SACRAMENTO -- The best way to slow the offensive juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors, is to make shots on the offensive end and set your defense. The Sacramento Kings did exactly that through two quarters, but an NBA basketball game doesn’t end after 24 minutes.
Golden State throttled the Kings in the third quarter, erasing a seven-point halftime lead with a 39-22 explosion coming out of the intermission. Sacramento never recovered, losing by a final of 117-106.
The big three came to play for Golden State.
Sacramento’s guards picked up Steph Curry full court for much of the night, but he got loose in the third quarter to put up 30 points on 5-for-11 shooting from long range.
Kevin Durant was outplayed early by Gay, but came alive late to post 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks in the win. Klay Thompson hit the Kings with back cuts all night, finishing the game with 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
Draymond Green added nine points, seven rebounds and a game-high 10 assists, while Zaza Pachulia finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Rudy Gay channeled his inner George Gervin, attacking the rim and finishing with the finger-roll. Gay scored 15 of his 23 in the first quarter. Gay looked very good in his second game back after missing four straight and 10-of-11 with a hip flexor injury.
DeMarcus Cousins struggled early with foul trouble and never really got it going. He finished the night with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He also beat a chair up, which cost him his 10th technical foul.
For the second straight game Dave Joerger mixed up his starting lineup. Garrett Temple started at the shooting guard spot alongside Darren Collison and Anthony Tolliver started up front with Gay and Cousins.
Both moves worked. Tolliver hit 2-for-5 from 3-point land on his way to 16 points and five rebounds. Temple added 14 points and played solid defense on the high-powered Warrior guards.
Ty Lawson came off the Kings bench to give them a huge spark. He led the second unit with 15 points and three assists. Darren Collison put up numbers in the fourth to finish with 14 points as the Kings fell to 15-22 on the season.
Curry did most his damage in the deciding third quarter, scoring 12 of his 30 in the period.
The Kings walked into halftime feeling confident. They came out timid and the Warriors demolished them quickly. Sacramento hung around, but the third quarter decided this game.
For the second straight game, the Kings walked in with 13 healthy bodies and walked out unscathed.
The Kings continue their season-long seven game homestand Tuesday when the Detroit Pistons roll through town. They follow that up with the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers Friday evening.