The Golden State Warriors needed to win by at least 12 points to advance to the NBA’s In-Season Tournament’s quarterfinals. Given their recent history with the Sacramento Kings, that was going to be a bit of an uphill task, as things have gotten quite chippy between the two.
Steve Kerr’s boys hit the ground running from the start. The Warriors led by as many as 24 points in the first half, putting up 72 points on the road against a Kings team that seemed overmatched and outhustled on both ends of the floor.
Then, a series of unfortunate incidents opened up the door for the Kings to storm right back in, making the most of their physicality to get to the free-throw line and flip the script right back in their favor.
Malik Monk knocked down a big mid-range shot with little under 10 seconds left to play to give his team an ensuing one-point lead to put an end to the Warriors’ run in the In-Season Tournament and giving them a major reality check.
Curry Says Warriors Ran Out Of Gas
Stephen Curry was as spectacular as usual, knocking down 29 points with ten rebounds, six assists, one block, and four three-pointers. The rest of his supporting cast got off to a strong start, but they fell flat in the final two quarters:
“Our first half was pretty solid, probably the best basketball we’ve played on both sides of the floor,” Curry said. “Had a couple of untimely turnovers to start a momentum run. Then they got to the foul line 42 times, which is gonna do a lot of things, easy points, but even on misses or makes, they get to set their defense.”
Curry gave the Kings’ defense a lot of credit, but he knows this is a game they should’ve won. The Warriors have struggled to close out games, and he wants the team to realize they must be better down the stretch:
“It’s going to be too tough to swallow just because we should have won that game,” Curry said. “We played well enough to win for 40 minutes, and knowing the stretch we’ve been on, we were really motivated. You get to the finish line, and you end up losing. It’s a tough pill to swallow; it’s frustrating. We all got to look ourselves in the mirror.”
Draymond Was At It Again
Notably, the Warriors didn’t have their best defender on the floor when they needed him the most. Draymond Green, fresh off a five-game suspension, got himself out of the court by picking up a technical foul and a quick intentional foul in the second half.
Steve Kerr got him out; the Kings went on an 11-3 run to flip the table and get their first lead since their first bucket. It all went downhill from there, with both teams alternating buckets and lead changes.
Green has been unapologetic about his complaints and character, but perhaps it is time his teammates start holding him accountable. He’s just too valuable to keep hurting his team this way, especially during such a critical stretch.
SURVEY Are the Warriors championship contenders?
Are the Warriors championship contenders?
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