CK Press Box Report: Kings 135, Knicks 129

By James Ham and Rui Thomas

Sacramento_Kings_Rudy_Gay_Carmelo_Anthony_3

The Sacramento Kings (13-17) are far from orthodox. They proved it again as as they blew a 47-minute lead, only to win it in overtime against the visiting New York Knicks (5-27), 135-129.

“Well, it was a very much-needed win,” head coach Tyrone Corbin told the media. “Even though it wasn’t the prettiest of basketball, we’ll take the win.”

The Kings forged their lead in the first quarter, when the offense went ballistic. Sacramento shot 69.6 percent from the floor, with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay scoring 15 points apiece as the home team went up 38-27. Darren Collison dished eight assists in the first period, a Kings season-high for a quarter, and helped limit the team’s total turnovers to two.

But over the course of the night, the Kings struggled to contain Carmelo Anthony, who had 36 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Cole Aldrich notched 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 19 points, powering their club to a 37-28 fourth quarter to tie in the final seconds of regulation.

“Giving up 129 points, although it was an overtime game, and they shot almost 50 percent against you from the field,” Corbin said. “We got to get better on the defensive end. And when we’re scoring a lot of points, we got to not give up that many points.”

For the evening, Sacramento shot 55.1 percent from the floor and 8-of-16 from downtown. They made 29-of-33 free throws and lost the ball 17 times. The Kings recorded 23 assists as they willingly shared the rock all night.

Cousins led the Kings with 39 points (season-high) and 11 rebounds. Gay finished with 29 points, and Collison produced 27 points and 10 assists. Nik Stauskas had a strong showing off the bench with 11 points in 17 minutes, and Ray McCallum scored 10 points.

The injury-riddled Knicks were down to nine available players tonight following Quincy Acy’s suspension for throwing a punch in a Christmas day game.

With the victory, the Kings improve to 2-4 under Corbin. Sacramento hits the road to face the Brooklyn Nets (13-16) on Monday.

Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins came out of the gate hot, dropping 15 points and five rebounds on the Knicks frontline in the first quarter.  Foul trouble limited his time on the court, but the 24-year-old star still finished with a 39-point and 11-rebound double-double and added four assists in 32 minutes of action.
  • Rudy Gay went toe-to-toe with Carmelo Anthony tonight in Sacramento and can point to the scoreboard as his final statline.   Gay scored 29 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field and added three assists in 43 minutes of work.
  • Cousins wasn’t the only one to drop in a double-double.  Darren Collison notched his third of the season with an impressive 27-point, 10-assist night.  Collison is thriving in the new uptempo offense.  Tonight, he shot an impressive 9-of-10 from the field and hit all three of his 3-point attempts while turning the ball over just two times.
  • With Ramon Sessions out, Ray McCallum is taking full advantage of his opportunity.  McCallum finished the overtime session and added 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s a plus defender as well.
  • Rookie Nik Stauskas scored 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting off coach Corbin’s bench in 18 minutes.  He and McCallum combined to score 21 of the team’s 32 bench points.
  • Sacramento shot 55.1 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the line and scored a season-high 135 points.  But their porous defense let the Knicks stick around.  New York shot 49.5 percent from the field, scored 62 points in the paint and added 27 points on fast breaks.  The Knicks also picked up 23 second chance points and outrebounded Sacramento 43-39.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings led by as many as 15 in regulation, but needed overtime to beat the Knicks.  New York never led for a second in regulation and when they evened the score with 20.2 seconds remaining in the fourth, that was the game’s first tie.

Quote of the Game

Tyrone Corbin on the Kings’ resilience

“That’s one of the things I’m really pleased with. We have ups and downs in the course of this game, we lost the lead right at the end of regulation, but to fight the way they did in overtime, and to get this win, which we really needed before we get on this road trip, says a lot about who they are.”

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