How can a team look so bad and so good in the same game?
The Warriors attempted to find the answer to this query tonight against the divisional opponent Sacramento Kings. They ignited coming out of the gates to an early double digit lead, before faltering and stumbling, giving up a 14-2 run to the struggling Kings. The Warriors trailed by two at the end of the first quarter. Stephen Curry missed his first six shots and went scoreless through the first 21+ minutes. They looked listless.
And then something odd happened, and I get to write this glorious sentence: Steph Curry got into a three-point shootout with Omri Casspi. This is not a drill. At the end of the second quarter, in a game that looked to be a slow, frustrating affair, Curry and Caspi went toe-to-toe down the line. Curry scored 17 of his 23 points in the final 3:15 of the half.
Casspi, for his part, set a Warriors franchise record for opponent threes in a half with seven, en route to a career high 36 points. Curry, after going scoreless for 21 minutes, finished with a monster triple-double line of 23 p / 14 r / 10 a / 2 to. He and Draymond Green were game high +24 on the night.
In a way, it was almost a shame how great Draymond played. This felt like it was this year's "Bull's Game" Draymond, with Day Day hitting 5 of his 7 3PAs. Would've been nice to save that for @SAS or vs. OKC. He, Klay Thompson, and Curry combined for 16 of 32 shooting from behind the arc on the night. Casspi, on his own, shot nine of 12 from downtown.
The Casspi-Curry duel left both teams at a virtual stalemate in terms of momentum heading into halftime, albeit with the Kings up three. DeMarcus Cousins, who had been in foul trouble (along with teammate Rajon Rondo) all night, sealed away any momentum the Kings could have stolen from the Warriors when he was tossed from the game after arguing with the refereeing crew. He played 12 minutes on the night.
The game was virtually over by the third quarter's end, with the Warriors sealing a 32-14 quarter. Leandro Barbosa did not play tonight, out with his sprained shoulder.
This game was the Omri Casspi Classic. On a night in which the rest of his team was a combined 24 of 77 from the field, he buoyed them and kept them in the Warriors' rear view mirror. The rest of the Kings tried to put the team in the passing lane to jetty past the Warriors, but a dominant outing from the Warriors' big three of Curry/Thompson/Draymond and a great defensive effort kept Casspi from conquering Oracle Arena.