SAN FRANCISCO — The Sacramento Kings set a an NBA season high with 29 turnovers but still managed to overwhelm the Golden State Warriors 100-79 on Sunday night. The two teams combined for 50 turnovers and countless mental errors leaving both players and coaches on both sides searching for answers.
“We made a million mistakes ourselves,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I’ve never seen a box score like this where we forced 29 turnovers and lost by 21 points. It’s almost impossible to do that. It shows you how poorly we played. Our decision-making was awful. One turnover after another, and then defensively we went under screens on great shooters. All kinds of mistakes. Very little communication. It was an embarrassing loss tonight.”
After losing to the lowly New York Knicks at home on Friday night, Kings coach Luke Walton was just happy to walk out of Chase Center with a victory.
The amount of turnovers gave the first-year coach some pause. The Kings’ 29 turnovers were the most by any NBA team in a win since 2004, according to ESPN Stats and Information. It was the most turnovers by the Kings in any game since 1996 — and the most turnovers they’ve had in a win since 1984 when the team was still based in Kansas City.
“We had an early lead and we got casual again,” Walton said of all the turnovers. And in this league you get casual and teams are going to make you pay. So I’ll go back and watch the tape, but my guess is a lot of those turnovers were just us being lazy with the ball or not going to attack the basket.”
Kings big man Marvin Bagley had to chuckle when asked if he had ever seen a game in which a team turnover the ball over that many times and still won by more than 20.
“Probably in high school, but I don’t remember,” Bagley said. “But we can’t do that, we can’t have that many turnovers and expect to win multiple games. That’s something we work on and I think we’ll be all right, we just got to go watch film and make better decisions.”
Kings swingman Buddy Hield didn’t seem concerned with all the lapses, pointing out that his tea actually shot very well from the floor. The Kings finished the game shooting 60.3 percent from the field and had 27 assists.
“Just basketball, man,” Hield said. “Sometimes teams miss shots, [they] turn it over and get another chance. We shot the ball well tonight so that made up for our mistakes on the offensive end turning over the ball.”
The Warriors performance was so bad that it left the group’s emotional leader, Draymond Green, trying to find the right words to explain how poorly his group played.
“Their turnovers should help,” Green said. “I’ve actually never seen — what did they finish with 27 turnovers?”
When told the Kings finished with 29 turnovers, Green couldn’t really believe it.
“We lost by 20,” Green said. “I ain’t never seen that s— before. … We sucked. In every way shape and form.”
The Warriors 79 points were the least ever scored in a home game during the Kerr era. The team, which has been riddled with injuries all season, continues to play without Stephen Curry (broken hand) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) but those absences don’t give Green much solace. The proud veteran leader appeared as outwardly frustrated as he’s been all year.
“Inconsistency,” Green said of his team’s struggles. “It’s frustrating. There’s not really many other ways to put it … it’s tough. It’s really tough.”
As the Warriors continue looking for answers, the Kings remain hopeful that their best basketball is ahead. The organization is hoping to get injured guard De’Aaron Fox back at some point this week, possibly as early as Tuesday when they travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets. Fox has been out since suffering a grade three left ankle sprain in a Nov. 11th practice.
Hield couldn’t hide his excitement when asked about the different looks he’ll get whenever Fox returns to the floor.
“His speed’s ridiculous,” Hield said. “He’s a special talent. I’m the perfect fit to run with him and play with him so, yeah [I’m looking forward to his return.]
“His speed’s ridiculous. He’s a special talent. I’m the perfect fit to run with him and play with him so, yeah.