It’s tempting to forego the whole Warrior Wonder thing in the midst of a four-game losing streak like the Golden State Warriors have endured lately — when nothing is really going well for the team, it can be difficult to celebrate individual accomplishments.
But for those who haven’t been around the Golden State of Mind community long, the spirit of the Warrior Wonder is in fact finding silver linings in dark times rather than celebrating heroes who lift us to unfathomable heights. With the injuries that the team has suffered lately, there have been plenty of opportunities given for people to unexpectedly step up.
And lately, we’ve had a small G-League story that we should at least take note of during these tough times.
Damion Lee’s time to shine
Prior to the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, head coach Steve Kerr noted that one of the positives of this low period without Stephen Curry is that guys like Damion Lee get a chance that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Asked what's the biggest positive Golden State can glean from Stephen Curry's absence, Steve Kerr said, "It gives different people an opportunity to play." Pointed out the performances of Damion Lee and Quinn Cook.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) November 22, 2018
Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote briefly about Lee’s recent performance against the Dallas Mavericks prior to last night’s game against the Thunder. After sitting out or playing in Santa Cruz for most of the first month of the season, Lee really emerged against the Mavs with a season-high 13 points.
Curry’s brother-in-law, two-way-contract player Damion Lee, also has benefited from Curry’s absence. With the Warriors in need of more shooting, Kerr recalled him Saturday from the G League. Lee scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Dallas before going scoreless in Sunday’s loss to San Antonio.
“Damion Lee came in and did a great job for us on the road, and he doesn’t get those minutes if not for Steph’s absence,” Kerr said.
Kerr had an admittedly corny way to describe what Lee has done recently prior to the Thunder game, describing Curry’s brother-in-law’s position as “winner”.
Reporter: “Steve what position is Damion Lee playing?”— KNBR (@KNBR) November 22, 2018
Kerr: “He plays winner” pic.twitter.com/WKM7jIUdC7
Lee backed Kerr’s high praise of him by tying his season-high in last night’s debacle against the Oklahoma City Thunder with 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting in a season-high 26 minutes. Although Lee’s play hasn’t actually affected the bottom line much — as evidenced by arguably the ugliest four-game stretch of Kerr’s tenure — he is at least showing signs that he can do the one thing he was brought into to do within the Warriors’ system: score.
During these recent opportunities, Damion Lee has gone all out with his hustle. Maybe that should be expected for someone trying to get a bigger spot, but he's not leaving anything unturned.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 22, 2018
Who was your Golden Sidekick in the loss to OKC?
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Kevin Durant led the way in the third quarter
We’ve grown accustomed to third quarter comebacks around these parts and there was plenty of reason to hope that there would be another third quarter comeback last night. The Warriors opened the third quarter hot, reducing the deficit to just three points at the 9:30 mark before battling back and forth for much of the quarter.
During that stretch, Kevin Durant was a major part of what kept the team in the game. Durant scored 11 of his 27 points in the third quarter in addition to grabbing 6 of his game-high 14 rebounds.
None of that was enough and, as Joe Viray detailed earlier, but there were moments in the third quarter when it felt like something good might have started to happen.
Who was your Warrior Wonder in the loss to OKC?
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