Warriors beat Kings 94-81 in preseason home opener

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 8, 2013 at 12:51 am •  Published: October 8, 2013
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — When the Golden State Warriors signed free agent Andre Iguodala this summer, most figured that meant Harrison Barnes would be coming off the bench.

Think again.

Klay Thompson had 17 points and four rebounds playing his second straight preseason game as a reserve in Golden State's 94-81 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, while Barnes started alongside Iguodala again.

Thompson finished 8 for 17 from the field in 30 minutes. Barnes missed all four shots he took and had one rebound in 6 minutes before sitting the rest of the game with inflammation in his left foot.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said his starting lineup will shuffle throughout the preseason, which includes two exhibitions in China against the Los Angeles Lakers.

He said whatever lineup he uses in the regular-season opener Oct. 30 against Los Angeles will be a set rotation that will not fluctuate depending on matchups.

The decision will not be determined by who is the best player.

"It's what makes us the best team. It's what completes us as a team," Jackson said. "What unit's starting, which guy coming off the bench, to me, that's key.

"I don't think any team I played on, it wasn't necessarily the best five players starting. Sometimes you needed different things off the bench that completed us as a team. And I'll look at all of those things and make a decision."

The call between Barnes and Thompson is the only major one Jackson will have to make before the season. The third-year coach believes choosing between two proven players is a blessing and not a burden.

All five starters — Thompson, Barnes, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andrew Bogut — are back from a team that won 47 games last season before beating the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs and losing to the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs in six games.

Iguodala turned down Denver's offer and signed a four-year, $48 million deal with the Warriors. While Jackson didn't rule out Iguodala coming off the bench, that scenario seems unlikely given the veteran's contract and abilities.

What makes the decision difficult is that Thompson and Barnes lack experience in a reserve role.

Thompson played 37 games as a reserve during the 2011-12 season, his rookie year. He has started 122 straight games, including the playoffs. Barnes never came off the bench as a rookie last season.