The Sacramento Kings got off to a fast start, taking an 18-6 lead over the New York Knicks in front of a bustling Madison Square Garden crowd. The lead didn’t last long, as the Knicks ran the Kings over while hitting 19 three-point shots on their way to a 120-81 victory.
Notes and Analysis
- DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 25 points and nine rebounds in the blow out loss. Cousins was one of a very few Kings who looked engaged in the game at all, as the Kings laid down and embarrassed themselves. He shot 10-for-14 from the field in 33 minutes, but sat out the fourth quarter because of the score.
- Amare Stoudemire came in mid-way through the first quarter and made an instant impact, finishing with 21 points on 10-for-10 shooting in just 21 minutes.
- J.R. Smith dropped in another 25 points off the Knicks’ bench, torching the Kings for seven 3-pointers, six rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes.
- The Kings tried to double-team Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, which left sharpshooter Steve Novak open on the perimeter. The veteran wing made them pay with 15 points on 5-for-7 from behind the arc.
- Jimmer Fredette scored 14 points off the Kings bench on 6-for-8 shooting, but most of them came long after this game was decided. Thomas Robinson also added 11 points and four rebounds as the bench played heavy minutes late.
- Keith Smart started Francisco Garcia at power forward to combat the presence of Carmelo Anthony. Initially it worked, but Smart was slow to rotate Garcia out when the Knicks went to Stoudemire and it cost the Kings big time. This marked the first game this season that Jason Thompson didn’t start at the four.
- Stat of the Night: The Knicks bench outscored all 11 Kings 82-81.
- Stat of the Night II: After an 18-6 start, the Kings were outscored 114-63 by the Knicks.
Three answers to three questions pondered
1. Will another slow start plague the Kings?
The Kings got off to a perfectly fine start, but then fell asleep at the wheel. Tyreke Evans was extremely agressive early, but missed a handful of wide open lay-ups as the Kings pounded away. Cousins had eight points and six rebounds before the first quarter was over, but received very little help from his teammates.
2. Can Tyreke Evans come close to matching his performance last night against the Sixers?
Evans looked like he was primed for a big night, but never really got it going. He finished with seven points, four rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes. There has been a development over the last few games that will be interesting to watch. Smart has started posting up Evans and he has responded with a nice low post game.
3. What kind of shape will Raymond Felton be in after aggravating his fractured left pinkie yesterday against the Bucks?
Felton was a virtual non-factor in this one, finishing with seven points and eight assists in 26 minutes. The Knicks had plenty of other weapons going, so Felton took a bit of a back seat like Anthony, who finished with just nine points in 27 minutes.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.