During the recent NBA All-Star break, James Wiseman mistakenly missed a scheduled COVID-19 test, putting his status for the Golden State Warriors’ first game of the second half in question.
Although the rookie was later cleared to play against the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Kerr opted to bench Wiseman for the first three quarters at Staples Center on Thursday.
After the Clippers built a 36 point lead through three quarters, Wiseman checked into the contest with the final 12 minutes remaining. Following the first benching of his young NBA career, the 19-year-old responded with an energized effort in the final quarter in Southern California.
Wiseman tallied 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in 12 minutes. Along with scoring in the paint, Wiseman displayed his range, hitting a pair of jumpers and a triple from beyond the arc. The rookie big man added seven boards during his late appearance against the Clippers.
Despite playing only in the fourth quarter, the Memphis product finished the game trailing Golden State’s scoring leaders Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. by only one point. Wiseman’s 14 points and seven boards were good enough to earn him a team-high +10 against the Clippers.
Watch highlights from Wiseman’s performance against the Clippers via @StephRevengeSZN on Twitter:
To put an end to a season-high four-game losing streak, the Warriors will need Wiseman to bring a similar level of energy to the lineup on Sunday against Rudy Gobert and the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz.
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