SACRAMENTO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Saturday night put a completely different spin on his most frequently debated rotation pattern.
Stephen Curry started the fourth quarter and also finished it — without a breather.
It paid off. Curry poured in 20 of the Warriors’ 31 points in the quarter, lifting them to a 127-123 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
“We talked about it, but didn’t feel like we could do it,” Kerr said. “We started playing in the fourth quarter, which we haven’t been doing. We just felt like we needed to do something a little different with the way the game was going. We were planning on getting Steph out in the middle of the quarter, but the way it went, we just said, ‘We’ve got tomorrow off.’
“It’s not something I’d like to do every night, that’s for sure.”
It’s the first time Curry played all 12 minutes of any quarter since Dec. 10 against the Timberwolves, when he went the entire first quarter.
Kerr’s pattern over the past four weeks has been to rest Curry for roughly three minutes of each quarter. Because it’s a departure from years past — when he played the entire first and third quarters, resting at the start of the second and fourth — some observers have questioned its wisdom.
There is nothing to question this time, especially with such a tight game, which Kerr conceded was an influential factor.
“We’ve lost a couple games the last week in the final seconds with Portland and Houston,” Kerr said. “I felt like we needed this win, and I was real proud of our guys for their effort in the fourth quarter.”
The Warriors, trailing 103-96 after three quarters, outscored the Kings 31-20 in the fourth.