Draymond Green returns to Warriors' starting lineup for Game 7 vs. Kings
Draymond returns to starting lineup for Game 7 vs. Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SACRAMENTO -- With the Warriors' season on the line, and possibly a dynasty, coach Steve Kerr is turning to Draymond Green.
After coming off the bench the past three games, Green is returning to the starting lineup Sunday against the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 of the Warriors' first-round NBA playoff series. He'll join Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney for the opening tip.
Green, following a one-game suspension, posted 12.3 points, 8.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks the last three games in reserve. Jordan Poole, who Green is replacing in the starting lineup, averaged 13.8 points and 3.8 assists his last four games -- all starts -- but shot only 35.3 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from 3-point range.
Poole was a minus-14 in the Warriors' Game 6 blowout loss, scoring seven points on 2-of-11 shooting.
"Yeah, Jordan never really got going tonight unfortunately," Kerr said Friday night after the loss. "He got a little frustrated early. He had a couple plays where he didn't get calls and he was trying to attack and couldn't quite shake free, so just a frustrating night for him. But you know, it was a poor night for all of us, including me.
"We always say, we win together, we lose together, and this was a team effort that includes players and coaches, and the Kings outplayed us, out coached us, deserved to win."
The five-man group of Curry, Poole, Thompson, Wiggins and Looney have produced a 9.2 net rating in the playoffs with a 113.1 offensive rating and 103.8 defensive.
But the starting lineup of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green and Looney, which was the best in the NBA this season, has a 17.9 net rating in the first round, with a 116.8 offensive rating and 98.9 defensive rating.
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Sunday marks Green's fifth career Game 7. In his previous four, he has put up historic numbers by averaging 19.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He has been there from the start of the dynasty, and will either push it forward or be part of the season coming to a crashing end.
One thing is for sure: Kerr is going with his guys, at least one more time.
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