Road Reaction: San Antonio Spurs 130, Sacramento Kings 102

Following two impressive outings, a letdown seemed almost inevitable for the Sacramento Kings.  In the final contest of a five-game road trip, the Kings let the San Antonio Spurs roll all over them, losing 130-102 in blowout fashion at the AT&T Center.

The Kings got off to another one of their signature slow starts, allowing the Spurs to shoot 66.7 percent from the field in the first quarter.  Early in the period, the Spurs went on a 10-0 run, which the Kings were never able to overcome.  At one point in the opening frame, the Kings trailed by as many as 19 points.

The Kings fall to 20-40 overall and 6-27 on the road.  They return home, where they will play five of their next six games at Sleep Train Arena.

Notes and Analysis

  • The only King to have his scoring touch tonight was Marcus Thornton.  For a third-straight game, Thornton scored 20-points or more, finishing with 25 in the loss.  However, he scored 16 of his 25 in the fourth quarter when the game was all but over.
  • Isaiah Thomas was the only other King to make a dent in the scoring column.  The Kings starting point guard couldn’t buy a bucket from 3-point land, making only 1-of-4 attempts, but he scored effectively.  Thomas finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, however dished out only one assist.
  • Manu Ginobili dissected the Kings with his passing.  The Spurs sixth man set a new career high in assists, finishing with a game-high 15.
  • Aaron Brooks‘ departure freed up time for Toney Douglas.  He was the first point guard called off the bench in tonight’s match-up against the Spurs.  Douglas played a total of 20 minutes, scored two points and dished out four assists.  Meanwhile, Jimmer Fredette didn’t see action until after halftime, but also finished playing a total of 20 minutes.
  • John Salmons cooled down considerably  in Friday’s loss to the Spurs.  The Kings swingman made just one shot on seven tries and scored three points in 21 minutes of action.  In his previous three games, Salmons averaged 18 points per contest and shot 55.9 percent from the field.
  • Turnovers were a problem for the Kings.  Sacramento committed 19 miscues this evening, 12 of which came before halftime.
  • Stat of the Night: The Spurs shot 60.7 percent from the field in victory.  According to Kings media relations guru Daryl Arata, that is a season-high for opponent field-goal percentage this year.  It surpasses the 56.3 percent the Miami Heat shot against the Kings on Jan. 12.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will the Kings keep up the ball movement?

After averaging 32 assists over their previous two games, the Kings came nowhere near matching that mark.  The Kings finished with just 20 assists on the night and in the first quarter alone, they recorded just three.  From the jump, their stagnant passing set the stage for a lackluster effort.  Meanwhile, the Spurs finished with a team and NBA season-high 41 assists on the evening.

2.  How will the Kings bench follow up their performance against the Magic on Wednesday?

It’s hard to gauge the bench’s overall effort considering the game was out of hand by the fourth quarter.  Marcus Thornton finished with another strong performance, but scored most of his points in the final period when the game was already decided.  Outside of Thornton, no Kings reserve made a significant dent on tonight’s game.

3.  Can the Kings the limit the Spurs’ effectiveness from outside?

Not tonight.  San Antonio doesn’t make many mistakes and they don’t take many bad shots either.  They made 9-of-20 three-pointers with the majority of them coming off good looks.  A fourth of their long-range attempts came from the shortest distance on the floor.  San Antonio made 3-of-5 attempts on corner threes in the victory.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

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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.