OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have defeated the Sacramento Kings all 4 instances the groups have performed this season, however the upstart Kings have earned a measure of respect from the defending champions within the course of.
“That is the fourth sport that we deserved to lose in opposition to this crew,” Warriors star Kevin Durant stated after Thursday evening’s 125-123 win over the Kings. “However [we] simply determine it out on the finish of the video games. … Typically you are not going to win it with the crew sport and the best way we all the time play. Typically you are simply going to should play streetball, you realize what I am saying? I feel tonight, all through spurts of the sport, each groups did that.”
Former NBA swingman Stephen Jackson is pleased that this period’s gamers have extra of a say in regard to the place they need to play, however he would not assume plenty of youthful gamers have the identical love for the sport that his era did.
NBA star DeMarcus Cousins ripped the NCAA after Zion Williamson’s damage, saying school “does nothing” for the Duke star at this level.
The Warriors’ 4 wins over the Kings have been by a complete of 12 factors, which is tied for the third-smallest margin of victory in a sweep of four-plus video games in NBA historical past, in accordance with the Elias Sports activities Bureau.
“They are a good crew,” Warriors energy ahead Draymond Inexperienced stated. “They’re scrappy, younger, in all probability the quickest crew within the historical past of the NBA. They by no means give up, received plenty of younger expertise and so they’re placing all of it collectively.”
The Warriors have repeatedly sung the praises of the younger Kings group all through the season, a pattern that continued after Thursday’s back-and-forth play that might have resulted in time beyond regulation had Kings guard Buddy Hield knocked down a jumper on the buzzer. Durant’s and Inexperienced’s feedback echoed many who the proud Warriors group has made all season.
“I really like their crew and love what they’re doing,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stated. “I stated it earlier than the sport, each time we play them it is excessive vitality and it is lovely basketball. They’re powerful to protect. They put plenty of strain on you, so who is aware of what will occur down the stretch? A number of actually good groups battling for the playoffs, however they’re actually good.”
For extra context, the Warriors gave up 121.eight factors per sport to the Kings and nonetheless swept them Four-Zero within the common season. That is essentially the most factors per sport allowed in a sweep of four-plus video games over the previous 25 seasons, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info.
Warriors star guard Stephen Curry says he sees similarities between the place the Kings are actually and the place the Warriors have been about 10 years in the past when Curry was making his manner into the league.
“They’re all studying experiences,” Curry stated. “The highest groups — for us I feel it was the Lakers, my rookie yr, that ’09-10 championship crew that we needed to stand up for each sport. And we would all the time play our greatest, however I feel that yr it by no means labored out in our favor, so simply a kind of video games the place you are excited to play. However now being on the opposite facet, you have to perceive we get all people’s greatest shot, and so they need to beat us actually unhealthy, however fortunately we come out on prime as a rule. However I undoubtedly have been on the opposite facet of that equation and perceive what it seems like.”
Inexperienced says he is aware of that whereas there isn’t a rivalry in the mean time, there shall be one within the close to future.
“In some unspecified time in the future it’s going to undoubtedly be each of us within the playoffs,” Inexperienced stated. “It could occur this yr, they’re proper there, possibly not. We’ll see, but it surely’s coming quickly. So far as a rivalry, man, they’re gifted. I feel rivalry, no disrespect to them, however the different crew received to win some video games earlier than it could possibly actually be a rivalry. However I’ve little question in my thoughts that that crew goes to win plenty of video games developing right here quickly. Perhaps not this yr, who is aware of? However they’re placing it collectively, they’re doing a rattling good job.”
Durant stated he felt the identical manner in regards to the Kings’ future.
“I like how briskly they play,” Durant stated. “They shoot plenty of 3s. Buddy Hield’s creeping up into that dead-eye shooter vary. Since you really feel like you possibly can’t depart him open, he will knock down each certainly one of them. You bought Marvin Bagley, athleticism again there. All three of the younger guys received vitality. [Willie Cauley-]Stein and Harry Giles. In order that they’re simply missing expertise for my part. I feel they’ll be a kind of groups to be reckoned with quickly.”
Inexperienced acknowledged with a smile that he hopes the Warriors do not see the Kings within the playoffs.
“Each sport we play them dudes, I depart the sport exhausted,” Inexperienced stated. “I am going house, I am useless, so hopefully not.”