Curry leads Warriors to a big second half, win over Kings
By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Steve Kerr pulled a Gregg Popovich. One missed defensive assignment with no backdoor help on DeMarcus Cousins, and Kerr called a timeout 18 seconds into the game.
“Nobody can make a move like Pop, I’m a very cheap version of him, if at all,” the Golden State coach quipped about Popovich, the longtime San Antonio coach.
“It definitely made a statement,” Draymond Green said.
Stephen Curry scored 30 points and the defense started rolling after halftime, with the Warriors taking their first lead midway through the third quarter on the way to a 117-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
Once the 3-pointers began to fall, the Warriors were on their way.
Kevin Durant had 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks, and Klay Thompson added 18 points. The Warriors reached 124 regular-season games in a row without suffering back-to-back defeats.
“It’s deflating for other teams when we can get stops and protect the rim, get steals, force them into tough shots and tough misses and on the other end we’re just running it right back down the paint,” Curry said. “We have to allow that part of our game to shine.”
Green had 10 assists for his 12th game with double digits assists and third in four, while Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points to reach double figures for the fourth straight game. Yet one for the highlight reel was Pachulia’s no-look, backward over-the-head pass to Curry after the big man got the ball when Durant blocked a shot by Cousins.
“We scored, right? Nobody’s going to say anything. If it was a turnover, first thing on the film,” Pachulia said.
Sacramento’s Rudy Gay scored 15 of his 23 points in the first quarter. Cousins had 17.
Golden State had 30 assists for the 26th time this season and won its 13th straight against the Kings, seventh in a row in Sacramento.
The Warriors woke up after halftime, starting the third with a 19-7 burst and outscoring the Kings 39-22 in the period. Golden State didn’t lead until Curry’s 3-pointer with 7:34 left in the third, following Durant’s tying 3 the previous possession. Curry hit five 3-pointers and has at least 30 points in three consecutive games.
Gay shot 9 for 17 in his second game back after missing four straight with a right hip flexor strain and 10 of 11. Cousins went 4 for 11.
“We always have that one quarter or one little stretch where we have bad basketball,” Cousins said. “It comes back to bite us in the end.”
The Warriors went 3 for 14 from long range in the first half, then shots fell as the defense improved.
Before the game, Kings coach Dave Joerger joked, “Ask ’em nicely if they won’t shoot so many.”
The Warriors just needed some time to warm up after choosing not to shootaround in the morning with a 6 p.m. tipoff even with it being their first visit to the new Golden 1 Center.
They didn’t relinquish this one, two days after squandering a 24-point lead in the second half of a 128-119 overtime home loss to Memphis.
The special “Bollywood Night” game marked the first regular-season NBA game to be livestreamed on Facebook, this time only to fans in India.
There was Indian-themed entertainment and music and even a Henna tattoo station.
Warriors: Durant notched his 700th regular-season block in the second quarter and had at least three blocks for a third straight game. That matches a career-long streak also done from Nov. 25-30, 2015. …. The team’s winning streak against the Kings is its longest active unbeaten run against any opponent and tied for third-longest in franchise history behind a 14-gamer against Dallas from 1991-94 and 15-game winning streak from 1947-49 vs. the Providence Steamrollers. … San Francisco mayor Ed Lee was in attendance, while Giants CEO Larry Baer sat courtside and got a first-quarter shoutout on the enormous scoreboard.
Kings: Cousins received a technical — his 12th — 4:14 before halftime after punching a chair following his third foul. … The Warriors were the last Pacific Division opponent the Kings had yet to face. Golden State returns to the Golden 1 Center on Feb. 4 before the Kings visit Oakland on Feb. 15 and March 24. … Sacramento hasn’t beaten Golden State since March 27, 2013, and last at home 131-127 on Dec. 19, 2012.
Warriors: Host Miami on Tuesday looking for a fifth straight win in the series and third consecutive at Oracle Arena.
Kings: Host Detroit on Tuesday in the fourth game of a seven-game homestand.