Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points, Jordan Poole added 22 and the Golden State Warriors held off the Sacramento Kings 109-90 on Sunday night.
Nemanja Bjelica had season highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds to go with his six assists in the Warriors’ second straight win — something they hadn’t done since early March.
“We’re playing for seeding at this point and we really want to get as high as we can in the standings,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I don’t care how we got here, we got here. We’ve had all kinds of injuries and adversity. Our guys have stuck together and competed, and here we are.”
Harrison Barnes had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who were eliminated from playoff contention for an NBA-record 16th consecutive season.
“I’ve been here the last two years and I can tell you in my opinion things are headed the right way,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “There’s some work to be done but everybody here is willing to put in the hours and put in the work and find a way to get the monkey off the back.”
Sacramento lost all four games against Golden State this season.
One day after coming back from a 21-point deficit to beat the Utah Jazz and clinch a playoff spot, the Warriors nearly went the opposite way, letting a big lead slip away. Sacramento trailed by as much as 26 but got within 93-86 late in the fourth quarter following Damian Jones’ short jumper.
Draymond Green found Gary Payton Jr. cutting along the baseline for a layup and Wiggins followed with a 3-pointer for the Warriors. After Jones scored for the Kings, Green fed Jonathan Kuminga for a dunk and Wiggins hit another jumper.
Kuminga finished with 17 points as the Warriors won their 50th game of the season.
“It was a huge weekend for us just getting back to playing our brand of basketball,” said Green, who picked up his 14th technical this season. “It’s great to be back where we are. Now we have to continue to build and try to roll into these playoffs.”
The Warriors, already without Stephen Curry for the remainder of the regular season because of a left foot sprain, were also missing Klay Thompson, Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala. Those three were held out because of the back-to-back.
Green, who has been nursing a lower back injury, convinced the coaching staff ti let him play in both games.
“I need reps,” Green said. “I felt good. They gave me the option to play so I took the option.”
HONORING SHOOTING VICTIMS
Before the game, the Kings held a moment of silence was held for victims of the mass shooting that occurred early Sunday morning three blocks away from the Golden 1 Center. Six people died and 12 were wounded. Police have said at least two shooters were involved.
Kerr and Gentry both called for stricter gun control regulations.
“I’m so, so sorry for the victims and their families,” Kerr said. “It’s just time. It’s time for us to do something about it instead of have another moment of silence and then send thoughts and prayers.”
Gentry called the shooting “an incredible tragedy.”
“It’s unfortunate that something like that can still happen nowadays in an environment where everybody is really out having fun, just trying to have fun and have a good time,” Gentry said. “It’s a sad day. I hope this is not something that our city is remembered for because it’s a great place with a lot of great people that live here.”
Warriors: Golden State has won 50 or more games in eight of the last 10 seasons.
Kings: De’Aaron Fox (right hand) and Domantas Sabonis (right knee contusion) did not play.
Warriors: Host the Lakers on Thursday.
Kings: Host the Pelicans on Tuesday for the final home game of the season. (AP)
(Photo credits to: Golden State of Mind)