CK Press Box Report – Sacramento Kings 117, Portland Trail Blazers 100

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

Quotes of the Game

Aaron Brooks on whether he’d prefer to come off the bench or start:

It’s just bringing it, like I said.  It’s just maximizing opportunity.  When you’re open, you hit shots.  The less minutes you play, the more energy you can use so I’m happy that I’m in a situation where we have good players.  Tyreke (Evans), Isaiah (Thomas) and Jimmer (Fredette) are good point guards, so it makes us a lot more dangerous.

Keith Smart on Marcus Thornton coming off the bench:

Once he got going, he became part of the focal point in that (second) group, and we will see where it goes from there.  He might be back in the lineup for the next game, but I want to mix these combinations.  I want to take the time and get every different combination I can possibly have, with every guy playing the game, and see who they’re playing with and what mistakes they’re having on offense and defense together.  Then, I will come together and decide on a group that I have to decide on…

Notes and Analysis

  • Thornton may not like coming off the bench, but he should.  The high scoring guard out of LSU was electric, leading all scorers with 23 in the victory.  There is a good chance that Thornton will start the season as the Kings sixth man, but count on him finishing most games.
  • Jimmer struggled on the defensive end, but finished strong.  The second-year guard played 16 minutes, finishing with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting.  In the waning moments, Jimmer stole a ball and hit both his freebies after getting fouled.  Moments later, he buried a big three to ice the game.
  • Aaron Brooks started for the Kings and was stellar.  On a team filled with offensive weapons, Brooks brings something different.  He finished with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting in just 21 minutes.
  • DeMarcus Cousins toyed with the Blazers.  It didn’t matter who they threw at the Kings big man, he dominated them.  For what it’s worth, Cousins gave J.J. Hickson an earful the entire game.  You’re welcome Kings fans.
  • Francisco Garcia received a DNP-CD in game No. 1, but Monday, he came in and quickly hit two three-pointers and played tough, hard-nosed defense on Nic Batum.  Cisco looked fresh and healthy, which is a good sign for the longest tenured King.
  • Stat of the Night: Ten Kings recorded assists and the team finished with a total of 22.  The ball is moving freely from one side of the court to the next. So far, so good.

– James Ham

Additional reaction – At the buzzer: Sacramento Kings 117, Portland Trail Blazers 100


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