The hardwood-classic donning Golden State Warriors roll through SacTown and dethrone the Sacramento Kings for the 12th time in a row. It was a boiling, intense, physical, bone-clash of a fight. Quincy Acy and Draymond Green fought tooth and nail under the boards, while Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli took turns trying to tame the headbanded beast.
It's no country for old men when the Kings and Dubs pit their rugged front courts. DeMarcus opened strong against Bogut with 8 points in the first quarter. If Cousins hasn't solved the problem that is Andrew's defense, he sure looked resolute in his post-game tonight, spinning, drop-stepping, and dribbling elusively in the post; DC is a fearsome specimen with the ball in his hands, and it has made these Northern California matchups interesting. For those who say that the NBA is in better hands with the guards running the show, it's undeniably entertaining to see the power players exchange blows and have their physicality trickle down - putting it's brand on the game.
Despite the fun, the Warriors turned in a sordid, undisciplined 1st quarter. Eight turnovers out of the gate seemed to breathe these sentiments, "We don't want to fight. We won't hit hard if you don't." Sacramento was having no part of that, and they threatened to sting the Warriors if they decided to stay asleep. On top of the first quarter woes handling the ball, Klay and Steph each shot an icy clip. This is when Draymond reminds us that he is one of the most valuable stars in the world. His incessant will to inspire winning basketball is overwhelming - for teammates and the opposition. Green nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter, and kept the Warriors in the possession game with his energetic savvy.
*Aside - Klay is shooting 46% 3pt shooting from the wing, leading the NBA.
As if Bogut didn't present Demarcus with enough trouble, Festus tagged hands with the Aussie and immediately made his presence felt in the waning minutes of the 1st (4 points, 3 rebounds in 4 minutes.)
7 assists to 8 turnovers for the Warriors, Kings lead 26-27.
Warriors start the quarter with Ian Clark, who continues to be assertive in the offense, looking to get in the lane and complement his counterpart, Livingston. But things didn't end well for Ian tonight. Clark threw two turnovers in three possessions and contributed to the Kings scoring 10 to our 0 points off turnovers at this point. Clark sat for the rest of the game.
Errant passes kept the pace in control of the Kings early in the second quarter. 11 turnovers in the first 15 minutes for the Warriors.
*Aside - Draymond notably seems more aggressive now demanding the ball during opposing runs.
Igoudala had a signature 30 second stretch, as he found Curry for a deep, impressive catch and shoot fadeaway from about 27 feet out. Then Andre stripped a King under the rim and pushed the fast break for another assist. Kings call timeout, momentum shifts, Warriors go on 10-4 run.
Curry and Cousins made it a two-man game at the 2 minute mark. Tempo struggles and lead changes ensued before the end of the half. Before the buzzer sounded off, Cousins exploded after picking up his 3rd foul. Draymond had 4 three's in first half. Cousins scored 21, 8-15 FG's.
Warriors 34 points, Kings 31
Warriors 48% 3pt's 12/23 - 16 points in paint - 15/11 Assist/TO - 0 points off TO's
Kings 46% 3pt's 1/10 - 32 points in paint - 13/6 Assist/TO - 12 points off TO's
Karl is frustrated with the Warriors' efficient ball movement. Rush shows an impressive rebound and full court pass to an open Draymond. Next trip down, Green blocks shot, streaks down court, same result. 11-4 run, Warriors lead. Three straight Rondo misses. Bogut had a great 3rd quarter - 6 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. Igoudala's playmaking shines.
Warriors score 36 points, Kings 24 points - 12 point Warrior lead
*Aside - Klay is averaging 34 ppg over last 5 games.
Cousins scored on Ezeli on his first possession and looked energized. Demarcus hit a 3, trimming the lead to 10. He and Ezeli are tangling, creating a good, prideful rivalry. There was a 90 second stretch where Ezeli's interior presence kept the Warriors foot on Sacto's neck. Stephen Curry hates playing Rajon Rondo. Countless times, Rajon has reached out and shoved Steph's chest with his hand. Some incredible ball movement (6 passes, 5 seconds) leading to a dagger 3 pointer, prompts Karl to round up his disheartened squad, who are now being handled. Double digit lead. The Warriors are averaging 30+ assists in their last 6 games. Last chance for Kings to go on a run and secure a chance, but Barnes sinks a huge shot over Cousins, (4-7 FG's) and looks to be gaining back his confidence with a big play. Energetic closing moments, capped by Igoudala pushing the break and dunking the ball. Warriors know it's over, Kings do too. One last Hoo-Rah from a hot-headed Cousins, technical foul awarded, and the Warriors are 35-2.