Scott Levin, everybody’s favorite game recapper will be out of commission for a couple games this week so you’re stuck with my grumpy ass, which should thrill you beyond your means. And of course, wouldn’t you know it – the day Scott doesn’t do one of his fantastic recap’s, the Kings win – and do so in a heart pumping fashion. Of course he’d have to miss this one.
Coming in on a five game losing streak, the Sacramento Kings let out some of their frustrations on the Dub’s en route to their 131-127 victory. It was an offensive outburst from the start as the Kings shredded the Warriors sub-par (and at times downright pitiful) defense, going into the half with 66 points and finishing the third quarter with 99 (yes, 99!!!!!!). The Kings kept their foot on the gas during the fourth, maintaining their double digit lead until a blitzkrieg of a Warriors run closed the gap mid-way through the quarter. The two sides delivered body punch after body punch to the opposing side, the Warriors capping their run by taking a late lead but the Kings refused to die. Multiple big shots from both Aaron Brooks (who had his best game as a King, at least numbers wise) and Marcus Thornton (who returned after his multiple game hiatus) late let the Kings pull away as they iced the game at the free throw line, sending the Warriors back to the Bay with only their second loss in their last eight games.
Offensive Juggernaut, Sorta – The Kings certainly had no issues getting the ball in the bucket tonight as evidenced by their season high in regulation points, however, as much as I’d like to credit them, the vast majority of the efficient offense was due to the Warriors lack of defense. The Kings were absolutely deadly from the arc, dropping in 11 of 19 for a 57.9 clip – nearly as impressive as their 50% for the game. In addition to the high point totals and solid shooting, the ball movement was as crisp as we’ve seen in recent weeks as was the ball control. The Kings had averaged just as many assists as turnovers in their past five games (16.4 assists, 16 turnovers), but tonight was a much better effort as the Kings handed out 25 assists while only coughing it up 9 times. The lack of pressure certainly helped as did the fast paced action, but it was still a worthy effort.
Battle Of The Guards – There was no Tyreke Evans tonight so the extra minutes were distributed between Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas – all of whom took advantage. As mentioned earlier, Brooks was fantastic as he put up 23 points on only 12 shots and limited his turnovers to just one while handing out five assists. It was also Brooks who hit one of the biggest shots of the night, though a late blunder on defense could’ve cost the Kings the game but thankfully they recovered and were no worse for the wear. Isaiah Thomas also played well in his time, though it was irritatingly limited given his high quality effort. Thomas kept the Kings charging after they lost their lead in the fourth, but an ill-timed substitution by Keith Smart resulted in Thomas getting yanked for Brooks which did indeed work out, much to the chagrin of King fans who were quite perplexed by the decision initially. Still, it was one of the most impressive nights of the season for the Kings’ backcourt, at least offensively.
The victory pulled the Kings to within two and a half of the Phoenix Suns for the Pacific Division cellar and will hopefully will give the Kings some mild momentum as they head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers and Lob City this Friday.