Warriors Under Review: Fine shooting, late defense get it done against Kings


Warriors Under Review: Fine shooting, late defense get it done against Kings

In surviving Sacramento, the Warriors showcased their experience, their moxie and their ability to respond to a highly competitive challenge.

The Kings made 20 3-pointers and the Warriors made 21. That basically was the difference in the outcome -- and also resulted in an NBA record for combined triples (41) in a game.

The Warriors’ 127-123 victory Saturday night was, despite the 250 total points and NBA-record 41 combined 3-point makes, a triumph of economy. The Warriors scored just enough and played just enough defense to overcome the spunky Kings.

The Warriors are now 3-0 against their Northern California neighbors.

Here are some positives and negatives they can take from their fourth consecutive win over the Kings dating back to last season:


The three shooters

Stephen Curry (42 points), Kevin Durant (29) and Klay Thompson (20) combined for 91 points on 54.1 percent shooting. Moreover, they were 16-of-33 (48.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Their shots were, by and large, off good looks against a vulnerable Kings defense.

When the deadly trio can get into that kind of rhythm, any shooting record is endangered.

[RELATED: Curry plays entire fourth quarter, carries Warriors to win]


The live-ball turnovers

How did the Kings, playing such mediocre defense, stay the game? With the help of the Warriors, who committed only 14 turnovers, but all but two were live-ball turnovers that launched Sacramento’s scorching transition game. The Kings scored 29 points off the giveaways and routed the Warriors 32-15 in fast break points.

“Every time we turned the ball over it was a three or a dunk,” coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s what kept them in the game.”

That’s the distilled truth, considering how easy uncontested transition 3s are.


The late suffocation

The Warriors were in a fight partly because their turnovers sent the Kings into instant offense, much of which was derived from 3-pointers. Sacramento made 20 of their first 31 3-point attempts. When the Kings took a lead on a Justin Jackson triple with 3:18 remaining -- the sixth of nine lead changes in the quarter -- the Warriors shut off their turnovers and shut down the 3-pointers (0-of-5) down the stretch.

When they absolutely had to stop the Kings to secure the win, the Warriors did exactly that.

[RELATED: Can Warriors always turn up defense in the final minutes?]


Livingston limps off

Shaun Livingston made his usual first appearance, starting the second quarter, and wasn’t particularly effective at either end. He lasted 13 seconds short of four minutes before leaving with soreness in his left knee.

“He tweaked his knee a little bit,” Kerr said. “It’s not serious. It’s creaky.”

Livingston’s play suggests there may have been an issue beforehand. If there is any question at all by Tuesday, the Warriors will sit him for the home game against the Knicks.

Watch Steph Curry's mother, Sonya, make underhanded half-court shot

Watch Steph Curry's mother, Sonya, make underhanded half-court shot

Shooting just runs in the Curry family, doesn’t it?

Sonya Curry, Warriors superstar Steph Curry’s mother, brought the house down when she sunk an underhanded half-court shot when the Curry family was back in Charlotte, N.C. for the NBA All-Star Game.

The Currys celebrated in style after her shot swished through the net.

Sonya’s shooting exploits were on display as part of an event the Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family foundation helped put together at the Carole Hoefner Center. The Curry family was there to raise the curtain on a large-scale renovation of the gym, which will help serve the community of Charlotte.

Sonya is quite the athlete herself, so her shooting marksmanship should come as no surprise. Sonya was a basketball star in high school and played volleyball at Virginia Tech University.

Of course, Sonya’s husband, Dell, and her two sons, Steph and Seth, have all reached the NBA.

[RELATED: The first time Steph Curry learned troubles of stardom]

Seth, a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, will be competing against his older, more famous brother on Saturday night in the NBA 3-point contest.

Steph said earlier Friday that he’d beat his brother in the competition, and hinted that Dell also might have a role in the event.

But based on Sonya’s half-court shot, is it too late for her to get an invite to enter the contest as well?

Steph Curry, Seth get hilarious advice from Dell for NBA 3-Point Contest

Steph Curry, Seth get hilarious advice from Dell for NBA 3-Point Contest

Father knows best, right? 

When it comes from a 16-year NBA veteran, yes. Even if you are the two-time NBA MVP and three-time champ. 

Some advice is better than others, and it doesn't get much better than what Dell Curry said to his sons Steph and Seth about how to win the NBA 3-Point Contest. 

"My pops, his advice when he did it, was don't do what he did and go out the night before 'til the sun comes up," Steph said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelenna Azubuike. "He's like, 'the person that wants to win the most, is the one that's gonna go to bed the earliest and not go out the night before.' I appreciated that."

Dell only scored 12 points and was dropped in the first round of the 1994 3-Point Contest against Cleveland's Mark Price.

Steph has already predicted he'll beat Seth and win the event, so he better get some shut-eye. It sounds like there's going to a pretty expensive brotherly bet, too. 

[RELATED: Steph Curry first found troubles of fame going to Charlotte in 2013]

There's never been a better 3-point shooting family than the Currys. It should be a competitive contest with Steph and Seth, but either way, they'll probably do better than Dell ... if they stick to his advice.