What we learned as Kings secure emotional Game 2 win vs. Warriors


SACRAMENTO -- The Kings are undefeated in the playoffs at Golden 1 Center.

Two days after defeating the reigning NBA champion Warriors in Game 1 of their first-round series, the Kings defended home court yet again Monday night with a resounding 114-106 victory.

Sacramento won Game 1 behind historic playoff debuts from college teammates De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. In Game 2, Monk yet again inspired the Kings through the first three quarters, capped by Fox, the NBA’s best clutch player this season, closing it out in crunch time.

So far, that’s been the winning formula, and Sacramento now owns a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Here are three observations from the Kings’ victory over the Warriors:

Playoff Malik

Kings sixth man Malik Monk was built for the playoffs.

There were strange vibes floating around Golden 1 Center after the first quarter. The Kings trailed by six points, committed nine turnovers and missed their first 11 3-point attempts of the game.

And then Monk attempted his first shot from the field. It was a beauty.

That shot ignited Sacramento into a 23-9 run to start the second quarter and retake the lead, a stretch in which Monk and backup center Alex Len were responsible for the first 13 points.

Monk splashed another two triples before the second quarter was finished. Gone were the strange vibes from the first quarter. The best home crowd in basketball was back on its feet.

The Monk influence was at its height in the second quarter, but it continued throughout the game with several breathtaking finishes at the rim. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, six rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Reckless Warriors

The Kings fully took advantage of the Warriors' carelessness with the basketball.

In Game 1, the Kings turned 15 Warriors turnovers into 16 points. In Game 2, the Kings scored their first eight points off Warriors turnovers, and matched those 16 points from Saturday night by halftime.

Three Kings -- Harrison Barnes (four), Fox (three) and Davion Mitchell (two) -- tallied multiple steals.

When all was said and done and the beam was lit, Sacramento scored 25 points off Golden State’s 22 turnovers.

Wild scene in the fourth

With about seven minutes to play and the Kings leading by four points, Sabonis tumbled to the ground while trying to grab a rebound off a Monk missed floater.

As Sabonis lay on the hardwood, his arms were tangled up with Warriors forward Draymond Green’s right foot. Green stomped his foot directly on Sabonis’ chest.

Sabonis laid on the ground for about five minutes while Green motioned toward the crowd shouting his name. 

Sabonis was given a technical foul for grabbing Green’s leg, and Green was handed a Flagrant 2 foul and an ejection.

It was an odd moment in an otherwise fantastic night for Sabonis, who rallied from a rough Game 1. He notched 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes.

The Kings’ All-Star center rose to the challenge in Game 2.

Contact Us