On Monday night, the playoff newcomers Sacramento Kings defeated the reigning champion Golden State Warriors by a score of 114-106. The triumph was led by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 24 points and hit a game-winning 3-pointer. Fox’s shot broke the back of the Warriors’ defense.
When Golden State’s Draymond Green was dismissed for a flagrant foul, the Kings were able to put together a strong finish and became the first club to take a 2-0 series lead against the Warriors in the era of Stephen Curry.
On Thursday night, the Warriors will travel fewer than 90 miles southwest to San Francisco for Game 3, where they will attempt to make a comeback and get back into the series.
As Green stepped on Domantas Sabonis’ chest with 7:03 left to play, he was ejected from the game for committing a flagrant foul, which ratcheted up the tension in the fourth quarter of the contest.
Throughout the review, the spectators in Sacramento chanted insulting slogans against Green. Green encouraged his audience to continue their behavior by waving his hands, touching his ear and screaming for louder applause, and standing on a chair.
The Warriors came back and tied the game, but then the Kings went on a run and won by a score of 17-8, much to the pleasure of the cheering fans waving towels.
At the 2:17 mark of the fourth quarter, Fox hit a 3-pointer to put the Kings up 107-101, and from that point on, they maintained their lead. Davion Mitchell sealed the deal with a three-pointer, scoring 112-103 with 1:18 remaining.
Sabonis contributed 24 points for Sacramento, while Malik Monk, who came off the bench, scored 18 points.
Curry finished with 28 points to lead the Warriors, but he only hit three of his 13 attempts from beyond the arc as Golden State battled to get its offense going. The Warriors were responsible for 22 turnovers.
The audience in success-starved Sacramento didn’t quite touch the fever level of the opening when the supporters celebrated the franchise’s first playoff game after a record wait of 16 seasons. Nonetheless, the crowd was still quite enthusiastic.
Monk, who scored 32 points in the first game, provided another spark off the bench in the second quarter when the crowd entered it. Monk helped ignite a 23-8 run that transformed a six-point deficit into a nine-point advantage by hitting three 3-pointers in the opening two minutes and four seconds of the quarter.
Golden State was able to come back and tie the game thanks to a three-pointer made by Curry, but they ended up falling 58-52 at the half after allowing their opponent to score the last six points of the quarter.
The Kings extended their advantage to 14 points in the third quarter before the Warriors went on a scoring streak of eight points. By the end of the third, Sacramento had an 83-75 lead.
Both teams got a rough start, turning the ball over nine times apiece in the first quarter of the game. The 18 combined turnovers in the first quarter were the most in any game in over six seasons and the most in a playoff game since at least the 2001-02 season. This was also the most turnovers in any quarter of any game since at least the 2001-02 season.
Before Fox made one late in the first quarter, the Kings missed their first eleven 3-point attempts.
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins was back in the starting lineup in his second game after missing more than two months to deal with a strange personal problem. A family matter caused Wiggins’ absence. Wiggins finished with a point total of 22… Golden State was called for five fouls in the opening one minute and 42 seconds of the third quarter.
On the eighth occasion under Steve Kerr’s career as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, an opponent scored at least 40 points in a quarter during a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors. Sacramento’s second-quarter performance of 41 points was the most recent example.