The Sacramento Kings already beat expectations by finishing third in the Western Conference, but it looks like they’re not content with just making their first playoff appearance in 17 years. Instead, they have gone toe to toe for two games with the defending champion Golden State Warriors and have walked away with a 2-0 lead.

The 114-106 final scoreline doesn’t do justice to how hard-fought the game was. The Warriors were the ones who took it to the Kings early on, grabbing an early lead and stifling their offense by packing the paint and trying to prevent Domantas Sabonis from getting things going. It worked early on, but the Kings also forced their opponents to turn over the ball a lot which allowed them to keep it close.

This game was a doozy until the closing moments. Every time that the Warriors looked like they would mount a comeback, the Kings found an answer and stayed alive, even pushing their lead to 14 points in the third quarter. Sabonis, who shook off a tough Game 1, finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a gutty performance where he took a lot of shots, including an accidental knee from Steph Curry. However, the most egregious foul of the game came from Draymond Green, who stomped on Sabonis’ chest and launched off him.

Green, who riled up the Sacramento crowd while the review was happening, could potentially be suspended for his actions. That would be a huge blow to the Warriors, who are in unfamiliar territory with the series deficit.


At first, it looked like Green’s foul rattled the Kings, who blew their lead and let the Warriors tie the game at 93-93 with 6:07 left on the clock. However, Mr. Fourth Quarter himself, De’Aaron Fox, took it upon himself to get revenge for his co-star by taking over. From that moment on, he scored seven points and dished out three assists to close out the game. Fox finished with 24 points, five rebounds, nine assists, four steals and a block while only turning the ball over twice.

The Warriors struggled from the three point line, as Curry finished with 28 points but shot 3 of 13 from beyond the arc. Andrew Wiggins had 22 points but went 2 of 8 from distance. Klay Thompson came in with 21 points while shooting 5 of 10 from three.

While not as effective as in Game 1, Malik Monk was once again a pivotal player for the Kings, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. His offense helped keep Sacramento in the game when no one else could make a shot in the first half. Kevin Huerter also contributed 15 points and five rebounds, while former Warrior Harrison Barnes had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals. A lot of credit has to go to Davion Mitchell as well, who was a big reason Curry had a rough shooting night. It was also a three-pointer from Mitchell that iced the game for the Kings.

Golden State now have to go to the drawing board, as they weren’t able to win even though the Kings shot worse than them from the three point line (13 of 40 against 9 of 38). They also must find a way to deal with the Kings’ physicality in the paint, as the winners shot 11 more free throws.

Sacramento, on the other hand, will be elated. For the second straight time, they managed to take the Warriors’ best shot and still came out victorious. The real challenge now comes, though, as the Warriors were nigh-unstoppable at Chase Center in the regular season. One thing’s for sure, no one is going to want to miss Game 3.