For all of the Golden State Warriors’ success in 2012-13, there was a bit of a black mark on their resume—despite finishing 47-35, they won just one of four from the Sacramento Kings.
They’re now 1-for-1 in 2013-14 after pulling out to a big lead and cruising to a 98-87 win over the Kings at the Oracle Arena that was not anywhere to being as close as the final score would indicate.
The Warriors pulled out to a 20-point halftime lead, 56-36, shooting 53.7 percent—including 7-for-15 (46.7 percent) from deep—while holding the Kings to just 31.7 percent.
In fact, if not for rookie Ben McLemore, the first half might have been a whole lot worse for the Kings. The No. 7 overall pick in the draft scored 13 points in the first half on 5-of-9 shooting, 3-for-5 from 3-point range. One of his 3s was a 55-foot heave at the horn to end the first quarter that cut Golden State’s lead to 27-17 at the time.
Klay Thompson scored 17 points in the first half and Stephen Curry added 14 points and nine assists before the break.
Sacramento came out feisty in the second half, opening on an 8-0 run to close the gap to 12 points.
That’s when the Warriors put the hammer down.
Marcus Thornton’s driving layup a little more than two minutes into the second half pulled the Kings to within 56-44. After a Golden State timeout, Thompson buried a 26-footer to push the lead back to 15 and the Warriors were off and running on a 15-0 run that blew the game open.
By the time Sacramento scored again with 5:25 left in the quarter, the Warriors had opened the lead to 71-44.
Coach Mark Jackson cleared his bench with 3:33 remaining and the Dubs up by 19 points. Sacramento got some late scores, closing the gap to 11 with 14.6 seconds remaining when Travis Outlaw buried a long 3.
Thompson finished with a game-high 27 points for the Warriors and Curry had 22 to go with 12 assists, although he did turn it over seven times. Curry passed the 5,000-point mark for his career, as well. David Lee finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
But Andrew Bogut might have done the most important job of all. Bogut played just 20 minutes and had six points and six rebounds. But he absolutely planted himself inside the head of Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins, who had a miserable night.
Cousins played only 18 minutes and finished with eight points and seven rebounds and just never got into the flow of the game. Of course, none of Sacramento’s starters seemed to get into the flow of the game—none of them scored in double figures.
The Kings did, however, get 65 of their 87 points from the bench, led by McLemore’s 19. Outlaw finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Jason Thompson had 12 points and 10 boards and Isaiah Thomas also scored 12 points, but did it on 2-of-10 shooting.
Sacramento shot 34.5 percent (30-for-87) while falling to 1-2 on the young season. The Kings were just 6-of-26 from downtown. By contrast the Warriors, who improved to 2-1, knocked down 51.3 percent from the floor (39-for-76) and were 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) from the deep stripe.
Harrison Barnes didn’t play for the Warriors, missing his third straight game with inflammation in his toe, and center Jermaine O’Neal also sat out with a right foot contusion.
Golden State heads on the road for four games, beginning Monday night in Philadelphia. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.