LAS VEGAS -- In a matter of 15 seconds, James Wiseman gave Warriors fans what they were waiting for in his return to game action Sunday at Thomas & Mack Center during the Warriors' wild 86-85 comeback win over the San Antonio Spurs in the Las Vegas Summer League.
The 7-footer won the opening tip, set up a pick-and-roll at the top of the arc for Jonathan Kuminga, rolled hard to the hoop and threw down a huge alley-oop for the first two points of the game.
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Not even one minute later, Wiseman then showed off his range with a 3-pointer.
The Warriors know Wiseman can score points inside and outside. His and the Warriors' focus for summer league and the offseason is much more on the other side of the ball. With his size and athleticism, Steve Kerr believes there's no reason Wiseman can't be a dominant defensive player.
Early on, he looked like one with two big-time blocks. The start of his night couldn't have gone much better.
Aside from three G League games last season before his surgically-repaired left knee began to swell, Sunday marked Wiseman's first game since his rookie year was cut short to a torn meniscus after 39 games. He didn't suit up for any NBA games last season.
On the night, Wiseman played 19 minutes. He scored 11 points with a mix of two dunks, one 3-pointer, one fadeaway jumper and one face-up jump shot. Wiseman went 5-for-7 from the field, grabbed two rebounds, had two blocks, turned the ball over three times and was called for seven fouls.
Golden State Warriors
Wiseman played in four-minute spurts, starting each quarter. Or so it appeared that was the plan. With the Warriors pushing to pull off their comeback, Wiseman played the final three-plus minutes of the win.
While he sat on the bench during the second quarter, Wiseman looked at head trainer Rick Celebrini and motioned that he was good to go and wanted to keep playing. Celebrini sat courtside by the Warriors' bench with Kerr and a handful of Warriors assistants.
The Warriors of course will remain cautious with Wiseman during his return to the court. His push to keep playing was encouraging to see and he never looked too gassed. Wiseman's added muscle to his upper-body was apparent, and his conditioning was far from concerning. Overall, it was an up-and-down performance for Wiseman with the positives far outweighing the negatives.
Another positive development was Kuminga's bounce-back game. After a disappointing four-point performance Friday night, the 19-year-old played much more engaged and looked like the best player on the floor, scoring 26 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Golden State trailed by as many as 17 points, and Kuminga took over down the stretch and knocked down the game-winning free throw with eight seconds left.
The Warriors not only came away with their first win of summer league between Las Vegas and the California Classic, but this was an even bigger win for their future.