Sacramento, CA – An explosive first half for the Sacramento Kings, Rudy Gay scored 15 points of his 23 in the first quarter. The Kings out-hustled and outscored the Warriors in the first half.
A collective effort and good ball movement by the Kings put them up by as many as 16 points but that all came to an end after Golden State returned from halftime. In fact, the Warriors open the third quarter with a 19-7 run and never looked back.
“We always have that one quarter or one little stretch where we have bad basketball,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “It comes back to bite us in the end.”
Sacramento’s 117-106 loss to Golden State is their third straight loss. The 16-point lead is the second largest blown lead of the season for Sacramento (previous 19 vs. LAL 11/10). The Warriors outscored the Kings 39-22 in the third quarter to gain back the lead.
Including a 22-3 run in which the Warriors were able to take a 10-point lead at 77-67 with 5:32 left in the third. Cousins who was a huge part in Sacramento’s lead in the first half struggled with fouls. he picked up his third foul and got a tech after throwing a tantrum on the bench.
After Cousins earned his third foul he walked to the bench and kicked a chair before he began punching it to release his frustration. At the time he was given his 10th technical of the season.
“He’s exhausted, said head coach Dave Joerger of Cousins. “He’s been carrying the torch for a long time. It seems perhaps maybe longer than just this year. Is there a night off coming or something? He had a tough night.”
Cousins recorded his 17th double-double of the season as he scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Cousins also led the team in assists with five; his 14 time this season leading the team in assists.
By the third, Golden State found their groove. The Warriors shot 9-of-13 from the field. Stephen Curry scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 2-of-3 from the three-point line. Curry led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field, 5-of-11 from three.
“I mean, I’m not saying we’re invincible at all,” Curry said. “We’ve proven that, but it gives us our best shot to allow our talent on the other end to shine. A lot’s been said about our fourth quarter offense and execution and lineups and whatever, but if we can work through that while getting stops on the defensive end and using the length and activity that we usually have on that end, we’ll be alright regardless.”
It’s the third straight game that Curry has scored 30 or more points in a game, 10th game this season of 30 or more points. Kevin Durant scored 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists.
“We weren’t discouraged coming in or when they started making shots because they were making a lot of tough moves,” said Durant. “We knew they couldn’t sustain that throughout the game. You saw the third quarter, legs got a little tired, we were more physical and we got out and run. That’s the formula for us.”