Warriors Defeat Hawks 134-112 Amid Emotional Return To Play

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, NBA News
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In a game charged with emotion following the recent passing of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, the Golden State Warriors they rallied to secure a victory over the Atlanta Hawks with a score of 134-112 during Wednesday’s NBA slate.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr encouraged his team to immerse themselves in the game despite the challenging circumstances.

“It was not easy, but I thought our guys did a really good job of trying to make that transition and settle into the game,” Kerr said. “It was very emotional. A lot of guys were in tears as the ball was being tipped.”

Stephen Curry led the team with 25 points and eight assists, while Klay Thompson added 24 points. The Warriors honored their late coach, affectionately referred to as “brate,” which means brother in Serbian. Jonathan Kuminga stood out, making all 11 of his field goal attempts and scoring 25 points, tying Chris Mullin’s franchise record for the most shots made without a miss.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kuminga said. “Obviously we kind of regroup with everything that was going on and went out there and just enjoy and just have fun and do what Deki would want us to do.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks Updates

The pregame ceremony was poignant, with both teams standing together as the Serbian national anthem played in tribute to Milojević. The Warriors players each placed a jersey bearing Milojević’s name on one of the coaching chairs, adorned with a special T-shirt reading “BRATE.”

Milojevic, who was known as “Deki,” tragically passed away from a heart attack during a team dinner in Salt Lake City. His impact was felt deeply, with two injured Warriors, Chris Paul and Gary Payton II, wearing jerseys with his name throughout the game. A tribute video and photos displayed around the Chase Center celebrated Milojević’s life and the joy he brought to the team.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks Updates

The Hawks also had a personal connection to Milojević, with Bogdan Bogdanovic, a native of Belgrade who played for Milojević’s former team Partizan, and assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who had worked with Milojević on the Serbian national team.

“There’s such a strong Serbian connection in this league,” Kerr said.

Despite the loss, the Hawks’ Bogdanovic scored 17 points, and Dejounte Murray led the team with 23 points. Hawks coach Quin Snyder acknowledged the game’s significance beyond its competitive aspect.

“This game had significance beyond the game,” Snyder said.

Dario Saric, who has become a support for Milojevic’s family, expressed how the coach was like an older brother to him and had a profound impact in a short time.

“He had such a great impact on me in a short period of time,” Saric said. “He was like my older brother.”

Curry and Thompson were impressive from the 3-point range, combining for 10 of 18, contributing to the Warriors’ overall 48.5% shooting and 16 made 3-pointers. This victory also marked the 400th regular-season win for the trio of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green.

“That’s very special,” Thompson said. “Any time I am on the court with those two, I’m very grateful.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks Updates

The Warriors had an eight-day break between games, the longest in their franchise history during a regular season, excluding the All-Star break and the 2020 pandemic stoppage.

Looking ahead, the Hawks will host the Dallas Mavericks, while the Warriors are set to play the Sacramento Kings in a home-home back-to-back series.

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