By Charlie O. Mallonee
Sacramento – The Sacramento Kings dream of winning the 2017-18 season series versus the NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors will not be realized as they were soundly beaten by the Dubs 112-96 on Saturday night in Sacramento. The Kings will finish the four-game series with a very respectable 2-2 record. No one would have predicted that outcome back in October.
The Warriors had to play with this game without their superstar Steph Curry but unlike the last time the teams met in Oakland, Golden State had their other three All-Star players available to face the upstart Kings. Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were all healthy and ready to go at the opening tip-off.
The Kings kept it close in opening 12-minutes as they trailed the Warriors by just three points – 28 to 25 – at the close of the quarter. Durant scored 15 for Golden State while De’Aaron Fox put up 10 for the Kings. Both teams were ice cold from 3-point land as the Warriors went 1-for-4 and Sacramento hit just 1-of-7 from long-range.
The Warriors opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run that really set the tone for the rest of the game. Golden State maintained a lead of nine to 11 points for most the period. SAC was able to cut the Warriors lead to eight points at the half when Buddy Hield hit a 25-foot jump shot at the buzzer. At the half, Golden State held a 57-49 lead over the Kings.
Frankly, there really is not that much more to talk about in what became a runaway game. The Warriors held a 93-69 lead at the end of the third quarter and the Kings second unit played hard in the final period to outscore Golden State 27-19 for the quarter.
The Warriors won the game 112-96. Golden State’s record improves to 55-21 while the Kings drop to 24-53 for the season.
A Dark Cloud Over the Game
With less than 50-seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors Patrick McCaw cut across the lane to attempt a layup. Vince Carter stepped in front of McCaw to defend against him. McCaw’s leg came down on Carter’s shoulder and McCaw free-fell to the floor landing on his tailbone.
McCaw was not allowed to stand up and was eventually removed from the court by a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital where he will undergo testing.
The Warriors and Kings huddled together in prayer for McCaw before continuing the game.
- Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 19-points. He shot 6-for-11 from the field and hit 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
- De’Aaron Fox added 15 points of his own for SAC. He also led the team in assists with eight.
- Willie Cauley-Stein and Bogdan Bogdanovic each scored 12 points in the game.
- Bruno Caboclo played 15-plus minutes in the game and scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter.
- Kevin Durant put up a double-double scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in just over 30-minutes on the court. He was their leading scorer.
- Klay Thompson returned after missing eight games to score 25 points against the Kings.
- Draymond Green scored eight points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out seven assists.
The Kings get to celebrate Easter in Los Angeles by playing the Lakers at the Staples Center. The game is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 PM PDT.
Golden State will also have to work on Easter Sunday as they will host the Phoenix Suns for a 5:30 PM PDT tip.