Warriors' Andrew Wiggins emerges from shadows with huge game vs. Clippers

Wiggins re-appears, proving value at right time for Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – The first five weeks of this Warriors season have been dominated by discussion of Steph Curry’s excellence, Klay Thompson’s struggles and the hard fact that the team often looked as if it slept through training camp.

Andrew Wiggins? You’ve had to look specifically for him.

He is Golden State’s No. 2 scorer, behind the other-worldly Curry. Wiggins’ shooting accuracy this month has been at career-best levels, so it’s not at all surprising that the spotlight eventually would make its way to him.

And there it was Wednesday night, Wiggins with a loud game.

Shooting splendidly from the first quarter into the early fourth, Wiggins scored a game-high – and season-high – 31 points in 32 minutes as the Warriors coasted to a 124-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in front of a sellout crowd (18,064) at Chase Center.

“He’s shooting the lights out,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s so consistent from the field and the 3-point line, and you see how comfortable he is in our offense, constantly slipping to the rim.

“He’s gotten to a point where he’s really, really comfortable with his teammates and the way we play,” Kerr continued. “And at the other end, he’s constantly taking the best, generally backcourt player or wing player.

“Wiggs has been fantastic.”

Wiggins shot 12-of-18 from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, and made his only free throw. He added three rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block and his plus-28 was the best on the team.

In 10 games this month, Wiggins is averaging 20.4 points, shooting 55.6 percent from the field, and 47.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Wiggins, a career 35.5-percent shooter from distance – who in 2021-22 posted a single-season high of 39.3 – said this “definitely” is the best his deep shot has felt.

“It's there,” said Wiggins, whose 12 triples in the last two games are a career-high for such a span. “My guys and the team, they do a lot of good things, and the ball moves, and it finds people. The last couple of games they found me in the right spot, and I’ve been knocking it down.

“We've been sharing the ball, everyone's been in a good rhythm playing together, so that's what's making it all connect.”

The startling rise in efficiency is, per Wiggins, largely a result of playing alongside Curry for a third season.

“I mean he's magical on the court, you know?” he said. “Just playing alongside him, just makes everything easier. He attracts a lot of attention, so guys have to be ready to shoot and be ready to make plays because obviously a lot of attention is going to be on him because of who he is.”

When the Warriors pulled away from the Clippers with a 34-18 second quarter, it was Wiggins’ 13 points – while Curry and Thompson combined for four – that carried the offense.

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Wiggins’ 16 second-half points more than doubled the six combined points for Curry and Thompson.

On this night, you didn’t have to look too hard for Wiggins. He has been there all along, but he stepped out of the shadow of his more celebrated teammates.

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