The All-Star break is a great time for players to get away for some fun. For several Kings, it will be a time to get healthy, too.
The Kings added two more players to their list of injured during Wednesday’s 109-86 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena after Arron Afflalo and Malachi Richardson both left the game with injuries.
The loss also ended the Kings’ four-game winning streak, which matched their season best.
That’s not to say the Kings lost simply due to injuries, especially since the Kings beat the Warriors shorthanded earlier this month. The Kings had a dreadful third quarter that erased a solid first half.
But with the Warriors coming out hot after halftime and with a little extra fire after Draymond Green was ejected with two technical fouls in the first half, the Kings couldn’t keep up after halftime, when they led 50-47.
“It’s tough,” Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said. “Facing this team, you need as much firepower as possible, as many bodies as possible. The thing about this is it’s the break. We’ll be able to get guys back and we’ll be able to make a push.”
The Kings enter the All-Star break 24-33, 1 1/2 games behind Denver for eighth in the Western Conference and most likely a first-round playoff matchup against the league-leading Warriors.
The Kings were reminded how daunting a task it would be to face the Warriors in the postseason in the third quarter. Golden State’s defense overwhelmed Sacramento, forcing six turnovers and holding the Kings to 5 of 23 shooting.
The Warriors outscored the Kings 42-15 in the third, including a 22-0 run. Klay Thompson outscored the Kings by himself with 17 of his game-high 35 points in the quarter.
“We just kind of couldn’t hold onto the ball,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “Couldn’t dribble it, couldn’t pass it and ... give their defense credit, their defense ignited their fast break. They got out and ran away with it in the third quarter and it was tough to catch them.”
Kevin Durant had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Warriors (47-9). Stephen Curry finished with 13 points and nine assists.
Matt Barnes led the Kings with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Darren Collison had 14 points and Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein each had 13 points.
The Kings’ bigger concern by the end of the night was their health.
The Kings are limping into the All-Star break as their injuries pile up.
Afflalo left the game at halftime with right glute and hamstring tightness and was held out as a precaution. Richardson went down late in the fourth quarter, clutching the back of his right leg and had to be helped off the court. Richardson will have an MRI on his hamstring Thursday in Sacramento.
It’s not as if the Kings didn’t already have injury woes, so the break is coming at a time that might help them be ready catch Denver, who the Kings’ play next Thursday.
Rudy Gay (Achilles) is out for the season. Garrett Temple (hamstring) and Omri Casspi (calf) have been out for extended time and were to be reevaluated after the break. Ty Lawson (adductor strain) has missed the last four games.
Cousins believes the Kings will only play better as their health improves.
“No matter what type of adversity this team hits, we try to find a way,” Cousins said. “We remain positive, we build up the next guy. every time something’s happened, the next guy has stepped up. When we get our bodies back I think we’ll be back right where we want to be, we’ll be an even better team. I’m just glad the break is now and we’ll have time to rest up.”