The Sacramento Kings started the game playing well and even held a 62-60 lead after a half, but they couldn’t deny Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors from going 3-0. That completed a sweep of all three California teams that the Dubs faced to start their season.
Steph Curry, as expected, led the Warriors in scoring and did it with his usual blend of threes, drives, and free throws. He wasn’t only scoring, but was heavily involved on both ends of the floor as he finished with 27 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals with 3 turnovers. It sure looks like he wants to keep fighting for that scoring title, as he’s now averaging 31 points after three games.
For a third-straight game, Davion Mitchell had his work cut out for him. After previously facing Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell, the Kings’ rookie point guard had to guard another premier backcourt foe in Steph Curry. To the young rookie’s credit, he did make Curry work, showing flashes of brilliant on-ball defense that had a little something to do with Curry shooting only 9 of 23 overall and 4 of 15 from deep.
Mitchell, who is quickly gaining a reputation as a feared on-ball defender, got it going on offense as well in the first half, hitting 7 of 10 shots and 3 of 6 triples on the way to 17 points He finished with 17 in the first half, trying Curry as the game’s scoring leader at halftime, then ended the game with 22 points, and 4 assists on 9 of 16 shooting.
Jordan Poole played his role of second scorer well, finishing with 22 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block to help Curry carry the load for the Warriors. Andrew Wiggins also chipped in 17 points while Draymond Green had a good all-round game with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists while shooting 6 of 12 from the field.
The 62-60 lead that the Kings brought into halftime came on a heels of a tough shooting start for the Warriors, who only shot 33.3% from deep and 41.7% from the field. But the Warriors righted the ship on that front, and for the second game in a row, bad late-game execution and horrible turnovers led to the Kings’ demise.
Harrison Barnes continued his solid play to start the season, and finished with 24 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 7 of 13 from the field including 5 of 10 threes. Richaun Holmes had a good bounce back game after his rough one against the Utah Jazz and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony channeled a vintage performance to help carry the Lakers to their first win
They brought Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers to make buckets off the bench, and he duly delivered against the Memphis Grizzlies. Anthony, who holds the 10th spot in the NBA’s all-time scoring list, reminded everyone why he was such a feared force in his prime. Melo led the Lakers with 28 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, a steal and 2 blocks on 10 of 15 shooting including 6 of 8 from three.
LeBron James finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while Anthony Davis had 22 points and 8 rebounds along with 4 blocks. Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 13 assists and 4 steals. Westbrook’s turnovers are still of concern, though as he finished with 9 for the game.
It was a hard-fought victory for the Lakers, who started the game in a 17-7 hole, but ended up flipping that to a 62-56 halftime lead. They ended up winning 121-118, but it was not easy. Ja Morant was fouled on a three-point attempt with 2.5 seconds left but blew the third free throw that would have sent it to overtime.
Speaking of Ja Morant, that young man had another beastly performance with 40 points, 3 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals and 6 turnovers. He shot 5 of 7 from three, and if he keeps improving his outside shot he’s going to be one of the hardest covers in the NBA. They also had another big game from Steven Adams, who had 14 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists. That missed free throw will haunt Morant, but he’s on a tear to start his season.
The Brooklyn Nets fall to 1-2 even after another monster night from KD
Kevin Durant’s going to start feeling a little fatigued from always having to produce monster games for the Nets. He had another great night against the Charlotte Hornets with 38 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal on 17 of 24 shooting but it wasn’t enough in a 111-95 blowout. The Hornets, led by Miles Bridges and his 32 points and 9 rebounds, rallied from a 58-50 halftime deficit. They outscored the Nets 61-37 in the second half and got another solid performance from LaMelo Ball with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and no turnovers.
KD simply didn’t get enough help, as the only other Net to score in double figures was James Harden, who finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, a steal, a block, and also 8 turnovers. Harden shot 6 of 16 from the floor in 33 minutes of action. It’s early in the season, and the Nets are certainly talented enough to contend, but you can already see how badly they need their third star in Kyrie Irving. It’s much easier on NBA teams to hope that either Harden or Durant have a bad night, but with Irving also on the floor, you’re not going to be able to bank on two of three stars misfiring too often.
It begs the question too of how long Durant will stay patient with Irving, who’s meant to be a close friend, and his ineligibility to play in home games. Things can change quickly when you start losing, and we’ll have to keep a close lookout on Brooklyn’s next 13 games. They should be favoured in most all of those contests as they take on Washington, Miami, Indiana, Detroit (twice), Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Orlando, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Golden State.
If they don’t have a good record after that stretch, Sean Marks may be forced into making a move.