Game 25 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson vs. Marcus Thornton (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where:  Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – 1140 The Fan

For Warriors perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Warriors World.

The book on Golden State:  The Warriors just wrapped up their most successful road trip in recent history, posting a 6-1 record on a 10-day, east coast swing.  They returned home last night to host the New Orleans Hornets, who they beat 103-96 at Oracle Arena.  At 17-8, Golden State is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season, when they also began 17-8 through 25 games.

Did you know?  The Kings trail the Warriors by one game (183-184) in the all-time series between the two teams.

Status Updates: Marcus Thornton is expected to return to the Kings’ bench after missing the last four games for personal reasons.  Tyreke Evans is questionable due to soreness in his left knee from an injury sustained three weeks ago.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (7-17)

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Golden State Warriors Probable Starters (17-8)

PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: David Lee
C: Festus Ezeli

Stats and Rankings


  • Points Per Game: 94.4 (22nd out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.4 (26th out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 100.1 (3rd out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.3 (27th out of 30)
  • Pace: 94.64 (13th out of 30)


  • Points Per Game: 99.7 (10th out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.3 (10th out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 97.1 (14th out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 100.8 (11th out of 30)
  • Pace: 95.85 (7th out of 30)

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will the Kings have an answer for David Lee?

The veteran power forward has been balling for the Warriors.  The 29-year-old became the first player since Kareem Abdul Jabbar to post at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in each game of a road trip seven contests or more.  His efforts from Dec. 10 through 16 were rewarded by the NBA with Player of the Week honors.  For the season, Lee has averaged a double-double for Golden State, posting a healthy 19.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.  In his last meeting against Sacramento , Lee posted 20 points, but grabbed just 6 rebounds and shot 46 percent from the field.  Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes and Thomas Robinson should all get a crack at the Warriors big man on defense. To slow him down, the Kings will have to cut off the Warriors’ attack on the pick-and-roll.

2.  Can the Kings contain the Warriors’ shooters?

The Kings aren’t horrible defending the three, but they’re not great either.  In their current five-game losing streak, they’re allowing teams to shoot 38.8 percent from beyond the arc.  When the Phoenix Suns made their comeback against them on Monday, the Kings allowed the Suns to shoot 6-of-13 on 3-point attempts following halftime.  With Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes, the Warriors might have the best 1-2-3 shooting combo in the league.

3. Will the Kings give up easy buckets at the rim?

Sacramento is one of the better teams in the NBA at scoring at the rim.  But in their current five-game slide, they’re also one of the worst at defending it.  The Kings have allowed 48.8 points in the paint per game over their last five contests.  The Warriors can score inside off the pick-and-roll with David Lee and they can feed it in the post to former King Carl Landry.  Keeping the Warriors from attacking the rim will be critical for the Kings if they hope to end a season-long losing streak.

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