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Dub Hub: Steve Kerr says Jonathan Kuminga was ‘the reason we won’ vs. Blazers

Rounding up all Warriors and NBA related news for Thursday, December 7th.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Warriors News:

Steve Kerr: “I’m really proud of JK”

What we learned as Steph’s second-half surge leads Dubs’ comeback win | NBC Sports Bay Area

Curry was ice-cold headed to the locker room at halftime, going 1-of-8 shooting and 1 of 6 on 3s through the first two quarters for nine points. Getting virtually no help from his backcourt mate didn’t make matters any easier. Thompson missed all five of his first-half shot attempts and failed to make any of his four 3-point attempts.

But at least Curry brought some heat to a rainy San Francisco night in the second half, starting in the third quarter. That’s when Curry scored 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting, doing all he could to get the crowd going. All of the sudden, Curry was up to 26 points.

In the final 10 seconds of regulation, Curry sent the Blazers home thanks to a dagger of a shot beyond the arc.

Curry scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half, shooting 7 of 10 from the field in the final two quarters. The free-throw line also was his friend. Curry went 10 of 11 at the charity stripe.

Kerr envisions Warriors’ lineup changing on game-to-game basis | NBC Sports Bay Area

“I think that’s a great point and we talk about it every day,” Kerr said. “I’ve really been patient and hoping to get our first unit from the last couple years into a good groove. It’s just easier to play and to coach when everybody knows exactly where they fit in. And roleplayers, it’s easier to play a role when there’s kind of a set rotation and the stars are playing well. So the puzzle kind of fits.

“Honestly the puzzle hasn’t fit this year and we’ve had a lot of guys play well but we might have to think about moving the starting lineup around game to game depending on who we’re facing. I’d still prefer to get something solid but we haven’t really established anything this year and we’re a quarter of the way through, so there’s definitely a lot of thought that’s going to have to go into this.”

Moses Moody doesn’t take his opportunity with the Warriors for granted

NBA commissioner Adam Silver discusses the relationship between Chris Paul and Scott Foster

NBA News:

Bulls guard Zach LaVine out 3-4 more weeks with foot issue: Where that leaves his trade prospects | The Athletic

How does this impact the team’s ability to trade LaVine?

Here’s where you conspiracy theorists shine. It’s impossible to not think for a moment that the Bulls are strategically sitting LaVine to ensure he’s not injured if, or when, a palatable trade comes along. Being around LaVine, it’s not something he’d go for — unless he really, really wants out. He loves playing too much. The bigger problem for the Bulls is the marketplace. Not only does there appear to be minimal interest from rival teams, but they all know the Bulls are looking to part ways with LaVine. Overcoming that obstacle in negotiations could be Chicago’s biggest challenge. — Mayberry

Ranking the top 25 players left in the NBA’s in-season tournament | ESPN

4. Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks

2023 stats: 25.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 6.9 APG

For how well the Bucks have it rolling on offense — they rank No. 3 and just scored 146 points against the Knicks, one of the league’s best defenses — there’s still a higher level that Milwaukee can reach. Part of that stems from the fact that Lillard is still figuring out when, and how, to strike within an offense that already has a two-time MVP. Lillard’s efficiency is down overall (52.3% effective field goal rate; down from 56.4% last season) and on isos (0.95 points per isolation play; down from 1.17 points per play last season). But the freedom he has already unlocked in Antetokounmpo’s game is undeniable.

Luka Doncic records 29-point triple double in the first half vs. Jazz

In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:

How Jonathan Kuminga and Kevon Looney represent the Warriors’ current dichotomy

But the one huge elephant in a room that is steadily running out of space to contain it has been Kevon Looney. Once dependable and reliable despite a clear lack of athleticism, speed, and vertical leap, it seems as if he’s been operating in a field of quicksand all season long.

Once deceptively competent as a defender in space — whether as a big in drop coverage or up to the level of the screen, or as a switch big who often has had more than a fighting chance in keeping even the shiftiest of perimeter operators in front of him — the decline in his lateral movement has lowered the Warriors’ ceiling of defensive versatility whenever Looney’s on the floor.

Player grades: Warriors vs. Blazers

Moses Moody

26 minutes, 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 57.5% TS, +3

Moody is fast discovering that good things happen when he plays with aggression. Or, to borrow a word from Kelenna Azubuike, with audacity.

After opening his career primarily as a guy who would camp out in the corner and shoot open threes, Moody is blossoming into a slasher, and you can see him realizing both how much that helps the team, and how good he is at it.

He’s also turning into a baby Draymond for the way he’s seemingly everywhere. He was a total defensive pest in this one, and even drew a pair of charges.

This last week has been the best basketball of his career, by a mile.

Grade: A

Follow @unstoppablebaby on Twitter for all the latest news on the Golden State Warriors.

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