Curry continues to break down Kings defense during Warriors’ win
Oct 27, 2023, 9:36 PM | Updated: 10:22 pm
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry delivered the final nail in the Sacramento Kings’ coffin during Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs in April, and the future Hall of Fame guard picked up right where he left off on Friday night.
Curry, who scored 50 points in that fateful Game 7, continued to pick apart Sacramento’s defense and outlast De’Aaron Fox’s late-game heroics during the Golden State Warriors’ 122-114 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
The two-time MVP finished the night with 41 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field (seven-of-10 from three-point range) to act as the difference during an overall sluggish performance by Sacramento’s offense.
Although the Kings’ record-breaking offense from last season looked incredible during Wednesday’s season-opener in Utah, the Warriors held Sacramento in check to pick up their first win of the season.
STEPH. BUCKET. COLD.
Live on ESPN pic.twitter.com/ME0YAjfLeV
— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2023
Curse Of The Third Quarter
Last season, the Kings had a knack for letting opponents change the tone of games during the third quarter. That habit reared its ugly head again during Friday night’s game.
Stephen Curry erupted for 16 points on six-of-seven shooting (three-of-three from deep) as the Warriors outscored Sacramento 39-27 while shooting 60 percent from the field.
The Kings’ lethal offense from Wednesday’s season-opener in Salt Lake City looked out of sync, as Sacramento went nine-for-24 (37%) from the floor during the period.
When you take the second quarter into account, Golden State outscored the Kings 75-55 during the middle periods of the game to give themselves plenty of cushion against Sacramento’s sputtering offense and sloppy play (22 points allowed on 11 turnovers through three quarters).
“I think we played nearly a perfect first quarter, but that second quarter is where we really shot ourselves in the foot,” De’Aaron Fox said of Sacramento’s struggles following the first period. “Once a team sees the ball go in like that, they can really get things going.”
Mr. Fourth Quarter Returns
Last year’s Clutch Player of the Year award winner did everything he could to lead Sacramento back from the dead during the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.
De’Aaron Fox continued to thrive in crunch time as the All-Star scored 22 of his 39 points during the final period, but too much damage had been done as the Kings couldn’t close the gap.
Fourth-Quarter Fox 🦊 pic.twitter.com/mSuW4jrAwg
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) October 28, 2023
Fox finished the night shooting 14-of-28 from the field and five-of-nine from three-point land while handing out four assists and swiping two steals over 39 minutes.
“We were down double-digits, and I felt that I needed to be more aggressive,” Fox said of his aggressive final stretch.
Fox, Sabonis, and…. That’s it?
While Fox and Domantas Sabonis (19 points, 18 rebounds, and seven assists) carried the load on offense, the rest of the Kings’ rotation struggled to contribute on Friday.
Outside of Fox and Sabonis’ 21-of-43 (48%) performance from the floor, the rest of Sacramento’s offense went 21-for-53 (39%) against Golden State.
Keegan Murray had a solid start to the game, but finished the night six-of-16 from the field. Harrison Barnes, who scored 33 points on Wednesday, only took five field goal attempts against the Warriors.
Lots of eyes were on Kevin Huerter heading into this one, and the struggles continued for the guard (0 points on 0/5 shooting from three-point land) as the pressure continues to mount against the guard.
Over two games this season, Huerter has scored seven points while shooting three-of-14 from the field and one-of-ten from beyond the arc over 39 minutes.
“This league is 82 games. We played two. He got to this level for a reason,” Fox said of Huerter’s struggles following the loss. “He stayed at this level for a reason. He got his extension for a reason. Those things don’t just happen. He’s just struggling right now.”
Huerter and Chris Duarte combined for 42 minutes of action on Friday and went one-of-12 from the field while missing all nine attempts from deep.
Sacramento needs production out of the two-spot, and with Huerter continuing to struggle on the defensive end, it’s fair to wonder if head coach Mike Brown could change up his starting lineup in the near future.
However, Brown threw water on that notion following the loss:
“Kevin is not the only one that made mistakes tonight… When I evaluate the team, I’m not just looking at Kevin and considering taking him out of the starting lineup, there are other changes that can be made… Across the board, I have to take a look at things to see how we can win a ballgame… In my opinion, he’s going to figure it out, and his shooting is going to be where it needs to be.”
Kings head coach Mike Brown on the possibility of moving Kevin Huerter out of the starting lineup
Huerter was an integral piece of Sacramento’s record-setting offense last season, but ‘Red Velvet’ has yet to look like himself since the start of preseason.
The Kings are at their best with Huerter knocking down looks off of Domantas Sabonis dribble-hand-offs, but the shots haven’t fallen for the veteran guard since the ‘Beam Team’ returned to action three weeks ago.
Brown and Fox believe that Huerter can get back on track, and a turnaround will have to come sooner than later before Brown is forced to make a change.
Domantas Sabonis out-rebounded Kevon Looney in another physical matchup between the two centers.
- Sabonis: 18 rebounds
- Looney: 12 rebounds
Going back to Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs, Stephen Curry has scored 91 points during his last two games against the Kings.
Sacramento surrendered 26 points off of their 14 turnovers on Friday night.
Trey Lyles (left calf strain) sat out for a second-straight game as he works his way back to game action.
Lyles was seen getting shots up during Friday morning’s shoot-around, and although the Kings will be cautious in bringing the forward back into the fold, it’s unlikely that he will be sidelined for an extended period.
When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?
Rivalry weekend continues for Sacramento as they will face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center on Sunday evening.
Last season, the Kings took three out of four head-to-head matchups against the Lakers, including the most recent matchup between the teams on January 18th in Los Angeles (116-111).
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Lakers coverage, beginning at 4:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 6:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- Sunday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 6 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Saturday, November 4th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
- Monday, November 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 8th – Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 7 PM PST