OAKLAND — John Salmons watched the replay repeatedly on a laptop near his locker.
He was caught between diving toward Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and covering guard Klay Thompson.
Stuck in between both, David Lee made the right pass to Thompson, who hit a three-pointer to give the Warriors an 85-83 lead with 7.5 seconds to play as the Warriors would go on to win, 87-83, on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
On a night the Kings made more defensive plays than they had in a while, they needed one more stop or a scoring play late.
They didn't get either as Tyreke Evans drive to the rim over Thompson was missed with 1.9 seconds to play.
Salmons continued to rewind the Thompson three as the locker room cleared out after the Kings' ninth loss in 11 games.
"I was guarding Klay," Salmons said. "I thought I saw Bogut open under the basket and thought they were going to pass it to him. And as soon as a I ran in to Bogut they threw it straight to Klay. I tried to contest. He hit a big shot." Thompson was scoreless in the fourth quarter until that shot and finished with a game-high 20 points.
"It was a drag screen for Steph (Curry)," Thompson said. "Lee was doing the pin down for me, he played the part well and he popped, the he found me right in the shooting pocket. All I had to do was catch and shoot." For the Kings, it was another disappointing ending after the bench led rallies in the second and fourth quarters.
The Warriors closed the first quarter on a 22-11 run to take a 28-21 lead.
It appeared the Kings were on pace to allow over 100 points again.
The Kings entered Wednesday's game allowing 115.3 points per game in their previous 12 games.
But the Kings found some defensive moxie in the second quarter.
The Kings held the Warriors to 13 points in the second quarter on 5-for-20 shooting. The effort was led by reserves Toney Douglas, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, and Marcus Thornton for the most part.
Salmons was the only start that played the entire second quarter while DeMarcus Cousins did not play at all in the quarter.
It's been a rough two-game stretch for Cousins offensively. After a season-worst 1-of-12 shooting night in Tuesday's loss to Denver, Cousins was just 2-for-10 against the Warriors with five points.
Cousins played just 1:45 of the fourth quarter against Denver before sitting out the rest of the game.
The Kings played some of their best ball without Cousins on the floor Wednesday with Jason Thompson, Hayes and Patterson playing bigger roles.
Cousins also didn't play the fourth quarter when the Kings overcame a good third quarter by the Warriors as the Kings rallied to eventually take the lead on Patterson's three pointer with 1:25 left in the game.
When asked if he was surprised that he didn't play in the fourth, he said "you can expect anything." Cousins played just 20 minutes. The only starter that played less was Isaiah Thomas at 19 minutes, because Douglas finished the game.
"I went with the group that kept us in the game," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "And we were a play away from winning the basketball game." Jason Thompson led the Kings with 17 points and eight rebounds. Patterson finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.