Steph Curry’s dagger caps late comeback vs. Kings – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr buried the news Wednesday night during his pregame press conference.

Kerr announced that Kevon Looney would not play against the Sacramento Kings and was sent home after the shooting because he was feeling ill. The Warriors coach revealed that rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis will start in his place, joining Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga. The group was missing one big name: Chris Paul.

Paul, for the first time in his career, even though it’s only preseason, started the game on the sidelines. And the end result was the Warriors’ fourth straight preseason victory behind the exploits of their other future Hall of Fame point guard.

Curry hit the game-winning three-pointer over De’Aaron Fox with just 6.1 seconds left, giving Golden State a 116-115 victory. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and led all scorers behind with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting and made 8-of-12 3-pointers.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ thrilling preseason victory.

CP sixth man

Paul didn’t have to wait too long to get on the field. He didn’t start the game watching from the bench and he wasn’t cycling. Paul simply stood there, sensing unfamiliar territory.

At the 7:51 mark of the first quarter, with the Warriors trailing by seven points, Paul and Dario Šarić were Kerr’s first two off the bench and both quickly made an impact. Although Paul remained scoreless in the first quarter, his contributions were visible at halftime with three points, five rebounds and three assists. This is the kind of evening that Paul produced until the end.

He finished with 13 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 30 minutes coming off the bench.

Paul played the final five and a half minutes and the Warriors trailed by 10 points when he entered for the final time. The Warriors rallied and took on the Kings every second of those final five-plus minutes, and Paul’s presence was a big reason why.

Saric (mostly) shines

Even though the Paul-Kuminga duo has been hyped, a familiar duo has clear chemistry. Paul and Šarić will play together a lot and the transition appears to be seamless thanks to their previous experience as teammates in Phoenix. Šarić knows how to prepare and screen Paul, the two communicate constantly during games and meet up right after a timeout is called.

They sometimes even sat next to each other on the bench.

By the end of the first quarter, while playing alongside Paul, Šarić had already totaled five points, five rebounds and two steals. At halftime, he was the Warriors’ leading scorer with 12 points and added two assists to go along with his five rebounds and two steals.

Šarić led the Warriors’ bench players with 14 points and also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals. However, with 18 seconds left in regulation and the Warriors trailing by one point, Šarić missed two consecutive free throws.

Double-Double rookie

Between the two Warriors rookies, Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski, the latter has made a lot more headlines this preseason. Podziemski looked like a steal in the draft, stuffing the stat sheet and playing like a youngster in his position.

Wednesday evening, the roles were reversed. Podziemski was stuck on the bench while Jackson-Davis received the most minutes he has played this preseason. He too took advantage of the opportunity.

The second-round pick produced a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. Jackson-Davis was active around the rim and running down the field. His main downfall was the five fouls he was whistled for, some coming purely from his professional inexperience. Jackson-Davis showed the strength with which he can play, something Kerr and the coaching staff will be sure to commend.

From a purely roster perspective, Jackson-Davis will have a role on the Warriors as a rookie. This might increase slowly, but its presence will be felt at times throughout the season.

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