By: Malaika Bobino
Sacramento, CA – The best start in franchise history and the Golden State Warriors have fallen to the Sacramento Kings twice this season. Hoping to get win number eighteen, the Warriors instead recorded their ninth loss.
The Kings outlasted Golden State 131-127 in a nail biting game after Sacramento gave up a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Both teams shot 50 percent while the Kings had a season high in points and scored more than any team that has played the Warriors this season.
“That was a good exhibition of basketball players making wonderful shots,” said head coach Keith Smart. “Our team had seven players in double figures because we played at a great pace to start the game.”
Sacramento dominated the boards early and the bigs played full court basketball on both sides. Marcus Thornton returned to the lineup after missing three games to be with his ill mother, he scored 19 points in 31 minutes off the bench. Demarcus Cousins had the team-high 24 points while Aaron Brooks scored a season-high 23 points.
“We played very well, when you give up a lead like that you tend to shut it down,” Brooks said. “We just wanted to win the first quarter and put our emphasis to play all four quarters. Good ball movement both ways, they were shooting the ball well, and we responded well.”
The Kings took over the first quarter behind Aaron scoring 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. When he left the court, Jimmer Fredette took over hitting three of his five shots from the field and all four of his free throws. Combined the two had 25 points in the first half to edge the hot hands of David Lee who led all scores with 22 points.
Stephen Curry took over in the second half after Lee cooled off by the defense of Chuck Hayes. Curry recorded a season-high and game-high 32 points before fouling out of the game with 2:13 minutes in the fourth quarter. Golden State without their key player had to rely on their bench as both teams went back and fourth on shots.
“They’re a talented team, they’re record doesn’t show it but individually they have talent and if you let them free on the court and let them get to where that they want to go, they can hurt you,” Curry said. “You saw it tonight where they were knocking down three’s in the paint area, they had that confidence in the first half and it was hard to stop them.”
Sacramento has defeated the Warriors twice this season, both times at Sleep Train Arena. A game which lacked defense from both teams came down the final minutes on back-to-back shots going in from both teams. At the 2:13 minute mark, the game was tied 118-118, John Salmons went right at Stephen to pick up his sixth foul.
Curry had scored 23 points up to that point and probably would’ve have won the game for Golden State had he remained in the game. But the resiliency of the Kings led to their eighth win and outscored the Warriors 13-9 while their star player was sitting on the bench. The ball movement by Sacramento was at it’s best and the turnovers had decreased.
“We got a lot of easy baskets early which helped the offense,” Cousins said. “I had a lot of free throws early on which got my offense going and those easy shots gave us confidence. The ball movement tonight was us playing as a team and we’ll have to play off this momentum.”