Preview: Bighorns Host Warriors in First Golden 1 Center Contest
By Stephanie Lovell
Golden 1 Center hosts its first ever D-League matchup when the Reno Bighorns face the Santa Cruz Warriors Friday Night. The Bighorns are in the first year of complete ownership by the Kings, who purchased the Reno club in October of last year. Kings GM Vlade Divac and VP of Player Personnel Peja Stojakovic have placed renewed focus on their D-League affiliate as a strategic training ground to develop young talent.
The Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate, currently hold a 19-16 record and have won two of their last five matchups. The Warriors are coming off a 116-96 victory over the Bighorns and look to continue their upward momentum. Warriors guard Phil Pressey led the night with a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists. His leadership was accompanied by the powerful presence of forward James Southerland, who finished the evening with a triple-double (16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists).
In their previous matchup Wednesday, the Bighorns struggled to find momentum and trailed throughout the entirety of the game. Gary Neal, a new addition to the team, led Reno with 21 points, four rebounds and two assists. The combination of Isaiah Cousins and Reggie Hearn helped as well, each scoring 16 points.
The Bighorns look to bounce back tonight against the Warriors in their home away from home of Golden 1 Center.
All eyes will be on Georgios Papagiannis, who has been reassigned from the Kings to the Bighorns. He’ll match up against Dennis Clifford, who chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds in the Warriors recent win over the Reno.
Did You Know?
An all-time high of 135 players with D-League experience were on official rosters for NBA teams at the start of the 2016-17 regular season. This tallied a total of 30 percent of the League’s representation.