It’s a good thing the Kings will be moving into a new arena next season. The Sleep Train Arena has become a house of nightmares for the home team whenever the Warriors come to town. Golden State has won the last six consecutive games in Sacramento and 12 overall against the Kings. With last night’s victory, the Dubs move to 35-2, halfway to a 70-win season.
2) I think Stephen Curry is learning how to play with the leg injuries. After a spate of middling-for-him performances, Steph exploded for 38 points on 21 shots and dished out a season-high 11 assists. And he also did this. And this. Aaaaaaaand this.
3) You know what was the best part of that last Steph highlight? After that ridiculous three left his hand, he turned and stared directly at Seth on the bench before the shot went through. On top of being aware of his footing and where defenders are and how much time is left on the clock, Steph also apparently knows exactly where his little brother is sitting on the bench to give him a friendly stare down. How is that possible? Is he clairvoyant?
4) The Kings were able to make things interesting late in the fourth by cutting a 16-point deficit down to five. But then– Welcome back, Death Line Up! With 2:43 left in the fourth, the Warriors put Draymond Green at center and immediately pushed the lead back up to double digits on a 10-3 run. It’s good to have Harrison Barnes and the real small-ball attack back.
5) Demarcus Cousins had the most Demarcus Cousins game of all time. He commits a silly foul on Bogut 15 feet away from the rim early in the game, gets into foul trouble, and then proceeds to score 33 points and grab 10 points while looking unstoppable at times. Then after a failed comeback, he yells at a referee for not giving him a call and gets a tech with under a minute left in the game. Then the Kings lose. It must be so frustrating to cheer for Boogie. He has all the talent in the world but can’t seem to harness the emotional stuff. He’s currently behind Zaza Pachulia in All-Star voting, so apparently I’m not the only one who has difficulty rooting for Cousins sometimes.
6) If you had to bet your life on it, which will Draymond have more of at the end of the season, triple-doubles or technicals. Dray collected his eighth TD against Portland and got hit for his ninth tech last night.
7) Rajon Rondo is having a bounce back year. He’s leading the league in assists at 11.6 per game and is shooting 45% from the field and 33% from threes. Those stats are great, but this is one of those times when the numbers can be misleading. The Warriors left Rondo open all night. They dared him to shoot and the gamble paid off as he went 2-8 for 4 points. The Bucks’ Michael Carter-Williams was able to take advantage of the open space the Warriors gave him by driving into the lane with a head of steam and using his height over Curry for easy layups. 6′ 1″ Rondo at age 29 and playing on a surgically repaired knee can’t do that. Some team is going to give him big money this summer to play point guard for them, but in the pace-and-space era, I’m not sure what that’s going to buy you.
8) Jerry Reynolds and Grant Napear don’t hold back on the Kings’ telecast. At one point when Iguodala somehow found himself wide open for a dunk after the Kings inexplicably vacated the lane, Reynolds condescendingly said, “Don’t leave the man with the basketball!” Then a few minutes later they both went in on Marco Bellinelli for leaving Steph at the three-point line to double the post. True, those were boneheaded plays, but it’s not too often the home announcers repeatedly point out their own players’ mistakes. I liked it. I wonder what Fitz would think about that.
9) George Karl didn’t have Seth Curry guard his brother, electing instead to have him defend whoever the other Warrior guard was. That was unfortunate because 1) it would have made for good theater seeing Curry on Curry action and 2) no one on the Kings was going to stop Steph anyway, so why not give Seth a chance? Anyone who has a brother and played basketball growing up knows that no one will ever guard you as well as your sibling. He knows your every move and your every trick.
10) In the waning seconds of the game, Steph took an underhanded heave from half court after getting fouled. The crowd actually “awed” when the shot missed wide left. Were they expecting him to make that too?