Sacramento Kings Head Coach Keith Smart started the fourth quarter tonight with most of his starting unit on the bench. And that was all the Golden State Warriors needed.
The home team jumped all over their in-state rivals with a 9-0 run in the first five minutes of the fourth, getting enough separation for a 93-90 win in Oakland.
Brandon Rush lit up the Kings, scoring a team-high 20 points on 4-for-5 shooting off the bench for Golden State. David Lee and Dorell Wright added 15 a piece, stepping up for Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, who struggled mightily.
The Kings had three players finish with double-doubles, led by Tyreke Evans and his near triple-double performance. Evans finished the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 44 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins dominated, especially in the first half, finishing the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Rookie Isaiah Thomas hit three long-balls in the fourth to bring the Kings within one, but the Warriors did their job at the line to pick up the home win.
Notes and Analysis
- David Lee played only 30 minutes tonight, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds for the Warriors.
- Jason Thompson continued his impressive play, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He is forming a very formidable front line with Cousins, who again finished with a double-double. It is becoming clear that Coach Smart needs one of these two bigs in the game at all times.
- The Kings turned the ball over 21 times tonight as a team, led by Evans‘ five. The Warriors did a much better job, coughing up the ball just eight times in the game.
- John Salmons showed signs of life tonight on both ends of the floor. While he held Ellis in check on the defensive end, he also was able to explode to the basket for a flurry of lay-ups in the third quarter.
- Chuck Hayes played tonight despite re-injuring his troublesome left shoulder in Sunday’s game against Utah. He was mostly ineffective, scoring two point and grabbing a rebound in 15 minutes of action. Hayes looked out of sorts on offense, forcing two ill-advised passes early in the fourth during the Warriors 9-0 run.
- The tandem of Ellis and Curry struggled tonight, scoring a combined 15 points on 6-for-24 shooting and missing all six of their three-point attempts.
- Jimmer Fredette scored just five points tonight in 20 minutes as a starter. Coming into the game Jimmer had been on a hot streak, averaging 16.5 points per game over his last four contests.
- Ekpe Udoh gave the Warriors a solid 22 minutes before fouling out. The second year power forward scored six points and grabbed five boards, while blocking four shots.
- The Kings outrebounded the Warriors 53-38.
- Stat of the Night: The Warriors bench outscored the Kings bench 43-21 and 11 of those Kings points came in the fourth quarter by rookie Isaiah Thomas.