Preview: Kings (12-15) vs. Warriors (22-3)
After an exciting victory over their rivals from the south on Sunday, the Kings look to add to their momentum against another Pacific-Division foe Monday night.
For more than a year, however, the Golden State Warriors have had the upper hand in the battle of I-80, as Sacramento has dropped five straight to the blue and gold.
Looking for a bit redemption for its home opening setback to start the season, Sacramento, led by DeMarcus Cousins, who has dominated in the two games since his return from illness and led the team to an average of 107.5 points per outing, aims to squash that trend in Oakland tonight.
To do so, the Kings will vie to slow down the Splash Brothers, who have led the Warriors to a League-leading 23-3 record this season.
While Sacramento is playing in its second game of a back-to-back, Golden State is rested after having the past three days off since defeating the Thunder, 114-109, on Thursday.
|Darren Collison||Stephen Curry|
|Ben McLemore||Klay Thompson|
|Rudy Gay||Draymond Green|
|Jason Thompson||Harrison Barnes|
|DeMarcus Cousins||Festus Ezeli|
Broadcasts: TV – CSNCA
Comcast - 34 / 721
Dish - 452 / 9574
Dish Hopper – 412-40
DirecTV - 698-1
AT&T - 768 / 1768
Radio – KHTK Sports 1140 AM
|11/2/13 at Oracle Arena||12/1/13 at Sleep Train Arena||2/19/14 at Sleep Train Arena||4/4/14 at Oracle Arena|
McLemore 19pts, 4rebs, 2stls
Cousins 24pts, 6rebs, 2stls
Gay 16pts, 8rebs, 4asts
Cousins 19pts, 11rebs
Big Month for B-Mac
The month of December has been stellar for one of the youngest players on the Kings roster.
Showing off the skill set that earned him a place among the top of the 2013 Draft class, Ben McLemore has averaged 14.6 points over the past 10 games.
In that time, he’s shot 54-percent from the floor while showcasing an ability to consistently drain the triple and get to the hoop for two − attributes the Kings coaching staff admired about the Kansas product.
“I’ve been feeling great,” said McLemore after defeating the Lakers. “[I’ve just been] taking care of my body, getting some extra shots [up] and working on my game – just going out on the court and performing.”
Part of No. 23’s resurgence has been his aggressiveness and willingness to guard the opposing team’s best player, as was the case Sunday when he matched up against Kobe Bryant.
With the help of his teammates, McLemore helped limit Bryant to just 26-percent from the field and forced No. 24 into nine turnovers.
DMC Making His Case
With the team’s “SAC to NYC” campaign for DeMarcus Cousins to earn NBA All-Star consideration in full force, No. 15 is doing his part to live up to the billing.
The 6-foot-11 center has posted career numbers in his fifth season, surpassing his stellar numbers from a year ago. This year, he’s averaging an even 24 ppg, while corralling 12.6 rpg − both of which rank among the Top 5 in the League this season (no minimum games).
“I’m just trying to do my job out there,” admitted Cousins after registering his 14th double-double of the season vs. L.A. “DC (Darren Collison) preaches to me every day that he wants me to be the anchor of this team – I’m just doing my part.”
Boogie’s determination was the spark the Kings needed to snap its multigame skid.
“He’s such a competitive guy,” said Head Coach Tyrone Corbin Sunday night. “He wanted to be out there tonight more than I ever had in my life. He wanted to get this thing going in the right direction more than anyone else, and I can’t say enough about how much I respect his focus and his effort to try to get us a win.”>
Taking on the Best
Through the first 25 games of the season, the Warriors controlled the best record in the NBA. Golden State won 16 straight and talk of historical greatness began.
During that run, the Warriors beat the Nets, Hornets, Lakers, Jazz, Thunder, Heat, Magic, Pistons, Pelicans, Bulls, Timberwolves, Rockets and Mavs. The win streak makes them the 12th team in NBA history to start a season with a 20-2 or better record through 22 games. Seven of the previous 11 made the NBA finals, and six of them won the NBA title.
Yet after the Warriors 16-game streak was snapped by Memphis last week, the team has their sights set on another record: extending their longest home winning streak in over 20 years.
Monday’s matchup with the Kings will give the Warriors a chance to win their eighth-straight game in Oakland and they’ll have added help as David Lee is predicted to make his return from injury.
Although Lee has played sparingly this season, the Bay Area’s team still ranks among the League leaders in scoring average (107.5), field-goal percentage (48.0) and points in the paint per game (45.9).
Leading the way for the Warriors backcourt, Stephen Curry is averaging 29.0 points over his last four outings tallying 34 in a 114-109 victory over OKC on Thursday. In the last contest against the Kings, Curry finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and six steals in a season-opening 95-77 road win.
The other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, is averaging 21.6 ppg this year along with 3.6 rpg and 2.4 apg.
Golden State big man Andrew Bogut has missed the last five games and is out until at least January because of a right knee injury.
Golden State is 9-1 at home this season.
- Andrew Bogut (right knee chondromalacia/bone edema) is out.
- David Lee (strained left hamstring) is probable.
- Omri Casspi (left knee bone contusion) is probable.
- DeMarcus Cousins (viral meningitis) is probable.
- Reggie Evans (left knee & hip contusion) is probable.
- Ramon Sessions (lower back strain) is probable.