Sacramento Kings Play "Correctly," Take Down Los Angeles Lakers 116-92
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento Calif. — For most of the Sacramento Kings’ 24 games this season they have been showing flashes of a fun-loving team that’s capable of winning at home and on the road. That’s exactly what the Sacramento fans want to see.
During the Kings 116-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the Kings fans, as well as the Lakers’ faithful, witnessed another outing where Sacramento looks its best when their shots fall and defense prevails.
Garrett Temple, who was 7-for-8 from the field and scored 16 points off the bench in almost 31 minutes, let it be known that action speaks much better than words. There’s a method to the madness, Temple said.
“Ball movement and player movement is what really opened it up for us,” Temple said of how the Kings stopped their two-game losing streak. “It’s the key to offensive success on our team. We have a guy like DeMarcus (Cousins) that they key on so much. When he has the ball, whether it’s in the top or the post, we have to be able to work off him. Player movement is something that we have to stress and it really worked tonight.”
Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple takes a jump shot againtst the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 12, 2016. Photo art T. Ray Harvey.
The third quarter is where the Kings’ flashed a little brilliance. The Kings trailed 58-49 at the break, but romped to a 39-point scoring spree, holding the Lakers to 13 points. The Kings were 14-for-19 from the field and made 6-of-7 beyond the arc.
The Kings did this damage in the second half without Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay. McLemore left in the first four minutes with a right hip flexor and Gay left in the fourth quarter, suffering from a left quad contusion. Neither player returned to action.
“It was a good game,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger. “We took some hits with a couple of guys going down. I thought the guys grabbed each other and came out (in the second half) and played with a lot of energy against a team playing the second night of a back-to-back.”
Cousins had 31 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots, and two steals for the Kings (9-15). Darren Collison finished with 20 points, four assists, and one steal while reserve Omri Casspi had 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists for Sacramento.
“I think what happens when guys go down and you only have a certain number of guys...everybody knows they are going to play,” Joerger said. “Everybody’s excited and you just wrap each other up and try to help each other.”
The Lakers couldn’t help each. Especially when Los Angeles was hit with six technical fouls, including two by rookie head coach Luke Walton in the first quarter. Those ramifications sent him to the visiting locker room and left assistant coach Brian Shaw at the helm. Julius Randle picked up a technical foul right after Walton’s.
“I just felt like I need to stand up for guys,” Walton said after the game. “What happened on the floor wasn’t right and my only concern is our guys in the locker room and our team. If I feel like somethings not right I’m going to stand up for my guys.”
D’Angelo Williams had 17 points and four assists and Luol Deng added 16 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Lakers (10-15), who have lost their seventh straight game. Jordan Clarkson’s 15 points and Lou Williams’ 14 lead Los Angeles’ bench, the best in the league thus far.
“They came out hot,” Clarkson said of the Kings. “They made shots and they got in the paint. DeMarcus started hitting some buckets for them. They got in the paint and made the defense harder (to play).”
After Lakers head coach Luke Walton was assessed with a double-technical foul and Randle joined him with one, Gay made all three free-throw shots to even the score 17-17 with 4:14 left in the first quarter.
Walton’s unexpected quick exit was after the Lakers had just made four of seven 3-pointers, but the Kings pushed forward to led 31-24 to start the second quarter.
Willie Cauley-Stein made two consecutive buckets to put the Kings up 35-24 early in the fourth quarter. The Lakers scratched back with a 17-6 run to tied the score 41-41 on two free throws by Clarkson at the 6:31 mark. The Kings 11-point lead morphed into a 58-49 halftime margin for the Lakers.
The Lakers outscored the Kings 34-18 and made four of six treys in the second quarter. Russell and Williams had 10 points each while three other Lakers had eight each. The Lakers were 6-for-13 beyond the arc, 62 percent, in the first half.
To start the second half, the Kings got busy with long-range missiles. Cousins made a trey and Collison followed him by making the next two beyond the arc. Temple made another 3-pointer to tie the game at 60-60.
Working with hot hands, the Kings focused on the defensive end and ran of to a 27-6 run to end the third quarter. Cousins only had 10 points in the first half, but scored 16 in the third quarter.
The Lakers cut the Kings lead 94-82, but never got any closer than that in the fourth quarter. The Kings closed the game out on a 22-10 run.
“Any win is a positive thing for us,” said Kings center Kostas Koufos, who had 10 points, seven rebounds, and three steals in the victory. “Fortunately, everybody stepped up today. Everybody played their roles correctly and that’s the biggest thing.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist