by Jordan Chapin
Sacramento – Friday night at the Golden 1 center, the Sacramento Kings returned home from their longest road trip of the year and were welcomed back by the the World Champion Golden State Warriors. Even with the return of Willie Cauley-Stein, Golden State handed the Kings their 35th loss of the year in a 119-104 Warriors victory. After winning three of their last four games, Sacramento came into the contest with a little momentum, but it was raining three balls in the Golden 1 Center, and not in favor of the Kings.
Sacramento came out of the gate hot, and started the game on a 20-7 run led by Justin Jackson’s eight points in the first quarter. It didn’t take long for Golden State to close that gap with the help of Kevin Durant’s 17 point first half. The Warriors led 58-52 going into the locker room at halftime.
During the third quarter, Sacramento trailed as much as 14 points, but they continued to keep their heads above water as the Splash Brothers combined for 17 points in the period. Trailing 87-79 with 9:47 left to go, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield rattled off seven straight points, including back-to-back steals and cut the lead to just one, but that’s as close as the Kings would get to retaking the lead. KD put the team on his back scoring 13 points in the last 10 minutes of play, finishing his night with 33 points while shooting 12-for-17 from the field.
Even though the Kings forced 25 turnovers, it was not enough to overcome a stellar shooting night from the Warriors. The season series is now tied at one game a piece, and the Kings will not see the Warriors again until March 16th at Oracle Arena. The Kings have an opportunity to bounce back quickly as they will face the Dallas Mavericks Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back.
Star of the Night: Justin Jackson
Jackson finished his night shooting 7-for-13 from the field for 17 points. He totalled 33 minutes for the game, but in those minutes he looked very aggressive, knocking down a couple three balls, and hitting his floaters from inside the paint. De’Aaron Fox on what he has seen from Justin Jackson, “Lately, he’s been great, his confidence has been up, he’s playing a lot, he’s making shots, something we know he can do.” Jackson was two points away from tying his career high.
- Forced 25 turnovers(19 points)
- Shot 44.2% from the field and 40% from 3-point range
- Led the game by as much as 13 points, but trailed as much as 17
- Had six players in double figures, including all five of their starters
- Six lead changes
Golden State Warriors
Star of the Night: Kevin Durant
Durant continued his all-star campaign with 33 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. KD hit shots when they mattered, scoring 17 in the first half, and 13 in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Warriors. Durant killed the Kings from behind the arc shooting 6-for-7 from downtown and finished hitting 12-for-17 from the field overall.
- Shot 17-for-33 from 3-point land
- Had nine turnovers in the second quarter, which is a season high in TO’s for a quarter
- Zaza Pachulia grabbed a game high 13 rebounds
- Splash Brothers combined for 43 points
- Out rebounded the Kings 51-33