Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Kings Steamrolled By Shorthanded Warriors

Haven’t had one of those in a while. Just an absolutely embarrassing effort by the Kings. With the Warriors short three key players after an earlier trade and Steph Curry’s injury, Sacramento had a great chance to exploit a depleted Golden State lineup. But the opposite happened. The Warriors stepped up, letting it rain from downtown and getting after it on defense, and the Kings had no response. A lifeless performance full of terrible execution on both ends ended with a 115-89 victory for GSW.

DEFENDING THE THREE-POINT LINE – It was basically a repeat of the last time the Warriors came to Sac in February when they connected on 16-of-29 from long range. Tonight, Golden State settled for 12-of-24 from three-point range. Yes, David Lee was a handful down low, but the Kings rarely doubled the big man, making the poor three-point defense inexcusable. Sacramento was frequently lazy on defense, losing track of their man-marking responsibilities. Brandon Rush and Dorrell Wright will make you pay for that, and they definitely did on Tuesday. In February, the Kings were able to go shot-for-shot with the Warriors and win in overime, something they cannot do every meeting.

ISAIAH’S SHOT SELECTION – Does Isaiah (29 MIN, 15 PTS, 4-5 FG, 3-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 AST, 2 TO) need to shoot more? There are very few areas to find fault with Thomas, and even this one is simply pointing out that the Kings may benefit from him being more aggressive with his shots. Isaiah does a great job of involving his teammates, but he scored an incredibly efficient 15 points against Golden State on just five field goal attempts (connected on four). He’s proven to be more than solid with his jumpshot, and especially on nights when Marcus Thornton (4-13 FG, 9 PTS) goes cold, the Kings need to run more pick-and-rolls with Thomas, giving him a shooting option. In each of the past five games, Thomas hasn’t taken more than eight shots. The Kings won two of those games, but they were also winners of two and competitive in a handful of others when Isaiah was firing away. Something to think about.

BENCH CAN’T SHOOT – The team as a whole shot a porous 40.2 percent from the floor, but the bench was specifically bad. The Kings reserves shot 9-for-29 (31 percent), providing zero spark and zero lift. The problem was a lack of quality shots. Never thought I’d say it, but the Warriors tenacious defense forced the Kings offense into a total breakdown. The result was forced outside shots and tough, off-balance attempts inside the arc. Jimmer Fredette was prime evidence of this. The rook made just 1-of-6 and at least four were challenged, including a 30-foot triple, a shot-clock beating attempt that was blocked and two tough baseline shots.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS – Saw signs of DeMarcus Cousins (37 MIN, 19 PTS, 7-17 FG, 12 REB, 4 TO) getting very frustrated with the Kings lack of offensive execution. However, DMC didn’t have one of his better games; he missed a lot of shots in the lane and had several costly turnovers … Tyreke Evans (32 MIN, 16 PTS, 8-14 FG, 4 REB) was really the Kings most reliable player, scoring on a number of his patented strong takes to the rack. Showed some serious wiggle in the lane … JJ Hickson (4 REB, 0-1 FG) returned but was quiet in six minutes. Showing teams that he is OK for a trade?

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