Cousins-less Kings Can’t Hang with Savvy Spurs


In a game without DeMarcus Cousins, the Sacramento Kings (9-7) needed an all but perfect performance to take a victory from the San Antonio Spurs (11-4). The Spurs wouldn’t let that happen, though, as they would prevail 112-104. While Sacramento’s offense was up to the task, 50% shooting, their defense wouldn’t allow it, giving up 51% shooting and 12 three-pointers.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 27 points and eight assists while a stellar performance from Rudy Gay (23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) wouldn’t be enough for the win. Ryan Hollins, starting in Cousins’ place, finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

The shorthanded Kings got an offensive surprise from Hollins who put up eight points and four rebounds in his first nine minutes of play. The Spurs and turnover-prone Kings traded leads through the first quarter and it was ultimately the Spurs taking advantage of six Kings turnovers to end the first with a 26-22 lead. It was all Tony Parker abusing the Kings point guards for 11 points, including a 35-foot three pointer to end the period.

Derrick Williams, who entered the game late in the first did what he’s been doing lately and started the quarter off hot, hitting a three-pointer and making a pair of free throws in the first minute to bring the Kings within two. Hollins would re-enter the game for Williams, however, in the next minute.

The Spurs would stretch the lead to 10 as the Kings continued to give the ball away. Gay would take matters into his own hands with back-to-back buckets for Sac with four minutes left in the second. The Spurs would stretch that lead to 61-51 by half.

Adding to the turnover differential, nine Kings to only four Spurs, the Spurs knocked down 8 of 14 threes, while the Kings only made 1 of 3.
Hollins’ 13 points and Gay’s 11 points led the Kings while Parker had 15 points and four assists at half. 11 Spurs played and nine players scored for them in the half.

The Spurs extended the lead to 15 in the third quarter, taking advantage of a lackluster defense. Parker continued to get whatever he wanted from the Sacramento defense and had 21 points with less than four minutes to play in the period. The Kings were able to chip the lead down to eight by the end of the period as they headed to the fourth quarter down 88-80.

Defense was a foreign language through three quarters with both teams shooting 55%.

In the end it would be the Spurs and their fundamental teamwork that would put the game away. A 12-6 run to start the period would set the Spurs up with a 12-point lead and allow them to pretty much coast to the finish line. Precision passing and open looks would keep the Kings from getting back into the game as San Antonio left the Kings with a 2-2 road trip.

The Kings head back home for a Sunday game against the Memphis Grizzlies.


Before the game, the NBA made its official ruling, denying the Kings protest from the previous Grizzlies showdown.