The Golden State Warriors are playing dominant basketball for stretches, then struggling to defend during others.
Stephen Curry scored 28 of his 33 points during an 89-point first half, and the defending champions beat former top assistant Mike Brown and his Sacramento Kings 130-125 on Sunday night.
Curry, who recorded his third straight 30-point performance to start the season, scored 21 points in the second quarter with five 3-pointers and shot 11 for 22 overall, including 7 of 12 on 3s. The reigning NBA Finals MVP helped Golden State to its third-most points in any half in franchise history and second-most in a first half. The Warriors’ 50 points in the second quarter were a franchise record and matched the third-most points in any period.
“It was fun, 89 points in the first half, that’s crazy,” Jordan Poole said.
Curry has three straight 30-point games to start a season for the second time in his career, also done in 2018-19.
Sacramento cut a 26-point deficit down to four on Chimezie Metu’s dunk with 1:04 left before Golden State held on.
“We played at times brilliantly and we couldn’t sustain it,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It was closer than it should have been, but I give Sacramento a lot of credit. Mike’s doing a great job with those guys. They’re fighting, they’re competing. They’ve had three close losses now to start the year. … We let our guard down and they took advantage of it.”
Andrew Wiggins added 24 points with a driving slam to beat the final buzzer and Poole also scored 24 as the Warriors shot 51.7%. Klay Thompson was held to eight points on 3-for-10 shooting.
De’Aaron Fox scored 26 after two 30-point games and Domantas Sabonis contributed 19 points and 14 rebounds, but didn’t play in the fourth for winless Sacramento (0-3) in the second night of a back-to-back. The Kings, who lost 111-109 at home to the Clippers on Saturday night, attempted 100 shots Sunday and their three defeats have been decided by 14 total points.
“We can’t give up 50 points in the second quarter, or no quarters,” guard Malik Monk said. “It’s hard to win an NBA game like that.”
Brown, in his first year as Kings coach, received his championship ring from Kerr in a pregame ceremony on the court along with Sacramento assistant Leandro Barbosa, who also was part of the Warriors’ fourth title in eight years.
Brown came down the hallway from the visiting locker room and snuck up on Kerr, then they chuckled and hugged.
The 52-year-old Brown filled in for Kerr for three playoff games last spring when Golden State’s coach had COVID-19. Brown also went 11-0 guiding the Warriors through postseason games during the team’s 2017 title run while Kerr was out dealing with debilitating symptoms stemming from complications of back surgery. Kerr returned for Game 2 of the NBA Finals that year.
“Mike is brilliant. He’s just got so much energy, so much love for the game, love for his job, for his work,” Kerr said. “He brings his enthusiasm every single day and that’s what we enjoyed so much over the last five, six years, however long he was here, and he and I were really a perfect pair. He sort of covered up for my weaknesses and complemented me really well. I just loved being around him. Thrilled for him. It’s a great opportunity.”
Kings: A night after making just 15 of 26 free throws, the Kings went 20 for 25 from the line. … Sacramento started 1 for 8 on 3s and wound up 11 for 43. … Sacramento committed 46 fouls its first two games, then 29 more Sunday.
Warriors: G Donte DiVincenzo injured a hamstring and won’t travel to Phoenix. He will be re-evaluated later in the week. … The Warriors have seven 50-point quarters. The franchise record for a half is 92 points on Oct. 29, 2018, at Chicago …. F Andre Iguodala missed his third straight game to start the season as the Warriors stay cautious with his nagging left hip.
Kings: Host Memphis on Thursday.
Warriors: Visit the Suns on Tuesday.