It turns out even the greatest shooting team ever assembled can have bad nights. The Golden State Warriors lost 109-106 in overtime Saturday night to the Sacramento Kings for their eighth loss of the season. The setback dropped the Warriors to 0-3 in overtime games this season.
The Warriors have an effective field-goal percentage (factoring 3-pointers) of 57 percent. They had an eFG of only 50 percent in this game. Golden State shot 15 for 44 from 3-point range. They just didn't have it, and the Kings did. The Kings defense carried this game, and that combined with DeMarcus Cousins' 32 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists was enough to get Sacramento its biggest victory of the season.
Here's what we saw:
1. Kevin Durant struggled, then vanished. Steve Kerr said Durant looked exhausted and "had earned a game like this." It was that rough. Durant was 0 for 7 from outside the restricted area, finishing with 10 points on 2-of-10 shooting. Durant's defense was impactful (nine rebounds and five blocks), but his jumper was just, incredibly, gone on Saturday. On top of all that, Durant didn't take a single shot in the final five minutes of regulation or overtime.
2. Steph Curry was brilliant, until he wasn't. Curry was once again the best player for Golden State, as he has been since Christmas. He finished with 35 points and eight 3-pointers on 14 attempts, along with nine assists. However, in the game's biggest moment ... this happened:
Good look, just missed it. Curry would have been better off just catching it at 30 feet and hoisting.
3. The Warriors are not a comeback team. Golden State fell to 3-6 in games in which they trailed by five points or fewer in the final five minutes of regulation. They are 11-5 when leading in close games, but if they trail, they can't close.
4. DeMarcus Cousins gave the full experience. Cousins' 32 points and nine assists were the kind of impressive numbers that make him an All-Star. However, in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime, Cousins was 4 for 13, and let a key rebound slip through his fingers. Yet, he scored eight of the Kings' final 15 points. But then, on the other hand, with the Kings up by one point with 2:01 to go in regulation, Cousins popped off at the officials and picked up a tech.
If Curry makes that layup, if the Warriors win in overtime, that tech becomes the reason the Kings lose that game. The one thing Cousins could not afford to do in that situation is to pick up a tech. For all the good he does, he makes boneheaded decisions like that. For all the boneheaded decisions he makes, the Kings won the game on his back.
It's the best and worst of Cousins, as always.
5. Draymond Green had a rough night. From a physical standpoint. Green fell on a layup and suffered a bruised knee. Then later he fell hard on his tailbone. Green's going to need a few days in a hot tub.
6. Steve Kerr tried the "get ejected to spark the team" trick. The Warriors were despondent and sluggish. Kerr decided to try and boost the team by getting ejected for yelling at the officials.
It worked, the Warriors would take the lead soon after. But it wasn't enough to rally them to a victory.
7. The underrated performer for the Kings was Willie Cauley-Stein. The second-year King who has been in and out of the rotation had 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four rebounds in 17 minutes. While he was on the floor, Sacramento outscored the Warriors by three. Stein is still a great rim runner in this league.