Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
SACRAMENTO – The battle for Northern California supremacy will be renewed Tuesday night, when the Warriors face the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Not long ago, when neither team was a contender, it was highly competitive; they split 20 games between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Since becoming a playoff perennial, the Warriors (37-8) have won the last seven games, creating appreciable separation.
The last Warriors win over Sacramento, on Jan. 23 at Oracle Arena, left the Kings (17-29) humiliated. Klay Thompson went off for 52 points, including a record-shattering 37 in a third quarter in which he did not miss a shot.
And nobody in a Kings jersey stood up and sent a "message" to Thompson.
Such an embarrassment would put most teams in a mood to seek retribution in the next meeting. It won't take long to see what kind of mood the Kings are in.
Warriors by 9.5.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Andrew Bogut vs. DeMarcus Cousins -- These two always seem to be on the edge of belligerence when they share the floor. Cousins is a terrific but mercurial offensive player, while Bogut earns his money on defense. If Cousins doesn't take over the game, Bogut will have won.
Harrison Barnes vs. Rudy Gay -- It's the youngster (Barnes) facing off with the veteran (Gay) in a pairing of superior athletes. Gay runs hot and cold, while Barnes always seems to be under control. Barnes has acquitted himself well since receiving one of his rookie baptisms from Gay three seasons ago.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1-Protect the paint -- The Kings, lacking consistent 3-point shooting, resort to slashing and attacking the rim. If the Warriors can make the paint a fortress, the Kings will have trouble generating offense from the perimeter.
2-Clean the glass -- The Warriors have been outrebounded in each of the last four games. It's time to end that trend, or invite trouble from a Kings club that has improved in that area.
3-Bring the track shoes -- When the Warriors use their speed to dictate pace, they are beautiful to watch. If they set a fast tempo, the Kings will be rendered helpless.
Warriors 7-3, Kings 2-8.
Warriors: No injuries reported.
Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) and F Carl Landry (sprained right wrist) are listed as probable. F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) is out.
The Warriors have won the last seven meetings, their longest win streak over the Kings since April 1994. The Warriors have won the three previous games this season by an average of 21 points. In 20 meetings from 2009 through 2012-13, each team won 10 games.
Catch Insider Monte Poole tonight when he reports LIVE from Sleep Train Arena on Sportsnet Central and Warriors Pregame Live beginning at 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area