Just think: In a month, the NBA season will be over and you’ll be yearning for Sacramento Kings basketball.
It was hard to have that mindset Friday night in Oklahoma City. Playing without Isaiah Thomas (quad) and Derrick Williams (illness), the Kings were ravaged by the playoff-bound Thunder in a game that provided very few areas of encouragement for Sacramento. OKC rolled to a 94-81 victory, only made that close by some garbage time scoring.
DeMarcus Cousins’ foul trouble and 32-percent shooting had the Kings in a 16-point hole at halftime. The absence of Isaiah was clearly felt by a stagnant, unorganized offense, and even with Ray McCallum playing aggressively at the point, Sacramento struggled to get going.
Things continued on a downward spiral in the second half. The Kings had no luck finding the basket while team defense became an afterthought. Oklahoma City started an in-game layup line, outscoring the Kings 28-13 in a third quarter that turned the game into a runaway.
Individually, it was hard to find many positives, but there were a couple. Ben McLemore’s shooting line looks awful (5-for-16), but it is encouraging to see the rookie far more aggressive off the dribble. The production isn’t there, but McLemore is showing a willingness to take the ball to the basket, rather than continually throw up contested jumpers. That said, McLemore hit a respectable 3-of-7 from downtown.
Travis Outlaw continued his recent tear, providing the lone source of reliable offense for the Kings. Outlaw came off the bench to score 17 points and connected on five triples, giving him 10 long-balls over his past four games. The vet has really provided a lift on a Kings team that is desperate for offensive production.
With the loss, the Kings dropped to 25-47 with 10 games remaining. Next up is a date in Dallas on Saturday against the Mavs.
Tags: Sacramento Kings