CK Press Box Report: Kings 103, Cavaliers 84

By James Ham and Rui Thomas

DMCdriving_Cavs

Without their king, the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-19) fell into anarchy. The Sacramento Kings (16-21) took advantage of their troubled opponent, sans LeBron James (knee/back) by the final score, 103-84.

“I thought we did a great job for 48 minutes tonight, especially in that second half after we didn’t play a great second half the other night (against the Denver Nuggets),” Tyrone Corbin told the media after the game. “We came out focused and handled our business in the third quarter.”

The Kings offense operated like clockwork. They shot 48.8 percent from the field, and scored 40 points in the paint, 10 more than the Cavaliers. Sacramento valued the ball like a newborn child, committing only one turnover in the first half and finishing with five. The Kings dished 20 assists and moved the ball selflessly.

“We moved the ball well today, Rudy Gay stated. “We went a lot into the post, and guys cut, we made it easier for ourselves. We didn’t make the home run play that much today. Obviously we didn’t need to today, but usually we turn the ball over when we try to make that home run play.”

DeMarcus Cousins made his presence felt with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Rudy Gay added 23 points, and Darren Collison recorded 16 points and six assists. Carl Landry scored 11 points off the bench.

On the other side, the Cavaliers played uninspired without James and missed countless open looks. The visitors made only 42.3 percent of their field goals and lost the ball 14 times. The Kings scored 22 points off those miscues.

Timofey Mozgov, making his first start with the team since arriving in a trade, recorded 14 points and 12 rebounds, but Cousins worked him early and often. Kevin Love notched 25 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving recorded 21 points and seven assists. J.R. Smith shot 2-of-10 for four points.

With the win, the Kings improve to 2-1 on the current home stand and 5-8 under coach Corbin. Sacramento hosts the Dallas Mavericks (26-12) on Tuesday.

Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins filled up the stat sheet against the Cavs tonight, finishing with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and four steals.  Timofey Mozgov had no answer for the Kings’ star center as he dominated the post, hit jumpers and led the break.
  • Rudy Gay found his rhythm early in this one, scoring 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting and adding four rebounds in the win.  On the downside, Gay has just three total assists over his last three contests.  The Kings need Gay to be the second distributor for this team.
  • Darren Collison struggled to keep Kyrie Irving under wraps in the first half, yielding 17 points to the high-scoring point guard before the break.  Collison did a much better job after the intermission, holding Irving to just 21 total points on 7-for-18 shooting for the game.  On the offensive end, Collison dropped in 16 points and handed out a team-high six assists.
  • Carl Landry has found his jumper.  The veteran four has struggled a bit with the Kings’ new uptempo style, but his 18 to 20-foot jumper looks like it’s going in every time it leaves his hand.  Landry led the bench with 11 points and four rebounds in 23 minutes of action.
  • Jason Thompson looked like he was in for a long night guarding Kevin Love, but the Kings made adjustments and Love’s 25-point night had little impact on the game.  Coach Corbin used Thompson as both the starting power forward and the reserve center in tonight’s blowout.  Thompson finished the night with seven points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes.
  • Ben McLemore has had trouble getting looks in the offense lately.  Tonight he finished with seven points on 3-of-8 shooting, but he added four assists and four rebounds in 27 minutes.  McLemore is finding ways to help the team without scoring, which is nice to see.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings turned the ball over just once in the first half and five times on the night.

Quote of the Game

Rudy Gay on the key to winning

“I always believe in basketball, you can always score with your defense. You’re only as good as your defense is. If you stop people, you can turn that into offense easily.”

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