What we learned as Warriors’ season ends in play-in loss to Kings – NBC Sports Bay Area

What we learned as Warriors’ season ends in play-in loss to Kings – NBC Sports Bay Area


SACRAMENTO – And so the Warriors’ 2023-24 NBA season is over.

A year after playing the role of villain and sending the Sacramento Kings racing in the offseason following a seven-game victory in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Golden State found itself on the other end of the spectrum during Tuesday’s play-in game at Golden 1. Center.

Stephen Curry scored 22 points but committed six turnovers, a problem that plagued the entire Warriors team, and Golden State was never able to catch up after falling into a big hole early, losing to the Kings 118-94.

This is the first time since the 2020-21 season that the Warriors have failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The Kings advance to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at 6:30 p.m. PT at the Smoothie King Center with the No. 8 seed and a date with the Oklahoma City Thunder on the line.

Klay Thompson, who missed the entire year with an Achilles injury, was held scoreless in what could be his final game in a Warriors uniform. The 34-year-old five-time All-Star did not receive a contract extension from the only NBA team he played for and is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Jonathan Kuminga managed a slow start and finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Andrew Wiggins had 12 points but was 25 under. Draymond Green added 12 points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals.

The two Northern California rivals split all four regular season games and finished with the same record, but the Kings held the tiebreaker thanks to a better division record.

This was important because the Warriors fell behind early, allowing the pro-Kings crowd to become loud and boisterous throughout the night.

The frustrated Warriors were serenaded with chants of “Light the Beam” as they left the field after the game ended.

It was a completely different atmosphere than the one that came out of Golden 1 Center last season when the Warriors won a thrilling seven-game series in the Kings’ first playoff appearance after an NBA-record drought of 16 years old.

Golden State started the day with a lot of momentum, having won 10 of 12. But any good feelings quickly disappeared once Sacramento took control in the first quarter and never looked back.

Here are the takeaways from Tuesday’s game:

Sthe plash brothers dry up

On a night where the Warriors were out of sync offensively for much of the game, even two of their best scoring options failed to do much.

Often Curry seemed in a rush to shoot, while at other times it looked like he was doing everything he could to shoot. The two-time NBA scoring champion shot a respectable 8-of-16 overall and was 3-of-7 from behind the arc.

Thompson, who embodied the Warriors’ up-and-down theme during the 2023-24 season, missed all 10 shots he attempted, including six tries from behind the arc.

This is the second time this season Thompson has been held scoreless. He also failed to score against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 11, 2023.

A slow step

The Kings established a frenetic pace early in the first half that the Warriors struggled to keep up with.

Golden State, the best rebounding team in the NBA during the regular season, was crushed on rebounds, allowing Sacramento to steal some needed second chance points.

It brought even more energy to an already excited crowd at Golden 1 Center, and the Kings thrived on that energy.

The Warriors committed 16 turnovers which led to 20 points for the Kings. The Kings also held a 37-15 advantage in second chance points and fast break points.

Too many open looks

Time and time again, the Warriors left the Kings shooters wide open, especially in the corner. Sacramento, which had similar issues throughout the year, took full advantage and converted almost every time Golden State’s defense went to sleep.

Early on, the Dubs’ inability to close out properly allowed Keegan Murray to start. Murray, one of the Kings’ best perimeter shooters, dropped 14 points and made four 3s in the first quarter.

The trend of allowing Sacramento to open its eyes continued in the second half, and it played a role in Golden State’s inability to really get its transition game going. This was crucial because Golden State was doing a pretty decent job of scoring and defending the paint. On the perimeter, it was a completely different story for both teams.

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