With each win making the Bulls’ record of 72 wins look all that more breakable, every time the Golden State Warriors take the court it’s big news this season. But even in the most dramatic of wins, it’s hard to top the fun the fans in Oakland — and the rest of the NBA — had in watching Monday night’s contest against Sacramento.
To be clear, the game was not dramatic, at least not at the end. The Warriors beat the Kings 122-103 to improve their record to 29-1 and stretch their home winning streak to 33 games dating back to last season. But the defending champs actually found themselves trailing in the third quarter, when the game’s key moment took place and the game swung Golden State’s way for good.
Recapping the craziness:
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● Reigning MVP Stephen Curry didn’t score a single point in the first quarter … and finished with 23 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and locked up his sixth career triple-double before the third quarter was over.
● Curry responded with 17 points in the second quarter … or four points fewer than Kings sharpshooter Omri Casspi. Yup, Casspi had 21 points on 7-of-7 shooting — 6-of-6 from 3-point range. When the quarter was over, the Kings led 61-58 at the half.
● Warriors coach Steve Kerr, sidelined since training camp because of complications from back surgery, addressed the team at halftime in the locker room about the sloppy play in the first half. "He basically said this was like a summertime game and we just rolled the ball up and it’s what it felt like," center Andrew Bogut said after the game. "We fell into that trap and they played us into it a bit."
● Casspi finished with a career-high 36 points and tied Mike Bibby’s franchise record with nine 3-pointers made.
● For the first time in his career, Curry was guarded by his little brother Seth. The reigning MVP promptly missed a long 3-pointer. "It was a very cool moment. I missed and he let me know about it. After that I was able to see a couple go in," Steph told the media after the game.
● After missing the Kings’ first two games against the Warriors this season, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins played against his Northern California rivals. But he played just 9:22 in the first half while dealing with foul trouble, then came that key moment in the third …
● With 9:06 to play in the third and the Kings leading 66-64, Cousins was called for a foul, his fifth of the game already. Then he said something to the officials and Monty McCutchen called Cousins for a technical, setting him off on a tirade that led to another technical called by Mitchell Ervin and an ejection. Cousins had to be restrained by teammates before being escorted off the court.
DeMarcus Cousins to ref after 3 Kings fouls in 21 seconds: "You want them to score that bad?"
● The Warriors then went on a 15-0 run immediately after the ejection and never led by less than 8 the rest of the way. "I’m not sure I liked how we responded," Kings coach George Karl said after the game. "We had a tough, bad-refereed game. But we can’t emotionally lose it."
● With the win, the Warriors set an NBA record for best home winning percentage in a calendar year.
Warriors finish 2015 with a 42-1 home record, tying the Orlando Magic in 1995 (42-2) for most home wins in a calendar year in NBA history.