Draymond Green was absolutely incredible for Warriors off the bench


You’d be forgiven if you thought it was the 2010s: The Warriors won a huge road game, people on the internet were talking about Draymond Green’s backpack, and most mystifying of all, Green was hugely productive on offense. 

With a 123-116 Game 5 win in Sacramento, the Warriors are firmly in the driver’s seat of the Northern California first-round showdown. Green was a huge part of that Wednesday night. He’s usually a big part of what the Dubs do, but his 21 points represented his best offensive game in years — off the bench, no less.

It was the first time Green scored 20 points in a game of any kind since Christmas Day in 2019, and his most in a game since 2018, according to the Associated Press. (Green joked about the “god-awful team” he was a part of in 2019-20 in his TNT postgame interview.) 

The performance seemingly came out of nowhere, as Green had just 24 points total in the first four games of the series, and averaged in single digits every single month this season. But Green’s signature self-belief shone through after the win.

“In Game 4, I had 12 points, but I should have had 20 points,” he said on TNT broadcast. “I missed six or seven layups in that game.” Indeed, he was 3 of 14 in that game, the most field goals he had attempted all year. 

Green finding his game couldn’t have come at a better time for the Warriors, who shot just 11-of-38 from three. But Green was consistently able to attack the basket or find a crease against the Kings’ defense, giving them an option they haven’t had in years. Green was, improbably, in his bag, without sacrificing any of his usual stellar defense. He broke Domantas Sabonis’ ankles on a through-the-legs crossover in the fourth quarter. With the Warriors up just one with four minutes left, Green hit a one-legged fadeway, and the Kings never got that close again. Steve Kerr said that shot had the team calling him “Draymond Nowitzki.”

The Warriors can close out the Kings in Game 6 on Friday evening when the series returns to San Francisco.

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