Coach Walton and Fox

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The Kings breeze by the Warriors 111-98 on Monday night

ESPN Radio
January 07, 2020 - 7:03 pm

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

Sacramento – It was a very strange evening at the Golden 1 Center on Monday night when the Golden State Warriors came to town to face the Sacramento Kings. First, there were empty seats in the arena. In my seven years of covering Kings basketball, I have never seen an empty seat when the Warriors come to town.

Secondly, there were very few Warriors fans in the crowd. Usually when the Warriors (9-29) play in Sacramento, up to 40% of the crowd will be GSW fans. On Monday night, there very few fans that were identifying as Warriors backers in the stands at the Golden 1 Center.

Fans are fickle – even Golden State Warriors fans. They are obviously “tanking” this season to be in position to do well in the NBA Draft Lottery. Warriors fans will attend games at the Chase Center because they have paid “big bucks” for those season tickets. They are not going to follow the team out of town because they really are not competitive.

The Warriors got off to a big start but faded quickly

The Warriors held the lead until the 8:22 mark of the first quarter when the Kings tied the score. The Kings would take the lead with 7:22 to go in the opening period and would never relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Kings (14-23) largest lead of the game came in the third quarter when built a 31-point advantage over the Warriors.

Sacramento head coach Luke Walton would eventually pull all his starters off the floor and the Warriors would cut into the Kings lead but it would not be enough to make the game competitive. When the final horn sounded, the Kings had won the game 111-98.

Injury bug strikes again

In the third quarter, Kings center Richaun Holmes suffered a shoulder strain when a Warriors player came down on his shoulder in crowd fighting for a rebound. Holmes was taken immediately to the locker room where treatment was administered.

Coach Luke Walton said that Holmes would travel to Phoenix with the team and a decision on if he will play against the Suns on Tuesday night will made sometime prior to tipoff.

The Kings won but their coach had some concerns

Luke Walton comments on the game: “Good to get a win. The message is the same. The turnovers and free throws – we did a nice job early in the year and kept correcting that problem – and now I feel like the last few games we’re starting to foul a lot again. We’re starting to turn the ball over, be careless with it. We got to correct that soon. I thought the guys did a really nice job coming out in the third quarter and taking the game to another level, which is what we want to see. I thought we got solid effort from most guys that were out there throughout the game.”

Steve Kerr didn’t meet the press after the game

The Warriors head coach was not available to talk to the press after the game because he was ejected from the contest with 1:14 to go in the first half. Kerr thought a foul should have been called and started barking at the referees. Once he started, he did not stop.

Kerr was “Teed up” and then said the “magic words” in order to receive the second technical foul which brings an automatic ejection. The coach probably put on the act to wake up his team and because he didn’t to watch his team’s poor play any longer.

One can only imagine what Kerr had to say to his players when the joined him in the locker room at halftime.

Warrior’s assistant coach Mike Brown on the game

“Obviously, we couldn’t shoot the ball well tonight – we started out I think 0-of-13 [on 3s> in the first half. I think we took 18 3s before making our first one. Hopefully the ball will go in the hole a little bit easier than what we saw tonight. In situations like that, Steve said it best – he told our team afterwards, ‘It’s got to start defensively.’ We have to start coming with a bit more of intensity.’ We got to get after loose balls and long rebounds and we got to put our bodies on people without sending them to the free throw line. In the second half, our second unit did it. I thought our second unit came out and they fought a little bit on the defensive end of the floor, which got us some easy looks offensively. We have to try to do that a little closer to 48 minutes now, starting from the jump ball – and if we do, we’ll start to see better results. But you give our guys credit for hanging in there and trying to do what they can do. Tough loss for us. We’ll get back, get a good practice in and move on to the next game.”

Top Scorers

  • De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield shared the honor of being the leading scorers in the contest by scoring 21 points each in the victory
  • Glenn Robinson III was the Warriors top scorer with a 16-point game

The Glass Cleaners

  • The Kings top rebounder was Nemanja Bjelica who grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with eight points
  • The Warriors leading rebounder was former Kings Willie Cauley-Stein with nine

Dropping Dimes

  • De’Aaron was the assist leader in the game with seven
  • Willie Cauley-Stein led Golden State with five assists

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

  • The Kings entered the game as the favorites minus 10 points. They won by 13. If you took the Kings, go to the window and cash that ticket.
  • The Over/Under for the game was set at 213. The total points scored was 209. If you took the under, enjoy your chicken dinner.

Marquese Chriss is unemployed

After having played for the Warriors on Monday night and scoring eight points in his almost 15 minutes of playing time, “Sacramento area product” Marquese Chriss exited the locker room to see his family and friends having just been told that Golden State had waived him and he was now a free agent.

Reportedly, the Warriors are attempting to convert “two-way” player Damion Lee’s contract into a fully guaranteed contract. That required opening a roster spot and will mean that a contract will need to be negotiated with Lee.

Chriss and his agent will now be looking for a new team for the player.

Up next

The Kings flew to Phoenix last night and will play the Suns tonight for the final time this season.

The Warriors will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.


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