Cousins, Kings hold off Warriors in home opener
Sacramento, CA – Stephen Curry's final desperation heave bounced off the back rim, and the Sacramento Kings held on to a 94-92 victory over the Golden State Warriors at home to capture their first win of the season.
The Kings nearly squandered an eight-point lead with just over three minutes to play, but Klay Thompson and Curry each missed go-ahead shots with less than five seconds remaining to give the Kings a victory in their home opener.
DeMarcus Cousins paced all scorers with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Marcus Thornton and Aaron Brooks scored 16 and 12, respectively, off the bench for the Kings, who had lost their first three games.
"It feels good to get the first win," Cousins said.
Thompson scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed seven boards in the loss. David Lee poured in 20 points and Curry added 12 points with eight assists.
"They had great looks. They executed and just made shots," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "Like I told my guys, you don't win or lose the game on those last shot attempts."
With under a minute to play, Andrew Bogut connected on a jump hook to bring the Warriors within three. After Brooks missed at the other end, the Kings, who were in the penalty, fouled Thompson, sending him to the line.
Thompson hit both free throws to cut the deficit to one with 31.3 seconds to go and Cousins missed a shot in the paint falling away at the other end.
The Warriors got the rebound and called timeout with 10.9 seconds remaining and had a chance to win the game.
Thompson caught the ball near the top of the key, dribbled to his right and got a good look, but his shot hit the back rim. James Johnson got the rebound for the Kings and was fouled, but hit just one of two free throws. The Warriors got one final possession with 1.3 ticks left on the game clock, but Curry's long 3-pointer bounced off the back rim, and the Kings escaped with the win.
Golden State ran off a 9-0 run in the first quarter, highlighted by five points from Thompson and a David Lee alley-oop to Harrison Barnes. Lee converted two free throws after being fouled two possessions later to give the Warriors an eight-point edge with 3:42 remaining in the opening quarter.
But the Kings rallied to score 10 of the final 13 points of the period, with Thornton scoring five before Cousins threw down a dunk, leaving the Kings trailing just 22-21 at the end of the quarter.
Sacramento went on to grab a 52-44 halftime lead. Thornton added nine points in the second, including seven straight to put the Kings on top 38-31 with 5:11 to go in the quarter.
Then, with less than a minute remaining, Jimmer Fredette drove to his left, double-clutched a running jumper, and drained a shot while taking contact from Curry. He knocked in the free throw to finish the three-point play before hitting a jumper on their next possession to give the Kings an eight-point advantage at the half.
Curry hit a triple with 8:42 to go in the third to tie the game, but Sacramento went off for 16 straight points to take a 72-56 lead. Cousins started the spurt with a layup before capping the sure with a jumper.
The Warriors trailed by double-digits the rest of the quarter until Jarrett Jack hit a running jumper to cut the lead to nine with 24 seconds to go, but Thornton drained a fadeaway as time expired to build the advantage back to 11 heading into the final frame.
In the Sacramento era, the Kings are 22-6 in home openers and have won 14 of 15, including the last seven ... Sacramento shot 45.7 percent from the field while Golden State shot just 39.7 percent.