Road Reaction: Kings fall to the Nets in overtime
The new owners of the Sacramento Kings want to create a global brand. They are reaching into Asian markets with the hopes of stealing away a piece of the foreign sports market share. And early Wednesday morning, their team put on a show for the fans, before falling to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime 129-117.
Sacramento trailed by as many as nine points early, but stormed back in the second quarter to take a 57-48 lead into the half. They held a three point lead going into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get the win in regulation and then fell apart in the extra frame.
Led by Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay, the Kings mixed and matched lineups all game. Starting center DeMarcus Cousins sat out the contest as a healthy scratch, but Sacramento received contributions from plenty of players.
Mirza Teletovic dropped in 22 for the Nets and Mason Plumlee added 18 points and five rebounds in the win.
The Kings return to Sacramento later this week to take on Maccabi Haifa at Sleep Train Arena for a 7:30pm tip off.
Notes and Analysis
- Head coach Michael Malone mixed his lineup today in Beijing, China, starting Ramon Session and Ben McLemore in the backcourt with Rudy Gay, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson across the frontline. This marked the third time in four games that both McLemore and Thompson started for Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins sat out the game to rest up for the long flight home.
- With Cousins out, Gay went off. The veteran wing scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds, handed out five assists and picked up three steals in the loss. Gay went 1-for-5 from 3-point land, but this is the type of all around game that the Kings need out of their starting small forward.
- Darren Collison came off the bench for the second time this preseason, but that won’t last long. He instantly pushed the action, which opened the floor for everyone. Collison scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half and dished out six assists. He looks like the Kings starting point guard for opening night.
- McLemore was the talk of the telecast. The second-year guard looked confident and strong. He worked the perimeter, hitting 3-for-4 from deep, but he also mixed it up off the dribble. McLemore played a game-high 44 minutes and took another substantial step forward in his progression. If this is the what Sacramento gets out of their two young shooting guards this season, they will be dangerous.
- Nik Stauskas didn’t start, but he made an immediate impact when he entered the game in the first quarter. So far this preseason, the rookie out of Michigan had been more of a set shooter, but not today. In his first opportunity he took a sidestep dribble and drilled a 3-ball. Moments later he took his man off the dribble and kicked to an open Collison for a wide open corner three. Stauskas finished the game with nine points on 4-for-11 shooting and he added three assists in 29 minutes.
- Derrick Williams was the first big off the bench for Sacramento, but the 23-year-old forward was practically invisible early. Malone turned to Williams to start the second half for Landry and he erupted with a huge 10 point third quarter to help propel the Kings to a lead going to the fourth. This game is a microcosm of type of inconsistency has plagued Williams throughout his career.
- Omri Casspi looked shaky in the first half as well, but he caught fire late to keep the Kings in the game. The 26-year-old Israeli-born forward hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Casspi finished with 16 points on 4-of-11 from the field and 6-of-8 from the line.
- We have an Eric Moreland sighting! The rookie out of Oregon State ran the floor well and scored his first career bucket on a lay-up in the first half. He finished with two points, one rebound and two blocks in the loss.
- Stat of the Night: The Sacramento Kings hit 13-of-30 3-pointers (43.3 percent) and the likely starting backcourt of Collison and McLemore combined to shoot 7-of-10 from long range.
Quote of the Night
Nets color man Tim Capstraw from the NBA TV telecast on Rudy Gay:
“He is some kinda smooth.”