SACRAMENTO – Stephen Curry called the performance “ugly.” It was one of the few offerings the Warriors got right all night.
In what clearly was the worst performance by the reigning NBA champions in what otherwise has been a sterling start this season, the Warriors shot 41.3 percent — and missed 31 of 39 three-point attempts — yet survived with some late heroics by Curry to beat the Sacramento Kings 103-94 on Saturday night.
Curry scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half as the Warriors continued their best start since moving to the West Coast. They are two wins away from matching the Philadelphia Warriors’ 9-0 franchise-best start in 1960-61.
But this was the game interim head coach Luke Walton had been dreading. “You’re playing with no energy,” he told the players at one point as the Kings, who were without star center DeMarcus Cousins, stayed close until the final seconds.
“We couldn’t get our shots to go in tonight — it happens,” Walton said. “But we found a way to grind it out. We had some wide open looks that wouldn’t go down. It was one of those random nights.”
Curry, who was averaging 35.5 points on 56.9 percent shooting coming into the game, made only 2 of 10 three-point tries on an 8-of-18 evening. But he made big shots late when they were needed. “Never too high, never too low; that’s my motto,” Curry said. “I’m not expecting to shoot lights out every game.”
He appeared to injure his hip in a collision with a cameraman but said he was fine. “I hope the camera guy down there’s all right,” he said.
He was disappointed that his brother, Kings guard Seth Curry, was unable to play with an ankle sprain. It would have been the first time the two had faced each other in an official 5-on-5 game, having never played against each other in college or previously in the NBA. Seth Curry had a breakout game Friday against Houston, scoring Sacramento’s first eight points of the fourth quarter in a span of 1:12. He had treatment before Saturday’s game, but coach George Karl decided not to use him. Their father, Dell Curry, had traveled with his wife to Sleep Train Arena.
“He tried to get it to go before the game, but it didn’t feel right,” Steph Curry said. “We’ve got them three more times. We’ll get our shot. It’s still great for our family to see us both in uniform and out here in the league.”
Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala had 14 for Golden State, which has won 74 of its last 89 games dating to last season. Harrison Barnes scored 13 points on 4-for-17 shooting.
The Warriors were averaging nearly 118 points coming into the night, but they were held to a season-low total
Marco Bellinelli and Rudy Gay each scored 22 points for the Kings, losers of five straight. Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists for his 23rd career regular-season triple double, and Kosta Koufos finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Sacramento played without Cousins, its leading scorer and rebounder, for a fourth straight game as he fights an Achilles strain. Darren Collison was sidelined by a hamstring strain. The Kings were 6-17 last season without Cousins, who has career averages of 18.9 points and 10.6 rebounds.
Curry had 11 points in the third quarter and 10 more in the fourth when the Warriors used a 16-5 run to pull away for the win. He had only two first-quarter points, scoring on a putback with 3:09 left. Despite missing 14 of their first 16 shots, the Warriors still led 20-14 moving into the second quarter.
— Staff and wire reports