By Janie McCauley | The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors gave his son an early 5th birthday gift by allowing the boy to help on the sidelines running towels, shooting shirts and masks to Warriors players along their bench.
And dad delivered his first triple-double of the season to boot.
Green notched his franchise-leading 31st career triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists with Draymond Jr. an equally big star as Golden State held off the Sacramento Kings 113-98 on Monday night in a matchup of short-handed rivals because of COVID protocols.
“You like that?” Green shared of his postgame chat with young Draymond Jr., or “DJ.”
“It was fun, Daddy,” the boy answered before his father made clear, “We can’t do it all the time, we can do it sometimes.”
Green was thrilled with the opportunity for his son, who he praised for being “well-behaved” and doing just enough while staying out of the way.
“This organization is amazing to allow him … to sit there and help,” Green said. “You miss so much doing this job and those are the moments where it’s all worth it. For him to have that experience, it’s special. I don’t take that for granted.”
Stephen Curry had a nice night, too, scoring 30 points as the Warriors celebrated him for the 3-point record in his first home game since breaking Ray Allen’s mark.
Curry received a video tribute in the first quarter with highlights of the two-time MVP setting the record during the Warriors’ 105-96 victory over the Knicks last Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. He passed Allen’s 2,973 3s that were tops for 10 years.
Fans jumped to their feet during the first-quarter timeout to give the reigning scoring champion a long ovation. Curry returned to the court, patted his chest and waved to acknowledge the love and support.
Buddy Hield hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining in the third before Gary Payton II scored five straight points, getting a steal — one of his three — from Hield on the way to a layup and an 84-79 Warriors lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
And the Warriors needed a big fourth quarter to beat the Kings.
“The bench was great. Every guy who came off the bench played well for us,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Gary was everywhere defensively and on the boards, three steals, doing what Gary does.”
Golden State missed starters Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, with Damion Lee stepping into the starting lineup and rookie seventh overall draft pick Jonathan Kuminga making his second straight start and second of his career before his back tightened up and he was limited to six minutes.
Lee made his first six shots and finished 7 of 8 for 18 points with four 3-pointers.
Tyrese Haliburton had 24 points and 11 assists to lead Sacramento, which was down six players plus interim head coach Alvin Gentry. Assistant Doug Christie stepped in as acting coach.
Harrison Barnes scored 19 points against his former Warriors team, and Hield wound up with 18.
Rick Celebrini, Warriors Vice President of Player Health and Performance, met with the team before the game with reminders about being vigilant to stay safe given the recent coronavirus breakouts.
“It’s nerve-racking for everybody,” Kerr said. “Rick Celebrini just addressed the guys in our walkthrough about the importance of just being as smart as possible and wearing masks as often as we can and doing all the things that are recommended. It’s tough to be back in this state, but tough for everybody all over the world.”
Green’s adorable 4-year-old son got to work as helper to longtime Warriors equipment guru, director of team operations Eric Housen.
“Little Dray DJ, tonight he was amazing, made a couple big plays in the second half,” Payton said.
The boy handed Curry his mask during the second quarter and ran to help whenever needed, folding towels and shooting shirts under Housen’s guidance. “DJ” even got a pep talk and some acknowledgment from associate head coach Mike Brown, then a timeout dance with Juan Toscano-Anderson midway through the fourth.
“DJ was really solid, his hustle up and down the sidelines was very impressive,” Kerr said. “He’s got a lot to learn, though, he’s a young guy. We’ve just got to give him more reps.”
Kings: Joining Gentry in the health and safety protocols are Marvin Bagley III, Davion Mitchell Terence Davis, Alex Len and De’Aaron Fox. … Richaun Holmes also missed his seventh straight game with a right eye injury. … Christie ran 15 sets of arena stairs before the game.
Warriors: Golden State is 30-1 when Green gets a triple-double. … Kerr was named U.S. coach for the 2024 Paris Olympics and was presented with a Kerr No. 24 jersey before the game by Grant Hill. … Andre Iguodala reached 5,000 career field goals. … Otto Porter Jr. had a career-best four blocks but thought he had five “clean.” … Golden State improved to a league-best 15-2 at home.
Kings: Host the Clippers on Wednesday night having won the first two matchups this season.
Warriors: Host Memphis on Thursday night having lost 104-101 in overtime in the first meeting of the season in San Francisco on Oct. 28.