Curry-Thompson Magic: How Warriors’ Star Backcourt Inspired Kuminga’s Standout Performance

Curry-Thompson Magic: How Warriors’ Star Backcourt Inspired Kuminga’s Standout Performance
Curry-Thompson Magic: How Warriors’ Star Backcourt Inspired Kuminga’s Standout Performance

Jonathan Kuminga knows how to thrive with the Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors earned a get-right win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, overcoming a slow start behind balanced scoring, dogged defense and multiple efforts on both sides of the ball for a 121-115 victory.

Jonathan Kuminga personified the Dubs’ active, energetic night, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. While his physical drives, smooth post play and comfort making the extra pass loomed large, it was Kuminga’s efforts on the other side of the ball that keyed Golden State to a game-changing second half. His energetic, disruptive defense on Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero was huge after intermission, resulting in multiple misses and a forced Orlando turnover down the stretch.

After the game, though, Kuminga wasn’t too interested in pumping his chest for going toe-to-toe with two of basketball’s best young forwards. Instead, the 21-year-old extolled the Splash Brothers’ ability to strike consistent fear in the heart of defenses, creating easy opportunities for himself and their teammates.

“It’s just knowing who you’re playing with,” Kuminga said of his offensive performance during an on-court interview. “We got Steph, we got Klay—everybody in this league are afraid of those two people. So just knowing I get to play with them just opens a lot of things.”

Cuurry forcefully broke out of a mini slump on Tuesday, dropping 36 points and four triples on 12-of-20 shooting while scoring from all over the floor. Thompson also enjoyed some much-needed efficiency in wake of prior struggles, scoring 15 points on 11 shots and three three-pointers. Like the Dubs at large, Curry and Thompson consistently made the extra pass while drawing multiple defenders, too—evidence of the winning collective “grit” Kerr had lamented his team lacking leading up to tipoff.

Golden State won’t reach its peak without Kuminga scraping his. Battling future stars like Banchero and Wagner on Tuesday night, he did just that at times on both sides of the ball. Most encouraging? Kuminga pulled it off within the team concept, a welcome sign of the Warriors beginning to find the on-court chemistry and cohesion that’s proven so elusive since 2023-24 tipped off in late October.

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