Kings royally outwork ice cold Warriors
ORACLE ARENA — Out of playoff contention with the worst road record in the NBA, the Sacramento Kings waltzed into Oracle Arena and outplayed the Warriors for a 105-98 victory.
Coming off a big win at home against the Lakers on Monday, the Warriors underestimated the Kings and paid the price. Jarrett Jack scored 16 points off the bench and told SFBay that the team didn’t play with the same intensity as they did against the Lakers:
Warriors guard Jarrett Jack
“Everytime you step in between the lines you should have something to prove and something to play for and for maybe 30 minutes we played that way. But in this NBA that’s not good enough.”
Early in the first quarter, Golden State survived a 12-2 Kings run and headed into the locker room at halftime trailing by just three points.
The Warriors took the lead with 9:25 left in the third quarter but a surge from Sacramento that saw a 13-0 run in under four minutes of play, proved to be too much for the Dubs to handle.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the performance of his team against Sacramento was disappointing and does not represent who they are:
Warriors coach Mark Jackson
“We started the game (down) 12-2, and when you mess around with a team that you’re better than, they gain confidence and you give them a reason to show up. Just disappointing, disappointing. We own it and we look to get better. But, if we give the same energy and effort that we did against the Lakers, we win this ball game. We did not.”
Kings guard Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 31 points, 23 of those in the third quarter making five of six shots from distance:
Kings guard Isiah Thomas
“We wanted to come out after halftime and just sustain the run they (ended) the first half with and then we just wanted to be aggressive and make plays. Guys made a lot of plays in that third quarter of finding each other and knocking down shots. So we had a good third quarter.”
David Lee scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for yet another double-double.
But Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry struggled to say the least. Thompson was abysmal, shooting 1-of-13, scoring four points. He missed his last 11 shots from the field as he and Curry combined to shoot 6-for-31. Curry finished with 17 points and 12 assists.
Two of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, Curry and Thompson hit just 3-of-17 triples, while Thomas sunk a career-high seven from beyond the arc.
Even with ice cold shooting from their backcourt, coach Jackson said it wasn’t missed shots that lost the ballgame, it was intensity and effort.
Andrew Bogut (12 points, 9 rebounds) echoed Jackson’s sentiments:
Warriors center Andrew Bogut
“I think our offense struggled from time to time, but when we got into lulls offensively we didn’t have the same energy we’ve had the past couple games defensively…They just outworked us, their effort was much better than ours tonight.”
Kings head coach Keith Smart said that Thomas was the reason Sacramento won its first road game this season against a team with a winning record.
Kings coach Keith Smart
“He made some shots. He made the right shots. We needed a spark. And I thought he gave us a spark to separate us a little bit. Now, every possession (the Warriors) had was critical. He played the way he needed to play.”
In the final minutes, the Warriors tried one last time to rally for a comeback. A Jack layup followed by a Curry steal and bucket cut the Kings lead to just four.
With under 30 seconds to play, Golden State fouled repeatedly to send the Kings to the free throw line where they capitalized to finish off the win.
The Warriors had the opportunity to gain a two-game cushion ahead of seventh-place Houston. Instead, their magic number remains at six and they continue to sit dangerously close to falling out of sixth place.
Golden State will face the Portland Trailblazers at Oracle Arena on Saturday, their fourth in a five-game homestand that will finish off with New Orleans on April 3.
Curry scored his 600th career 3-pointer, becoming only the third Warrior (Tim Hardaway 602 and Jason Richardson 700) to reach that mark. … Lee notched his league-leading 48th double-double this season and his 200th game as a Warrior. … Thompson had a career low (.077) shooting percentage. … Golden State lost the season series against Sacramento (1-3) for the first time since being swept in 2002-03. … The Warriors sold out their 26th consecutive game. … Celtics Hall of Famer and former Kings coach Bill Russell sat courtside with Warriors executive board member and fellow Hall of Famer Jerry West. Russell was in town for a dedication at his alma-mater, McClymonds high school.