The Warriors can’t claim to be kings of the region just yet. To be royalty, they must beat the Kings. Sacramento got the best of the Warriors in the first week of the season, delivering a 94-92 loss on Nov. 5. It was only the fourth time since 1980 that both teams were limited to less than 95 points.
In that game, Sacramento’s young center DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Then, the slow feet of Andrew Bogut, who was experimenting on a surgically repaired ankle, guarded him. Tonight, Warriors rookie Festus Ezeli will match up against the bruising Cousins.
Since the beginning of January, Cousins has averaged 22.5 points and 15.8 rebounds in five games against the Warriors.
Carl Landry will follow his 16-point, nine-rebound Tuesday night performance against his former team, the Hornets, with a matchup against another former team. The Warriors are 12-4 when Landry scores in double-figures.
“Let’s do it,” said Landry, who played a season-and-a-half with the Kings. “It’s going to be a dog fight, but at the same time those guys in the locker room are hungry and we know what they did to us the first time around. We’ve got to go get one.”
With a win in Sacramento, the Warriors would improve to 18-8 and go 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007-08 season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.
Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.
Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.
Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.
Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.
Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.
The Golden State Warriors celebrated their first championship in 40 years by being condemned as “lucky” because they stayed healthy when most of their competitors did not. They missed 34 man-games to injury and/or rest, fewer than any other contender by a significant amount, and this was cited as one of the ways that the Warriors didn’t actually win the title as the other training rooms lost them.
This is, of course, idiocy of the first magnitude, As we have lectured before, “luck” of this kind is like any other form of luck – it is to be welcomed, no matter how much it may offend people who prefer their sports to be conceptual rather than real.
Put another way, there are no asterisks on the trophy in Joe Lacob’s foyer.
That argument cannot be made this year – well, it can, but not if you want to be correct.
Jordan Bell’s ankle issue is the latest annoyance in a season of them, and the Warriors’ core rotational players have missed a higher percentage of games this year than in any of the other three (15 percent, rather than five in 2015, eight in 2016 and 10 in 2017).
What this means is that their superior depth is being challenged as never before, but that’s really all it means. They endure the loss of one of their main players quite well, in fact. Without Stephen Curry, they are 12-3, 14-4 over the past two seasons and 20-6 through three; without Kevin Durant, 7-1 this year 25-5 over the last two; without Draymond Green, 7-0, 12-1. Only Klay Thompson (0-1 this year, 1-3 last year, 6-6 since 2015) seems to bother them.
That’s 52-16 without at least one member of the Gang of Four.
But it does mean few minutes and games off for Andre Iguodala and David West and Shaun Livingston, and more minutes than ever for Kevon Looney. It plays a bit of mischief with Steve Kerr’s rotations, but he’s an adult and has an army of fellow thinkers to make any required adjustments.
In short, waste no worry, pity or scorn on them. They remain relentlessly unmoved by misfortune or pain.
But at least this year, they’re having some of each, if only to silence those who still want to think, if only for their own amusement, that things have been improperly easy for them.