CK Press Box Report: Nets 111, Kings 99

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

Coming off a road win in Salt Lake City, the Sacramento Kings were unable to capitalize at home, losing 111-99 to the New Jersey Nets Saturday evening.

“Tonight was one of those nights where they kept us in a bind trying to find the right group to match up to their guys,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart, who used 11 players tonight.

The Kings started the game hot, scoring 35 points and shooting roughly 60 percent from the field in the first quarter.  But the Nets came scorching back, with the final three minutes of the third quarter proving to be the difference.  Playing a lineup consisting primarily of reserves,  Sacramento was outscored 12-4 by New Jersey, who win their second game in as many nights.

The Kings fall to 18-34 overall and 13-12 overall at home.  Sacramento continues a stretch of four games in five nights with a match-up against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

Notes and Analysis

  • Anthony Morrow was the difference in this game.  The veteran sharp shooter finished with a game-high 24 points on 8-for-17 shooting, including six made threes.  The Kings have no one to blame but themselves for this outburst.  The Nets reserve is a known three-point specialist and the Kings left him open on countless occasions.
  • Deron Williams finished with 19 points and 15 assists, but the Kings held him to just 6-for-17 shooting and he turned the ball over five times.
  • Former King Gerald Wallace hurt his old team with his versatility tonight.  At either forward position, the Kings had no answer as Wallace finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists.
  • Chuck Hayes played poorly tonight, finishing 0-for-3 from the field and failing to grab a single rebound in 13 minutes.
  • Tyreke Evans returned after missing Friday night’s game with back spasms.  He led the team in scoring, finishing with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, while kicking in five assists and six rebounds.
  • Marcus Thornton scored 13 points tonight on just 11 shots.  The Kings leading scorer wasn’t the focus of the offense and many of his points came on rebounds and put backs.  (James Ham note: I’m not sure if this was by design or just the flow of the game, but after Cousins, Thornton should be the guy with the ball in his hands.)
  • Jason Thompson registered yet another double-double tonight, but just barely.  The fourth-year forward out of Rider finished with exactly 10 point and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.
  • Rookies Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette held their own against one of the games elite point guards.  Thomas finished with 11 points and six assists in 25 minutes, while Jimmer posted an eight point night on 2-for-4 shooting from behind the arc.
  • Stat of the Night: For the first time this season, the Nets have won three games in a row.  In fact, this is only the second time in three seasons the Nets have had a winning streak of three games or more.


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