Shorthanded Warriors falter down the stretch in close loss to Kings
FOURTH QUARTER FADE
OAKLAND -- Playing without their top three scorers for the first time this season, the Warriors faded badly down the stretch Friday night and wound up 98-93 losers to the Kings at Oracle Arena.
Quinn Cook, making his fourth consecutive start at point guard, finished with a team-high 25 points but got little help on offense. Nick Young totaled 16 points, Draymond Green 14 and Andre Iguodala 11.
The Warriors (52-17) had a terrific first quarter, scoring 36 points on 66.7-percent shooting. But they scored 34 over the entire second half on 12-of-44 shooting from the field and ended up shooting 42 percent for the game.
The Warriors have shown immense faith in Cook, believing he is capable of being effective in the NBA. He rewarded them in this game.
Cook’s line: career-high 25 points (10-of-13 from the field, 5-of-7 from deep), four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He played a team-high 40 minutes and finished at an even-0.
Though the Warriors led by as much as 11 in the first half, the teams stayed within six points of each other in the third quarter and never separated by more than three in the fourth.
This one wasn’t decided until Willie Cauley-Stein blocked a Young 3-point attempt with seconds remaining to preserve a 96-93 Sacramento lead. A Cauley-Stein dunk after the block closed the scoring.
In-game: F Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain) left the game with 9:00 left in the second quarter and did not return.
Pregame Warriors: G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) were listed as out.
Pregame Kings: F Harry Giles (Bi-lateral knee rehabilitation) and G Iman Shumpert (L knee rehabilitation and L plantar fasciitis) were listed as out.
The Warriors left immediately after the game for Phoenix, where on Saturday night they will face the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.