CK Press Box Report: Rockets 104, Kings 87

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

A sluggish Sacramento Kings’ offense characterized a 104-87 loss to the Houston Rockets on Easter Sunday.

“We haven’t been running in the last couple of games,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart postgame.  “We’re not running up and down the floor.  We’re not making any easy plays.”

The Kings were outscored 25 to 12 in fastbreak points and they committed 21 turnovers to just 15 assists.  DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans were non-factors, both combining for a total of 15 points.

Terrence Williams and Jimmer Fredette led Sacramento in defeat.  Williams scored a season-high 21 points while Fredette, starting in place of the injured Marcus Thornton, finished with 17.

The Kings now stand at 19-38 overall and 14-15 at Power Balance Pavilion.  Sunday’s loss puts the Kings below .500 at home for the first time since December.


Notes and Analysis

  • In the first quarter, the Kings made Courtney Lee look like a star.  The fourth-year wing out of Western Kentucky scored 17 of his game-high 25 in the first 12 minutes.  The Kings let Lee loose on the break early and once he got hot, he connected on three 3-point shots in a lopsided 32-21 opening frame.
  • Jimmer Fredette started alongside fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas and the results were mixed.  Jimmer scored 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting, but Lee and Goran Dragic destroyed him on the defensive end.  Going forward, Jimmer has to learn to either fight through screens or go under them.  All night long he tried to go over the top and the Rockets broke down the Kings’ defense because of it.
  • Playing against his former team, Terrence Williams looked motivated.  Williams finished the game with a season-high 21 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes of off the bench.  He turned the ball over five times and his defense left something to be desired, but he was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal game.
  • Thomas struggled early, shooting just 1-for-8 from the field through three quarters before hitting a couple shots late in the game.  The numbers didn’t look horrible in the end – 16 points, six assists and four rebounds.
  • Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans all but took the night off.  JT finished with four points and six rebounds in 21 minutes, while Evans had six points and an assist in 22 minutes.  The Kings need these guys to bounce back this week on the road.
  • In addition to his nine points, Cousins finished with just eight rebounds.  Since recording a career-high 41 against Phoenix, the Kings center has scored just 32 points in his last three games.
  • In 19 minutes of action, Hassan Whiteside set a career-high in rebounds with 10 boards off the bench.
  • Filling in for the injured Kyle Lowry, Dragic continued his solid play as a starter.  He finished with 15 points and nine assists
  • Lowry returned tonight for Houston after missing the previous 15 games with a bacterial infection.  He finished the night with one point and seven assists in 18 minutes.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings continue to struggle at the charity stripe.  Tonight they went 20-for-37 from the line for a whopping 54 percent. It’s not good when you miss 17 free throws and lose by 17 points.

Video shot by Tobin Halsey.


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