OAKLAND -- 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 victory 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 just 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."
On top of that, point guard Stephen Curry had it going offensively. He knocked down five 3-pointers, finishing with 22 points -- which matched the combined total of Sacramento's starting lineup.
"Great, great shooters," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "That's who they are and it's amazing. These guys put a lot of time into it. They have an incredible gift, and it's a beautiful thing. I'm very fortunate to have a front-row seat watching those two guys shoot the basketball."
When Thompson has it going, the Warriors are so much more difficult to defend. He penalizes opponents for paying too much attention to Curry. He spreads the floor, giving David Lee and Andre Iguodala room to roam.
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.
Golden State is now 11-2 in games in which Thompson scores 27 or more.
On the other end of the court, the Warriors shut down the Kings. Their defense held Sacramento to 34.5 percent shooting. Sacramento's point guard tandem of Greivis Vasquez and reserve Isaiah Thomas combined to shoot 3 of 17 from the field.
The Warriors' Andrew Bogut took DeMarcus Cousins out of his game, limiting the Kings' talented young center to eight points on 3-of-8 shooting with seven rebounds. On offense, Bogut went at Cousins. On defense, he responded to the bruising big man with physicality, prompting frustration from Cousins.
But Kings coach Michael Malone, who spent the previous two seasons as Jackson's top assistant, wasn't mad after the game at Sacramento's poor shooting.
"I don't think it had anything to do with missing shots," Malone said in his passionate postgame remarks. "Our energy, the fact that we were not ready to play, is what set the tone the whole night. ... They came out the first two possessions and posted up Andrew Bogut. He got layups at the rim. No resistance. No fight. No pride. ... We don't have the greatest talent in the NBA."
Golden State led by 20 at the half. But the Kings made a run to get back in it 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 it was Thompson who 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 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, who beat the Warriors three times last season, were done and Golden State was well on its way to 2-1.
"It was nice for us to follow through and get a good convincing victory at home," Lee said after totaling 15 points and 11 rebounds. "It was especially important because we're about to go on the road."
"He understands that he has to be better," Jackson said. "He understands that if we are going to achieve our vision, he's got to take care of the basketball. That's unacceptable."
"He's doing more and more," Jackson said. "He's getting closer so now it's about him getting into game shape."
Golden State will spend this week at Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Antonio and Memphis. The Warriors will have days off after the 76ers and Timberwolves games, which will be Barnes' next chances to practice and get ready for game action.
Warriors (2-1) at Philadelphia (3-0), 4 p.m. CSNBA