CK Press Box Report: Philadelphia 76ers 117, Sacramento Kings 103

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham
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Despite the energy of the “Here We Buy” crowd, the Sacramento Kings couldn’t keep up with the Philadelphia 76ers, losing 117-103 Sunday night at Sleep Train Arena.

Kings fans made another effort to fill up the building for a sequel to “Here We Buy Night 1″, held last month against the Utah Jazz.  They brought similar enthusiasm and fervor, but the numbers fell short in comparison.  Sunday’s game drew 14,647 patrons – about 2,700 shy of a sellout and 1,500 fewer fans than the Feb.9th win over Utah.

The Kings fall to 25-45 overall and 19-16 at home.  They head back on the road for their final trip to the bay area when they face the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

- Jonathan Santiago

Notes and Analysis

  • Isaiah Thomas led the team with 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting, but the Kings starting point guard failed to register a single assist in 29 minutes of play.  Of his 25 points, seven came in the final 2:09 when the game was out of reach.  Unfortunately for Sacramento, coach Smart left Thomas on the bench for the first 9:51 of the fourth where the 76ers extended their lead to 17.
  • Similar to Thomas, Marcus Thornton went off in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 22 points in the game’s final 12 minutes.  Thornton went 9-for-12 from the field in 27 minutes, but missed three of his four shots from behind the arc.
  • Tyreke Evans finished with 19 points while struggling with a stomach ailment and handed out eight of the team’s 18 assists.  When healthy, Smart needs to shift Evans to small forward and go small for long stretches in the game if John Salmons is having an off-night.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was a train wreck, playing just 27 minutes of ineffective, foul-plagued ball.  He finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting, but grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in the loss.  Cousins also picked up technical No. 13 this season during the second quarter.
  • Patrick Patterson continues to play well off the Kings bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 34 minutes of action.  Since joining the Kings, Patterson is shooting 58.3 percent (14-for-24) from 3-point land, which has done wonders for the Kings spacing on the floor.
  • Toney Douglas got the call tonight off of Smart’s bench, going scoreless in 21 minutes.  Douglas did hand out three assists, but turned the ball over two times in the loss.  Jimmer Fredette continues to lose minutes to Douglas as Smart looks for a defensive spark.
  • Stat of the Game: The Kings were outrebounded 48-37 overall and 17-9 on the offensive glass.  They looked tired and sluggish getting to balls in the second half after last night’s road loss in Denver.

- James Ham

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  What kind of reception will Spencer Hawes receive from Kings fans?

From his pregame introduction to the final buzzer, Hawes received a hearty share of boos this evening.  At one point in the game, fans poured on the former Kings center, chanting “Spencer sucks”.  The cold reception, however, didn’t phase the 23-year-old big man from having a solid outing.  Hawes finished the night with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds in the 14-point victory.

2.  Can the Kings limit their turnovers?

Tonight, they turned the ball over less than their 16 turnover average from their last three games.  But hanging onto possession was still an issue for the Kings, as they committed 13 miscues this evening.   A bigger problem, however, was their ball movement. For the first time in a long time, Sacramento recorded fewer than 20 assists, finishing with just 18 on the night.

3.  Can Jason Thompson be a factor in tonight’s match-up?

Thompson was once again a non-factor in tonight’s loss.  Despite earning extra minutes because of foul trouble for DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings starting power forward was unable to break out of his slump.  He finished with eight points and eight rebounds while shooting an inefficient 4-of-10 from the field.

- Jonathan Santiago

Quotes of the Game

Kings coach Keith Smart‘s opening remarks:

There was a great crowd and great activity in the building tonight.  Obviously, we played well in the first half then we just hit a big-time wall.  They were winning the effort plays with rebounds, second-chance shots, and the steal game.  When you get on top of the rebounds and steals, then you have a good chance of getting on top of the ballgame.  That was an energy game.  There were a lot of second-chance points and offensive rebounds which are both energy plays.  We had the juice for a moment then we lost it after that and we couldn’t complete what we were doing.  The Sixers made some incredible shots tonight.  Dorell Wright hasn’t shot the ball that well in a while, but he did it tonight.

Spencer Hawes on being booed:

I think I kind of expected it.  I haven’t tried to hide behind my stance on this situation we’ll call it.  I remember being on the other side of it with the Sonics leaving Seattle the first time around.  So I know how it goes and if I’m who they want to get mad it, fine with me.

Spencer Hawes on Kings fans:

The amount of support they’ve given this team has been incredible.  Whether they’re winning or whether they’re losing, they come out and they support the team.  Other than the ones that booed me, I can’t say anything bad about them.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.  

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