Road Reaction: Kings pick up first road win of the season

by James Ham and Rui Thomas

Sacramento_Kings_Jason_Thompson_Blake_Griffin

It was a homecoming to remember. Darren Collison scored four points in the final minute and 14 for the day in his return to Staples Center, as the Kings beat the Clippers 98-92.

Collison backed up Chris Paul on the Clippers last season, and fared well against his former teammate who was hobbled with a first quarter ankle injury. Paul finished the game with 16 points, 11 assists, four steals and zero turnovers.

DeMarcus Cousins put the Kings on his back with a 34-point, 17-rebound, 5-assist, 4-block performance. The Clippers had no answer as the center worked inside and out, while shooting 65 percent and gobbling six offensive boards.

Rudy Gay was also aggressive after Friday’s 40-point outburst, finishing with a 25-point, 7-rebound, 6-assist afternoon. Gay knocked down 10-of-11 free throw attempts and was engaged on defense.

The Kings may have had too many turnovers to their liking (19), but they defended the rim with 11 blocks and outrebounded the Clippers by 11. Sacramento finished 27-of-33 from the charity stripe, held Los Angeles to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor and coerced the home team to take 31 3-pointers.

With an upset win under their belt, the Kings will travel to play the Denver Nuggets Monday night.


 


Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins was a monster today in LA. Doc Rivers started with DeAndre Jordan, but he picked up his fourth foul early in the third and played a total of 25 minutes.  Spencer Hawes was effective on the offensive end, but was overpowered in the post.  Cousins finished with game-highs in points with 34 and rebounds with 17.  He also added five assists and three blocks in the win.
  • Coming off a huge 40-point performance on Friday night, Rudy Gay looked very good again today.  With Cousins eating up the majority of shots, Gay still found a way to score 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting.  He added seven rebounds and a team-high six assists in 39 minutes of action.
  • Jason Thompson’s four-point, seven-rebound performance doesn’t jump off the stat sheet, but his defense on Blake Griffin was incredible.  Thompson held the All-Star forward to 17 points on 6-for-20 shooting and made Griffin fight for every basket he got.  Thompson added two blocks and two steals in his 37 minutes on the floor.
  • Darren Collison knows Chris Paul’s game as well as anyone.  He has twice backed up the perennial All-Star and played against him countless time in practice and in games.  He didn’t shut down his friend today, but he stayed in front of him and made life difficult.  On the offensive end, Collison was 4-of-12 from the field and helped finish off the game with his free throw shooting.  He finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes against his former Clippers teammates.
  • Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas continued to struggle at the shooting guard position.  The duo scored a combined six points on 2-of-7 shooting.  McLemore has now hit just three total shots in three games as a starter.  Malone had no choice but to turn to forward Omri Casspi to fill the spot down the stretch in this one.
  • Sacramento handed out a season-high 21 assists today, led by Gay’s six.  This was the first time in three games this season that someone other than Collison handed out more than a single assist.  Cousins finished with five and Casspi added three off the bench in the victory.
  • Stat of the Night: Malone wants this team to play defense and so far this season, his players are buying in.  Today in Los Angeles, they held the Clippers to 37.5 percent shooting overall and 29 percent from long range.

Tweet of the Night

 

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