The Warriors and Kings have developed a budding little rivalry in northern California now that Sacramento has taken a leap into being a playoff contender in the West. It’s not so much a rivalry in terms of animosity, but just in the fact that they always seem to play tense, highly competitive games against each other.
Last year we got to see that unfold over seven games in the first round, and that’s continued this season with the Warriors getting the edge in their first two meetings. On Wednesday night in San Francisco, the Kings appeared to have control of the game, but after Golden State got a few rare stops late, they were able to retake the lead in the final minute in a frantic finish.
After a fairly cold second half shooting the ball, Steph Curry got loose with 40 seconds to play on a drive to give the Warriors a one-point lead on a floater in the lane. The Kings answered by getting it to their star big man, with Domantas Sabonis banking in a 19-footer from the elbow to put Sacramento back in front with 14 seconds on the clock. The Kings would then trap Steph at midcourt to force the ball out of his hands, but the Warriors gladly swung it to Klay Thompson who shook free of Davion Mitchell for just long enough to create enough space to hit the game-winning midrange pullup.
THE ENDING TO WARRIORS-KINGS 😱
– Steph floater to go up by 1 with 0:32 left
– Sabonis jumper reclaims the lead at 14.5
– Klay calls GAME with 0.2 on the clock
— NBA (@NBA) November 2, 2023
It was a wild final minute of play that has become fairly typical of when these two teams meet. It’s a tough loss for Sacramento, which played a great game without their star guard De’Aaron Fox as he’s sidelined with an ankle injury. Sabonis had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists on the night, but much like in the playoff series against Golden State, they went cold from three-point range as a team and could never really open up a considerable advantage in the second half.
On the other side, the Warriors likewise struggled from beyond the arc and got dominated on the boards, but were very efficient inside the three-point line and were able to attack downhill against the Kings to stay in the game and, ultimately, pull out their fourth straight win of the year. Curry finished with 21 points to lead Golden State in scoring, with Dario Saric giving them a big boost off the bench with 15. Thompson was fairly quiet with 14 points on 15 shots, but showed up at the right time to lift the Warriors to the W.