It’s not a stretch to say the Kings would like to play like the Warriors.
The Warriors improved their NBA-best record to 23-3 by routing the Kings 128-108 Monday night at Oracle Arena. It was the Kings’ most lopsided loss of the season. Golden State beat Sacramento by 18 in the season opener Oct. 29 at Sleep Train Arena.
Entering the game, the Warriors were third in the league in scoring (107.5 points per game) while giving up the ninth-fewest points (97.6).
“It’s a great balance,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said. “They’re efficient on the defensive end and offensive end; it makes our job a lot tougher. Mentally, you have to expand on the defensive side to stop their guys from scoring, and you can’t make any mistakes on the offensive end, either.”
The Warriors put on a clinic, tallying numerous season highs for a Kings opponent, including points, points in the paint (66), field-goal percentage (53.8), field goals (49) and assists (36).
“Play with pace, take care of the ball, make good decisions, hard cuts and simple plays,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “When we do that, we don’t compromise our defense. When we turn the ball over and are careless with the ball, it compromises our defense and takes us out of our rhythm. In a lot of ways, our offense sets up our defense. We need to play both ends and be solid.”
The Warriors also scored 64 first-half points, the most the Kings have allowed in the first half this season and a point shy of the most they’ve given up in a half.
Since firing coach Michael Malone last week, Kings officials have said they want the team to play at a faster pace without compromising its defensive principles. But the Warriors had no problem scoring Monday, displaying their trademark efficiency. Golden State entered the game shooting 48 percent, best in the NBA. The Kings were 15th at 45.7 percent.
The Kings’ best chance was to use center DeMarcus Cousins to control the game, but that never materialized.
“With DeMarcus being inside, we’ve got to make sure we play the game at a pace effective for us and not more so in their favor with the way they shoot the ball,” Corbin said before the game. “The figures they’re shooting and the number of three-point shots they take during the course of the game and the way they make them – we’ve just got to make sure we pace them.”
Cousins had 22 points, but the Kings (12-16) didn’t shoot well enough to dictate the pace. The team is still trying to figure out the pace that works best with Cousins as the focus on offense.
The Warriors’ strength is their perimeter players. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points, and Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists.
Justin Holiday added 18 points off the bench for Golden State, and Andre Iguodala and Marreese Speights had 12 points apiece.
Darren Collison had 17 points and five assists for the Kings. Rudy Gay had 13 points and nine rebounds. Omri Casspi chipped in 16 points off the bench.
Carl Landry added 12 points off the bench for the Kings. Ray McCallum played 20 minutes and had five points and seven assists.
The Kings are 1-3 under Corbin.