The Golden State Warriors have done something that had never happened before during the Steve Kerr era: they’ve fallen behind in a series 2-0.
Which means there is so much work to do.
The Warriors and Sacramento Kings once again put on a show for the ages, with a tense, intense, compelling, and confusing playoff game that we’ll remember for years to come. But Sacramento fans will remember it more fondly, with the Kings coming out on top 114-106 to take a big lead in the best-of-seven series.
It started with a bizarre first quarter. How bizarre? Try Draymond Green going on a 7-0 run bizarre.
Golden State played some of their best road defense of the year in the quarter, and forced a staggering nine turnovers ... which their offense matched with nine of their own. Still, Golden State led 23-17 after the first frame.
And then came a disaster. Steve Kerr somehow benched Andrew Wiggins to start the second quarter, even though De’Aaron Fox was in, and the Kings ran out to a 16-4 run to open the frame. That run turned into a 23-8 start to the quarter, and Sacramento built a 10-point lead.
The Dubs erased it in the blink of an eye with a 14-4 run of their own, then proceeded to throw most of it away in the final minute, and trailed by six at halftime.
Hopes of a vintage third quarter showing were quickly dashed. Green picked up his fourth foul immediately, leading Kerr to turn to Moses Moody just a minute into the half. Golden State picked up their fifth foul of the frame less than two minutes in, and with seven minutes left in the quarter Kevon Looney picked up his fifth foul.
Sacramento built the lead to 14, but a Wiggins-fueled run pulled the Dubs to within six. They ended the quarter trailing by eight.
And then came the madness of the fourth quarter. The teams traded blows — both literal and figurative — with fouls galore, elbows galore, and ridiculous buckets galore. The tension mounted, and it climaxed when Domantas Sabonis was on the ground and grabbed Draymond Green’s ankle ... which led to Green stomping on Sabonis’ chest.
Bush league action by both, and after the refs consulted the replay, Sabonis was given a technical and Green a flagrant 2, which resulted in an ejection.
It briefly gave the Warriors life and they pulled to within one, but then Sacramento did when they’ve done all year and all series. They made big buckets. They grabbed offensive rebounds. They forced turnovers. And they got their fans going.
And they won.
Game 3 is Thursday night in San Francisco, and suffice to say, the Dubs need to win. Golden State has almost won each of the first two games, but almost doesn’t count. It should give them plenty of confidence if they can return to Sacramento knotted at 2-2, but ... they’ve got a ton of work left to get there.