NBA Gameday: Draymond to play, Livingston probable for Warriors vs Kings

NBA Gameday: Draymond to play, Livingston probable for Warriors vs Kings

Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here

SACRAMENTO -- Even as the aches and pains piled up over the past couple weeks, the Warriors barely have skipped a beat. And now they’re in position to start getting healthy again.

They play only once during a five-day stretch, and that’s Saturday night in Sacramento against the Kings, who have lost four of five and haven’t beaten the Warriors in nearly four years.

The Warriors (43-7) will get forward Draymond Green back in the starting lineup after a one-game absence and it’s also likely guard Shaun Livingston, who has missed the past two games, will return.

The Kings (19-31) generally fight hard enough to be competitive but continue to search for a way to finish. Seven of their past eight games were decided by five or fewer points and they’ve managed to win three of them.

Warriors by 14

JaVale McGee vs. DeMarcus Cousins: After playing only four minutes when the teams met Jan. 8, McGee is certain to see a lot more of Cousins in this game. McGee will have to defend without fouling, which is pretty tough against Cousins, who has the deepest offensive arsenal of any center in the league. It’s pretty simple for the Warriors: Don’t let Boogie beat you.

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L shoulder contusion) is listed as available. G Shaun Livingston (mid-back strain) is listed as probable. C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Kings: F Omri Casspi (R plantaris tendon strain), F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear) and G Garrett Temple (R hamstring tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Kings: 3-7.

The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 117-106, on Jan. 8 and have won 13 in a row overall, including seven in a row in Sacramento.

TEMPO CONTROL: The Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the league, while the Kings are the fourth slowest. If the Warriors somehow get lulled into a slow-down game, it plays right into Sacramento’s hands. Though it’s highly unlikely, stranger things have happened.

OPPORTUNITIES APLENTY: The Kings rank 25th in field-goal percentage defense and 27th in overall defensive rating. And now their best defender, Garrett Temple, is out. The Warriors rank first in field-percentage offense and second on offensive rating. The math looks like money in favor of the Warriors.

ANDRE’S FEELING IT: Though Andre Iguodala is known more for his defense and smarts than his scoring, his shooting touch has been remarkable in recent games. He’s shooting 58.7 percent over his last 10 games, including 55.0 percent from 3-point distance.


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.