The Golden State Warriors were outlasted by the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, losing 114-105 after the home team pulled away late. Don’t mistake context behind the Warriors’ latest defeat for that of any other on their winless disaster of a five-game road trip, though.

Playing without the reigning Finals MVP, two more future Hall-of-Famers and perhaps their team’s second best player during last year’s title run, the Warriors’ reserves gave a two-way effort from start to finish against New Orleans that made their coach proud. The most significant takeaway from a fifth straight loss that seemed preordained before tipoff, though?

Jonathan Kuminga making a strong case for playing time as Steve Kerr mulls lineup changes once Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green return on Monday. After the game, Golden State’s coach confirmed the bench rotation will be different when his team takes the floor against the Sacramento Kings at Chase Center.

“We’re gonna change up the rotations a little bit. I’ve got an idea of what I’m gonna do, but the staff will talk about it in the next couple days, and we’ll solidify that,” he said.

Kuminga finished with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals on 7-of-12 shooting on Friday, helping the Warriors’ B-team stay competitive against a full-strength Pelicans squad.

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He blew past Zion Williamson for multiple soaring finishes, leveraging his explosiveness with quick-hitting straight-line drives. Kuminga showed similar poise and decisiveness while bullying his way to the paint for several short jumpers, creating space with his shoulders and footwork. He stroked an open corner three with confidence.

Most importantly, Kuminga consistently made the right play on both ends, looking plenty comfortable competing with the likes of Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones.

Kerr never specified who most stands to benefit from the Warriors’ imminent lineup changes. Still, he pretty much let it slip that a promotion for Kuminga is coming.

“[Kuminga] played really well and he earned some minutes,” Kerr said. “…He showed tonight that he’s ready to step into the rotation and contribute. But that has to be every night.”

That first test seems set to come Monday. What Kuminga’s extra playing time means for James Wiseman and the rest of the Warriors’ reserves, though, remains to be seen.