It’s still too early in the season to make any proclamations, but after last season was defined by road woes, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 122-114 in their first away game of the season. While Steph Curry did the bulk of the heavy lifting, a late third-quarter run by Klay Thompson and Golden State’s youngsters solidified a double-digit lead they never looked back from.
Both teams picked up where they left off last season with fast-paced back-and-forth matchups in the first quarter. The Warriors took an early lead, controlling the game for most of the first quarter behind a hot offensive start from Curry. However, as soon as Steph went to the bench, Sacramento erased their deficit.
The Kings built an 11-point lead with Curry on the bench at the start of the second quarter. Unsurprisingly, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis were the focal point of Sacramento’s attack. Fox finished with 39 points on 14-for-28 shooting from the field and Sabonis recorded 19 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals.
However, as soon as Curry returned to the floor, Golden State began retaking control. Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody both provided an excellent spark off the bench, and Kuminga capped off the first half with a corner three to give the Warriors a 60-57 lead at halftime. Both Moody and Kuminga finished in double-digit points with at least a +9 plus/minus.
Then, the Warriors continued to showcase their classic third-quarter dominance. A flurry from Steph built a 14-point lead by the time he went to the bench with a few minutes remaining. Unlike in the first half, though, Golden State’s other players stepped up while he rested. Thompson finished with 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field, and he scored seven of those points in the final minutes of the third. Chris Paul was also a fantastic offensive composer, dropping 10 assists in the first three quarters. He finished with 10 points, 12 assists, and 3 steals.
The Warriors should have been able to cruise to a comfortable victory, but late-game execution remained a bit lacking. They committed eight turnovers in the fourth quarter (after racking up just seven in the first three) and allowed the Kings to cut the lead to single digits. Sacramento pulled within five points before Curry knocked down a dagger three from 28 feet with 43 seconds left in regulation to seal the result. It capped off an amazing night from Steph. He led both teams with 41 points, scoring that many points on just 19 shot attempts from the field and 70% shooting from three.
The Warriors will look to pull out back-to-back road victories when they travel to Texas for a matchup against the Houston Rockets on Sunday at 4:00 PM Pacific.