The Warriors' vaunted starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combined for 40 points on 17-for-28 shooting with 14 assists in Golden State's 107-96 exhibition-opening win over the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. But the bigger revelation Saturday was the play of second-year big man Ekpe Udoh.

Udoh finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes, but the numbers didn't reveal his activity, his presence inside. Having Ellis and Curry dominate is nothing new. But an effective Udoh, that's a big deal for coach Mark Jackson and the Warriors.

"This is what I wanted to see in the first half," Jackson said. "You could make the case he was the best player on the floor."

Before you pencil Udoh into the starting lineup, know that he wasn't impressed by his performance.

"Four rebounds is bad," Udoh said while studying the stat sheet. "Three turnovers and one assist, that's not real good. I lacked focus in the second half, a loss of concentration."

Udoh played 16 minutes after halftime. He scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting with two rebounds and three turnovers. Jackson said Udoh "took his foot off the gas pedal" in the second half. He said he needs Udoh to bring it for 48 minutes.

"I told him he can choose goodness or greatness," Jackson said. "If you want to choose goodness, you're awfully close."


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Jackson implored Udoh to be more aggressive offensively. He wants Udoh to take the midrange jumper, to take his time in the paint and make a strong move. Udoh wound up taking nine shots in his first 20 minutes of action.

He dropped in a hook shot midway through the first quarter. Late in the third, he dropped in another hook, this time on the run. Even when his shots weren't falling, he kept taking them, a positive sign for a guy who shot 43.7 percent his rookie season.

If Saturday's game was a precursor, Udoh will have a window.

Starting center Andris Biedrins totaled two points, five rebounds and five fouls in 16 minutes. And center Kwame Brown, who's had just two practices since signing with the Warriors on Wednesday, didn't play because Jackson is holding him out until he gets in better shape.

"(Brown) wants to play. It has nothing to do with him," Jackson said. "It's me, putting my foot on the brakes, making sure he's ready and right. ... He's been working extremely hard."

  • According to a team source, the Warriors are in the process of trading power forward Lou Amundson to the Indiana Pacers for swingman Brandon Rush. Amundson did not dress for Saturday's game.

  • The Warriors' Klay Thompson refused to back away from the prediction he'd win NBA Rookie of the Year. But his debut was no doubt affected by some jitters. Thompson finished with nine points on 4-for-10 shooting, racking up five fouls in 16 minutes.

    Known for his shooting, he missed five of his first six shots, including an open 3-pointer. But he did show flashes of the offensive skills that got him selected No. 11 overall in June. He dropped in a runner off one foot in the first quarter, and late in the third he used his 6-foot-7 length to get to the basket for a finger roll on a three-point play.

    "He's got to be more patient," Jackson said. "He's a young fella. He's going to make some mistakes. ... But he's going to play a lot."

  • Keith Smart, now an assistant coach with Sacramento, made his first appearance in Oracle Arena since the Warriors decided not to renew his contract in April. If anyone thought Smart would be bitter about the brevity of his stint as head coach of the Warriors, they clearly don't know Smart.

    "After all of these months, he still thanks me for the opportunity to coach a season in the NBA," general manager Larry Riley said. "It speaks volumes for him that he didn't let this destroy him. He's not that way. He's proven that when you're looking at candidates for a head job, he's one you should be looking at."

    Smart, who took over just before training camp last season after Don Nelson was fired, led the Warriors to a 36-46 record -- a 10-win improvement. But Lacob and Riley decided to head in a new direction.

    "I felt like I did a pretty good job," said Smart, who spent seven years as an assistant with the Warriors before getting his shot. "I worked with what I had, and we got results."

    Working with the Kings allowed Smart to accomplish two things: stay in the league and not uproot his family, which is still based in the Bay Area.

  • Point guard Ish Smith joined the Warriors on Saturday afternoon. Yet to practice since the Warriors claimed him off waivers Friday, Smith wasn't available to play. But he said he's ready to hit the ground running, having gone through training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies before being waived Wednesday.

    Smith, a speedy second-year guard out of Wake Forest, is the third point guard on Golden State's roster. Jackson said Smith would make for a good change-of-pace guard.

  • The Kings were without three starters: big man DeMarcus Cousins (sprained right ankle), small forward John Salmons (right thigh) and center Chuck Hayes (heart abnormality).