The W's came off the mark a bit sloppy with two missed jumpers from Curry and Green, followed by two turnovers in just as many minutes. Rush committed one of the turnovers when he took the ball to trouble and got stuck in the air. He tried to swing it back out to the top of the arch where it was picked off.
While Brandon starts, he should keep the ball cycling unless he's got an open look. He can still shoot the ball, but he's awkward handling it. Incidentally, the first Warriors points came off a fast break fueled by Rush's aggressive defensive board. Brandon can still elevate.
Meanwhile, Thompson started off going to the rim. Good to see him come in slow and safe. Klay's confidence can plummet if the early shots don't go down. It's better if he starts off with easy buckets as he makes his way out of a rough first month. Good approach by him tonight.
The Warriors forced bad shots from SAC, but botched some of their own opportunities early. That kept them trailing for the early portion of the game. One instance, Bogut and Thompson trapped Koufos, forcing him into a bad shot - but then turned the ball over in transition.
By the half-way mark of the 1st, the Kings were tight on switches and defended the pass fairly well. They looked to score inside and counted on making a difference at the line - which seems to be a way some teams have had success against us.
Igoudala continued his consistent shooting - hitting the bottom of the net from deep once in the 1st quarter, and twice more throughout the game. (3-4 3pt)
Stephen Curry had 12 of the team's first 21 points. Two of his three treys came within the opening 5 minutes.
The defining sequence of the quarter came when Rudy Gay took Green off the dribble for a nice soft floater down the lane. Curry answered with his second three, and then Belinelli hit us back with his own. The Kings looked defiant at this point, and held on stubbornly to the lead.
But ultimately, Steph's will was too much for SAC - 17 points on 4/6 shooting, 3/5 from deep. As the quarter wound down, the W's finally took the lead. Curry made his 3rd trip to the line (6/6 FT's). Then Draymond hit Festus for a lob that put the Warriors over SAC indefinitely.
The bench came in and took care of the lead. Barbosa opened with a 3 and continued his hot shooting from last night.
Speights ran the floor after a Kings miss and finished at the rim over Cauley-Stein, putting the Warriors up by three. He scored again the next trip down, and then pulled an offensive rebound that led to a Livingston dunk. Mo kept us alive and owned the Kings in the 2nd quarter despite things getting a bit sloppy. (6 TO's at 6:00 mark in 2nd quarter)
The Kings guards were fortunately cold early in the 2nd and Sac was unable to capitalize on the Dub's loose play. (Belinelli 0-3 3pt, D. Collison 1-5 FG's, 0-2 3pt)
Festus is becoming dominant on the offensive glass as he gains experience. He dove for a defensive rebound and saved a possession. The next play, he drew a foul on Casspi on an alley-oop attempt and made both free throws. Ezeli had 7 boards with 3 minutes left in the half. But credit the Kings as they fought him hard, and controlled 2nd chance opportunities throughout the entire quarter.
4:30 left in the half and it's A-Klay time. He nails a three pointer to push the lead to 8. A couple plays later, he sticks a 17-foot turnaround. Then he gets a team block with Bogut and pushes it to Clark who gives it back to Andrew for an assist. Excellent team effort to close out the half and push the lead.
Half time stats
The Kings are shooting the ball at a terrible rate, (33% FG's) but winning the possession game. They've out rebounded the Warriors on the offensive glass with 10 to the Warriors' 5. The Kings also have turned the ball over less, committing 6 while the Warriors have turned it over 10 times. That made for a competitive first half.
Gay hasn't been able to carry a team offensively the way he used to, shooting a somewhat embarrassing game (5-17 FG's)
BRANDON FREAKING RUSH. B-Rush was back tonight. He crammed down a two-hand dunk over McLemore and then sank a three the next possession. He nailed two more in the subsequent minutes and sent the Kings back to the sideline, licking their wounds. Oracle frenzied over it's prodigal son and Rush smiled about it during the break. Sacramento responded emotionally to Karl after the timeout, and capitalized on an ugly Warriors rebounding sequence. The Kings were able to pull 3 offensive rebounds before finally scoring…and then Rush responded to that with another three! 14 points in the quarter for Rush!
Defense turns up at the 6 minute mark of the 3rd. Green and Klay pick up steals on consecutive possessions - Draymond turns the Thompson steal into a converted AND 1, pushing the advantage to 80-54, thus, flushing the Kings' hopes down the toilet. Golden State has tightened up and Sacramento simply can not get clean shots.
The Kings are down to 36% shooting as a team, while the Warriors rise to 57%.
Best thing about the 3rd quarter: Curry's first 2nd half points come at the free throw line with only one minute left. It was nice to see the Kings take fire from Rush and Speights instead.
Mo Speights continues to be focused. He opens the 4th with a nice low post score. Mo swam around the big with a pump fake and kissed the glass through the foul. AND 1. The very next play - Livingston aggressively takes Belinelli down the lane and lays it high off the backboard before the contact comes. AND 1. The team then sat the starters and left Draymond in for history's sake.
Garbage time ensues. Clark shines. Warriors win.
32 assists on 39 warrior baskets. (42% 2pt, 53% 3pt)
Draymond Green - Really coming into his own leading the fast break. He's understanding how to handle the ball in a crowd on the run, and he keeps his head up the whole time now. He went coast to coast on one sequence; pulled a rebound and swerved to the finish line, forcing Sac to foul him. Having Curry and Thompson off the ball on the break makes this team unique - Most wings on the break take their lane towards the basket, while ours run to the arch. Those are lay ups for them. This makes us the fastest team in the league in terms of being in position to score on the break. Unique.
Festus Ezeli - Teams lose focus on Festus off the ball as the game delves deeper. Stephen and Klay wear on you mentally, and people start to forget about Ezeli diving. The firepower softens the paint for the KO punch. The Warriors find him as the onus shifts to stopping Curry, Klay, and Green from crushing the outside shot.
Ezeli's hands are getting better. Just before the buzzer sounded in the 3rd, he caught a hard interior pass with one hand from Livingston, that was low and headed out of bounds. Good, soft catch. But not good enough - Earlier in the game, Ezeli tried to face up from 18 feet, but then decided to back his man down. He couldn't gain ground so he dribbled it back out, and met trouble on the way. He panicked, and turned the ball over trying to regain his handle on the pass out. He shouldn't dribble up there yet.