SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Highway robbery.
The Sacramento Kings (4-11) lost to the Golden State Warriors 115-113 on December 1 as the visiting club fleeced their host often. The Kings entered Sunday ranked second in the NBA in turnovers but surrendered 24 versus the Warriors while producing 22 assists. Kings head coach Michael Malone recalled missed opportunities.
“We’ve done a very good job on the season taking care of the basketball,” Malone stated after the game. “To give that team who needs no extra help, (because) they have enough offensive firepower, to give them all those extra possessions and 33 points (off turnovers) makes it really hard on you.”
Sacramento was creative spilling the rock. Forced entry passes, dribbles out of bounds and travels let the Kings generously share the ball with Golden State. Isaiah Thomas, who led his team in turnovers (7) in 34 minutes, made no excuses for the squad’s sloppy play.
“I think a lot of these turnovers today were just us being a little soft and us telegraphing our passes,” Thomas exclaimed.
Failed possessions on offense served to boost the Warriors’ high-octane attack, which was led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with 36 and 28 points respectively. The backcourt pair beat their counterparts regularly off the dribble or simply shot over the top. At times, the Kings felt helpless.
“At the beginning of the game, Thompson had a lot of open shots, and he’s gonna knock them in his sleep,” Thomas added. “And both towards the end of the game, especially Curry hit tough shots. Every shot that he took was contested…you (got to) tip your hat off to a guy like that.”
The streaking Warriors were up by as much as 16 in the third quarter when the Kings clawed their way to regain the lead with less than four minutes to go. DeMarcus Cousins battled foul trouble but led Sacramento with 24 points, while Marcus Thornton topped the second unit with 21 points. Patrick Patterson had his best performance of the season shooting 8-for-8 from the floor for 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Kings had a chance to win in the final seconds but instead lost their fourth contest in a row. Sacramento fell to 0-2 this season in the I-80 rivalry but will have a chance at redemption February 19. The Kings will play at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-3) on Tuesday, December 3.
Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press