The finale of a three-game preseason schedule, which coach Steve Kerr referred to as “dress rehearsal,” worked about as well as the Warriors could have hoped Thursday night.
Getting potent offense from Stephen Curry (game-high 29 points), Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins, they posted a 113-105 victory over the Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Curry, Oubre and Wiggins – expected to be the team’s top three scorers – combined for 70 points in 83 minutes. They were as efficient as they were deadly, shooting a combined 48.0 percent from the field.
Here are three takeaways from a game the Warriors led throughout the second half:
The wings fly high
Oubre and Wiggins offered the kind of games the Warriors hope to see on a regular basis once the season begins next week.
Oubre played bothersome defense on Kings guards while scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. He was plus-19 in 23 minutes.
Wiggins had a terrific start, scoring 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including one attempt from distance, in the first seven minutes. He finished with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-5 from deep, adding four rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
Wiggins was plus-14 for 31 minutes before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Wiggins and Oubre likely will be the primary variables that determining whether the Warriors struggle to reach the playoffs and cruise in and make some kind of run. They left some encouraging signs in this game.
Yeah, they’re going to really need Wiseman
As James Wiseman watched from the bench, his value skyrocketed.
That’s because 7-foot-1 Hassan Whiteside, who is not among the top 20 centers in the NBA, was a tower of power in the paint against the likes of Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss, both of whom are at least three inches shorter.
Looney and Chriss both own wingspans beyond 7 feet, but they were no match for Whiteside’s sheer radius. His wingspan is 7-foot-7, his standing reach 9-foot-5. He had eight points, six rebounds and three blocks in 11 first-half minutes and finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Wiseman’s wingspan is 7-foot-6, his standing reach 9-foot-6. That’s enough to provide a strong response to a lot of physical matchups against centers far more skilled.
Bench bounces back
Veterans Kent Bazemore and Brad Wanamaker, the second- and third-oldest players on the roster, are expected to be co-anchors of the second unit.
After a strong first game, they played poorly on Tuesday but mostly were effective in the finale.
Wanamaker submitted nine points, swishing a pair of triples, and seven rebounds. Bazemore scored only three points but brought his usual energy, adding four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
The vets also got some help from the youngsters. Chriss finished with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds and Jordan Poole, who was aggressive in totaling 11 points and two assists.