CK Press Box Report: Spurs 117, Kings 112

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

They clawed back intp contention.  But the Sacramento Kings were unable to match timely play in the clutch by the San Antonio Spurs, who defeated the Kings 117-112 at Power Balance Pavilion.

“You have to play perfect against this team,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart of the Spurs.  “You need a perfect effort from pretty much all of (your) guys who played tonight.  I thought our guys still did a good job with how they played tonight – we just needed a little more of that drive to win this game.”

The Kings trailed by as many as 10 points and were able to trim the deficit to one late in the fourth quarter.  But, the Spurs had an answer for every big shot made by the Kings and closed the game on a 15-6 run in the final two minutes.

The Kings’ record now stands at 17-33 overall and 13-11 at home.  They head to Utah for a meeting with the Jazz Friday.


Notes and Analysis

  • Jason Thompson returned from injury and fell short of his sixth-straight double-double.  That didn’t stop him from going 6-for-6 from the field and finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks on the night.
  • Tyreke Evans seemed out of sorts Wednesday evening.  Coach Smart only played his starting small forward 30 minutes and he finished with a pedestrian six points, five assists and three rebounds.
  • This game may have had a different outcome if Marcus Thornton hadn’t been knocked silly in the closing seconds of the third.  After struggling in the first half, the Kings’ leading scorer went 5-for-7 from the floor in the third period, scoring 11 points before exiting.  He returned in the fourth quarter and played seven minutes, but only scored three points in the final frame.
  • Isaiah Thomas was amazing from start to finish tonight.  The rookie point guard finished with a career-high 28 points and chipped in 10 assists for his third career double-double.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was a beast as well.  The former Kentucky star went at Tim Duncan hard, putting up an impressive 25 point, 11 rebound performance for the Kings.  Cousins only shot 11-for-24 from the field, turned the ball over five times and committed four fouls, but we will overlook those blemishes tonight.
  • Terrence Williams is getting an honest look from Smart. Tonight, he played 17 solid minutes off the bench, finishing with a balanced line of seven points, three assists and two rebounds.
  • Gary Neal went 1-for-9 in three quarters, but coach Popovich stuck with his second-year guard.  Neal responded by making all three of his fourth quarter shots and all four of his free throws for a big 11 points in the final 12 minutes.
  • Manu Ginobili was incredibly efficient in 25 minutes.  The veteran wing is still trying to play himself into game shape and he looked very good in this one, finishing with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
  • Duncan had a workman like 18 point, eight rebound night for the Spurs.  While he isn’t the same “Big Fundamental” he used to be, Duncan is still a weapon.
  • Stat of the Night:  The Spurs’ bench outscored the Kings’ reserves 55-20.  Smart has really gone to his starters a lot over the last few weeks.  Williams led the Kings in minutes off the bench with 17 minutes and no other reserve played more than 14 minutes.


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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.