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  • Jose Carlos Fajardo / Contra Costa Times

    The Kings' Patrick Patterson, left, defends against the Warriors' David Lee, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

  • Jose Carlos Fajardo / Contra Costa Times

    The Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, left, battles the Warriors' Andrew Bogut for the ball. Cousins scored eight points.

Intensity? Volatility? Not in this blowout

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - 11:00 pm | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 - 7:58 am

OAKLAND – Kings coach Michael Malone can live with the missed shots.

But what he cannot accept is a lack of energy, focus and discipline.

The Kings were severely lacking in those intangibles Saturday night in a 98-87 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

The game wasn't as close as the score would suggest. The Kings trailed by 27 points and were outplayed almost from the start as the Warriors coasted most of the second half.

The tone was set by the starting lineup, which quickly fell behind thanks to multiple defensive lapses.

It didn't help that the Kings shot 34.5 percent, but that wasn't Malone's biggest issue.

"I don't think it had anything to do with missing shots," Malone said. "I thought our energy, the fact that we were not ready to play, is what set the tone for the whole night. They came out and posted up Andrew Bogut, he got layups at the rim. No resistances, no fight, no pride."

Bogut wasn't a big factor most of the night, but he did manage to frustrate and take DeMarcus Cousins out the game by drawing a third foul on him when he was on the perimeter, a spot where Bogut is not a major threat to score.

After two solid games, Cousins had only eight points and seven rebounds in 18:13 on the floor.

The starting lineup as a whole was dismal, totaling 22 points on 9-of-36 shooting.

Warrior guard Klay Thompson (27 points) outscored the Kings' starters.

Stephen Curry matched them with 22 points. He had 12 assists, seven more than Sacramento's starters.

"If we think we can show up to a very good basketball team in their house and just go through the motions, what's going to happen is what happened (Saturday)," Malone said. "We're going to get our (butt) kicked."

After holding Denver to 88 points in a season-opening win, the defensive problems that have plagued the Kings have been on display.

After allowing the Los Angeles Clippers to shoot 50 percent Friday night, the Kings watched the Warriors shoot 51.3 percent.

Many of the postgame questions were about Cousins and whether Bogut got the upper hand mentally to take Cousins out of his game with his physical defense. Malone said the game wasn't solely on Cousins.

"DeMarcus has shown that when he comes out and with energy and fire and emotion, he is arguably one of the best big men in the NBA," Malone said.

"But as a team it wasn't just DeMarcus, I want to make that clear. As a team (Saturday), our effort was nowhere near where it needs to be."

Point guard Greivis Vasquez said the starters cannot put the Kings in a hole early and must "come with more fire."

"It wasn't us at all," Vasquez said. "It wasn't who we want to be. I take a lot of responsibility. I think we're starting the games a little slow, and me and DeMarcus and the rest of the guys in the starting lineup, we have to crank the game up."

The bulk of the Kings' production came from reserves.

Rookie guard Ben McLemore led the Kings with 19 points off the bench.

Isaiah Thomas added 12 points and five assists.

Travis Outlaw had 15 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Kings (1-2) while Jason Thompson added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

History suggested the game would be close.

The Kings won the series 3-1 last season, and the teams usually play each other tough.

Before the game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the Kings played the Warriors with a "chip" on their collective shoulders last season.

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

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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