Kings hold off Warriors 94-92 for first win
- Article by: ANTONIO GONZALEZ
- Associated Press
- November 5, 2012 - 11:49 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings held off the Golden State Warriors 94-92 Monday night to avoid an 0-4 start.
Cousins outworked slow-footed Andrew Bogut and every other Warriors big man to help Sacramento score 16 straight points during the third quarter and bust open a tie game.
Bogut hardly looked to be at full strength. He had 12 points and three rebounds while playing almost 19 minutes as Golden State's new franchise center — and his surgically repaired left ankle — eases back into shape.
Klay Thompson had 22 points and David Lee added 20 points to bring the Warriors within a point in the final minute. But Thompson missed a potential tying jumper and Stephen Curry missed a 3-pointer as time expired to seal Golden State's first road loss this season.
Marcus Thornton scored 16 points and Aaron Brooks had 12 for Sacramento in its home opener. After losing the first three games on the road, a return to California's capital city ignited a stagnant start this season.
The Kings wore their black road uniforms for the "blackout" theme and the Warriors stayed with their blue road jerseys. Fog machines filled the floor during pregame introductions, which included team dancers in black hoods and Medieval gear.
Even Kings coach Keith Smart showed some athleticism on the court.
After Thornton made a 3-pointer halfway through the second quarter, a black tarp fell from the scoreboard while Golden State had the ball on the other end. Officials whistled the play dead, and Smart sprinted onto the court to grab the plastic, and playfully ran back to the bench like a running back holding a football.
The light-hearted moment drew cheers. Once the crowd quieted, Smart gestured his hands for fans to cheer more. They responded — and so did his players.
Thornton threw an alley-oop that rookie Thomas Robinson finished for a one-handed slam on an uncontested fast break, and Aaron Brooks followed with a 3-pointer to give Sacramento a 47-35 lead.
Bogut played the first 5:17 and sat out the rest of the first half. At one point, he also took the shoe off his surgically repaired left foot while sitting on the bench.
Golden State quickly tied the score at 56-all on Curry's 3-pointer with 8:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors didn't make another basket for more than six minutes.
The Kings scored 16 straight points behind a flurry of defense, rebounding and overall effort. Cousins had the final five points during Sacramento's surge, including ripping a rebound away from rookie Festus Ezeli and drawing a foul to start a three-point play.
In separate second-half incidents, three more pieces of plastic fell down from the scoreboard hanging above center court. Some fans even chanted "New Arena!"
The Kings still managed to hold things together — barely.
Curry made a 3-pointer and Thompson converted a layup through traffic with a little more than 2 minutes remaining to bring the Warriors within three. Thompson's two free throws sliced Sacramento's lead to 93-92 with 31.3 seconds left.
After Cousins missed a difficult running shot, Golden State called timeout with 10.3 seconds remaining. Thompson then missed a contested shot near the free-throw line, James Johnson grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Johnson missed the second free throw to give Golden State another chance with 1.3 seconds to play. But Curry missed a 3-pointer over big man Chuck Hayes as time expired.
Golden State was trying to start 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1994-95, when it won at San Antonio, Denver and Utah. The Warriors won at Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers already this season while losing their only home game to Memphis.
The Kings haven't started 0-4 since 2008. All four of those games were on the road that season, when Sacramento finished with an NBA-worst 17-65 record.
NOTES: Thompson played through a toothache. ... Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson chatted with players from both teams from courtside during pregame warmups. ... Kings swingman John Salmons was inactive for the fourth straight game. He rejoined the team last Thursday after a two-week absence to be with his wife and newborn child.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
© 2014 Star Tribune