SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento Kings will finally play their home opener on Monday in search of the team's first win of the season as the Golden State Warriors come to town.
Sacramento and the Denver Nuggets were the only teams without a home game yet on the docket. And could this be the last home-opener in Sacramento for the Kings? Speculation abounds that the Kings might relocate, so for the fans in California's capital, this could be the last opportunity for a home opener.
Now, the Kings just have to get a win.
The Kings have certainly been competitive. None of their three losses were by double-digits and they took the Indiana Pacers, a top team in the Eastern Conference, to two overtimes before falling on Saturday night.
DeMarcus Cousins led the way for the Kings with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Marcus Thornton had 26 off the bench.
"I can't fault these guys for how they played," said head coach Keith Smart. "If they keep this up, they're going to end up being there in the end. The effort has been great. You've got to get the payoff."
The Warriors should feel fine away from home. They are 2-0 in the season away from the Bay Area, but 0-1 at home. Their last victory, Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, was especially impressive.
After Friday night's setback to the Memphis Grizzlies, when forward Brandon Rush was lost for the season with an ACL tear, the Warriors jumped all over the Clippers with 33 first-quarter points.
The Warriors had a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, but almost coughed it up. In fact, Chris Paul of the Clippers made what looked to be the game-winning basket, but was whistled for an offensive foul.
Steph Curry walked to the line, buried two free throws and the Warriors walked out of the Staples Center with a 114-110 victory.
"It was a great win. We played against a very great basketball team with some special players," said Curry. "And I'm proud of my guys, they battled every step of the way."
The bench has been a great source of the strength for the Warriors and it was evident again on Saturday. Andrew Bogut didn't play on Saturday and with Rush out for the season, the bench was shorter than usual, but Carl Landry had 23 points and 10 boards and Jarrett Jack contributed 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Bogut's availability for tonight is in question.
In the Sacramento era, the Kings are 21-6 in home openers and have won 13 of 14, including the last six. Golden State won three of four matchups with the Kings last season, including the last two.
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