The Sacramento Kings walked into Oakland tonight and punched the Golden State Warriors in the teeth, leaving with a victory. Sure, the Warriors sat Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, but it’s still a road game against the Warriors, who still featured two All-Stars and a recent Finals MVP. How did the same Kings team that lost to the Atlanta Hawks by 46 beat the reigning champs? With good old team basketball and some fiery play by the kids.
The first six minutes of this game were a back and forth scoring affair, with Draymond Green scoring six of the first ten points for Golden State off of a pair of threes. The Kings were pretty Kangzy early, turning it over on back to back possessions, but the Warriors looked a bit out of sorts early and couldn’t convert on either take away .I guess losing 50+ points and two former NBA MVPs should do that to a team though, right? Half way through the quarter, the Kings had a 14-14 tie, but neither team seemed overly motivated to pull away, or to take care of the ball, for that matter. 5 of the first 20 points for the Warriors was scored off of three Kings turnovers. The Kings ended up with 4 turnovers in the quarter. The Bench Mob checked in with 3 minutes to go in the quarter, and Willie immediately scored on a scoop layup, and then they promptly gave up a Nick Young three pointer. He’s going to kill us this game isn’t he? Through one, the Kings and Warriors we’re tied at 27 a piece.
First Q Impressions:
-Patrick McCaw and Omri Casspi started in place of the injured Curry and Durant. They are not as good, nor nearly as exciting. #Analysis
-Just about every time the Kings took the ball out of the hoop, you could hear Dave Joerger harp on the team to “GO” and the bench did a good job of following that request. Buddy Hield got found for a quick three and the very next possession, Frank Mason had himself a floater in the lane late in the first in secondary break situation.
Coming out of the quarter break, the Kings gave up a wide open dunk, and then on the other end committed an offensive foul. The first half of this game felt so ... blasé. The Warriors were going through the motions, the fans were golf clapping at best. Nick Young had his 8th point by 9:40 in the quarter, and I regret saying anything at all. The Kings started the game 3/5 from three, and Frank Mason’s first triple put the Kings up 36-35 around the 8 minute mark. Three minutes later, Dave Joerger called a timeout with the Kings down eight of the back of a couple of turnovers and bad shots from the Kings bench. Fox and Temple re-entered the game with Vince Carter, with George Hill shortly thereafter, and that group with Z-Bo was able to cut the Warriors lead to two points.
Halftime Score: Kings: 53, Warriors: 55, Will: 6 yawns.
Second Q/ First Half Impressions:
Shaun Livingston is as thin as a Cheez-It, but his length was giving Frank Mason and Bogdanovic some problems this quarter. Every moment he’s on an NBA floor, further convinces me he sold his soul for a new knee.
There was at least three times this quarter the Warriors found teammates open right under the basket for wide open layups. This was just as much the Kings ball watching on defense as it was the Warriors great movement.
The Kings bench had 22 points at half; Willie’s 6 points and high energy were the standout.
At half, the Kings have shot 47.4% from the field and 50% from three, keeping pace with the Warriors’ 51% from the field, 43% from three. Sacramento also has 13 assists to the Warriors 16, and 22 rebounds to Golden States 25 boards.
De’Aaron Fox at the half: 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He seems to be happy playing at a high pace, and his energy just seems to be a bit higher tonight.
The third quarter is where the Kings absolutely pooped the bed against the Clippers on Saturday night, so expectations were rather low against the defending champs, but just two minutes into the quarter it was the Warriors who were taking a timeout after the Kings snatched the lead back at 58-57. At this point in the game, Klay Thompson was 3-12 with only 9 points, and of course just as I typed that, he hit a three. Well here’s to hoping I didn’t just curse us to a 37 point quarter, just before pointing out that the Kings had held Klay to just 1-5 shooting from three before that shot. De’Aaron Fox Triple Double Watch; with 7 minutes left in the third quarter, Fox has 6-4-4 and a great steal on a Warriors fast break that was a sure layup for Patrick McCaw. The Kings spent most of the first 7 minutes of this quarters out of sync; with three turnovers and save for back to back bail out threes by George Hill, the Kings just couldn’t seem to get into a position to score the ball, or find any offensive flow. And yet, after all this lagging and sloppy basketball, the Kings dragged themselves to a lead after three quarters in Oakland.
