Kings can't keep up hot start, fall to Warriors
SOMETHING TO BUILD ON
Moral victory. The only thing tougher than a six-game road trip is the first game back at home against the world champs.
The Sacramento Kings gave the Golden State Warriors a great fight Friday night at Golden 1 Center, but in the end, the All-Star team from Oakland was too much to handle and came away with the 119-104 victory.
Justin Jackson played one of his best games as a pro for Sacramento and Buddy Hield made a late run to give Sacramento a shot. The Warriors clamped down on defense late and the Kings couldn’t stop Kevin Durant.
STANDOUT PERFORMER I
Kevin Durant is a tough matchup for any team, but especially the Kings. The nine-time All-Star and former MVP dropped 33 points on Sacramento.
He shot an efficient 12-for-17 from the field, including 6-of-7 from long range.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Buddy Buckets woke up. The second-year guard was having a perfectly nondescript evening until the fourth quarter.
Then he caught fire.
After knocking down a 3-ball, he hit three consecutive layups to get the Kings right back in the ball game. Hield finished the night with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting and added three steals.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Jackson came out firing early, scoring eight points in the first six minutes of the game. He continued to compete against some of the game’s best, finishing the night with 17 points.
The Kings never went away. They went down by as many as 14 in the third, but they rallied late, including a wild stretch where Hield dropped in nine points in a minute and 25 seconds of action.
In the end, the Warriors defense showed up and the 3-ball started falling, making the final score look a lot more lopsided than it was.
Head coach Dave Joerger returned to the court after missing the Kings’ win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Willie Cauley-Stein missed a couple of games with a deep bone bruise, but was able to start for Sacramento. Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain), Malachi Richardson (left ankle sprain), Frank Mason (plantar fascia) and Harry Giles (knee rehab) all missed the contest.
After a six-game road trip, the Kings returned home for their first game of a back-to-back at Golden 1 Center. They’ll face the Dallas Mavericks Saturday evening, followed by a matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Monday evening as they continue the homestand.