Jonathan Kuminga Leads Warriors With 28 PTS!
A battle of two of the most decorated teams in NBA history took place Sunday night at the Vegas Summer League, as the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors matched up with each team’s sights set on picking up their first win in the Sin City.
The hype at Thomas & Mack Center was centered around the return of 2020 second-overall pick James Wiseman and second-year talent Jonathan Kuminga. The Spurs and rookie guard Blake Wesley nearly stole the show, but it was Golden State’s stars that won the game in the closing minutes.
Wesley’s late game heroics from 3-point range proved not enough, as one free throw from Kuminga with eight seconds left helped secure a 17-point comeback and a 86-85 win for the Warriors. Wesley’s game-winning attempt never came, as he fumbled the ball in a crowd of defenders as the closing seconds ticked away.
Kuminga led all scorers with 28 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Golden State guard Mac McClung stuffed the box score with 22 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Wesley led San Antonio with 22 points on 7-20 shooting and 4-7 from deep to go along with five rebounds. Undrafted free agent Darius Days was one of the most consistent Spurs, as he added 17 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals off the bench.
Josh Primo struggled mightily as a shooter, going 2-15 from the floor for 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Rookie Malaki Branham was also quiet, positing just six points on 1-6 shooting.
Wesley immediately reclaimed lead ball-handling duties to begin the game, a theme that carried over from the loss vs the Cavs. But he found out early the length of Wiseman, as the seven-footer blocked two of Wesley’s shots in the opening minutes, but the young Notre Dame product answered with a layup-steal sequence and nice-looking step-back make from deep.
The early response was a sign of things to come, as the Spurs used a 12-0 run late in the second quarter to grab the largest lead of the game at that point. At the half, San Antonio led the “defending champs” 48-34 behind 7-19 from 3-point range.
Days led all scorers at the half with 13 points on 3-6 shooting and 2-5 from deep.
Primo struggled in the first half, posting six points on 2-7 shooting with a team-high three turnovers. Wesley, who had zero turnovers despite holding lead-guard duties, saw similar shooting inefficiency as he was a woeful 3-12 from the field, but showed nice range on two 3-point makes.
Wesley’s scoring approach seemed much more patient coning out of the locker room, as he knocked down two midrange jumpers off the dribble to begin the second-half scoring.
But led by McClung and Kuminga, Golden State rallied back, using an 11-4 run to cut the lead to seven at the end of the third quarter. The Spurs led 68-61 headed into the fourth after leading by as many as 17 earlier in the quarter.
Former Spur Quinndary Weatherspoon tied things up at 72-72 with a 3-pointer at the six-minute mark for the game’s first tie since 28-all in the second quarter. Two free throws a few minutes later by Weatherspoon gave Golden State its first lead of the second half at 81-79.
Then, Wesley took over in a matter of seconds. Back-to-back ultra-confident makes from deep just 20 seconds apart gave San Antonio a 85-83 lead. But Kuminga’s midrange step-back and single free throw proved the difference in securing the lead before Wesley’s rushed attempt at continued heroics secured the loss.
The Spurs drop to 0-2 in Vegas and will take on the Houston Rockets on Monday at 6 p.m. C.T. at the Thomas & Mack Center.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.