Although consecutive narrow defeats have extended their slump, the Golden State Warriors stand a good chance of ending their road trip on a positive note against the Sacramento Kings.
The slumping Warriors hope to avoid their sixth loss in seven games Sunday night when they try to deal the Pacific Division-worst Kings their fourth straight defeat.
Following a 103-99 loss at Dallas on Wednesday, Golden State (9-8) was on the cusp of its second win over Oklahoma City this season before Russell Westbrook's desperation 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left in overtime gave the Thunder a 113-112 victory Friday.
The Warriors had a few opportunities to secure the win after missed shots by Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka in the final sequence. Replays confirmed that Golden State knocked the ball out of bounds following Durant's miss before Thabo Sefolosha's diving save off Ibaka's attempt gave the Thunder one final try.
"It was a fortunate bounce for them," said guard Stephen Curry, who had 32 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and hit four 3-pointers. "A lot of good things happened for them in that possession. It's frustrating for us."
Curry has done all he can to change the team's fortunes, totaling 61 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists and hitting 10 of 20 from beyond the arc in his last two games. He had 22 points, five 3s and 12 assists in a 98-87 home win over Sacramento on Nov. 2.
Backcourt mate Klay Thompson led the way with 27 points in that win, though he's looking to find his stroke after scoring 36 on 10-of-35 shooting in his last two games.
Golden State, tops in the league in 3-point shooting at 42.8 percent, made 11 of 27 from beyond the arc while holding the Kings (4-10) to a season-worst 34.5 field-goal percentage.
The Warriors, however, haven't been as strong defensively during their recent slide. Since allowing 100 points only three times during an 8-3 start, they've given up at least that many in five consecutive contests.
It hasn't helped that Golden State is missing the strong defense of Andre Iguodala, who has sat out the last four games with a left hamstring strain. Harrison Barnes filled in nicely on offense Friday with a career-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, but his frontcourt presence didn't do much to slow Durant and Ibaka, who combined for 43 points.
The Warriors might be able to tighten things up against Sacramento, which is third from the bottom in the Western Conference with 95.9 points per game and a 42.8 field-goal percentage.
Despite getting 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists from DeMarcus Cousins on Friday, the Kings dropped their third straight in a 104-98 overtime loss to the Chris Paul-less Los Angeles Clippers in Sacramento.
Although Cousins has averaged 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds on his last three trips to Golden State, he's put up 21.8 and 13.5 over his last four home meetings.
Derrick Williams, acquired from Minnesota on Tuesday, started in his Kings debut Friday, finishing with 12 points and six rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes.
"I think things are going to come out pretty good for us," said point guard Greivis Vasquez, who had 11 points. "We just have to keep being positive and stay together."
The Kings have won eight of 11 against the Warriors in Sacramento, but have dropped six of eight home games overall.