Poole: Warriors realize they all need each other
Klay Thompson finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. (AP)
OAKLAND – Back to back jump hooks, one with each hand, both dropping into the baskets. That's how Andrew Bogut opened the game, and it proved the only statement the Warriors center needed to make Saturday night.
Bad blood hardly surfaced and rough play was at a minimum, as the Warriors laid a 98-87 paddling on a surprisingly compliant and relatively silent Sacramento team.
Bogut scored only one more basket, and it was superfluous given the shooting of guards Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who combined for 49 points on 18-of-30 shooting, 8-of-16 from 3-point distance.
Playing solid team defense, the Warriors took a double-digit lead early in the second quarter and never lost it, expanding to as much as 27 points in the third quarter before coach Mark Jackson emptied the bench.
''We did an outstanding job of being aggressive and taking their homerun hitters out of the equation,'' Jackson said.
After being victimized by Bogut, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins – who was so physical and mouthy when the teams met for a preseason game in Sacramento on Oct. 23 – practically disappeared. There was no battle of titans in the paint, and no real response from the Kings.
''Our energy, the fact that we were not ready to play, is what set the tone the whole night,'' said Kings coach Michael Malone, who spent two seasons as Warriors assistant under Jackson. ''They came out the first two possessions and posted up Andrew Bogut, he got layups at the rim. No resistance, no fight, no pride.''
The Warriors did what a good team should do on its home court. They hammered an inferior opponent playing on a second consecutive night, building the win with the basics, fine shooting and stiff defense.
''It was nice for us to follow through and get a good, convincing victory at home – it's especially important since we're about to go on the road,'' said David Lee, who totaled 15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
''It's a good start for us,'' said Curry, who finished with 22 points, 12 assists and seven turnovers. ''We have to play them three more times.
''These are the games that we need to win along the way to put ourselves in great position down the road.''
THE GOOD: The shooting of Thompson (10-of-17) and Curry (8-of-13), who met every peep from the Kings with a painful 3-pointer. The rebounding of Lee, who did terrific work in traffic, and the Warriors' overall team defense, which limited the Kings to 34.5 percent shooting. Bogut blocked four shots, as Sacramento's starters scored a total of 22 points, on 9-of-36 shooting.
THE BAD: Curry's second half floor generalship. After a nine-assist, one-turnover first half, he spit out a three-assists, six-turnover second half – in only 15 minutes.
THE FUTURE: The Warriors are scheduled to leave Sunday morning for Philadelphia, where on Monday they will meet the surprisingly hot 76ers, off to a 3-0 start. That's the first game of a four-game road swing that then goes through Minnesota, San Antonio and Memphis.
''You want to feel good before getting on the plane (Sunday) and traveling,'' said Curry, who passed the 5,000-point mark for career scoring, ''but we know going into Philly they're a hot team right now.''