Warriors Beat Kings Behind Third Quarter Onslaught
Golden State Wins Final Game Before All-Star Break
The Warriors are going into the All-Star break on a winning note after responding in a big way to claim a 109-86 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Trailing by thee points at halftime, Golden State outscored Sacramento 42-15 in the third quarter, which included a 22-0 run. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 35 points and seven three-pointers. Kevin Durant filled the stat sheet with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Stephen Curry added 13 points, six boards and nine dimes. With the victory, Golden State improves to 47-9 on the season.
It was a tale of two halves, to say the least.
Kevin Durant played the role of distributor to begin the contest, notching assists on the Warriors’ first four baskets. He had more assists in the first half of the first quarter than Sacramento did made field goals, and after the Kings jumped in front 9-8 on Ben McLemore’s three-pointer, Golden State responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead for the remainder of the frame. The Kings would close the gap through the duration of the opening quarter, cutting the deficit to 28-25 at the end of one, and it would remain a tight game going into halftime.
Sacramento closed within a single point on three occasions in the second quarter, and after Durant knocked down a jumper to increase the Warriors’ lead to 47-43 with 2:33 remaining, the Kings closed the half on a 7-0 run to retake the lead. Draymond Green picked up two technical fouls in the midst of that burst, resulting in an ejection with 37 seconds left in the half.
JaVale McGee received a technical of his own 34 seconds into the third quarter, and then, everything changed. Durant knocked down a jumper on the ensuing possession, and the two sides would trade scores for the next two-and-a-half minutes until Klay Thompson followed his own split free throws with a three-pointer to put the Warriors back in front 60-57. Matt Barnes answered right back for Sacramento and cut it to a single-point deficit with exactly eight minutes remaining in the frame, but then Golden State simply ran away with the game.
They’d hold the Kings scoreless for the next 5:42, over the course of which they’d go on a 22-0 run to turn a close game into a blowout. It was Golden State’s longest run while holding an opponent scoreless this season. The Dubs executed nearly perfectly on both ends of the floor during that stretch, making eight of their nine attempts from the field – including three three-pointers – while collecting three blocked shots and four steals on defense. Barnes finally ended the drought with a score with 2:18 remaining in the quarter, but the damage had been done. When the frame was over with, Golden State found themselves with an 89-65 lead heading into the fourth.
Golden State opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the game on Klay Thompson’s seventh and final three-pointer of the night with 9:18 remaining. Kevin Durant matched it with a ferocious dunk a minute later, and soon after Steve Kerr pulled the starters, allowing the reserves to play out the remainder of the eventual 109-86 victory.
With the win, the Warriors head into the All-Star break with a record of 47-9. They’ll have a week off in between games and return to action on February 23 against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.