The Golden State Warriors continued their domination of the state of California, moving to 3-0 on the season and against fellow California teams with a 119-107 victory on the road against the Sacramento Kings. Steph Curry led the way with 27 points and 10 assists, plus three big steals.
At times, the Golden One Arena sounded like it was a home game, with plenty of Warriors fans braving the atmospheric river to travel up Highway 80 to support the team. And while the team struggled to get going offensively, and the Kings actually outshot the Warriors from long range on the night, you never want to bet against a Splash Brother when the game is played during a monsoon.
How did the Warriors survive on a relative cold shooting night? Turnovers. The normally ball-insecure Dubs managed to limit themselves to six turnovers on the night (seven if you count the intentional 24-second violation with time running out), while the Kings finished with a reckless 18 turnovers. Though the Kings shot nearly 50% for the game, the 12 extra possessions on turnovers were huge.
Six Warriors scored in double figures, including 14 points for Draymond Green, 17 for Andrew Wiggins, and 22 highly-efficient points from Jordan Poole, on 8-16 shooting. Poole also chipped in three assists and three steals. Draymond went 6-12 tonight, more shots than he’d taken in the team’s first two games. His aggressive attacking and willingness to shoot was huge for the offense, opening up shots for other players and leading to his seven assists.
The Warriors pulled away in the fourth quarter with Curry on the bench, playing an ultra-small lineup of Jordan Poole, Payton, Damion Leel, Andrew Wiggins, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The game remained close throughout the quarter, but Draymond Green had a clutch putback off a Curry miss with 3:22 to extend the lead to 111-104, and the Kings never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Draymond Green: 14 points on 6/12 FG tonight. Huge putback to put the Warriors up seven with 3:22 left. He's had the needed level of scoring aggression to enter season.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 25, 2021
Sacramento led in the first half, 62-60, fueled by rookie Davion Mitchell and his 17 first-half points. Mitchell cooled down in the second half, finishing with just 22 points - still a career high (His career is three games old). Former Warrior Harrison Barnes continued his streak of hot shooting, putting up 24 points, his third game is a row scoring 24 or more. He also went 5-10 from long range, putting his three-point shooting at a scorching 15-27 on the season. But the Black Falcon’s wings were clipped down the stretch, as Barnes went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
De’Aaron Fox showed off his speed and made some tremendous drives to the basket, but he also showed a great deal of sloppiness, with seven turnovers. The Kings’ third talented young point guard, Tyrese Halliburton, had a well-rounded if low-scoring game, putting up a near-triple-double of 8 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.
With Andre Iguodala out, Gary Payton II enjoyed his most extended run of playing time of the season. He took advantage, racking up 10 points, including two three-pointers and a steal in 17 minutes. Damion Lee chipped in 11 points in another strong game off the bench, adding four rebounds. Lee and Payton both finished +6 on the night,
Steph Curry notched his 5,000th career assist in the second quarter, on a pass that led to a hook shot by Kevon Looney. Curry became the first player in franchise history to reach that mark. Hall of Famer Guy Rodgers is second with 4,855 dimes, Tim Hardaway Sr. is third, and Draymond Green is in fourth place, rapidly catching up to THS.
Next up are the winless Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night on the road, who have been outscored by an average of 22 points per game this year. Then they return to SF for an eight-game homestand, kicked off by a play-in rematch with the Memphis Grizzlies and another matchup with the Thunder Saturday night.