After blowing a 16-point lead late in the third quarter, the Golden State Warriors locked in and edged the Sacramento Kings 130-125. Stephen Curry lead all scorers with 35 points, and Kevin Durant steadied the comeback by scoring 13 of his 33 points in the fourth. Klay Thompson ended his up and down night in the most ‘Klay’ esque way imaginable-hitting the go ahead three and had 27 on the night.
Here are three observations from last night’s wild win in Sacramento.
Active and engaged first half offense
From the opening tip, the Warriors were moving with purpose offensively. The constant and endless stream of post ups, off-ball movement and cuts kept the Kings’ defense off balance and produced high quality shots. Last night, most of those quality shots were from three and the Warriors capitalized. When Golden State are knocking down threes, it is an indication that the energy on offense is strong and as a result, easy to build momentum. Going into last night’s game, the Warriors were 17-3 when they make 10 or more three’s. A Stephen Curry splash late in the second quarter gave the Warriors 10 made three’s on the night.
One aspect worth noting is that the Warriors attacked the Kings’ defense from the inside out in the first quarter instead of relying on the perimeter.
Sloppy Third Quarter
Usually, the Warriors come out in the second half and annihilate opponents in the third quarter. Ironically, this is where the ‘Dubs unraveled. They lost their focus on defense and let the Kings cut the lead into single digits. To make matters worse, four of their seven turnovers in the quarter were offensive fouls. Jordan Bell was called for three moving screens and Jonas Jerebko drew a couple of offensive foul calls that were dicey. There was a point in the quarter that the Warriors couldn't even get a shot off because of the calls. The Warriors defense also allowed the Kings to go on a 22-5 run.
Mixed Results On Defense
Despite the third quarter lapse, the Warriors defense, for the most part was solid. They made a better effort in hustling back on defense in transition. They also communicated better, recognizing the mismatches Sacramento tried and deployed help accordingly. During the last minutes of the fourth quarter, the defense shook off their struggles, focused and got the critical stops that they needed to. The only issue was wavering intensity at times. Draymond Green gave reporters his insight on what went right with the defense and what the Warriors need to improve upon in the future.
Draymond Green on how the team improved its defense pic.twitter.com/iO4qqamdPN— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 15, 2018
The Warriors will return to action on Monday as they host the Memphis Grizzlies. Tip off is at 10:30 on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBA TV.