The Warriors‘ faith in Kelly Oubre throughout his early-season struggles paid off in a big way Thursday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Oubre posted a career-high 40 points in a win at Dallas after shooting just 37.6% from the field coming into the game.
“Obviously for Kelly, it’s been a rough first quarter of the season,” coach Steve Kerr said. “And yet within that span, he’s had some excellent games for us. He’s played very well at times; he’s just had some really poor shooting nights during that span that people have locked in on, but Kelly’s getting more comfortable. Guys in the locker room love him and want to help him continue to get comfortable, and this was obviously a great night for him and for the whole group.”
Golden State traded for Oubre to provide another reliable wing scoring option with Klay Thompson lost for the season due to a torn Achilles. Oubre averaged a career-best 18.7 PPG last season with the Suns, but his shot hasn’t been falling consistently since the deal. He had made just 24 3-pointers all season before sinking seven last night.
“It’s honestly been a great learning experience for me,” Oubre said. “I take it back to me being a freshman in college again because it was more of a psychological change. I had the tools to take it to the next step, but mentally I had to slow myself and wrap everything (together) and find my flow.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Thursday’s game also showed what Draymond Green is capable of doing in a small-ball lineup, Friedell adds in the same story. With centers James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss all sidelined by injuries, Green dished out 15 assists while playing a point-center role. “Draymond’s one of the best defenders in the game, and also one of the best playmakers,” said teammate Damion Lee. “He’s always looking to find guys, to get guys shots.”
- Stephen Curry believes watching the offense last night should be an educational experience for Wiseman, who is expected to return in a week or so, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “It’ll be good, I’m sure, for Wise to see how that ball was moving (tonight and this week) and that he can play that way as well and still dominate the game the way he’s capable of with his size and presence at the rim,” Curry said.
- Even though Thompson hasn’t played since the 2019 NBA Finals, he ranks 10th in the Western Conference backcourt in the first round of All-Star voting, notes Alex Shultz of SFGate.