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Warriors at Kings Preview: Time For Payback

Golden State heads to Sacramento seeking their 18th victory of the year, while the Kings seek to avoid their 18th loss.


Warriors (17-8) vs Kings (7-17)

Tip-Off: 7:00PM PST, 10:00 EST

TV: CSN Bay Area, League Pass | Radio: KNBR 680

Blog Buddy: Sactown Royalty

All Star Ballot (go ahead and vote, you know you want to)

When last the Warriors and Kings met, Sleep Train Arena appeared to be collapsing, the Warriors were 2-1, the Kings were 0-3 and about to play their home opener. It was an ugly game, and Stephen Curry's 3-15 shooting that night didn't make it any better.

Sacramento went on to win the game, and the next, before starting it's first 5-game losing streak of the season. They've since matched that streak, and are 0-5 over their last 5 games, 3-7 of their last 10.

The Warriors lost their next game, too - for the only 2-game losing streak suffered this year. And then things changed. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson mostly found their shots, David Lee channeled his inner All-Star, rebounding and defense started clicking, and the team generated one of the top road records in the league. The only 5-game streak for the Dubs this year has been wins.

Keys to the Game

Avoid Falling Debris. This includes advertising coverings, ceiling tiles, and DeMarcus Cousins putbacks. Boogie had 15 boards last time, 5 of them offensive.Thomas Robinson pulled down 5 o-boards against Phoenix in Sacramento's most recent game. It's time to let the Kings know who's who and what's what when rebounding is the topic. The Dubs are much better at grabbing the ball now - Sacramento needs to be shown, not told.

Don't Play Down. The Warriors are a better team than the Kings, but as we know games are won by who played better, not who's the better player. The Warriors need their killer instinct tonight, and no compassion for the underdog. Curry, Thompson, and Jack need to take care of the ball, and demonstrate the sweet passing and shooting they've shown over the last 10 games.

Work the Usual Game. Defend Jimmer, Thomas (if Thomas gets minutes) and Evans (if he's healthy for the match). Pass the ball. Block out. Gracefully avoid any Boogie groin shots. Be the challenge, and not the challenger.

More than that, the Kings are playing Smart lineups. Not intelligent, just Keith Smart. Only 4 lineups have more than 30 minutes, and the top two have 127 and 100 minutes, respectively. The Warriors have nine lineups over 30 minutes, and the top one has 268. If you've been a fan for over two years, you can remember what that was like under Smart, and you've seen how consistency has helped this team.

(Aside: It's going to be fun to watch and see if Draymond Green can get under Cousins' skin. When DeMarcus gets mad his game goes away, and it seems to be good for a fine and/or suspension. Draymond's gotten one invitation to "settle it outside" so far this year, and somehow I don't think it will be the last.)

Battle. Compete. At the end of the day, bring home a win.

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