Will Warriors Respond to Rare Tongue-Lashing in Visit to Kings?

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:47 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 8:47 PM UTC

The mismatch of Friday night around the NBA from a point spread perspective is Golden State visiting Sacramento, but will a motivated Warriors team show up?

Golden State Warriors at Sacramento KingsFree NBA Pick: WarriorsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The only NBA tip after 9 p.m. ET on Friday is the Warriors visiting the Golden State’s capital city with a 10:30 p.m. ET start time in the second game of an ESPN doubleheader. My cohort Jason Lake will preview the first ESPN game, Heat-76ers, here at SBR.

Sacramento hasn’t won back-to-back games against Golden State since the 2012-13 season but has a chance to accomplish that here with a big upset. That’s because on Nov. 27 at Oracle Arena, the Kings were surprise 110-106 winners as 13-point NBA betting underdogs. Bogdan Bogdanovic hit the go-ahead bank shot with 12.6 seconds left as the Kings ended an eight-game losing streak in Oakland. Willie Cauley-Stein was terrific with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists off the bench. Sacramento shot 53.2 percent from the field against one of the NBA’s best defenses.

Yes, there were extenuating circumstances that night as both Steph Curry and Kevin Durant sat out. Klay Thompson led the Dubs with 21 points but was just 7-for-20 and missed an open 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining. Thompson has 511 career points against the Kings, though, his most against any opponent.

Golden State is 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings.

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Steve Kerr obviously not happy. But he had his sense of humor pic.twitter.com/o56H7rg5T0

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 31, 2018
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Coach Wants To See You!

We are in the dog days of the NBA season as players are worn down and looking forward to the All-Star break. If any team has a reason to feel somewhat bored during this regular season, it’s the Warriors (40-11 SU, 22-28-1 ATS). Boredom surely explains their inexplicable 129-99 loss in Utah on Tuesday in which the Jazz shot a shocking 58.2 percent from the field, the highest ever against the Dubs under Steve Kerr. I also believe Golden State was a bit flat off Saturday’s highly-charged 109-105 win over Boston in a potential NBA Finals preview.

It’s rare you hear Kerr rip his team publicly, but he did after Tuesday’s loss: “I saw one team get their ass kicked. I think our guys will tell you that was a pathetic effort out there. That was disgusting basketball. … You can’t just show up, especially on the road, and expect to win. That’s kind of cheating the game.”

Thompson showed up Tuesday by going 12-for-17 for 27 points, but Durant, Curry and Draymond Green combined to shoot 12-for-37 (32.4 percent). Curry was 1-for-7 from 3-point range, and the Warriors 5-for-25 as a team, their second-worst percentage of the year. It was their second-worst loss under Kerr.

Sacramento (16-34 SU, 21-26-3 ATS) closed a six-game road trip a very respectable 3-3 with a 114-103 upset in New Orleans on Tuesday as the Pelicans were clearly still reeling from losing DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings dominated on the boards 55-42 and outscored New Orleans 26-0 in second-chance points. Zach Randolph had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Kosta Koufos 17 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

Those two got heavy minutes because big men Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere are out injured, although Cauley-Stein is looking good to return Friday. The Kings are also without Coach Dave Joerger after he felt light-headed during Sunday’s game. He checked out OK medically, but Elston Turner will continue to serve as head coach in Joerger's absence. He shouldn’t be out much longer.

I believe Kerr got his guys’ attention with that tirade. The Warriors haven’t lost back-to-back games this season and generally have blown people out following a loss. Under Kerr, the Warriors have lost consecutive games only six times. I usually take that many points on a home team, but not here on Friday's NBA pick as long as all the key Warriors play – they are in action again Saturday in Denver.

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