SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Wiggins showed few signs of rust in his first game in more than two months after leaving the team to deal with an undisclosed family matter.
Wiggins came off the bench for the Golden State Warriors after starting his first 657 games in the NBA and made an immediate impact. He had his first shot attempt blocked but hustled back for a block of his own on the defensive end.
Wiggins finished with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist and four blocks in 28 minutes. The only thing missing from his game was the outside shot as he was 1-for-8 from deep, including a corner 3 for the lead in the closing seconds. The Sacramento Kings won the series opener 126-123, their first playoff victory in nearly 17 years.
“Wiggs was great,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “So awesome to have him back … First half he was amazing. Second half he wore down a bit but that was expected.”
The Warriors supported Wiggins during his long absence and are excited to have him back as a key piece for the postseason.
Wiggins played a big part in Golden State’s championship run last season, averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs, while also playing a key defensive role.
He signed a four-year contract extension in October to be a long-term fit for the Warriors but played only 37 games all season. He missed three with left foot soreness, 10 more because of a strained adductor in his right thigh, seven games with a non-COVID illness and then the final 25 games for the family matter.
He averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the regular season.