Jonas Jerebko Solidifies Rotation Spot With Career-high in Warriors' Win

OAKLAND -- Even as the Warriors say they knew what they were getting when they signed Jonas Jerebko to a veteran's minimum contract in July, they were not sure.

Their summary, in short: 6-foot-10 power forward, good shooter and rebounder, plays hard, playing time will vary wildly from game to game.

Shred the last nine words. They no longer apply.

Jerebko has jammed himself into the rotation, become a staple among the bench corps and his performance in a 120-116 win over Dallas on Saturday provided an illustration of why his minutes do not vary wildly.

Jerebko delivered 23 points -- a career-high -- on 10-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep, along with six rebounds, three assists and one steal. All in 21 minutes.

"He had several plays that just got the crowd into it with his hustle," coach Steve Kerr said. "He gave us a huge lift off the bench. It was a great night for him."

Jerebko is making a habit of contributing what's needed, often with rebounding but particularly with scoring. He has scored in double figures in seven of the last 11 games, averaging 11.4 points per game during that stretch.

Moreover, Jerebko has played at least 20 minutes in 19 consecutive games.

"That's what I'm in the gym for every day," Jerebko said. "I want to get consistent minutes, so that's why I'm in the gym working and showing what I can do, just playing my butt off every night to get to that point. I'm going to keep doing that and keep helping this team win."

The guy who wasn't projected to get regular playing time leads all Warriors reserves in minutes and has played more minutes than any Warrior not named Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry.

Jerebko, a ninth-year veteran, often is the first reserve to enter, replacing either Kevon Looney or Draymond Green in the first quarter. On this night, he owned the pivotal third quarter, scoring nine points on 4-of-4 shooting and grabbing two rebounds in six minutes.

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The Warriors, down three at the half, took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter. Jerebko earned the standing ovation he got when he exited with 6:39 remaining.

"He's a big part of what we do," Curry said. "He's very versatile in terms of what he can offer. He can shoot the ball really well and he's pretty smart on defense in being in the right position and sacrificing his body. On the offensive end, he just tries to make the right play at all times.

"The ball is moving and hopping and he knows that if it's an open shot, take it, and if not, move it along and set a good screen and get it back. He's really implemented himself into what we do."

Those regular minutes won't be going away anytime soon. Two months into the season, Jerebko -- who was released by Utah last summer -- has outperformed projections and become a regular on a championship team.

The Warriors didn't see this coming, but now they're taking all they can get.

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