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The Warriors cruise to win Game 3 against the Kings without Draymond Green

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The Golden State Warriors aren’t done yet.

With Draymond Green suspended and back on the wall in their first round series against the Sacramento Kings, the Warriors cruised to a 114-97 win in Game 3 to avoid a 0-3 hole. Now that they’re down 2-1, they’ll play a pivotal Game 4 on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) in San Francisco.

It was a wire win for Golden State, who never held back a double-digit lead late in the second quarter. The Kings never advanced less than 7 points after that.

Green’s controversial comment due to Dos Domantas Sabonis loomed large going into the game, as the defending champions lost their defensive leader against the NBA’s leader in offensive efficiency this season. After allowing 126 and 114 points in Games 1 and 2, respectively, the Warriors defense held the Kings to 38% (23.9% from depth) with 15 turnovers.

“Yesterday, in practice, we really had a good energy to understand what the mission was, to understand that we couldn’t change anything about a decision that we knew was wrong,” Warriors star Stephen Curry he said on “Inside the NBA” after the game. “But if we can go out and win tonight, that changes the momentum of the series. It gives us a chance to make it about basketball. … When Sunday comes back, we should take advantage of that and try to win and even go up the series. We did what we were supposed to.” we do.

“They say Draymond has a history. So do we.”

Warriors make adjustments in Game 3

The Warriors started Jordan Paul in place of Green, but the players who had to step up were Musa Moody and Jonathan Cuminga. Both saw minutes increase in Green’s absence and slim down, compiling 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting with 5 rebounds.

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Curry unsurprisingly led the way on offense, finishing with 36 points on 12-of-25 (6-of-12 from deep), while Kevon Looney showed his worth with 20 rebounds and 9 assists.

This was the opportunity of the kings to push the warriors to the edge of the abyss. After a near perfect start to the series in Sacramento, the team now faces the prospect of a Game 4 with Green playing in the bustling Chase center. They still have the home court advantage, which is no small feat given the Warriors’ home road bizarre divisions, but chances like Thursday are the kind you don’t want to squander when you’re trying to climb into the NBA elite.

They can only hope they don’t end up regretting it.

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