CK Press Box Report: Nets 103, Kings 100
Too little, too late. The Sacramento Kings (16-26) dug themselves out of a pit, only to run out of time to complete a comeback as they fell to the Brooklyn Nets (18-24), 103-100.
“We just didn’t come ready to go,” Tyrone Corbin told the media after the loss.
The Kings never led after the first two minutes of the game. Sacramento allowed Brooklyn to shoot 70 percent to trail double-digits in the first quarter, and went down by as much as 23 before entering halftime behind 16. The Nets shot over 52 percent from the floor and outscored the Kings 44-24 in the paint entering the fourth quarter, as the home team trailed by 13.
But then a light switched on, and the Kings played with urgency. Sacramento had a chance in the fourth in large part to team defense and Rudy Gay’s heroics. The Kings held the Nets to 27.8 percent shooting in the last 12 minutes and forced four turnovers. Gay scored 14 of his 25 points in the final period, adding eight rebounds and six assists for the night.
“They all did a great job executing the offense,” Corbin noted of the Kings’ second half. “Attacking the basket inside, and we were able to make some perimeter shots in that span. Also Rudy did a really good job of just being big inside and putting his shoulder down and getting inside to make some scores close to the basket.”
DeMarcus Cousins recorded 28 points and 14 rebounds, but shot only 10-of-24 field goals. Darren Collison notched 16 points and five assists, and Omri Casspi scored 10 points, all in the second quarter.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and six blocks, despite coming off the bench. Jarrett Jack produced 16 points and eight assists, and Joe Johnson earned 16 points and eight rebounds. 38-year-old Kevin Garnett had four points and five rebounds in what could be his last game in Sacramento.
The Kings once again have to shake their heads at the uneven 48-minute effort. Sacramento hits the road for a five-game trip, starting with the Golden State Warriors (34-6) on Friday.
Notes and Analysis
- After starting the game 2-for-12 in the first half, DeMarcus Cousins made adjustments coming out of the break. He finished the game with a game-high 28 points on 10-for-24 shooting and added 14 rebounds for his 25th double-double of the season. It wasn’t pretty, but Cousins found a way to produce despite the slow start.
- Rudy Gay dropped in his 26th 20-point game of the season and sixth in his last seven contests. He finished with 25 points and chipped in eight rebounds and six assists in the loss. In addition to the stat stuffing, Gay held Joe Johnson to just 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting.
- Darren Collison drew a tough assignment tonight, facing off against a much bigger player in Jarrett Jack. He tallied 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added five assists. Jack finished with 16 points and eight assists in 39 minutes of action, but the Kings are more than happy to land a draw in the match up.
- Omri Casspi was lightning in a bottle tonight. The veteran wing provided 10 of the Kings’ 18 points off the bench. Casspi added five rebounds and an assist in his 19 minutes of action.
- After sitting out the previous 13 games, Ramon Sessions played 22 minutes tonight off Corbin’s bench. The reserve point guard scored just two points on 1-of-4 shooting, but added four rebounds and four assists.
- Stat of the Night: The Nets outscored the Kings in the paint 38-16 in the first half. After the intermission, Sacramento returned the favor, scoring 26 points at the rim, versus just 10 for the Nets.
Quote of the Game
DeMarcus Cousins on avoiding slow starts
“Be a professional. Come to work ready to play. Everybody, myself included. The solution is easy. Just come out and play hard, from start to finish.”