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Game Preview: Warriors at Kings - 1/5/19

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BACK TO SACTOWN
The first two Warriors-Kings matchups of the season have gone down to the wire, and Round 3 of this Northern California showdown is set for Saturday night in Sacramento. The Dubs have won the first two battles, most recently using a game-ending 17-2 run to close out a five-point victory last month in Sacramento. The Warriors have won six of their last seven road games, and they’ll look to add to that success in what is sure to be a heated matchup between the two squads.

LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors were stung by a last second 3-pointer from James Harden in a 135-134 overtime loss to the Rockets on Thursday. » Full Game Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW SAC
25-14 19-19
3rd in West 9th in West
PTS: 116.3 (2nd) PTS: 115.0 (5th)
REB: 46.0 (10th) REB: 44.3 (21st)
AST: 28.1 (1st) AST: 25.4 (9th)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney
SAC: De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Iman Shumpert, Nemanja Bjelia and Willie Cauley-Stein

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rehab) and Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) are out. Team Notes
SAC: Marvin Bagley III (bone bruise, left knee) is out. Team Notes

KEEP AN EYE ON KLAY
Warriors guard Klay Thompson has a tendency to make a splash against the Kings. Almost four years ago, he set off a social media firestorm when he had a 37-point third quarter on the way to what was then a career-high 52-point game against Sacramento. And this season, Thompson has averaged 29 points per game in the two wins over the Kings. At home on November 24, he put back his own miss for the game-winning shot with five seconds left in the Dubs’ 117-116 win. And last month in Sacramento, he made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 39.6 seconds left that proved to be another game-winning shot. And even better news for the Dubs is that Thompson appears to be busting out of his 3-point shooting slump. Over the last three games, he has gone 10-for-17 from distance, and as he showed four years ago against Sacramento, a Thompson hot streak is a beautiful thing to watch.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW SAC
PTS: Curry (28.9) PTS: Hield (20.2)
REB: Green (8.0) REB: Cauley-Stein (8.6)
AST: Green (6.7) AST: Fox (7.6)

SACRAMENTO SCOUTING REPORT
For the first time since 2005, the Kings began the New Year with a winning record. Entering Saturday’s tilt with the Dubs, the Kings are smack dab at .500 after losing four of their last five games. The Kings, however, are playing better than their recent outcomes would indicate. They out-played the Western Conference leading Nuggets early on Thursday before losing the game late, they took the Trail Blazers to overtime in Portland and had a fourth quarter lead against the Lakers but lost that as well. Sacramento is a young team that likes to get out and run at every opportunity. Buddy Hield leads the squad with 20.2 points per game and the sharp-shooting guard has torched the Dubs this season with 55 combined points over the first two games of the season series. The team did take a hit with Marvin Bagley III nursing a bone bruise in his left knee, but with speedster guard De’Aaron Fox (17.0 ppg, 9.0 apg) running the squad, Sacramento has been an exciting team to watch, and their first two games against the Dubs this season would offer nothing to dispute that.

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