Lakers, whom they play in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Warriors have had a history of playing down to teams during the 2023-24 NBA season, but they came out strong and dominated the injury-plagued Jazz essentially from start to finish.

Utah (29-49) played without several of its stars and lost its 12th in a row.

Golden State put up 41 points in the first quarter, 13 by Thompson, then extended its lead to 68-54 at halftime.

The Warriors led by 20 after three quarters then cruised to the victory, their second in the last four home games.

Here are the takeaways from Sunday’s game:

Klay Comes Out Rolling

It’s wild to think about all the criticism that Thompson received early in the season when he was struggling with his shot.

Thompson came out smoking hot against the Jazz. He missed his first two shots then got on a roll, making seven of his next eight attempts while piling up 25 points in the first half to help the Warriors build an insurmountable lead. It’s the first time that Thompson has scored 25 points in the first half since he dropped 33 on the Phoenix Suns on March 13, 2023.

It’s also the fifth time this season that Thompson has scored 20 or more in a half. The five-time NBA All-Star has done it 94 times in his career, 55 times in the first half.


Kuminga looked just fine in his return to the court after missing six games with knee tendinitis. The young forward received a huge ovation from the crowd when he checked in then quickly made an impact, tipping a defensive rebound to himself and racing the length of the court for a layup. Kuminga was fouled and made the free throw to complete the three-point play.

Kuminga connected on his first five shots and snatched eight of his rebounds in the first half.

Although the Warriors did a fairly good job making up for Kuminga’s scoring while he was out, the kid brings a different and infectious energy when he plays.

Winning Without Steph

The Warriors haven’t had a lot of luck when Curry sits out, but his absence was not a factor at all against the Jazz.

Even without its best player, Golden State was able to get just about whatever it wanted on offense while countering with another solid defensive effort. The Warriors forced 11 turnovers and held a convincing 47-29 edge in rebounding.

Thompson shouldered the scoring burden but the Warriors got plenty of offense across the board. They also did a great job of sharing and spreading the ball around, dishing out 32 assists. It’s Golden State’s 34th game of the year with 30 or more assists, third most in the NBA.

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