Kuminga, GP2 ruled out for pivotal Warriors-Pelicans showdown


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

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors for the second straight night will be short-handed continuing their push to climb up the Western Conference Play-In standings in the final two games of the NBA regular season.

Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will return after missing Thursday night’s road win against the Portland Trail Blazers. But Gary Payton II (left calf tightness) 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 consecutive games earlier this season due to a strained right calf from Nov. 28, 2023 through Dec. 28, 2023. The defensive stalwart 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-of-11 shooting. His plus-8 in plus/minus led all Warriors starters. The 21-year-old has taken a major leap in Year 3, averaging career highs of 16.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting while also averaging 4.9 rebounds per game. A tough tumble will keep him out of a vital matchup in front of the Warriors’ home fans.

“He fell and kind of bruised his tailbone and is in a lot of pain,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said during his pregame press conference.

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

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

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