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Warriors’ Patrick McCaw debuts with Santa Cruz in win

The Warriors may have had the day off Thursday, but their pair of rookies did not.

Damian Jones and Patrick McCaw both shared the court for the Santa Cruz Warriors in a 115-108 win over the Northern Arizona Suns.

Jones finished with two points, four rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes of action, and McCaw played a game-high 38 minutes and tallied 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Steve Kerr said the reason McCaw was sent down was specifically to get minutes, so he has to be happy with McCaw’s line:

“I was the king of three-on-three when I was a player. I had to do it all the time to keep a rhythm, but it’s not the same as 5-on-5, full-court, with refs … It’s tough to play 11 guys when we’re already playing 10.”

Jones should be used to the short trip down the coast, as this is the fourth time he’s been assigned to the D-League. In 10 games for Santa Cruz, Jones is averaging 5.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game — while also collecting 3.5 fouls per contest.

McCaw, though, who had been in the Warriors regular rotation, made his Santa Cruz debut. McCaw had appeared in 26 games for Golden State averaging 2.8 points, one rebound and one assist in 12 minutes a game. After a standout Summer League and preseason, many had pegged McCaw to claim the backup shooting guard spot in the rotation.

At one point it looked like he had, but recently McCaw has been ceding minutes to Ian Clark, which culminated in picking up his first “did not play-coach’s decision” of the season against the Pistons, and has now picked up DNP-CDs in three straight games.

If the way the organization has handled Jones and his assignments is any indication, both rookies should be headed back to the big club and on the Warriors’ bench very soon. Especially considering Santa Cruz is off until January 6.

Curtis Uemura is SFBay’s Golden State Warriors beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @CUemura on Twitter and at for full coverage of Warriors basketball.

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