Warriors roll into break with rout of Kings
(TSX / STATS) -- OAKLAND, Calif. -- Less talent, more passion.
It was a winning combination for the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Down at halftime and without Draymond Green for the rest of the game, an inspired Warriors squad vented the frustration of six consecutive substandard quarters with a 28-2, third-period flurry that enabled them to roll to a 109-86 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Klay Thompson had a game-high 35 points, including 14 in the third-quarter spree, helping Golden State record a seventh straight home win over Sacramento.
"That was really cool," Thompson said of the 7-minute, 11-second explosion. "We were frustrated (at halftime), but we knew it wasn't the end of the world. We knew we had to pick up the intensity. That's all we needed to do."
The victory, which came on the heels of a stunning, 132-110 loss at Denver on Monday night, increased the Warriors' run of consecutive games without back-to-back defeats to an NBA-record 142.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr reminded his team of the streak during the halftime break.
"We focused on not losing two in a row," Warriors forward Kevin Durant said of the key to the turnaround. "Coach said he didn't want us going into the break on a losing streak."
Instead, Golden State will go into the annual midseason vacation with a 47-9 record, the 10th-best mark at the NBA's traditional midpoint in league history.
The Kings (24-33), who endured a tough 97-96 road win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, lost for the first time in five games.
"We ran into the proverbial wall there in the third quarter," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "We've played a lot of close games. We've played a lot of games in the last three or four weeks where we've come from behind, haven't quit. (Tonight we) just couldn't hold onto the ball. Couldn't dribble, couldn't pass it."
Down 50-47 at halftime and having seen All-Star Green get ejected for two technical fouls, the Warriors ran away in the third period thanks to strong play at both ends of the court.
A third technical foul on a Warrior -- this one on center JaVale McGee -- helped the Kings retain a 57-54 lead in the third minute of the third period before the roof caved in on the visitors, who had beaten Golden State 109-106 in overtime 11 days earlier.
Thompson bombed in a 3-pointer and added a free throw as the Warriors scored the next six points to give them a lead they never relinquished.
The Kings' Matt Barnes countered with a hoop that closed the gap to 60-59, but Golden State then took off, getting two more 3-pointers from Thompson and one from Stephen Curry in a 22-0 bombardment that opened an 82-59 lead.
"I thought our guys just responded beautifully," Kerr said. "We were in tough shape without Draymond. We wanted to play faster. The third quarter, we played with great energy."
A follow shot by Barnes with 2:18 left in the period ended the 28-2 run, during which the Kings missed 10 of 11 shots and committed five turnovers.
The Warriors, meanwhile, went 9 of 11 during the runaway.
"We knew it would happen," Kings star DeMarcus Cousins said of a Warriors run. "It was all downhill from there. We just didn't respond well."
Thompson made 12 of his 18 shots, including 7 of 12 3-point attempts, en route to his fifth 30-point game of the season.
Durant chipped in with 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting to go with seven rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots, while Curry had a game-high nine assists to complement 13 points.
Durant went over 19,000 career points in the contest.
The Warriors shot 48.8 percent from the field and converted 13 of their 36 3-point attempts.
Barnes, a former Warrior, finished with a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double for the Kings. The game-high rebounding total was two off the veteran's career best.
Cousins finished with 13 points, four rebounds and six assists, with the Sacramento All-Star leaving the game for good during Golden State's third-quarter flurry. He played 23 minutes.
The Kings shot just 37.1 percent for the game, missing 17 of their 24 3-point attempts.
NOTES: The Warriors are now 17-0 this season when holding the opponent under 100 points. ... Warriors PF Draymond Green was ejected after being involved in a scramble in front of the Sacramento basket during which Kings C DeMarcus Cousins not only came away with the ball but also flung it into the hoop as he was deemed to have been fouled. The technicals were Green's ninth and 10th of the season. ... Warriors coach Steve Kerr disclosed before the game that his club would get six days off sandwiching the All-Star Game. He indicated C Zaza Pachulia (strained rotator cuff) and F David West (broken thumb) likely would return to practice when the team reconvened next Wednesday. ... Asked when his team would have its next workout, Kings coach Dave Joerger announced: "My birthday ... the 21st. What day is that?" (It's Tuesday.)
Updated February 16, 2017