The San Antonio Spurs are coming off of an impressive 129-100 win over the Golden State Warriors on NBA’s opening night. They now continue their road trip Thursday as they visit the Sacramento Kings.
Hoping to continue their momentum left from Oracle Arena, the Spurs continue their road trip as they head into Sacramento’s new arena hoping to spoil another teams debut.
Kawhi Leonard set a career-high with 35 points on Tuesday as he helped lead a San Antonio team over the NBA’s favorite to win a championship, the Warriors. The Spurs did not shake the fact that they were stabbed in the back by Kevin Durant as he chose to join Golden State over them, but as they showed, they did not hold a grudge, they just went out and played San Antonio basketball.
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There were a lot of storylines coming out of the game. How would the Spurs perform without Tim Duncan? How will the team gel with their new additions?
With what the Spurs did against the Warriors was an all out team effort. From Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to the sudden stardom of Jonathon Simmons, this San Antonio team looked in mid-season form.
Without Duncan, San Antonio hardly missed a beat in its opener. The Spurs outrebounded Golden State 55-35.
They also seemed to have no issues finding replacements, running up a 54-16 advantage with their reserves.
Simmons electrified the Spurs as he finished with a career-high 20 points in 28 minutes of play-displaying his athletic ability that proved to be enough to distract the Warriors.
The fans in Sacramento will be rowdy as they help in welcoming the opening of the teams new arena. Sacramento’s $557 million arena seats 17,500 and lies in the city’s downtown area.
Sacramento finished 18-23 in its final season at Sleep Train Arena and hasn’t been above .500 at home since the 2007-08 season. So, a win against the Spurs would help punctuate their night with the opening of the Golden 1 Center.
The Kings themselves are coming off of a win of their own on opening night against the Phoenix Suns.
They stirred up a 113-94 win behind center DeMarcus Cousins 24 points. Cousins also got a much needed hand from forward Rudy Gay who scored 22 including four blocked shots.
Sacramento is coming off of a season where they allowed an NBA-worst 109.1 points per game a season ago. Though it was just one game, they did hold the Suns to just 38 in the first half.
Heading into their game against the Spurs, they will indeed need to find their defensive ways sooner rather than later.
The Spurs won 13 times in their past 14 visits to Sacramento-all with Duncan.