OAKLAND, Calif. -- This is the Klay Thompson the Warriors need. The relentless scorer who attacks defenses from multiple angles, wielding his lethal outside shot.
That's who Golden State got in Saturday night's 98-87 win over the Sacramento Kings. He had a game-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
It was a far cry from the Thompson who left his gun in the holster in Thursday's loss at the Los Angeles Clippers, totaling 10 points on seven shots.
"Yeah, that's inexcusable to take only seven shots," Thompson said after Saturday's shootaround. "At least get up 10. I'm out there to be a threat, and I'm not that much of a threat if I'm only taken seven shots."
Against the Clippers, Thompson didn't take his first shot until the 5:04 mark of the second quarter. By that point against the Kings, Thompson had taken seven shots. And the difference it made was tangible.
Point guard Stephen Curry had 22 points and 12 assists. Forward David Lee finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Bogut got the best of the Kings' young talented center, DeMarcus Cousins, and Golden State's defense bottled up Sacramento's offense.
But the Warriors looked especially dynamic because Thompson was aggressive offensively. He took advantage of mismatches against the smaller Sacramento guards. He made the Kings pay for losing sight of him in the half-court set, and he looked for his shot in transition.
When Thompson has it going, the Warriors are so much more difficult to defend.
Saturday, he worked his way inside-out. In the first quarter, after missing his first two jumpers, Thompson got on the board with a driving finger roll. He followed that by getting to the line for two free throws. He got fast-break layup in the final minute of the first quarter.
His next two shots were mid-range jumpers, taking advantage of the Kings' 5-foot-11 Isaiah Thomas on him. At that point, it was clear Thompson had warmed up. His 3-pointer capped a 15-2 Warriors run that put them up 49-28.
Golden State led 56-36 at the half after getting 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from Thompson.
The Kings made a run to get back in the game early in the second half. A fast-break layup by Sacramento's Marcus Thornton cut the Warriors' advantage to 56-44 with just under 10 minutes left in the third.
But Thompson sparked a Warriors' rally with back-to-back 3-pointers. Bogut kept Oracle Arena rocking by spinning off Cousins and dunking home a lob from Andre Iguodala.
Curry capped the 15-0 run by setting up an Iguodala dunk and drilling a 3-pointer. The Warriors led 71-44 at the 7:12 mark of the third.
The Kings were done and Golden State was well on its way to 2-1.
"I just have to find ways to score when the offense isn't called for me," Thompson said. "That's what the greats do. I'm still learning. If I get seven shots and we win, that's a different story. But if I get seven shots and we lose, that means I wasn't being aggressive."
-- Curry finished with seven turnovers in 32 minutes. That gives him 18 turnovers his last two games.
This is the second time in Curry's NBA career that he's had at least seven turnovers in consecutive games. The record is four straight games, set by Jrue Holiday. Right behind him with a streak of three games: Monta Ellis.
-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson said it's possible Harrison Barnes (left toe inflammation) could make his season debut on the upcoming road trip. Barnes participated in Saturday's shootaround but still sat out his third consecutive game.
"He's doing more and more," Jackson said. "He's getting up and down the floor. He's getting closer so now it's about him getting into game shape. But it's certainly a bright spot seeing him on the floor in uniform."
Golden State will spend this week at Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Antonio and Memphis. They'll have days off after the 76ers and Timberwolves games, which will be Barnes' next chances to practice and get ready for game action.
-- Jermaine O'Neal missed Saturday's game with a right foot contusion. With no O'Neal, Jackson used Lee and Marreese Speights as backup centers.
(c)2013 Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.contracostatimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services