SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even though this was a road game, the crowd enthusiastically cheered for the visiting Golden State Warriors — a common occurrence this season.
Stephen Curry made eight 3-pointers and scored 38 points, Draymond Green added 25 and the Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 128-116 on Saturday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
The Warriors (35-2) broke loose for 36 points in the third quarter and built a 12-point lead. Curry had 14 in the fourth to hold off the Kings and complete an unbeaten three-game road trip.
It probably felt like a home game to the Warriors, off to the best start in NBA history. A boisterous Golden State rooting section cheered the team’s every basket and even chanted "MVP! MVP!" when Curry was shooting free throws.
Sacramento is about 80 miles northeast of Golden State’s home in Oakland.
"This was definitely a Warriors crowd. It’s been that way on this road trip," forward Brandon Rush said. "Our fans are everywhere."
The Kings certainly noticed and naturally weren’t too happy about a sellout crowd of 17,317 cheering more for the Warriors. Golden State swept the four-game season series and has beaten Sacramento 12 straight times.
"About 10 years ago it was Sacramento in Warriors’ country (at the Oakland Coliseum). So it is what it is," Kings forward Rudy Gay said. "They are a great basketball team now. I guess all the Warriors fans that are in Sacramento are riding the bandwagon just like everybody else."
Curry didn’t disappoint his fan club. He made 12 of 21 shots, including 8 of 14 3-pointers. He also had 11 assists, six rebounds and was at his best in the fourth quarter when the Kings rallied.
"Steph was making his jumper. And when he does, he’s tough to stop," teammate Andrew Bogut said.
Klay Thompson scored 15 points, Andre Iguodala had 13 and Rush added 11 for the Warriors. Golden State shot 56 per cent and outrebounded the Kings 48-34.
Green hit five 3s and grabbed nine rebounds. The Warriors shot 19 of 37 on 3-pointers, hitting 12 in the opening half — the most the Kings have allowed in a half all season.
DeMarcus Cousins had 21 of his 33 points in the first half and added 10 rebounds for the Kings. Gay scored 23 points, Darren Collison had 16 and Marco Belinelli 13.
Cousins picked up his fourth foul at the 9:44 mark in the third quarter with the Kings trailing by three. He returned to start the fourth quarter with Golden State ahead 96-84.
Cousins missed Sacramento’s first two games this season against the Warriors and was ejected from the previous one, a 122-103 loss Dec. 28.
"Cousins had a great game. He was making plays," Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said. "Sacramento is a good team and they’re fighting for a playoff spot."
After the Kings pulled to 122-116, Curry made a 3 and followed with a jumper to put the Warriors in front by 11 points with under a minute to play.
Golden State ran off six unanswered points to build a 112-97 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but a 3 by Belinelli and a basket by Gay brought the Kings to 118-113 with 3 minutes left.
He’s the team’s vocal leader on and off the court. But sometimes the passion Green plays with doesn’t sit too well with NBA referees.
The emotional Warriors forward was called for his NBA-leading ninth technical in the second quarter for arguing a foul call with referee John Gobie after pursuing a rebound.
That wasn’t the only time Green was singled out. In the third quarter he drew a flagrant foul while breaking up a Kings fast-break opportunity.
Warriors: Head coach Steve Kerr was at the game, but watched it on TV in the locker room. … Sluggish early, Golden State opened the game with three consecutive turnovers and finished with 19. … Curry and Thompson were a combined 1 for 8 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, while Rush and Green went a combined 5 for 5.
Kings: Rajon Rondo, who leads the NBA in assists, picked up his 400th of the season early in the third quarter. He finished with 12. … Entering the game, Quincy Acy had shot 13 for 14 in his five starts this season. He’s replaced Omri Casspi, who has missed the last five games with back problems. Acy shot 3 of 4 and had nine points. … After missing two games, rookie Willie Cauley-Stein had 10 rebounds in 9 minutes off the bench.
Warriors: Host Miami on Monday.
Kings: Host New Orleans on Wednesday.