Andrew Wiggins scored a game-high 25 points and the Golden State Warriors retained the No. 3 playoff position in the Western Conference with a 109-90 victory Sunday, April 3 (Monday, April 4, Manila time), that formally eliminated the host Sacramento Kings from postseason contention.
Electing to rest veterans Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Otto Porter II on the second night of a back-to-back, Golden State (50-29) also got 22 points from Jordan Poole, 19 from Nemanja Bjelica, and 17 from Jonathan Kuminga in winning a second straight.
Playing after their two chief challengers for the West’s third seed – and Dallas Mavericks (49-30) and Denver Nuggets (47-32) – had already won, the Warriors used the victory to retain a one-game advantage with three games remaining.
Former Warriors Harrison Barnes and Damian Jones had 18 and 17 points, respectively, to pace Sacramento (29-50), which needed to win its last four games to have a shot at ending what is now a 16-year playoff drought.
One night after needing a furious fourth-quarter rally at home to stave off the Utah Jazz, the Warriors bolted to a 28-12 lead in the final minute of the first quarter and never looked back.
Down by as many as 26, the Kings got within 93-86 on a Jones jumper with still 5:41 to go.
But Gary Payton II countered with a layup and Wiggins buried his fourth three-pointer of the game, re-establishing a double-digit lead that allowed for a comfortable finish as Golden State completed a 4-0 season-series sweep.
Wiggins was 4-of-7 in three-point attempts, Poole went 4-for-9, and Bjelica 3-for-6, helping Golden State run up a 48-21 advantage in points from beyond the arc.
Bjelica grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to complete a double-double while also totaling a team-high 6 assists off the bench for the Warriors, who had lost four games in a row before Saturday’s dramatic win.
Damion Lee added 11 points for the Warriors, who finish the season against three teams with losing records – the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans Pelicans.
Donte DiVincenzo chipped in with 14 points off the bench for the Kings, who were coming off a 4-1 trip that ended with a pair of wins at Houston.
Barnes completed a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds, while Davion Mitchell logged a game-high 9 assists to go with 9 points. – Rappler.com