If the Sacramento Kings cease to exist in a few weeks, the final memory against their Northern California rival will be a good one.
Sacramento fended off a late comeback attempt from Golden State to win 105-98 at Oracle Arena Wednesday, taking the season series 3-1.
For a team with something to play for, Golden State's focus -- or lack thereof -- was what was most puzzled Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bogut. Both veterans noticed a marked difference compared to Monday's 109-103 win against the Lakers.
"This was a typical letdown game. We got the Lakers walking in your building and your ears are automatically perked up," Jack said. "You got names that you're perked up for. (Sacramento), not to disrespect them, is not so much, even though they do have capable scorers and capable players."
Added Bogut: "The Lakers come in to town you see a focus in everyone's eyes before the game. You see a different energy. Sacramento comes to town and it's a whole different day today."
Isaiah Thomas took advantage. The Kings guard scored a game-high 31 points, getting the best of Stephen Curry, who scored 17 points on just 5-of-18 shooting.
As poorly as Curry shot the ball, Klay Thompson was even worse. He was just 1-of-13 from the field and finished with four points.
When those two combine for that kind of night, the Warriors will always have trouble finding a way to win, but coach Mark Jackson isn't worried.
"It was the first time in a long time that (Curry) was not good," Jackson said. "He was bad, but that's going to happen.
"They got good looks, just missed shots."
Both teams finished 41-of-90 (45.6%) from the field, but the Kings hit 11 threes to five for Golden State.
Despite the loss, Golden State (41-32) remains a game ahead of Houston for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings with nine games left. The Rockets lost 100-91 to Indiana on Wednesday.
After trailing by eight in the final minute, Golden State (41-32) made things interesting -- and it wasn't the least bit surprising to Kings coach Keith Smart. Smart had seen it before and even predicted it shortly before the game.
“I think the players understand that no matter what the game looks like early on, it will always end up being close down the stretch,” Smart said of the rivalry.
Sacramento (26-46) seemingly had the game in hand in the final 30 seconds, but after Curry finished what amounted to an uncontested layup, the Warriors forced an immediate turnover and Curry found the bucket again to cut Sacramento's lead to 100-96 with 20.1 seconds left.
Thomas was 1-for-2 from the free throw line on the Kings' ensuing possesion before a quick layup from Jack made it 101-98.
That was as close as the Warriors would get, however, as Tyreke Evans and Thomas both hit free throws in the final seconds to put it away.
Jackson stressed at shootaround and just before the game the Kings are a dangerous team that can get hot.
“Disappointing. We talked about it -- we are not good enough to show up and win ball games," he said. "That's not who we are and we will not be successful with that approach.
"If we gave t he same energy and effort that we did against the Lakers, we win this ball game -- we did not."
David Lee finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Warriors.
Golden State hosts Portland on Saturday and New Orleans on April 3 to finish its current five-game home stand.
- It was David Lee's 200th career game with the Warriors, during which the team has accumulated a 97-103 record. He is one of two Warrior players to average at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in his career, the other being Wilt Chamberlain.
- Lee's 200th game coincidently fell on the same night as the first bobblehead giveaway night of his career.
- NBA legend and University of San Francisco and McClymonds High product Bill Russell was on hand for the game, after visiting Warriors practice on Tuesday. He received a loud ovation from the crowd and players on both teams during a stoppage in the second quarter.
- Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive, who is in the process of attempting to buy the Kings, was not in his usual courtside seat.
- Stephen Curry's first three of the game was the 600th of his career and his second left him one shy of Tim Hardaway (602) for second on the franchise's all-time list.