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By Sam Amick, Marcus Thompson II and Hunter Patterson
The Warriors find themselves down 0-2 in a playoff series for the first time since 2007 after their 114-106 loss to the Kings in Sacramento on Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
- An already raucous Golden 1 Center erupted midway through the fourth quarter when Golden State forward Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected after stepping on Kings forward Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis first grabbed Green’s leg while down on the floor and was issued a technical foul.
- Initial X-rays on Sabonis’ ribs and lungs were negative, per a team source. He will undergo additional testing Tuesday.
- Warriors star Stephen Curry led all scorers with 28 points and moved into 18th all-time in NBA playoff scoring. He shot 9-of-21 from the field Monday, including 3-of-13 from deep.
- Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 24 points each. Malik Monk poured in 18 points off the bench.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Further discipline coming for Green?
Green had eight points on 3-of-6 shooting in 31 minutes before the ejection. As the play was reviewed by referees, an animated Green riled up the Sacramento crowd. The incident begins the flagrant point counter for Green, giving him two points, and he will be suspended for one game if he reaches four points.
Draymond Green and Domantas Sabonis get twisted up.
Green was issued a flagrant 2 (ejected) and Sabonis was issued a technical.
🎥 @BleacherReport pic.twitter.com/km7Oqy7cSI
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 18, 2023
With the Warriors in a serious hole here, we’ll wait to see if there’s any additional penalty coming Green’s way for his foot stomp of Sabonis. Coincidentally, NBA commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance.
There’s a slice of irony on this front too, as the head of all disciplinary actions in today’s NBA is former Kings executive and Pistons legend Joe Dumars, who is the league’s executive vice president, head of basketball operations. If I had to handicap it, I’d be surprised if Draymond gets suspended. But I’ve been surprised before. — Amick
What else went wrong for the Warriors
The Warriors’ offense has been bottled up by a team not at all known for defense. Golden State, through two games, is now 29-for-90 from behind the arc. The Kings are overplaying diligently on the perimeter — throwing two bodies at Curry, or running a box-and-one at him — and forcing others to create offense. The physicality and aggression of the Kings worked wonders.
The Warriors had success inside, but they aren’t keeping up with the Kings’ offense without making threes. Curry was 3-for-13 against all of Sacramento’s attention.
The Warriors have struggled on the road all season, especially in crunch time. Now their remaining chance in this series is to be dominant at home. Chase Center has been their saving grace this season. — Thompson
The Kings are a stress test for the Warriors, and the role players are failing it
What worked for Sacramento
The importance of Davion Mitchell can’t be overstated. While he totaled 14 points and three assists, his biggest impact was made defensively. Yes, Curry scored 28 points, but he also shot 3-of-13 from 3 and turned the ball over five times. Mitchell had a huge hand in making life difficult for Curry and the rest of the Warriors on Monday night in his 28 minutes.
Fox was even complimentary of Mitchell’s defensive effort on him in practice, simply saying after the Game 2 win, “He’s made me better since being here.” — Patterson
What they’re saying
Green said he was told he was ejected because he stomped too hard on Sabonis.
“My leg got grabbed. Second time in two nights. … My leg has to land somewhere,” Green said.
Kings coach Mike Brown said the incident “for sure” merited a Flagrant 2 for Green. “It’ll be interesting to see what the NBA does when they review it,” he added.
Highlights of the game
FOURTH QUARTER FOX 🦊
KINGS LEAD 107-101 WITH 1:52 TO PLAY.
📺: TNT | Game 2 | SAC Leads 1-0 pic.twitter.com/t1iGiX9144
— NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2023
HARRISON BARNES HAMMER.
ELECTRIC IN SACRAMENTO.
📺: TNT | Game 2 | SAC Leads 1-0 pic.twitter.com/Qxcx3zWqm6
— NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2023
The Warriors had 22 turnovers and 26 fouls. They were outscored 12-5 in the final 2:54 of the game.
- Kings-Warriors takeaways: Sacramento acing the test so far, Draymond stomp fallout and more
- NBA playoff results: 76ers and Kings take 2-0 leads in dramatic fashion
- Thompson: Should the Warriors take better shots or should we mortals just trust them?
- The Kings’ Malik Monk surprises the Warriors, but he didn’t surprise himself
- The 2023 NBA playoffs are alive and well. Fill out your bracket here.
(Photo: Cary Edmondson / USA Today)