CK Press Box Report: Spurs 127, Kings 102

They traded runs with the San Antonio Spurs in the first half, but the Sacramento Kings had no answer after intermission.  The Kings were outscored by 24 points in the second half and lost 127-102 at Power Balance Pavilion Wednesday evening.

“I thought we played about as close as we could,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart after the loss.  “We did a really good job in the first half and then they came out and had 39 points in the third quarter, and they wrapped it up a little bit.  We didn’t have what was necessary; we turned the ball over 12 times and they got 21 points off of those turnovers.  You make a mistake and this team is going to capitalize on them.”

Rookie Isaiah Thomas led Sacramento with 21 points and eight assists.  Marcus Thornton was ruled out after suffering a left-quad contusion in the third quarter, but returned in the final period to finish with 20 points.

In their third game in as many nights, Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter led the Spurs in victory.  Neal and Splitter combined for 34 points off San Antonio’s bench.  Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich rested veteran superstar Tim Duncan, who played  just a total of 46 minutes in San Antonio’s previous two wins.

The Kings fall to 20-42 overall and 15-16 at home.  They host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

– Jonathan Santiago

Notes and Analysis

  • The X-Factor for the Spurs is always Tony Parker.  The veteran guard finished with 15 points and eight assists in just 25 minutes of action.  This team is an absolute machine and Parker is the main cog in the system.
  • Neal and  Splitter lit the Kings up off the bench.  The duo scored 17 apiece, while going a combined 14-for-17 from the field.  Splitter gave DeMarcus Cousins fits, leading to his early exit.
  • Speaking of that early exit, Cousins was good while he was on the floor.  The Kings big man finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, but fouled out in 27 minutes of action.
  • It’s really too bad that Thomas didn’t begin the season as the Kings starting point guard.  The rookie out of Washington finished with 21 points and eight assists in the lopsided loss tonight.
  • Thornton started the game hot, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter.
  • While Thomas and Thornton are thriving, Tyreke Evans continues to crash.  Since moving to the wing, his play has been up and down.  Tonight, he was down.  Evans finished with five points, three rebounds and an assist in 38 minutes.
  • Evans’ play not going to cut it when Terrence Williams is posting numbers of eight points and eight assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
  • The Spurs outshot the Kings 59 percent to 47 percent.  The Kings defense hasn’t exactly been a strong suit all season, but tonight was particularly bad.
  • The Spurs scored 69 points in the second half, which was a Kings opponent season-high for points scored in a half.
  • Stat of the Night: The Spurs bench outscored the Kings by an incredible 71-28 margin.  Four players came off the bench to score double figures for San Antonio, led by Neal and Splitter.

– James Ham

Injury Report

Marcus Thornton on when he knew he was going to come back to the game after suffering a left-quad contusion:

“Right away – we were right there in the thick of things.  I’m a competitor first so Pete and Manny (Romero) asked me if I wanted to sit out and I said no, but as it went on, it started stiffening up.  They told me to ice it up and try to get ready for Friday.”

Thornton is taking a wait and see approach and will assess how he feels tomorrow.

Video shot by Tobin Halsey.


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