Photo credit: Rocky Widner
By Charlie O. Mallonee
Sacramento and Golden State played a basketball in Oakland on Friday night. Unfortunately for Kings’ fans, their team spent most of the night in the “Twilight Zone”. The Warriors beat up on the Kings 102-69.
The Kings knew they were in trouble early in the game. DeMarcus Cousins picked up two personal fouls in less 1:30 played in game. For Sacramento to have any chance to compete in the game, they needed a strong effort from Cousins. With their star center on the bench, things went downhill quickly for the Kings.
Klay Thompson led the Warrior attack by being aggressive in taking the ball to the hoop. Golden State scored 18 points in the paint in the first quarter. The Kings were not going to the basket and were cold shooting from the perimeter. Sacramento shot just 18.0-percent in the quarter while Golden State shot just 36.0-percent from the field. The Kings turned the ball over a season high nine times in the quarter.
After one quarter, the Warriors led the Kings 25-14.
Golden State went on a 7-0 run to begin the second quarter. The Kings had virtually no ball movement and opened the quarter by going 0 for 7 shooting. Just as the Kings looked like they might be ready to wake up and challenge the Warriors, Golden State went on an 11-0 run.
By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, Golden State was leading the Kings 59-27.
The Kings shot 17.9-percent (7 for 39) for field goals. Sacramento turned the ball over 12 times and had just four assists. The Warriors shot 48.0-percent (24 for 50) from the field and 46.2-percent from beyond the 3-point line. Golden State had 16 assists and just five turnovers.
The Warriors came out in the third quarter still on fire and went on an 11-2 run. DeMarcus Cousins tried to pick up his team by scoring 14 points in the third, but it was too little, too late. After three, the Warriors led 84-50.
The teams played the fourth quarter because they were required to play it, but the outcome of the game was already known to all. Golden State emptied their bench and rested their starters. Sacramento did the same with about six minutes left to play in the final quarter. The Kings did outscore the Warriors 19-18 in the fourth.
The final score was Golden State 102 Sacramento 69.
The Kings shot just 32.1-percent for the game and just 10.0-percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The young Sacramento backcourt played very young versus the Warriors.
Cousins led the Kings with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Rudy Gay and Jason Thompson scored 10 points each.
Klay Thompson led the scoring for Golden State with 21 points. The Warriors had seven players score in double-figures.
After the game, Kings Head Coach Michael Malone spoke about it being a disappointing night with a disappointing effort. He noted that his team could not respond to the Warriors dominate effort in the paint and on the glass. Malone expressed concern over how his team would respond on Sunday versus Dallas.
The Kings will face a tough Dallas Mavericks team on Sunday afternoon in Sacramento. The Mavericks are in a three team race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.