The Golden State Warriors broke their five-game losing streak with a lot of scoring from Steph Curry - and a little bit of help from the refs. Curry shot 17-24 from the field, 7-12 from behind the arc, and didn’t turn the ball over once on the way to 47 points. And still the game came down to a missed game-tying shot by Kevin Huerter where he maybe-sorta-probably got fouled by Klay Thompson, before the Warriors prevailed over the Sacramento Kings, 116-113.
Kevin Huerter & De'Aaron Fox's response to the refs not calling a foul on Klay Thompson trying to block Huerter's game-tying Three attempt. pic.twitter.com/QvRABV6o2T— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 8, 2022
Yes, Huerter did the basketball equivalent of leaning into a pitch to get on base instead of swinging the bat, but also, Klay needs to stop fouling guys on three-pointers. The Kings are still salty after Tyler Herro beat them on a last-second three-pointer last week, only to have the NBA admit he blatantly traveled before the shot.
Curry also had eight rebounds and eight assists, and only committed two fouls. He did miss a single free throw - for shame, Steph! Chef Curry finished the game +20 in his 38 minutes, which means the team gout outscored by 17 in the 10 minutes he sat. Heroic performance, but not a sustainable way to win basketball games.
For the Kings, the old Kentucky backcourt pair of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 49 points, while Domantas Sabonis dominated the Dubs on the boards, as usual (his 7th straight double-digit rebound game). Huerter shot 3-6 from downtown, and Kings reserves Monk, Terence Davis, and Davion Mitchell shot 8-20 from distance. That’s a significant improvement on the Warriors reserves and their 0-8 mark from three-point range, and a big reason the Kings’ bench outscored their Warriors counterparts, 49-15.
Speaking of no-calls, Curry got a rare technical foul after he raged at a referee for not giving him an and-one after he got hit on a shot.
Steph Curry’s first technical of the season came after this no-call. Felt like it was more out of frustration about the wobbly state of the Warriors than a particular whistle. pic.twitter.com/pab0laY8Jg— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 8, 2022
Curry told reporters he was mainly frustrated by the call, but the reaction was also from “definitely understanding sense of urgency, was just trying to win a basketball game and find some competitive fire.”
It was reminiscent of Janaury’s game against the Houston Rockets, when the Warriors were also scuffling against an inferior opponent, and Curry angrily kicked a chair, only for the team to make a comeback and win on a shot from, who else, Steph Curry.
A pissed off Stephen Curry kicks the chair on the Warriors bench.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 22, 2022
Steph has 17 points through 3 quarters, but is shooting just 4-of-15 from the field.pic.twitter.com/XdSzxahhdw
Curry had 17 points in the 4th quarter, including two free throws after the Kings inexplicably chose not to foul Curry until 1.3 seconds were left in the game. Maybe the referees thought Sacramento didn’t deserve a foul call after running the game clock out trying for a steal?
Kings down 1 let the Warriors inbound with 9.9 secs and don't foul till 1.3 secs is left pic.twitter.com/HvtDqU4ArD— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) November 8, 2022
Or the Kings were simply reeling from Curry casually canning shots at the biggest possible moments.
Draymond Green said it reminded him of a different dominant Curry performance. “It was very Game 4 NBA Finals to me,” Green told reporters. “He just wasn’t going to allow us to lose. Take that with a grain of salt. I’m not saying this game was that important. But you kind of know when to get out of the way.”
The other fourth quarter star was Maple Jordan himself, Andrew Wiggins, who was a perfect 5-for-5 in the period, including three triples, for 13 points. One of them came off of one of the sweetest passes of Captain Klay Thompson’s career.
Klay finds Wiggs for the three pic.twitter.com/6OMIocpyBy— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 8, 2022
Thompson had 16 points and two blocks, plus a steal. He also had a three-shot foul on Fox and some very borderline defense on Huerter on the last shot.
One area the Warriors improved was the defensive boards, holding the non-Sabonis Kings to five offensive rebounds, and winning the overall rebounding battle 48-43. As expected in a must-win game, Kevon Looney grabbed 13 rebounds, and Wiggins continued his newfound commitment to rebounding with ten of his own.
Jordan Poole had more turnovers than points, continuing his baffling and frustrating start. He’s down to 30.1 percent from three-point range, his scoring is down, and his turnovers are up. Maybe he’s pressing due to his new contract, or maybe he’s not getting any help from his benchmates. Kerr tried to switch things up by starting Poole in the second half over Looney, and it worked, as the Warriors started the quarter with a 13-5 run.
The Warriors have three days off before facing the Cavaliers - and may be adding Donte DiVincenzo and Andre Iguodala to the bench squad by then. They’re going to need something, because as amazing as Curry has been, they’re not getting 47 every night. Or are they....? (No.)