SACRAMENTO — No Andrew Bogut. No DeMarcus Cousins. Still plenty of action.
Coming off the All-Star break, the Warriors powered through a third-quarter surge from the Kings and let defense prevail as they beat Sacramento 101-92.
David Lee led the Warriors with 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Klay Thompson chipped in 18 as the Warriors capitalized on 21 Kings turnovers to seal the win.
Lee told SFBay finishing the first game back from the break on a high note was big for the team, but it needs to be finished off tomorrow with a win against Houston:
“I think momentum is huge. Getting off to a good start, winning this first game, and if we can carry that over into tomorrow night then we are onto something good.”
Stephen Curry hit his first three-pointer with 4:12 left in the first quarter while a noticeable silence hung over the Warriors’ bench.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks — who had been on the court during pre-game warm-ups — were nowhere to be seen.
Rumors swirled of a trade that would send Bazemore and Brooks to the Lakers for veteran guard Steve Blake. Then, with just over seven minutes left in the first half, the Warriors officially announced the trade via twitter:
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 20, 2014
The players learned of the trade just minutes before tip-off and described the locker room as emotional. Thompson told SFBay it was tough looking toward the end of the bench not seeing the familiar face of Bazemore cheering:
“I wish that kid all the best, him and MarShon. I had a great two years with Kent. Great player but an even better teammate and he’s gonna have a lot of success wherever he’s at.”
Coming out of halftime, the Warriors sped to a 65-50 lead, keeping the Kings scoreless for nearly three minutes before Jason Thompson hit his first field goal of the game.
Despite the Warriors’ early third-quarter run, the Kings came back with a vengeance closing out the quarter on a 9-0 run, including six consecutive points from Isaiah Thomas in the final minute to take a 76-75 lead.
As quickly as Sacramento took the lead, the Warriors reclaimed it, as the Kings committed their 18th turnover early in the fourth.
Thomas said the turnovers were the biggest problem but that getting comfortable after their run didn’t help:
“I think we got a little complacent in the offense … At the start of the fourth quarter we’ve got to play better, especially when we’ve got the momentum.”
Draymond Green became the sixth Warrior in double figures on a quick two-handed jam with 4:48 remaining giving Golden State a 92-84 advantage, and finished the night with 12 points matching his career-high.
The Kings couldn’t manage to take care of the ball all night, and it caught up with them in the final frame as Golden State took off.
The Warriors, now 32-22 overall return home to face the 37-17 Houston Rockets Thursday.
Golden State has won three of the four meetings against the Kings this season with their final matchup coming April 4 at Oracle Arena. … The Kings fell to 18-36 overall, having lost four of their last five games. … With the NBA trade deadline a day away both teams made moves before the game. The Kings acquired Reggie Evans and Jason Terry from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Marcus Thornton. … Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 26 points, reaching the 20-point plateau for the 32nd time this season, fifth in the last six games. … David Lee recorded his 28th double-double of the season, third straight with 23 points and 11 rebounds.