Harrison Barnes had a 39 points on Wednesday night, which marked a career high for the former Golden State Warriors forward.
With the NBA debuting rivalry week, the newfound Kings vs. Warriors rivalry was on full display tonight. Not having won in the Bay Area since 2020, Mike Brown and the Kings finally pulled out a victory on the Warriors home court.
The story of the evening was the offense, definitely not the defense. The Kings and Warriors combined for 25 made threes in the 1st half, and the defense only (barely) improved in the 2nd half. Golden State ended the night at 51% from three-point range, and Sacramento shot a still incredible 45% from downtown on the evening.
With Chris Paul out and Draymond Green returned from his suspension, Steve Kerr has been struggling to find his best rotation. Tonight, Green finally appeared to surpass his generic minutes restriction of 25 and had the second most minutes (31) on the team behind Curry's 36.
With Green more involved, the Warriors offense flowed much better. Green particularly worked well with Curry, as usual, and leaned on Jonathan Kuminga in the second half. After a perfect game the other evening, Kuminga followed up tonight with 31 points in a dominant performance.
Unfortunately, the Warriors could not stop Harrison Barnes. In the final two minutes, Mike Brown got Barnes on the elbow, in the same exact spot, two straight times for easy stepback buckets. It wasn't until the 3rd time that the Warriors switched Andrew Wiggins onto Barnes, which resulted in a stop for Golden State.
The Warriors were able to create two straight dunks for Kuminga, but a blown defensive possession from the Warriors and a turnover from Curry resulted in a heartbreaking one point loss for Steve Kerr and Golden State.
During the Warriors dynasty, they rarely played close games. And when they did play close games, Kerr had so many weapons at his disposal that it was incredibly difficult to get stops.
Now, it's simple. Curry shoots the ball when they need a primetime shot. While Thompson has his moments and Kuminga is emerging, the Warriors have become so one-dimensional in close games that opposing defenses only have one focus: Stephen Curry.
While there's plenty of season left, the Warriors have an uphill climb from 19-23 to make a playoff run possible. Next up, a Friday primetime matchup at home against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Win, and the Warriors have some hope. Lose, and there will be trouble in paradise for Kerr and company.