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Game Preview: Warriors at Kings - 1/8/17

ON THE ROAD ... SORTA
Coming off of their first loss of 2017, the Warriors will play their lone road game in a 10-game stretch on Sunday when they visit the Sacramento Kings. This will be the first of this season’s four head-to-head meetings between the I-80 neighbors, and it will also mark the Dubs’ first trip to the Kings’ new arena. The Warriors have swept the season series with Sacramento in each of the last three seasons, winning 12-straight games against their Northern California rivals. Sunday’s tipoff is set for 6 p.m., and fans catch the game on CSN Bay Area or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game and the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
For three quarters, the Warriors were almost flawless. But then the wheels fell off and a game well in-hand turned into a disappointing 128-119 overtime loss to the visiting Grizzlies on Friday night. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW
31-6
1st in West
117.5 PPG (1st)
45.1 RPG (7th)
31.0 APG (1st)

SAC
15-21
9th in West
102.2 PPG (21st)
40.9 RPG (29th)
21.8 APG (T-18th)

PROJECTED STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
SAC: Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Matt Barnes, Rudy Gay and DaMarcus Cousins

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: None. Team Notes
SAC: None. Team Notes

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?
Northern California has been waiting for it. And while it’s far from a certainty, for the first time in decades, the Warriors and Kings going head to head in the playoffs is a realistic possibility. While the Dubs are enjoying their greatest run of multi-season success in franchise history, the Kings have the look of a team that’s getting ready to turn the corner. Sacramento is currently in ninth place and appear to be one of several teams in the West that will be battling for the last playoff spot in the conference. A lot will happen between now and mid-April, but as of now, Northern California basketball fans have plenty to be excited about.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW
PTS: Durant (25.9)
REB: Durant (8.8)
AST: Green (7.5)

MEM
PTS: Cousins (28.5)
REB: Cousins (10.0)
AST: Collison (4.3)

SACRAMENTO SCOUTING REPORT
The Kings will head into Sunday’s matchup having lost four of their last five games. There’s no question that they’ll lean on DaMarcus Cousins as they try to break out of their recent funk, as Cousins is one of the NBA’s most offensively potent big men. His 28.6 points per game are the third highest total in the NBA, and he has talented veterans around him. Rudy Gay returned to action on Friday after missing nine of the last 10 games with a hip injury, and his 18.5 points per game certainly gives the Kings a solid 1-2 punch. Throw in the resurgence of Ty Lawson and the experience of Matt Barnes and Aaron Afflalo, the Kings are suddenly not the same old Kings. Playing in their new building, there’s no question that the Kings will be motivated to take down their neighbors to the West, so the Dubs will need to be ready to answer the bell.

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