Third Quarter Impressions:
Garrett Temple seems to be out of his slump for at least one night and through three quarters; 12 points on 4-7 shooting.
Speaking of busting out of his slump, Klay Thompson through 3 has 18 points, on 6-15 shooting, including 4 of 8 from three.
Nick Young hit yet another 3 this quarter: but it was wiped away (to my relief) after Javale McGee half-tackled Willie Cauley-Stein.
Through three: the Kings have hit only four less threes than the Warriors and on 12 less attempts. A MORAL VICTORY SIR.
Two minutes into the fourth and the the Kings found themselves up 6 after a Frank Mason three pointer rattled home; but like most Kings leads, it didn’t last long. Draymond Green hit his third three of the night and on the very next possession dished the ball to David West which lead to Coach Joerger spending himself a time out to discuss the weather and if anyone else had seen Murder on the Orient Express this weekend. The first five minutes of the quarter were played without Klay Thomson or Patrick McCaw and when they checked in at 7:08 left in the game, the game was tied at 96 all. I’d expected Klay to go on a little run to put all the pressure on the Kings, but over the next three minutes, Thompson hadn’t even taken another shot. The Kings tightened their defense up out of a time out, and forced the Warriors into a shotvclock violation, and with a WCS score on the other end, the Kings found themselves down only 1 with 3:30 left to play. Of course, the ensuing possession saw a Klay Thompson three fall true, putting the Warriors up 4 with 3:11 to play. Omri Casspi gave his old team a little favor with 1:57 left in the game when he fouled Garrett Temple on a three pointer; Temple sank the first two, and the final shot was missed, but rebounded by Willie, who was then found on the possession by Mason for an alley-oop to tie the game at 106 a piece. Out of a timeout, Klay Thompson missed a three ball, but the Kings couldn’t wrangle the rebound and it rolled out of bounds. Klay then missed a tough two over Bogi in the paint and with 36 seconds left the Kings had possession and a chance to take the lead. Keep in mind here, that the Kings had no time outs at this point, but it just plain didn’t matter. Sacramento went to Bogi when the offense stalled, who was forced to create something out of nothing and juuust got a floating layup off before the shot clock expired over the top of Draymond Green. With the Warriors taking their final time out with 12.6 seconds left, and down two points, the Kings had a foul to give and used it. The Warriors ended up getting the ball inbounds with just over 10 seconds left and it was all Klay, who pulled for three and clanked the shot that was then rebounded by who else? Mr. Bogdanovic himself. He made both free throws after the Warriors fouled him, putting them up 4. Draymond clanked a long three off the rim and THE KINGS BEAT THE WARRIORS IN OAKLAND.
Fourth Quarter/Second Half Impressions:
Willie Cauley-Stein nearly detonated a drop step dunk on David West; David did the smart thing and shoved him to prevent his early retirement.
Draymond Green was afraid of the post tonight. His only four made shots were from deep, and he went 4-15 overall. NUTS.
Willie to Bogi might actually be a thing. They didn’t connect for any highlight reel dunks tonight but at one point, Bogdan shot a bounce pass to Willie who immediately shot it back to the streaking Serb. It was poked out of bounds by a Warriors defender but boy did that look good.
- The point guards had themselves games tonight. George Hill looked like an actual NBA player with 16 points and 4-5 from three. De’Aaron Fox finished with a better-than-it-seems 6-4-4 and 2 steals playing in just 23 minutes, but that was more in part due to the play of Frank Mason, who scored a career high 14 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 4 assists. This was a great night to showcase all three of our point guards.
- Willie’s streak ain’t stopping. The guy had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. He is now moved himself to the best player on the team. Please feel free to argue, wrong person in the comments.
- Omri Casspi is a national treasure. I’m sad that he’s playing for Warriors fans, glad he’s playing for the Warriors and over the moon that he’s loved the way he ought to be. Good-bye, beautiful. Good-bye.
The Kings broke a 50+ game streak that the Warriors had of holding an opponent to under 50% shooting. “Yeah but Steph Curry and Kevin Durant were-” shut it Poindexter. The Kings had 27 assists, only 13 turnovers, made 17-21 from the free throw line and hit 9-16 from three tonight.
Also, they beat the Warriors on Matt Barnes ring ceremony night. Eat it, Oakland.