Apparently winning ugly is the Warriors’ new thing.
Two days after escaping with a win at home against lowly Toronto, Golden State added another tally to the win column with a sloppy 87-83 victory against Sacramento at Oracle Arena.
This one, however, provided some excitement.
Klay Thompson hit a corner three to give the Warriors an 85-83 lead with 7.5 seconds left then got a hand in the face of Tyreke Evans in the final seconds as Evans attempted to tie the game. His drive was off the mark and Draymond Green came down with the rebound in the final seconds to seal the win for Golden State (35-27).
“It was a great look. (David Lee) did a great job of putting it right in the shooting pocket and I got it off quick,” Thompson said. “Teammate found me. It was a pretty easy shot, honestly. I love shooting from the corner.”
When Sacramento spread the floor to let Evans go one-on-one with Thompson, he had a good idea of what to expect.
“He’s a really strong right-handed driver, so I was kind of anticipating that,” Thompson said. “Just trying to force a contested shot and I thought I did a pretty good job of staying with him.”
Kings coach Keith Smart said Evans’ drive was exactly what they were looking for.
“I thought he did a good job of getting where he needed to go and obviously sometimes you get a call there and sometimes you don’t,” Smart said. “We fell on the side where we didn’t get it tonight.”
Thompson finished with a game-high 20 points to lead the Warriors, who also got 17 points and ten rebounds from Lee.
It was the first win in three tries for Golden State against the Kings, who took the first two games of the season series in Sacramento. The Warriors will take the win, but coach Mark Jackson acknowledged there were levels of disappointment.
“In tonight’s game, and even last game, the disappointment is we have to get better,” he said. “The disappointment is the better teams, you’re not going to beat without executing because we won’t be in the basketball game turning the ball over. But also, you’re encouraged because we lose this game last year.
“We are not the Miami Heat. We are not the Oklahoma City Thunder. A lot of nights it’s not going to be pretty. That’s just a fact.”
Wednesday’s win fell into that category.
The Warriors turned it over 18 times -- six by Stephen Curry -- but it led to just 13 points for Sacramento. Curry finished with 13 points on just 3-of-11 shooting, but had the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
Trailing 83-82, Jackson called for a double-high screen for Curry who read a double team, then passed to Lee, who fed Thompson for the game winner.
Kings center Demarcus Cousins, who had been referred to as one of the “best bigs in the league” by Bogut, was rendered ineffective, thanks largely to the play of rookie Festus Ezeli. Ezeli’s physical play bothered Cousins in the interior as he finished 2-of-10 from the field with just five points and four rebounds.
“I thought Festus was as good as he’s been all season long,” Jackson said. “We’re dealing with young players and young players make mistakes and he’s made mistakes. Tonight, I thought he paid attention to detail. He defended, he rebounded, he played with force, he was a live body in there. “
With Cousins out of sync, Kings coach Keith Smart left him on the bench the entire fourth quarter.
“Basketball players, pros have those nights,” Smart said. “You want your best players playing well all the time, but on some nights it’s going to be that way.”
Jason Thompson was the high scorer for the Kings (21-42) with 17 points on a night where both teams struggled from the floor.
Curry hit a three at the top of the key to make it 82-78 with 2:59 left, but the lead was short-lived.
Toney Douglas missed a three-point attempt of his own on the Kings’ ensuing possession before an incredible drive by Jarrett Jack was waved off due to a 24-second violation.
Sacramento capitalized moments later on a jumper from Thompson to cut the deficit to two then took a one-point lead on a corner three from Patrick Patterson with a 1:23 left.
After a missed three from Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bogut poked the ball loose from John Salmons and Jack fell on it, prompting a timeout from Jackson.
Thompson missed an open look coming out of the timeout, but Bogut corralled a Kings miss moments later to give the Warriors possession and a chance to take the lead with 15 seconds left.
The second quarter was about as poorly a frame as the Warriors have turned in all season. They were just 5-for-20 from the field as the Kings outscored them 23-13, erasing what was once a ten-point Warriors lead.
It matched a season-low for points in a second quarter, but eclipsed the 11 points the team scored in the fourth quarter at Charlotte on Dec. 10.
Not exactly the type of performance one might expect against a Kings team which ranks 30th in the NBA in points allowed.
Things turned around after halftime as Golden State bounced back to take a 69-63 lead into the fourth. The Warriors turned the ball over five times in the quarter, but it didn’t lead to any points for Sacramento.
- The win marked the first time since Feb. 24, 2003 that the Warriors won despite shooting 36 percent or lower.
- It was the first time since 1957 in the series history that both teams scored under 90 points in a game. The last was in 1957 when the Rochester Royals beat the Philadelphia Warriors 82-79.
- Golden State improved to 10-1 this season when holding its opponent to under 40 percent shooting.
- David Lee’s 17 points and ten rebounds marked his eighth-straight double-double.
Jeremy Tyler Waived
Forward Jeremy Tyler was waived by Atlanta Wednesday, 13 days after he was traded from Golden State in exchange for a second-round pick. His seven-game stint with the Hawks included more DNP-CDs (6) than minutes (5).
#Warriors Tweet of the Game
Reallly impressed with Ezeli's effort tonight! #WarriorsTalk— Jackson Avery (@JaysReverie) March 7, 2013
Next Up -- Houston
The Warriors will look to snap their four-game losing streak to Houston when they host the Rockets on Friday. Houston has won both meetings with Golden State this year, including a 140-109 win in Houston on Feb. 5 in which they tied the NBA single-game record for threes with 23.
Dallas 112, Houston 108: The Rockets got 28 points from James Harden and 23 from Chandler Parsons, but fell on the road. Houston remains in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, two games behind Golden State.
Cleveland 104, Utah 101: Utah’s Mo Williams missed a layup with four seconds left that would have given the Jazz a one-point lead. Instead, the Jazz lose their second straight game, but remain 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers in the No. 8 spot.
Lakers 108, New Orleans 102: With 4:20 left in the third quarter, the Hornets led 85-64 only to be outscored 44-17 to rest of the way. The Lakers outscored New Orleans 33-9 in the fourth quarter and held the Hornets without a point for the game’s final 6:47. Kobe Bryant scored 42 points to tie his season high.
Memphis 91, Portland 85: The Trail Blazers (28-32) blew a 12-point halftime lead at Memphis and fell two games behind the Lakers.