The Golden State Warriors knew they had their work cut out for them facing the Sacramento Kings, as they were without their best offensive player (Steph Curry, out due to tailbone inflammation) and their best defensive player (Draymond Green, out due to illness).
As wild as it might sound, they ended up missing the latter even more than the former.
The Warriors played surprisingly solid offense in their 141-119 loss to the Kings, but as the score would suggest, their defense was atrocious. Sacramento scored at least 34 points in every single quarter and ... look, you watch basketball regularly, you understand what that means. You’re not going to win when you allow a team to do that and, in related news, you’re not going to win when you allow your opponent to shoot 60.2% from the field.
But that’s exactly what happened. De’Aaron Fox had a career-high 44 points on wildly-efficient shooting (16-for-22 from the field), leading to a rather funny reality; the Warriors missed Brad Wanamaker. And pretty badly, at that.
There was no stopping the Kings at the point of attack. There was no stopping the Kings at the rim. There was no stopping the Kings beyond the arc. There was no stopping the Kings anywhere, until the buzzer mercilessly rang.
The Dubs were defensively useless, and their only hope was the futile task of trying to keep pace. For a while, they did, and even led after the first quarter. It was an at-times spirited offensive performance, with 37 points in the first quarter and another 33 in the final frame.
The numbers look nice for the Warriors on that end of the court: they exceeded 50% shooting from both the field and the three-point line, and had five players eclipse the 15-point mark, including a career-high 19 for rookie Nico Mannion and a perfect shooting night (6-for-6 from the field, 3-for-3 from deep) for Juan Toscano-Anderson.. But any and all offensive excitement was lost beneath a defensive effort that gave as much resistance to the Kings as a plastic safety cone gives to a Ford F-150.
We’re counting down the days until Curry returns. But it’s pretty clear how badly this team misses Green, too.