CK Press Box Report: Sacramento Kings 120, Utah Jazz 109
Before the game even tipped off, they chanted.
After the home team was introduced, 16,000-plus fans erupted in unison and from the jump, the Sacramento Kings had the Utah Jazz’s number. On a night dubbed “Here We Buy”, the Kings rewarded the fans for their passion, beating the Jazz 120-109 at Sleep Train Arena.
Six Kings scored in double figures, led by Isaiah Thomas who chipped in 25 points. The victory improves the Kings to 18-33 overall and 13-12 at home.
Notes and Analysis
- Isaiah Thomas was fearless tonight, leading the Kings in scoring with 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting. He added four rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win. There is still concern about his assists to turnover rate, but this was a good win tonight in front of a great crowd.
- Jason Thompson loves to play against the Jazz. Tonight was no different. The Kings starting power forward finished the game with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting and added seven rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Paul Millsap had no answer Thompson and played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble.
- Welcome back Marcus Thornton. After leading the Kings in scoring a year ago, Thornton has struggled to figure out his role off coach Smart’s bench in 2013. He caught fire tonight, scoring 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field and 8-for-9 from the line.
- DeMarcus Cousins stayed out of trouble with the officials tonight, which was a good thing. While he didn’t have huge numbers, he did score 13 points, grab 11 rebounds and hand out six assists in 29 minutes. He is still struggling with turnovers, finishing tonight with six, but like Thomas’s assist numbers, we can look past them in a win like this.
- Like Cousins, Tyreke Evans didn’t exactly put up gaudy numbers, but he was effective, finishing with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds in 30 minutes.
- Jimmer Fredette looks like he will remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future, as Aaron Brooks, James Johnson and Travis Outlaw failed to register a second of play. Jimmer scored nine points on 4-for-6 shooting and handed out three assists in 15 minutes.
- Stat of the Night: 16,193. That is the attendance number for tonight’s “Here We Buy” game. Pretty impressive for a team that has put their fanbase through the ringer for the last two years.
Three answers to three questions pondered
1. Will the Kings get fired up from the “Here We Buy” crowd?
The fans gave the team a huge boost even before tip-off. The Kings responded with the right energy to start the game, scoring 31 points in the first quarter. They came out sharing the basketball too. In the first half alone, the Kings recorded 19 assists to just six turnovers. After the game, players were effusive tonight in their praise of the fans. They credited the crowd for giving them energy they needed to get the win and it showed. The Kings are now 4-0 this season when more than 16,000 fans are in attendance.
2. Will Jason Thompson have another standout performance?
The Kings power forward backed up his outing Monday with another strong performance against the Jazz tonight. Thompson scored 11 of his 21 points in the first half. On the night, Thompson finished as the Kings’ third leading scorer on 9-of-11 shots in 36 minutes of action. He also had one of the game’s highlight moments. Early in the fourth quarter and trailing on the break, Thompson finished a Marcus Thornton alley-oop with an authoritative slam.
3. Will Chuck Hayes make a defensive impact on tonight’s game?
Hayes wasn’t needed as much tonight as he was Monday. DeMarcus Cousins played the entire contest and nearly recorded a triple-double in the win. Jason Thompson also put together another nice effort following his double-double Monday. The Kings also benefited from Paul Millsap getting into foul trouble after halftime.
Quotes of the Game
DeMarcus Cousins on the wave that brought out in the fourth quarter and it lasting as long as it did:
Yeah, I got a little fatigued at the end. Didn’t expect it to last that long, but it kind of did, but I stuck through it.
Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin on the atmosphere tonight:
The fans here are super. It’s always been a great place to play. I played here for a couple of years. The fans were super just being in the community, supporting team and being excited about Kings basketball. They still seem to be. They don’t want to lose team
Earl Watson on Sleep Train Arena crowd:
“It was loud. I’ve never played here in Sacramento and heard a crowd that loud. It was loud and the team fed off of that.”