Stephen Curry Though he wasn't an All-Star this season, the point guard is performing like one. He's averaging 22.5 points and 6.7 assists and shooting 44.8 percent for Golden State.

Warriors' Curry has been hot but not against Kings

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 - 6:37 am

The Stephen Curry who has dominated many teams in 2012-13 hasn't been that player in three games against the Kings this season.

Perhaps it has something to do with Kings coach Keith Smart, who coached the Warriors' point guard in his first two NBA seasons.

"I won't say that out loud or in print," Smart said. "I just thought our guys have done a great job of executing our coverages for that particular ballgame and those particular players."

The Kings will need more of that tonight in Oakland against the Warriors.

Since the All-Star break, Curry has been among the league's best players, averaging 26 points and seven assists. He wasn't named to the All-Star team, to the chagrin of Warriors fans, but has played like an All-Star all season.

But Curry's best moments this season haven't come against the Kings.

In three games, Curry is shooting 34 percent and averaging 19 points and 6.7 assists. Overall, he's averaging 22.5 points and 6.7 assists and shooting 44.8 percent.

Smart said staying healthy and a more mature approach on the court have helped Curry blossom.

"Once you get beyond, 'I need to be a leading scorer,' you probably become a pretty good scorer," Smart said.

The Kings will look to continue their trend of slowing Curry in their final game against the Warriors this season, but it won't be easy.

"Any guy that has the green light to do whatever he wants, that's probably the toughest cover," Kings guard Isaiah Thomas said. "He can shoot it from deep. He kind of makes plays and breaks plays when he wants to. That's a tough cover when you've got a guy that's given the keys to the offense."

Though the Kings lost in their last visit to Golden State on March 6, Curry had a rough night, shooting 3 of 11 with six turnovers.

Toney Douglas played a big role in that game, playing most of the second and all of the fourth quarter. Douglas plans to harass Curry again tonight.

"Don't make him comfortable, that's the main thing," Douglas said. "Stay aggressive, physical; that's it. That's how I play regardless. I feel like I'll be guarding him a lot; should be and want to."

Thomas figures to draw the first opportunity to disrupt Curry. Like Douglas, Thomas will look to be aggressive.

"I've seen previous games where guys pressure him, and he really doesn't like that," Thomas said. "So for the most part, me and Toney and Jimmer (Fredette), we've just got to pressure him and make him do things he's not comfortable with."

Douglas said communication on defense and the ability to use different tactics can slow down Curry.

But Curry's shooting range and ability to set up teammates means the Kings can't relax defensively.

"Once you get across halfcourt, you've always got to stay in your stance," Douglas said. "And don't let him get comfortable with his dribble, his rhythm, shots."

The Kings might have to do that without one of their better perimeter defenders.

Guard Tyreke Evans is questionable because of a stomach illness – believed not to be flu-related – that first became a problem at halftime of Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.

Smart said Evans, who was to undergo further tests, would be re-evaluated this morning.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by Careerbuilder.com
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Buy
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads
Make:

Model:

Price Range:
to
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older

TODAY'S CIRCULARS