With the playoffs just a few weeks away, the Golden State Warriors need to be playing at the top of their game. They are in the midst of a tightly-knit Western Conference playoff race and can’t afford to be losing too many games.
On Sunday night, however, they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves. But on the bright side, Gary Payton II made his long-awaited return from injury after joining the team at the trade deadline. After the loss, he spoke about how he felt physically.
“Good. I felt like I was out there shorter than I was, but 16 minutes. Felt good, though,” Payton said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “There were a lot of gaps in there, so [I was] able to go get my breath back after whistles and calls.”
Payton came off the bench for the Warriors against the Timberwolves. He logged 15:29 and put up nine points, two rebounds, and one assist on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 shooting from distance.
He sent a message to Dub Nation after the loss, showing love to Warriors fans.
“I didn’t have any [expectations],” Payton said of his return game. “I already knew it was love since I’ve been back from Dub Nation. So, it was just a nice welcome home. But you know I mess with Dub Nation like that. So, it’s all love.”
That being said, Payton was upset they weren’t able to bring home the win.
“That we lost,” Payton said when asked what the worst part of the loss was. “I think turnovers here and there, they piled up. But just down the stretch, we had it right here. But like I said, just turnovers. Dancing around and stuff like that. Just not being on the same page. I think we just lost a possession or two, and I think that eventually ended up being the decider.”
Steve Kerr Sounds Off on Warriors Health
After the Warriors’ recent win over the Philadelphia 76ers, head coach Steve Kerr spoke about Stephen Curry’s health, as he took some rest minutes in the fourth quarter.
“It just felt like such a big game for us,” Kerr said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I mean, every game is big now, but we knew he was on track for 38. We thought, ‘Alright, we can take them out for a minute or two in the middle of the fourth.’ But, he didn’t look tired. It’s one thing if he looks tired, and you think, ‘Alright, we got to give him a quick breather so he can close.’ He looked fine. He told us he felt fine. So, we stayed with him.”
Jordan Poole Name-Drops Stephen Curry
In addition, Jordan Poole, who dominated in the Warriors’ win over Philadelphia, revealed a message Curry gave him during the game.
“Just being able to get a stretch like that [and] catch my rhythm, be aggressive, [and] look for my shots,” Poole said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “As opposed to coming in, trying to figure out what the rhythm of the game is, who has it going, who can we find, [and] the type of shots we need to take. But I was out there the whole 12 [minutes], and Steph was just telling me to be aggressive. Just keep going. And whenever I kind of get time to catch my rhythm and line up my shots, it makes the playmaking a bit easier, too, because the defense is also worried about me scoring, as well as making the right plays.”