Lee, Warriors roll past Kings

By Joe Hawkes

SACRAMENTO — With the All-Star break a thing of the past, the stretch run towards the playoffs has officially begun.

The Golden State Warriors know that very well.

With center Andrew Bogut sitting out his fifth-straight game with a left shoulder injury, the Warriors needed a late Andre Iguodala three-point play to cruise to a 101-92 victory over the Kings Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

Golden State (32-22), had five players score in double figures, led by David Lee’s 23 points and 11 rebounds. Lee recorded his 17th 20 point/10 rebound game of the season. Klay Thompson (18 points) and Stephen Curry (13 points,) combined to shoot 11-for-28 from the field (2-for-7 from 3-point range).

Iguodala finished with 13 points, Draymond Green scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Jordan Crawford got the bench really rolling with 10 points in nine minutes in the first quarter.

The telling part of the game was how the Warriors passed the ball tremendously with 26 assists and only seven turnovers. Those numbers were instrumental in Golden State holding a 52-5 edge on fast break points. Curry finished with a team-high eight assists.

Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and seven assists, Travis Outlaw finished with 18 points off the bench, and Rudy Gay scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds (four offensive) for Sacramento (18-35), who played without star center DeMarcus Cousins who sat out with a left hip flexor he injured in the Kings’ final game before the All-Star break.

Quincy Acy pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.

Sacramento erased a 15-point deficit before taking their first lead in the third quarter at 76-75 behind Thomas’s 12 points in the quarter, but Sacramento couldn’t stop Lee and the Warriors in the fourth quarter, with the Warriors out-scoring the Kings 26-16.

As the 3:00 p.m. EST trade deadline looms, both the Warriors and Kings pulled off trades, but the Warriors trade was the biggest to boot.

Sacramento shipped swingman Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn for veteran shooting guard Jason Terry and power forward Reggie Evans early Wednesday, while Golden State waved good-bye to Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks and acquired reliable point guard Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers just before tip-off.

Golden State used their $4 million trade exception that the team received from Denver in the Iguodala deal last summer to absorb Blake’s remaining $4 million salary in the final year of his deal to complete the trade, according to Associated Press. The Warriors are hoping that the acquisition of Blake and Jordan Crawford earlier in the season from Boston, will allow the team to pull back on both Curry and Thompson’s minutes.

In 27 starts for the Lakers, Blake 9.5 points and a career-high 7.6 assists a game this season. Clearly the addition of Blake strengthens the bench, which has clearly been one of the weakest in the league this season.

It’s unclear if Blake will suit up Thursday night when the Warriors play host to the visiting Houston Rockets, who destroyed the Lakers 134-108 at Staples Center Wednesday night.

With the win over Sacramento, Golden State improves to 3-0 over the Kings this season.

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