SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 19 points and the undermanned Golden State Warriors made Steve Kerr a winner in his coaching debut, rolling past the Sacramento Kings 95-77 on Wednesday night.
Marreese Speights added 16 points to help the Warriors overcome the first hurdle of Kerr’s tenure. Golden State played without power forward David Lee (strained left hamstring) and reserve Brandon Rush (lower back spasms). Center Andrew Bogut also was limited to 18 minutes because of an illness.
The Warriors went ahead by 15 late in the third quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 11 rebounds but was often stuck in foul trouble, and Rudy Gay scored 14 points for Sacramento in front of an announced sellout crowd of 17,317.
The Warriors, who fired Mark Jackson as coach after a 51-win season and back-to-back playoff appearances, began a season of high expectations with a sloppy but satisfying victory.
Golden State outshot Sacramento 44 to 30.8 percent. The Warriors had 22 turnovers, but the Kings had more turnovers (27) than made field goals (24).
Both teams started so poorly — turnovers, fouls and missed shots — that fans even turned their attention elsewhere.
Many crowded around luxury suites and press row to watch the ninth inning of the World Series on television late in the second quarter. Fans even erupted when the San Francisco Giants recorded the final out to beat Kansas City 3-2 in Game 7 for their third championship in five years.
Players and coaches looked around wondering what happened until the public address announcer informed the arena of San Francisco’s win. The Kings, who led 49-47 at the half, never got the home fans so enthused.
With Cousins on the bench in foul trouble, the Warriors pulled away with a 22-4 run late in the third behind a smaller lineup featuring Draymond Green at center and Andre Iguodala at power forward.
Green, who scored 12 points, started in Lee’s place. Harrison Barnes started at small forward for Iguodala, who came in as a reserve for the first time in his 10-year career.
All of it seemed to work seamlessly for Kerr, who had family and friends in attendance for his regular-season debut on Golden State’s sideline.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, sitting next to his daughter and Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, watched the final quarter with little emotion on his face.
Warriors: The Warriors have won four of their last five season openers. … Golden State went 5-0 against the Kings last season. It was the first time the Warriors swept the Northern California series since going 5-0 against Sacramento in the 1991-92 season.
Kings: Sacramento had won 15 of its last 16 home openers, including eight straight.
The Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
The Kings welcome Portland on Friday night.
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