Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kings play spoiler, beat Warriors

By
From page B1 | March 28, 2013 |

Sacramento's Chuck Hayes (42) and Golden State's David Lee, left, and Harrison Barnes compete for a loose ball in the Kings' 105-98 win over the Warriors on Thursday. AP photo

OAKLAND — Isaiah Thomas had 31 points and seven assists, DeMarcus Cousins added 14 points and the Sacramento Kings put another dent in Golden State’s playoff chase by beating the Warriors 105-98 on Wednesday night.

Marcus Thornton scored 13 points off the bench and helped harass Stephen Curry to send Sacramento to its first road win against a team with a winning record all season. The Kings entered the game an NBA-worst 6-30 on the road.

Sacramento won the season series 3-1.

David Lee had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Curry finished with 17 points and 12 assists on a difficult shooting night for the Warriors point guard. Golden State (41-32) missed an opportunity to build its lead on seventh-place Houston (39-32), which remains a game back after losing 100-91 to Indiana.

While playoff positioning is paramount for the Warriors, Sacramento sure seemed more energized for the latest — and perhaps last — edition of the Northern California rivalry. The NBA is deciding between a bid from a group that wants to buy and relocate the Kings to Seattle and a counteroffer from a Sacramento group.

After going down 13 points at the start of the fourth quarter, Golden State tried to rally late behind a 26th straight sellout crowd announced at 19,596.

Harrison Barnes stole Patrick Patterson’s pass and finished a layup on the other end to slice Sacramento’s lead to 93-88 with a little more than 3 minutes to play. The Warriors just had no answer for the Kings on defense, often mixing up assignments — or forgetting them altogether.

Thomas answered with a step-back 3-pointer off a screen, hitting the shot over Andrew Bogut and reserve Kent Bazemore. Both players went underneath and left Thomas open.

Jack came back with a running jump shot to bring the Warriors within six. They forced a stop before Curry missed a runner that sent fans heading for the exits. Curry finished 5 for 18 from the floor.

Both teams shot 45.6 percent.

Toney Douglas’ free throws put the Kings ahead by eight with 32.8 seconds left, and then Sacramento got sloppy. Curry made a layup then stole the inbound pass from Patterson for another layup to trim the Kings’ lead to 100-96 with 20.1 seconds remaining before Sacramento sealed the game on free throws.

The rest of the game followed the familiar Kings-Warriors script.

Offensive outbursts led to defensive droughts. Dazzling dunks morphed into poor finishes. And anytime an offense flowed for a long stretch, eventually the rhythm shattered.

John Salmons started the silliness with a shot from beyond the arc while getting fouled by Barnes on the game’s first play. The four-point play helped the Kings go ahead 12-2 before they hit their first rut.

The Warriors received contributions from all over during a 31-12 run that lasted midway through the second quarter. Lee and Bogut highlighted the spurt with a series of uncontested dunks off pick-and-rolls, often making an extra pass to the other inside to give Golden State a 33-24 lead.

There were 10 lead changes and five ties in the first half alone. The Kings led 47-44 at the break.

Sacramento surged ahead 64-52 in the third quarter after a 13-0 run sparked by Thomas, who scored 17 points in the third quarter, including going 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. The undersized point guard punctuated the period with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc in the face of Curry that put the Kings up 77-66.

If this really was the last time these teams meet as Northern California neighbors, the margin couldn’t be closer. The series is tied 185-185.

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