Pau Gasol Drops 24 In San Antonio Spurs' 110-105 Victory Over Sacramento Kings
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, California — The Sacramento Kings nearly had a five-day break before returning to action against the San Antonio Spurs at Golden 1 Center. Four minutes into the first quarter, Kings power-forward DeMarcus Cousins picked up two fouls to extend his short layoff.
From there, it was an uphill battle for the well-rested Kings (4-8) who loss 110-105 to the defensive minded, and sometimes, offensive-seeking Spurs. It was the second time the Kings faced the Spurs (9-3) in their first five outings at G1C and the results were the same.
DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists for the Kings after he committed only two more fouls the rest of the way. Reserve Ben McLemore added 15 points, two rebounds and two assists while Matt Barnes added 14 points.
The Kings actually managed themselves well while Cousins sat for a spell due to the early foul trouble, but had to climb out of a 15-point hole in the first half to make a dent in the Spurs’ margin. The Kings continue to get off the ground late when the game starts, something the players all acknowledged.
Sacramento Kings forwad Willie Cauley-Stein, No. 00, looks to pass around San Antonio Spurs player, LaMarcus Aldridge No. 12, at Golden 1 Center on Nov. 16, 2016.
“I don't want to make excuses but we blow our wad at mid-game,” Cousins said of the Kings’ sluggish starts. “We're making it hard on ourselves right now. We gotta come out with better energy and a better effort. It’s on us if we want to turn this around. It’s nobody's fault but ours.”
Pau Gasol had 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots for the Spurs. Kawhi Leonard finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and four steals, making his total of nine steals in the two games both teams have played this season. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points, six rebounds and two steals for San Antonio.
"Some nights I'm going to get more looks depending on how the defense is playing and other nights it's going to be the other guy," Gasol said. "And that's fine because we have enough talent."
The Kings did battle their way back from being 18-points down in the second half. At the 3:11 mark, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich pulled the starters and put in Jonathan Simmons, David Lee, Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson, Bryn Forbes, and then lager Davis Bertans.
With that group of Spurs, the Kings cut a San Antonio lead of 104-87 to 109-105 after Cousins made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left in the game. Bertans hit one of two free throws to end the contest.
“I will take this one for tonight,” Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “Everybody had a tough night defensively. But we have to get off to better starts because that was horrendous.”
Ben McLemore kept the Kings in the game in the second quarter when he made 4-of-5 shots from the field, two from beyond the arc to give him 10 points. McLemore’s rifleman effort allowed coach Dave Joerger to keep him on the floor for all 12 minutes of the quarter.
Danny Green returned to the lineup for the San Antonio Spurs after playing just 15 minutes in the Spurs’ 94-90 victory over the Miami Heat on Nov. 14. Green left that game in the second half with a sore groin. In the game against the Kings, he had nine points, four rebounds, and three assists in nearly 28 minutes.
Dave Joerger said there may be “possible” changes to the current starting lineup. Currently, DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos, Rudy Gay, Ty Lawson, and Arron Afflalo have been the starters of all 12 games. Joerger may look at his rotation of reserves as well. “Right now we need some zip,” Joerger said.
The Kings will take on the Los Angeles Clippers at G1C on Nov. 18. The Clippers lost at home 111-107 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 16.
Photo Art and Article by T. Ray Harvey | Press Information Officer and Photo Artist