The Sacramento Kings were eager to get back on the court after a demoralizing loss to Orlando – and boy did they get to play, all right. Almost all night.
John Salmons hit a 17-footer with 1.6 seconds remaining in the third overtime and the Kings held on to beat the injury-depleted Golden State Warriors 135-133 on Wednesday night, ending a 12-game road losing streak dating to Nov. 19 at New Orleans.
Salmons finished with 25 points, a career-best 14 rebounds and seven assists for Sacramento, which earned consecutive victories against the Warriors for the first time since taking 15 in a row in the series from 2000-03.
“It’s just good to get a win, period – road or home,” Salmons said. “We’re just trying to get wins and hopefully this can help us for the rest of the season. … I just knew time was running and I was trying to get it off.”
Kelenna Azubuike’s long three-pointer at the final buzzer went in and out after Golden State missed several key chances in the final minute.
Brad Miller had a season-high 30 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for Sacramento, but was whistled for a technical with 2:17 remaining in the initial OT that could have been costly. Azubuike made that free throw plus two more for Francisco Garcia’s foul that came moments before Miller mouthed off. But Garcia answered with his second straight three on the other end.
The Kings bounced back from a tough loss to Orlando a night earlier in which the Magic hit an NBA-record 23 three-pointers in a 139-107 victory at Arco Arena, Sacramento’s sixth defeat in seven games.
It was the Warriors’ first triple-overtime game since a 115-109 victory over New Orleans on Nov. 23, 2004. Sacramento had a pair of double-overtime games last season but hadn’t gone to triple-OT since beating Toronto 119-118 on Feb. 23, 2001 – and this was just the Kings’ second triple-OT game since 1959. This marked the first between these two teams. Golden State beat Sacramento 148-136 victory in double-OT on March 31, 1992.
Jamal Crawford scored the first four points in the first overtime on the way to 35 points after missing the potential winner at the end of regulation. Crawford also stripped Kevin Martin as he attempted a final shot to end the first extra period.
“Tiring to say the least,” Crawford said. “At times you can push through but there’s moments where you get winded and you have to play smart. You’re not thinking you just played 60 minutes. You’re liked, ‘Normally I would make this shot, so I’m going to take it.’ But it obviously catches up with you at the end.”
C.J. Watson hit three straight jumpers to give Golden State the lead midway through the fourth quarter after the Warriors had trailed by as many as 14 in the second half and he wound up with a career-high 26 points and six assists for Golden State.
After snapping a five-game losing streak with a 120-117 victory over Indiana on Sunday night, the Warriors but failed to win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 8 and 10 – much to the disappointment of those among the 19,122 fans who stuck around until the end.
“It was a fun game. The only reason it was fun was because we won,” Martin said. “Both teams played pretty well going into three overtimes.”
Each team had six players score in double figures and there were 125 combined rebounds, 65 by Sacramento.
The Warriors shot 25-for-41 from the free-throw line – Corey Maggette went 4-of-12 – to 35-of-36 for the Kings.
“The free throw did us in tonight. It was them making them and us missing them,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “It was also our inability getting loose balls. We were there, we just didn’t come up with any. There were a lot of good things and a lot of mistakes.”
The Kings were anxious for another chance after what happened against the Magic, who made 23 of 37 three-point attempts (62 per cent) in breaking the old mark of 21, set by Toronto on March 13, 2005, against Philadelphia.
Interim coach Kenny Natt called on his team to give more “effort and determination” on the defensive end and not give away easy shots.
“That’s just mental laziness,” Natt said.
Golden State had won 12 of the last 17 with the Kings at home. Sacramento won the first of the teams’ four meetings this season, 115-98 on Nov. 9 and has scored 100 or more points in its past four games.
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof spent $7,200 on four courtside tickets that go for $1,800 apiece.
Notes: Miller had his 11th double-double. … Golden State took three of the four meetings with Sacramento last season. … Warriors captain Stephen Jackson missed his fourth straight game with a strained hamstring, G Marco Belinelli will be sidelined at least 10 days with a sprained right ankle suffered late in the game against Indiana and the Warriors are still waiting for G Monta Ellis to play for the first time this season. He is recovering from an off-season ankle injury but went through a full practice Tuesday. He severely sprained his left ankle while crashing a motorized scooter in August, about one month after he signed a six-year, $66 million contract extension to stay with the Warriors. The team suspended Ellis without pay for 30 games because he violated his contract by riding the scooter. The suspension expired last month. … Crawford reached 3,000 field goals for his career in the second quarter.