SACRAMENTO KINGS

Curry, Warriors Hand Kings Third Straight Loss To Begin Season

Oct 23, 2022, 8:50 PM | Updated: 8:56 pm
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Head coach Mike Brown of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the fir...
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A tale of two halves.

The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings took turns dominating the first and second halves of Sunday night’s game at Chase Center in downtown San Francisco, but a massive 89-point first half would act as the difference in the end.

Thanks to a first-half outburst from Steph Curry (28 points), the Warriors were able to hold off a late Kings run to secure a 130-125 win.

Sacramento (0-3) has lost six-straight games to the Warriors since March of 2021 and is still searching for its first win at Chase Center (which opened up at the beginning of the 2020-21 season).

It’s been over six months since the last time the Kings played against the Warriors, and they were given an early reminder of what that experience normally entails: double-digit deficits.

Golden State scored 10-straight points before Sacramento got on the board in the first quarter as Kings head coach Mike Brown was forced to call an early timeout to try and stop the bleeding–and that’s exactly what happened.

After Brown made the call to insert Keegan Murray into the lineup with 8:47 remaining in the first, Sacramento battled back to make it a ballgame as Golden State’s lead shrank to 39-36 heading into the second period.

It looked as if we had a tight ballgame on our hands as the Kings trailed 58-57 with seven minutes to go in the half, but a man named Wardell Stephen Curry II would have a say in that matter.

Curry exploded for 28 points (six-of-eight from the three-point line) during the first half as the Warriors flirted with the NBA’s record for most points scored over the first two-quarters of play (92, a record that was set by Golden State in 2018). The Warriors ended the half with 89 points, which is the most first-half points that Sacramento has allowed in franchise history.

Aside from the fact that Golden State nearly scored 100 points during the first 24 minutes of play, the Kings’ offense pulled its own weight in the form of scoring 71 points on 52% shooting from the field. De’Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray combined to score 28 points, but the damage had been done as Curry and the Warriors took an 18-point lead into the break.

It was a very different story for the Kings and Warriors during the second half as the Sacramento defense turned up the intensity, holding Golden State to just 41 points as a 26-point deficit was reduced to just four with over a minute remaining.

When Malik Monk attempted a triple with 42 seconds remaining, it seemed as if we could be heading for a wild finish at Chase Center, but the shot rimmed out and the Warriors were able to hang on late.

The fact that Sacramento was able to make this a game at all is a triumph as 26-point deficits certainly are no walk in the park to overcome. Still, this team isn’t chasing moral victories, they’re chasing real victories as they set their sights on playing basketball past April this upcoming spring.

Takeaways

The offense wasn’t the problem on Sunday, including free-throw shooting. Five members of the Kings finished the night in double figures, while the team shot 80% from the charity stripe.

In this loss, defensive breakdowns and lapses during the first half would be the primary concern as Sacramento simply had no answer for Steph Curry and a high-powered Warriors offense in the early going.

Kings head coach Mike Brown, the leader of Golden State’s defense from 2016-22, made some adjustments during the second half as the Warriors scored just 41 points after nearly dropping 90 points by the halftime break.

It wasn’t all bad for Brown on Sunday as the 52-year-old was gifted his 2022 NBA championship ring during a pregame ceremony that also included assistant coach Leandro Barbosa, who also served alongside Brown on Steve Kerr’s coaching staff last season.

The first half of Sunday’s game was ugly. No other way to slice it. The second half, though, was a different story for Brown’s squad:

  • First half: allowed 89 points on 31/46 (67%) shooting from the field
  • Second half: allowed 41 points on 14/41 (34%) shooting from the field

In games like these against a loaded Warriors team, mid-game adjustments are noteworthy because Kings teams of recent years would simply not respond in that fashion. When those teams got hit hard early, they stayed down.

Unfortunately for this contest, Sacramento’s rough first half was too much to overcome, but you can see that this team isn’t like previous teams. The results will need to show up in the win column, but with 79 games remaining in the season, there is hope that second-half performances like tonight can be translated into 48-minute efforts.

Sabonis Knocks The Rust Off

Following a rough start to his season, Domantas Sabonis was able to bust out of his slump in a big way on Sunday night.

Sabonis scored 19 points, pulled down 14 rebounds, and handed out four assists over just 22 minutes during the loss. The 26-year-old entered play against Golden State averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting just 40% from the field over his first two showings, but the center looked like his normal self at Chase Center.

When asked about Sabonis’ brief 22-minute stint of play, Brown said postgame that he chose to stick with Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu for most of the second half as the bench pieced together an impressive run that brought the Kings back into the game.

Rounding Out The Box Score

  • De’Aaron Fox led all Kings scorers with 26 points (11-of-20 from the field) to go along with five boards and 10 assists over 36 minutes. The 24-year-old continues to look like an All-Star talent over the first week of play.
  • Keegan Murray followed up his impressive NBA debut on Saturday with 16 points (six-of-14 from the field) over a team-high 38 minutes. After coming off of the bench for the second-straight game, Brown said postgame that the rookie could enter the starting lineup in the near future.
  • Richaun Holmes scored 15 points (six-of-eight from the field) and grabbed five rebounds over 16 minutes tonight. It was Holmes’ first game with 15+ points and 5+ rebounds since January 22nd.
  • Malik Monk found his stroke during the loss as the guard scored 16 points on four-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc over 29 minutes of action.

Coming Up

Sacramento will return home for a couple of days of practice before facing dangerous guard Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies at Golden 1 Center on Thursday night.

The Kings will aim to snap a six-game losing streak against Memphis that dates back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Last season, the Grizzlies swept the three-game season series by an average of 23.6 points per game.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Grizzlies coverage right here on Sactown Sports 1140 beginning at 3:00 pm PST on Cattles & Ramie before action tips off atΒ  7:00 pm PST from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Thursday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs Memphis Grizzlies – 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs Miami Heat – 7:00 PM PST

Monday, October 31st – Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets – 4:00 PM PST

Wednesday, November 2nd – Sacramento Kings @ Miami Heat – 4:30 PM PST

Saturday, November 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Orlando Magic – 2:00 PM PST

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