CK Press Box Report: Golden State Warriors 87, Sacramento Kings 83

OAKLAND, CA – The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings rarely disappoint when they meet on the court.  On Tuesday evening, the opposite was true.

The two Northern California rivals played a surprisingly low-scoring game that was hardly entertaining until the final few ticks of action.  Klay Thompson‘s last minute heroics salvaged what was a sloppy 87-83 win for the Warriors over the Kings at Oracle Arena.  The victory for the Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak against the Kings this season.

The Kings fall to 21-42 overall and 6-28 on the road.  They return to Sleep Train Arena for a meeting with the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins struggled offensively for a second-straight night.  The Kings center scored just five points on 2-of-10 shooting.  Cousins didn’t think so, but at times tonight, Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli seemed to give the Kings center fits with their defense.
  • With Cousins faltering in Oakland, Jason Thompson picked up the slack.  The Kings power forward led Sacramento with 17 points and eight rebounds.  He also shot a healthy 61.5 percent from the field on 13 attempts.
  • Patrick Patterson earned the lionshare of minutes off the Kings’ bench.  The third-year forward responded by being an active presence on the glass and grabbed eight rebounds in nearly 28 minutes of action.  After Patterson was acquired from Houston, Smart told media that he’d like the 23-year-old big man to snatch at least five boards per game off the Kings’ bench.
  • Like Cousins, tonight was not exactly a memorable evening for Tyreke Evans either.  The Kings starting shooting guard scored just nine points on 4-of-14 shooting.  Evans had a chance to redeem himself on the Kings’ final offensive possession.  With seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and trailing by two points, the 23-year-old guard found himself one-on-one against Klay Thompson.  He ended up missing a driving layup that would have tied the game.
  • Thompson was the hero for the Warriors this evening.  David Lee found him open for three on the right-corner and the second-year guard delivered with just 7.5 seconds remaining.  Thompson scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors, which was his 20th 20-point game of the season.
  • Stephen Curry came tumbling down to earth.  The Warriors guard scored just 13 points on 3-of-11 shooting in the four-point win.  Before tonight, Curry had scored 25 points or more in five-straight contests.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings moved the ball pretty well Wednesday evening.  They dished out 28 dimes, which marked the ninth-straight time they’ve recorded 20 or more assists.  It’s also the 12th time they’ve accomplished the feat in their last 13 games.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will tonight’s game prove to be another compelling match-up between the Northern California rivals?

When these two teams last met, they combined to score 258 points in just four quarters of action.  Tonight’s game didn’t come close to matching that Dec. 19, 2012 match-up.  This game was characterized by missed rebounds and turnover-heavy play by both teams.  As a result, the Kings and Warriors both failed to break the 90-point barrier.  That hasn’t happened between these two since 1957 when the franchises were located in Rochester and Philadelphia, respectively.

2.  Which team wins the battle from beyond the arc?

Neither team shot the ball particularly well from 3-point land.  The Warriors got blisteringly cold after a first quarter where they shot 5-of-10 from long distance.  Meanwhile, the Kings shot just 8-of-24 from long range.  Despite the off nights from both teams beyond the arc, this game ended up being decided by a corner three made by the Warriors’ Klay Thompson.

3.  Which team wins the bench battle? 

The Kings’ reserves played a critical role in keeping them in contention, especially Toney Douglas.  He earned his minutes tonight, forcing Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas to remain glued to the sidelines.  In the loss, the fourth-year point guard scored 10 points and dished out six assists in just over 28 minutes of action.  Meanwhile, Jarrett Jack was the only Warriors reserve to make a dent on Wednesday’s game.  He scored 12 points, but it took him 14 shots to do so.

Quotes of the Game

Keith Smart on DeMarcus Cousins’ off night:

Basketball players, pros have those nights.  You want your best players playing well all the time, but on some nights, it’s going to be that way.  Sometimes, it’s going to happen.  Some nights, it’s going to be where you don’t get what you want.  That’s part of being a pro.   Some nights, you’ve got to step back and look at yourself and say, “You know what?  I don’t have it tonight.  I’m trying hard, but it’s just not falling my way,” and maybe another group on the floor will play well.

Klay Thompson describes his game-winner:

It was a drag screen for Steph (Curry).  (David) Lee was doing the pin down for me.  He played the part well and he popped, then he found me right in the shooting pocket.  All I had to do was catch and shoot.

Tyreke Evans on the Kings’ final offensive possession:

I wasn’t expecting to get a call at the end of the game, especially being on the road.  I think I did my part to get in the lane.  But besides that, we just have to move on.

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