CK Press Box Report – Sacramento Kings 131, Golden State Warriors 127

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

 
In their best performance of the season, the Sacramento Kings outlasted the Golden State Warriors in a barnburner of the game, winning 131-127 at Sleep Train Area.  The Kings’ 131 is a season-high in points scored while the 127 points by the Warriors is the most Sacramento has allowed an opponent this year.  With the victory, Sacramento improves to 8-17 overall, 7-7 at home and end a five-game losing streak.

Notes and Analysis

  • When the Warriors and Kings match-up, it’s always a good watch, but we haven’t seen anything like this in Sacramento for a while.  The two teams combined to shoot 53 percent (24-for-45) from the 3-point line and 12 different players finished in double-figure scoring.  The fans got their money’s worth tonight.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in the post tonight, finishing with 24 points , five rebounds and seven assists for the game.  The Warriors only answer was to foul Cousins and he responded by hitting 14 of his 18 free throws.
  • Aaron Brooks had an incredibly efficient 23-point night, going 9-for-12 from the field and adding five assists in his 30 minutes of action.  Brooks was aggressive and pushed the tempo the entire time he was on the floor.  For one night, we will ignore his defense and just take in the win.
  • Welcome back Mr. Thornton.  After missing the Kings previous four games while attending to his ailing mother, Marcus Thornton looked fresh and rejuvenated tonight.  He hit some huge shots down the stretch, finishing with 19 points, including 5-for-10 from behind the arc.
  • Jimmer Fredette came through in the clutch.  After scoring 11 points in the second quarter, Jimmer struggled in a short second half stint before icing the game with four huge free throws in the waning seconds.  He finished 3-for-7 from the field and 8-for-8 from the line for a solid 15 points off the bench.
  • Chuck Hayes was a pro’s pro tonight.  When the Kings needed to slow Lee or Landry, Keith Smart went to the veteran big man and he responded.  He scored three points and grabbed two rebounds in 18 minutes, but his impact on the game was tremendous.
  • John Salmons made the play of the night when he went at Curry in isolation and got him to pick up his sixth foul.  According to Smart, the Warriors tried to hide Curry on switches, but Brooks found Salmons on a switch and he went to work.  After a rough stretch, Salmons finished with a well balanced 17-point, six-rebound, five-assist line in the win.
  • Stephen Curry, David Lee and Jarrett Jack lit the Kings up tonight.  Curry dropped 32 points before fouling out at the 2:13 mark.  Lee finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 44 minutes and Jack scored a huge 28 points off the Warriors bench.
  • Stat of the Night: Both teams shot exactly 50 percent from the field tonight in an incredibly competitive and entertaining game.  The Kings finished with 25 assists and only nine turnovers, while shooting 58- ercent from distance in their best offensive display of the season.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will the Kings have an answer for David Lee?

The Warriors power forward was practically unstoppable in the first half.  Lee scored an effective 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 20 minutes of action before intermission.  But the Kings found a way to slow him after halftime.  They managed to prevent Golden State from getting the ball in his hands as Lee scored just seven points on 3-of-4 shooting in the third and fourth periods.  After the game, Smart credited the defensive effort of Chuck Hayes, who played 10 of his 17 total minutes in the second half.

2.  Can the Kings contain the Warriors’ shooters?

Golden State found their stroke from deep tonight, shooting 13-of-26 for a healthy 50 percent from beyond the arc, but it took after halftime to do so.  The Warriors made 8-of-14 three-point attempts in the second half, including 6-of-9 in the fourth quarter.  Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson were huge catalysts for the Warriors from behind the arc, but Stephen Curry was the best shooter of them all.  Curry shot 7-of-12 from beyond the arc before fouling out late in the fourth period.  Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Kings weren’t shabby themselves from behind the arc.  For the game, they made 11-of-19 attempts from 3-point land.

3. Will the Kings give up easy buckets at the rim?

In their five-game losing streak, the Kings allowed roughly 48 points in the paint per game.  Tonight, Sacramento limited the Warriors to 44 points in the paint.  The final box score may show that David Lee and Carl Landry had huge games, which they did.  But the Kings managed to slow them down during critical times in the game.

- Jonathan Santiago

Quotes of the Game

John Salmons on if they can sustain the ball movement they displayed tonight for future games:

We’ve been preaching that all year.  At times, we move it great.  Other times, we play a lot of one-on-one ball.  But if we can continue to move it like we did today, we’ll have a great shot at having some success to win some games.

Marcus Thornton on Kings’ ball movement:

It’s not hard.  We’ve got to be willing and able to want to do it and not care who scores the ball, who gets the recognition that night as long as we get the “W”.

Warriors head coach Mark Jackson on the game:

It was very tough, disappointing to allow a team to score 131 points without one of their best players (Tyreke Evans).  They scored 50 points in the paint.  Give us credit.  We battled.  We got back into the ball game, but you cannot allow teams, individually or collectively, to establish a rhythm early on.  It’s a tough game to win because guys establish rhythm, they establish confidence and it’s bad loss for us.  We move forward, learn from it and move forward to the next one.

David Lee on getting back into the game:

Their record isn’t good and they’re not one of the best teams in the west, but they have a lot of explosive players.  If you let them get into rhythm early and get confidence then you’re in trouble all night.  A couple of their guards, got it going and (DeMarcus) Cousins did a pretty good job in the second half and we just didn’t play our best.  Give them credit for getting a good home win.

Injury Notes

Tyreke Evans missed another game due to soreness in his left knee.  Francisco Garcia left tonight’s game with soreness in his back.

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