"At some point it'll definitely be both of us in the playoffs. It may happen this year, they're right there, maybe not. We'll see, but it's coming soon. As far as a rivalry, man, they're talented. I think rivalry, no disrespect to them, but the other team got to win some games before it can really be a rivalry. But I have no doubt in my mind that that team is going to win a lot of games coming up here soon. Maybe not this year, who knows? But they're putting it together, they're doing a damn good job."
Kevin Durant added the Warriors "deserved to lose" to Sacramento all four times the teams played this season.
"I said it before the game, every time we play them it's high energy and it's beautiful basketball," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "They are tough to guard. They put a lot of pressure on you, so who knows what is going to happen down the stretch? A lot of really good teams battling for the playoffs, but they are really good."
Even though the Warriors did sweep the regular-season series against the Kings, the combined margin of victory was 12 points, and no game was decided by more than five points.
Stephen Curry drew comparisons between the 2018-19 Kings and where the Warriors were at as they steadily moved up the Western Conference standings before finally winning a title in 2014-15.
"They're all learning experiences," Curry said. "The top teams—for us I think it was the Lakers, my rookie year, that '09-10 championship team that we wanted to get up for every game. And we'd always play our best, but I think that year it never worked out in our favor, so just one of those games where you're excited to play."
This season has already been a huge step forward for the Kings. Their 30-28 record is the latest into a season they've been over .500 since 2005-06 (44-38), which was the last time they made the playoffs.
Sacramento's roster has players like Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, all with less than three full seasons of experience to build around.
Even if the Kings don't get over the playoff hump this season—they are currently ninth in the Western Conference standings—their future looks bright for the first time since Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic were leading the team.