Golden State Warriors topple Sacramento Kings in historic 3-point shootout

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings did battle on Saturday night, putting together a historic night from 3-point range along the way.

The Golden State Warriors weren’t going to fall apart two games in a row. For as unrecognizable as the defending champs have been, they are still resilient.

After suffering perhaps their most gut-wrenching loss of the season–an overtime implosion against the Houston Rockets in which James Harden erased a 20-point Golden State lead and bolstered his MVP campaign with his incredible game-winning three–the Warriors bounced back. The Dubs drove about an hour north and beat the Sacramento Kings, 127-123.

Stephen Curry had another exceptional performance, scoring 44 points in 38 minutes. Though he had just two assists, Curry didn’t need to do much passing with the way his shot was falling. He went 14-26  from the field and a ridiculous 10-20 from beyond the arc.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Curry scored 20 of his points in the fourth quarter, giving us one of the top highlights and top bloopers of the season.

Looking to gain separation, Curry turned to a double stepback, popularized by the Beard himself. He was called for a travel, much to the chagrin of the two-time MVP and his head coach Steve Kerr.

Curry protested and held up a “1” and “3,” suggesting that he wouldn’t have been whistled for the walk if he wore No. 13, an obvious reference to Harden. The Rockets star’s stepback jumper has become a topic of conversation as it seems as if he takes an extra step (or two) before launching his shot.

His highlight came later, sizing up second-year player Justin Jackson on the perimeter. Kevin Durant came to set the screen and Curry jab stepped towards his right. Jackson slid over, rolling his ankle in the process and hitting the deck. Curry took one dribble before sinking another 3-pointer.

The Warriors’ three other stars were also strong. Durant had an efficient 29 points with 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Klay Thompson had 20 of his own on 8-15 shooting. Green did a little bit of everything, including knocking down a 3.

The Kings battled, led by Buddy Hield. Sacramento’s off guard had an effortless 32 points on a career-high eight 3-pointers despite just 13 attempts. Jackson, whose misunderstanding with gravity will be on highlight reels for years to come, was fantastic off the bench. He provided 28 points on 10-14 shooting with five made 3s in 34 minutes.

The Kings set a franchise record with 20 made threes (on 55.5 percent three-point shooting). Combined with the Warriors’ 21 3-pointers, the two Californian squads set an NBA record for most treys in a single game. It was a brilliant display of shooting with 12 different players hitting at least one long-range shot.

The Warriors didn’t play a full 48 minutes, but they flexed their championship muscle just for a few minutes in the fourth quarter. Their defense buckled down and the late game execution felt more natural with Curry leading the charge and Durant and Thompson both on top of their games. For one of the few times this season, Golden State “flipped the switch,” providing just enough intensity and focus at the right time to come away with the win.

Next. Warriors calling plays to keep Kevin Durant happy?. dark

The Warriors improve to 26-16 on the season, good for third place in the Western Conference. The Kings, who have surprised many this year, sit in 10th place with a 19-20 record. The Kings are within striking distance of the eighth seed, leaving open the possibility of a first-round matchup between the two teams if they can both climb up a few spots.

The Warriors host the New York Knicks on Tuesday.