De’Aaron Fox scores 44 as Kings clobber Warriors
De’Aaron Fox exploded for a career-high 44 points and Tyrese Haliburton easily won his rookie duel with James Wiseman on Thursday night as the Sacramento Kings thumped the visiting Golden State Warriors 141-119.
A third straight Kings win, coupled with a third consecutive Warriors defeat, allowed Sacramento to move within two games of Golden State in their bids to make the Western Conference playoff field.
Fox’s point total was one more than his previous career best, recorded on Jan. 17 against the New Orleans Pelicans. He was coming off consecutive 30-plus-point efforts, including a 37-pointer in a narrow home win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Playing against a Warriors team missing not only Stephen Curry (bruised tailbone) but also Draymond Green, who apparently had an adverse reaction to a COVID shot, the Kings seized command in the second quarter and pulled well clear in the third.
The 141-point total was 13 more than their previous season high, set Jan. 6 against the Chicago Bulls.
Fox shot 16 of 22 for the Kings, who successfully avenged a 137-106 shellacking at the hands of Golden State at San Francisco on Jan. 4.
The winner of the season series will be determined when the Northern California rivals meet one final time on April 25 in San Francisco.
Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes chipped in with 25 points to go with a game-high 11 rebounds while Haliburton had 21 points, Kyle Guy 17 and Buddy Hield 16. The Kings will aim for a fourth straight win Saturday at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 12th pick of the 2020 draft, Haliburton outscored No. 2 overall selection Wiseman 21-6.
Andrew Wiggins had 26 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for the Warriors, who were playing the first night of a back-to-back. They host the Hawks on Friday.
Kelly Oubre Jr. and rookie Nico Mannion finished with 19 points apiece for Golden State while Jordan Poole had 17 and Juan Toscano-Anderson scored 15.