Santa Cruz clinch playoff spot thanks to big outing from Warriors' forward

Golden State Warriors v Indiana Pacers
Golden State Warriors v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors' forward Gui Santos has helped Santa Cruz clinch a G League playoff spot after back-to-back wins over the Rip City Remix in Portland on Friday and Saturday.

Santos was limited to 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting in 33 minutes on Friday, but 20-point games from two-way contracted guard Pat Spencer, along with Javan Johnson and Kendric Davis, helped the Warriors to a 131-124 victory.

On assignment from the Golden State Warriors, Gui Santos had a team-high 28 points to lead Santa Cruz to a 131-123 win on Saturday

Santos responded from his quiet outing on Friday, recording 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the floor including 6-of-12 from three-point range. The Brazilian also added six rebounds, four assists and two steals on Saturday as the Warriors overcame a significant first-half deficit.

Santos led a brutal Santa Cruz charge in the third-quarter, having given up 70 first-half points to trail by 16. The 21-year-old had 14 points in the third including four three-pointers, with the Warriors putting up 47 points to take a two-point lead to the fourth.

Despite a game-high 37 points and seven rebounds from former New York Knicks first-round pick Kevin Knox II, the Remix couldn't overturn the momentum with the Warriors recording a 131-123 win.

Spencer added another 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting off the bench, while also adding five rebounds and four assists. Fellow two-way contracted player Usman Garuba had 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks, finishing as a +21 in the game.

Seven Santa Cruz players scored in double figures, with the team shooting 49.4% from the floor and 42.6% from three-point range. The win secures the Warriors a playoff spot as they sit fifth in the Western Conference.

Santos' back-to-back G League appearances comes after playing over five minutes in Golden State's 101-93 victory against the Orlando Magic at Kia Center on Wednesday. He knocked down 1-of-2 from three-point range, but the Warriors were a -16 during his limited minutes.

Originally drafted with the 55th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Santos has appeared in 20 games for Golden State in his rookie season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor and 40.9% from beyond the arc.