What we learned as Dubs hold off Kings in California Classic finale


What we learned as Dubs hold off Kings in California Classic finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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SAN FRANCISCO – Brandin Podziemski made one of two free throw attempts with five seconds left, helping the Golden State Warriors hold off the Sacramento Kings 91-90 in the final game of the California Classic on Wednesday.

Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis were clearly the most polished players on the court in their first game at Chase Center since the end of last season.

A member of the 2023-24 All-Rookie First Team, Podziemski shook off a tough shooting night (4 of 13) to score 15 points with four assists. Jackson-Davis, another key piece of the Warriors’ young core, added 11 points and six rebounds.

It wasn’t all pretty for the duo. Twice, Podziemski tried soft lobs inside to Jackson-Davis but failed to connect.

Kevin Knox II added a team-high 21 points while Ethan Thompson scored 13 to help the Warriors capture the inaugural Mitch Richmond Trophy. The trophy is named after the Hall of Famer who played for both franchises during his NBA career.

Keon Ellis scored 30 points for the Kings, who split their four regular-season games against Golden State during the 2023-24 season before ending the Warriors’ campaign with another victory in the NBA Play-In Tournament in April.

Podziemski and Jackson-Davis got the Warriors going early, combining for 11 points in the first quarter – six fewer than the Kings did as an entire team.

Golden State led by as much as 21 in the duel between the Northern California rivals before Sacramento tied the game on a three-point play by Mason Jones with 25 seconds remaining.

Podziemski, who went 6 of 8 from the stripe, got fouled moments later and made his first shot before missing the second.

The Kings grabbed the rebound and had a chance to win it, but Ellis shot an air-ball 3-point try as the buzzer sounded.

This was the first year in which the Mitch Richmond Trophy was handed out. The trophy base has several white frond-like flags that will be changed individually each year to match the colors of the winning team.

Here are the takeaways from Wednesday’s game:

Podz, TJD Back After Prepping Olympians

Back from their week-long stay in Las Vegas where they played for the USA Men’s Basketball Select Team against Team USA, Podziemski and Jackson-Davis looked very comfortable and relaxed on the Chase Center court.

Just like they were as rookies, the duo played with an infectious energy on both ends.

Podz scored seven points in the first quarter. In typical Podz fashion, he was all over the court defensively and drew a charging call in the second quarter.

Jackson-Davis wasn’t as active offensively, taking only seven shots. But he jump-started a few fastbreaks with his work in the paint.

Keon Keeping On For Kings

As one of the few Sacramento players in the California Classic with any sort of NBA experience, Ellis had a slight edge over some of his other teammates — and it showed.

Ellis, who played fairly well over the three games at Golden 1 Center, joined Colby Jones as the only two Kings players with any type of offensive success.

Jones paced Sacramento in scoring and rebounding, but Ellis continued to flash his skills as a steady scorer in the backcourt. Ellis missed half of the eight shots he attempted in the first half went 8 of 13 after that.

Former First-Rounder Making Bid With Dubs

Knox has bounced around the NBA getting time with four different teams since joining the league as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 draft. But the versatile forward made a case for himself to get another chance at making it, this time with the Warriors.

Knox helped Golden State pull away in the second quarter, scoring 14 points on 4 of 8 shooting including a pair of threes. He later had a two-handed dunk in the third quarter that helped the Warriors retain their close lead.

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