SACRAMENTO — The Golden State Warriors may have mastered their recent seven-game road trip covering thousands of miles. But they haven’t solved the one-game trip just up the road.
The Warriors had the 17-8 record and the Kings were 7-17. But you don’t win games on paper. A simple 90-mile drive from Oakland to Sacramento has spawned a very competitive Northern California rivalry that has lasted nearly 30 years.
The Sacramento Kings scored a season-high in points Wednesday night to hold off Golden State, 131-127.
In the win, center DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points and point guard Aaron Brooks added 23 as the Kings ended a five-game losing streak.
Kings guard Marcus Thornton scored 19 points off the bench:
“Since I got here it’s been a rivalry. The fans get into it, we get into it more because of the fans. So every time we play them it’s always intense. We just always try to come out ahead.”
In defeat, Golden State had a game-high 32 points from Stephen Curry, with David Lee adding 29 points. The Warriors have lost only three games in December: Two to the Orlando Magic, and this game against Sacramento. Both the Magic and Kings have losing records.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson scoffed when asked if his team played down to the level of their opponent:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson
“That’s comical man. We are a team that can be beaten by the best and beaten by the worst. We have to play our brand of basketball in order to stay successful and when we don’t we can be disappointed.”
The game was tied 118-all with 2:13 left when Curry fouled out trying to defend against John Salmons.
Aaron Brooks’ 3-pointer with 1:35 from the baseline put Sacramento up by four points. After a Warriors free throw, another Marcus Thorton triple extended the Kings lead to six points with a minute remaining.
Jarret Jack tried to draw a foul from the arc with 25.3 seconds left. After cutting it to a three point deficit, the Warriors fouled Cousins. The strategy backfired as Cousins made both foul shots and the Kings led 127-122 with 21.3 seconds left.
After a miss off a shot by Klay Thompson, Jack got the offensive rebound and his shot inside the paint made it a 3-point game with 14.5 seconds to go.
Fredette was fouled and he made both free throws to put the Kings up by five points with just under 12 seconds remaining. But on the Warriors’ next possession, Sacramento triple-teamed Jack, leaving Klay Thompson wide open for another three that made it a two point game with 6.3 seconds to play.
Fredette was fouled again on the inbounds play and his perfect 8-for-8 shooting from the line ensured the win.
Jack admitted it was more than a typical loss:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors guard Jarrett Jack
“A loss is a loss. I think there are certain ones throughout the season that you point to that either you can have a positive effect from it, it can be a momentum shift, or it can go the opposite direction. I think for us it’s definitely a wake up call. Luckily for us we’re going back home in front of our fans and hopefully we can get back on track.”
Five of the Warriors’ next six games are at Oracle Arena, where they host the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Post-Game Audio: Warriors forward David Lee
The Warriors streak of holding opponents to under 100 points ended at six games. … Despite the loss, the Warriors also scored a season high in points. … Golden State falls to 16-2 when outrebouding their opponent. They had 42 rebounds while the Kings had 40. … Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 28 points off the bench. Jack has scored in double digits in each of the last six games, and twice has scored 20 or more points.