HomeSportsKuminga, GP2 excluded for crucial confrontation between Warriors and Pelicans

Kuminga, GP2 excluded for crucial confrontation between Warriors and Pelicans

Kuminga, GP2 ruled out for crucial Warriors-Pelicans battle originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors will be shortchanged in their efforts to climb the Western Conference Play-In standings for the second night in a row in the final two games of the NBA regular season.

Draymond Green and Klay Thompson return after missing Thursday night’s road win against the Portland Trail Blazers. But Gary Payton II (left calf strain) will miss his second straight game, and he’ll be joined by Jonathan Kuminga (right pelvic contusion) on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center.

Payton missed 13 straight games earlier this season due to a strained right calf from Nov. 28, 2023, through Dec. 28, 2023. The defensive end has been limited to 44 games this season, averaging 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game .

Kuminga played 34 minutes Thursday night and scored 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting. His plus-8 in plus/minus led all Warriors starters. The 21-year-old has made a big leap in Year 3, averaging a career-high 16.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting while also averaging 4.9 rebounds per game. A bad fall will keep him out of a crucial game in front of the Warriors’ home fans.

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β€œHe fell and bruised his tailbone and is in a lot of pain,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said during his pre-game press conference.

Steph Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Green and Trayce Jackson-Davis are expected to be Kerr’s starting five. The group has a combined net rating of 21.9 in 60 minutes this season, which equates to an offensive rating of 115.9 and a defensive rating of 94.0.

The Warriors (45-35) entered Friday as the No. 9 seed in a three-way tie with the No. 10 seed Los Angeles Lakers and No. 8 seed Sacramento Kings. The Phoenix Suns (47-33) are two games ahead as the No. 7 seed, and the Pelicans (48-32) are currently the No. 6 seed.

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