The Golden State Warriors knew they had their work cut out for the Sacramento Kings as they were without their top offensive player (Steph Curry, out with tailbone inflammation) and their top defensive player (Draymond Green , absent due to illness).
As wild as it sounds, they ended up missing the last one even more than the first.
The Warriors played a surprisingly solid offense in their 141-119 loss to the Kings, but as the score suggests, their defense was excruciating. Sacramento has scored at least 34 points in every quarter and… look, you watch basketball regularly, you understand what that means. You are not going to win when you allow a team to do this, and on a related note, you are not going to win when you allow your opponent to shoot 60.2% of the court.
But that’s exactly what happened. De’Aaron Fox had a career-high 44 points on extremely efficient shooting (16v22 from the field), leading to a rather funny reality; the warriors missed Brad Wanamaker. And pretty bad, too.
There was no way to stop the Kings at the point of attack. There was no way to stop the Kings at the edge. There was no way to stop the kings beyond the arc. There was no way to stop kings, until the bells rang mercilessly.
The Dubs were defensively useless, and their only hope was the futile task of trying to keep pace. For a while they did and even led after the first quarter. It was an offensive performance at times fiery, with 37 points in the first quarter and 33 more in the final frame.
The numbers look good for the Warriors on that side of the pitch: They’ve passed 50 percent of shots on both the field and the three-point line, and five players have eclipsed the 15-point mark, including one. career high of 19 for rookie Nico. Mannion and a perfect night of shooting (6 in 6 on the field, 3 in 3 in depth) for Juan Toscano-Anderson. But all offensive excitement was lost under a defensive effort that gave the Kings as much resistance as a plastic safety cone gives a Ford F-150.
We’re counting the days until Curry returns. But it’s pretty clear how much this team misses Green as well.