OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors get a chance to extract a measure of revenge while at the same time extending an NBA record when they host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
In the final game for both teams before the All-Star break, the Warriors will be looking to reverse a 109-106 overtime defeat in Sacramento on Feb. 4.
The Warriors followed that loss with a 123-92 home thumping of the Chicago Bulls, running their streak of games without consecutive defeats to 128.
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That mark now stands at 131, but Golden State once again is in jeopardy of seeing the streak end. The Warriors are coming off a 132-110 loss at Denver on Monday night.
Several Warriors, including coach Steve Kerr, cited a letdown as the chief reason for the loss at Denver. Golden State was coming off emotional wins at Memphis and Oklahoma City, the latter in Kevin Durant’s long-awaited return.
“I could sense this (coming),” Kerr said after the defeat, during which the Nuggets made an NBA-record-tying 24 3-pointers. “These things are kind of predictable in the NBA season.”
Given the defeat the last time they saw the Kings, a letdown wouldn’t figure to be a problem for the Warriors in the rematch.
However, health could be a bit of an issue. Already without big men Zaza Pachulia (strained rotator cuff) and David West (broken thumb), the Warriors were without All-Star Klay Thompson (sore arch) and Shaun Livingston (birth of his child) in Denver.
Livingston is expected to return for Wednesday’s game, but Thompson remains questionable.
The Warriors don’t play again after the Sacramento game for eight days bridging the All-Star break, so it is possible Thompson’s situation will be treated cautiously.
That said, he is still expected to defend his 3-point shooting championship Saturday night during the All-Star festivities, and he was named to the Western Conference team for Sunday’s showcase.
So while Thompson might not get much of a break even if he sits out Wednesday, the Kings probably aren’t all that interested in a vacation this week, either. They won their fourth straight game Tuesday night, edging the Los Angeles Lakers 97-96.
Playing the second game of a back-to-back against a rested and motivated team might not be ideal for the Kings, but no doubt they are looking forward to their first four games after the break against the very beatable quartet of Denver, Charlotte, Minnesota and Brooklyn.
It is no sure thing that star center DeMarcus Cousins, who poured in 40 points in the win over the Lakers on Tuesday, will be around for all four of those games. His next technical foul will trigger an automatic one-game suspension.
He already served a one-game suspension last week after getting nailed with his 16th technical of the season. Every second technical for the remainder of the season will earn him an additional game off.
“It’s obvious I can’t be myself,” Cousins said after getting his 17th technical Sunday in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. “Me playing how I play is what makes me the player that I am. Obviously it’s not acceptable, so I’m trying to find a way to, you know, do what these guys are asking me to do. It’s not easy.”
Cousins barely missed a triple-double in the win over the Warriors earlier this month. He amassed 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.