SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Warriors continue to chase for a playoff spot after beating the Sacramento Kings 119-97 on Friday night.
Klay Thompson scored 29 points and Stephen Curry added 25 as the Warriors clinched only their 10th road win of the season.
Coach Steve Kerr said there was “no excuse” prior to the game for the Warriors to let their guard down against the Kings, who were without several key players after securing a playoff spot more than a week ago.
De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter all sat out, according to coach Mike Brown’s decision. But the Warriors still struggled through sloppy play for most of the game. The Warriors took the lead 32–16 after the first quarter, but careless turnovers from Golden State and hot-shooting from the home team opened the door for the Kings to climb back into the game.
Golden State managed to go into halftime leading by five, though it could have been a lot worse if the Kings had better taken advantage of the Warriors’ 12 turnovers in the first half.
From the break, the Kings kept the Warriors on their toes, but the visitors held on. Thompson buried a corner 3 with 7:05 left in the game to give the Warriors a 20-point lead.
Kerr began to pull his starters with 4:22 left in the game.
Kevon Looney scored 13 rebounds in the first two quarters, the most he’s had in half of his career. He finished the night with 16 rebounds, seven assists and six points. Donte DiVincenzo contributed 18 points on 7 of 10 shootings to go with his eight assists and six rebounds.
Meanwhile, Jordan Poole struggled after coming into clutch in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder. All of Poole’s eight points came from the free throw line as he missed his 10 field goal attempts.
It wasn’t pretty – Golden State finished with 24 turnovers – but it’s a win. And that’s all that matters to the 43-38 Warriors right now as they desperately try to stay out of the play-in tournament.
The rising New Orleans Pelicans beat the playoff-bound New York Knicks earlier in the evening, who were without leading scorers Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson. That alone destroyed Golden State’s chances of getting into the top six on Friday.
The fate of the Warriors will be decided in Portland on Sunday against the Trail Blazers, who have already waved the white flag of their season. A win in their regular season finale would guarantee Golden State a place in the top six. A loss would put the defending champion in jeopardy of stumbling into the play-in tournament as other teams have the head-to-head tiebreak.