Kings Fall Flat On HWB2, Buried By Hot-Shooting Sixers


Mar 24, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Jason Thompson (34) bobbles the ball against Philadelphia 76ers small forward Thaddeus Young (21) during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento fans, supporting Here We Buy Night 2, were ready to get into the game and stand behind their city and team. Unfortunately, watching the Kings gave them very few chances to get excited. The Kings provided an energetic start, and Tyreke Evans looked like he might single-handedly deliver victory. But in the second quarter, things came to an abrupt stop. After leading by 13, the Kings went into halftime tied with Philly, and the Sixers came out guns-a-blazing in the second half. The Kings had no answer for Philadelphia’s hot offense, and the Sixers cruised to a 117-103 victory.

DOMINATED DOWN LOW — On Saturday, DeMarcus Cousins earned top billing in this column for his gutty, physical performance in Denver. On Sunday, DMC (27 MIN, 8 PTS, 3-9 FG, 9 REB, 2 AST, 2 TO, 5 PF) was equally as bad. It was an unacceptable performance. Cousins was significantly outplayed by Spencer Hawes, a guy he should have rolled over. The Kings center spent most of the night pouting, failing to get back on defense, reaching in on guards along the perimeter and getting outmuscled on the boards. The Cousins-Hawes matchup should have been a clear advantage for Sacramento. Not so. With Cousins quiet, Philly dominated the glass (48-37), specifically the offensive end (17 offensive rebounds). Down the stretch, the Kings got stops but couldn’t secure the boards, erasing any chance of a comeback.

PHILLY GOES WILD — The Kings defense was its typical spotty self, but much of the credit for the Sixers second half explosion goes to their shooters. Every shot Philadelphia looked at was converted. Kings killer Dorell Wright was deadly from long range, and Sacramento did nothing to ensure he was bodied up. Lavoy Allen was a mid-range deadeye, and Jrue Holiday did a great job of penetrating and setting up his teammates in open spots. The Kings were buried, outscored 95-72 in the final three quarters.

REKE’S EARLY OWNAGE — Quite an impressive performance by Tyreke Evans in the early going. A night after being rendered totally useless in Denver, Evans (34 MIN, 19 PTS, 8-15 FG, 8 AST, 2 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO) bounced back by toying with Philadelphia. For much of the first quarter, Evans was an unstoppable force, scoring at will inside and even burying some jumpers to keep the Sixers honest. He was easily the best player on the floor for the Kings. Stopping Evans must have been a point of emphasis for the Sixers at halftime, although it didn’t seem like their defense changed significantly. Nonetheless, Evans hot streak ended, as he scored just five of his 19 points in the final two quarters. And that was a problem for a Kings team that could have used some easy baskets.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS — Spencer Hawes drew the ire of Kings fans for his comments regarding the team’s possible relocation. And the fans reacted by soundly booing Hawes everytime he was announced or touched the ball. A well deserved welcoming for a chronic underachiever openly rooting for a move to Seattle … Much better showing for the Kings guards, who stunk in Denver. Isaiah Thomas (29 MIN, 25 PTS, 10-15 FG, 4-7 3FG, 3 REB, 0 AST, 3 TO) and Marcus Thornton (27 MIN, 22 PTS, 9-12 FG) carried the team in the second half, providing the only hope for a comeback … Jason Thompson (27 MIN, 8 PTS, 4-10 FG, 0-2 FT, 8 REB) has been in a funk lately, and it continued against the Sixers. His finishing around the basket has been subpar; that’s an area of his game that was on point earlier this year … If you haven’t noticed, Patrick Patterson (34 MIN, 12 PTS, 5-11 FG, 2-3 3FG, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) can shoot the rock. Let’s hope he never cools off because he’s been scorching since coming to Sac. And he’s not one-dimensional: he’s active on the glass and defense.