While their first victory of the season may have been centered around superstar Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors bench unit was again impressive in the second-half against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
It was Curry whose scoring explosion helped set up a Warrior lead in the third-quarter, but the second unit actually extended the advantage once the two-time MVP went to the bench. That turned out to be vitally important as the Kings surged late but ultimately fell short in a 122-114 win for the visitors.
Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody impressed again in the Golden State Warriors eight-point win over the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Central to an improved bench unit has been the growth of 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. For the second time in as many games to start the season, the pair each scored in double digits to help support Curry’s dynamic 41 points.
Kuminga made a nervous start but settled towards the end of the first-half, closing it with a huge corner three on the final possession to give Golden State a 60-57 lead at intermission. The seventh overall pick continued to be an improved presence on the glass, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes.
Moody’s hot shooting from late last season continued, nailing two of his three triples and adding a pair of mid-range jumpshots. The 21-year-old’s activity on defense has been just as impressive, notching three steals for the second consecutive game to go with 10 points and three rebounds on 4-5 shooting.
The development of the young duo has been a major storyline for the Warriors since the start of training camp, and veteran center Kevon Looney was again asked about their improvements after the win over the Kings.
"“I think they’re just playing with much more confidence. Think their basketball IQ is a little higher this year than it was last year, they kind of know where to be at on both ends of the court,” Looney said."
Sharpshooter Klay Thompson was also full of praise for Moody who, including preseason, has made 29 of his 51 (56.9%) three-point attempts since the start of the 2023 playoffs.
"“Mo’s just a gamer. He’s not afraid of the moment. He’s a great shooter, he’s a great athlete, and he just does the little things to help you win…To be 21 years old and be doing all this, the sky is the limit for Mo,” Thompson said."
Golden State may find themselves leaning even more heavily on Kuminga and Moody’s young legs as they prepare for their first back-to-back of the season starting with the Houston Rockets on Sunday.