Miami Heat Ends 6-Game Losing Streak, Beat Sacramento Kings 107-102 On The Road
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. — Through 35 games, the Sacramento Kings have shown how good they can be. Other times, they show how they are the “Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players.”
On Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center, the time was slotted for the latter. The Kings fell hard 107-102 to a Miami Heat team that's operating off a makeshift starting lineup and roster.
Without Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow in the building, the Heat (11-26) played well above a situation-comedy show and a suspenseful-charged drama on cable television.
The Kings, on the second of a back to back, knew Miami’s script for the evening and, of course, went along with the playbill. Goran Dragic had 19 points, seven assists, and two steals for Miami.
Miami Heat point guard Tyler Johnson shoots over Kings guard Ty Lawson on Jan. 4, 2017, at Golden 1 Center. Photo art by T. Ray Harvey.
“Miami has always been a team and franchise that takes pride in playing hard from top to bottom no matter if they have superstar talent or low-level talent,” said Kings shooting guard Arron Afflalo. “They consistently play at a high level in terms of their effort. We expected that coming in and they did what they had to do.”
Tyler Johnson came off the bench for Miami to produced 23 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. He also made two 3-pointers in 30 minutes of action. Johnson and Dragic were top names on the marquee.
“They are hard to stay in front of and they keep their dribble really well,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said of the Miami's point guards. “Tyler made a couple tough shots, certainly the last one, but it was a lot of our ability to try to stay in front of the ball. They are shifty, they get into the paint, and they want to score.”
Afflalo, Garrett Temple, and Ty Lawson each had 15 points in reserve roles for the Kings (15-20). DeMarcus Cousins finished with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Kings.
Cousins, who wouldn’t admit it, showed fatigue in the game. It wasn’t hard to tell since the Kings made it back to Sacramento after beating the Denver Nuggets 120-113 the night before.
“They had more energy than us,” Lawson said of the Heat. “They were getting open shots, moving the ball, and everything they did on the offensive end was fast. It was hard to react.”
DeMarcus Cousins looking to pass to Darren Collison. Photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Jan. 4, 2017.
The Kings fell behind to Miami by 19 points after Johnson made two free throws with 2:11 left to play in the third quarter. Dave Joerger had just received a technical foul and it woke the Kings up.
Sacramento went on a 19-0 run to tie the score 87-87, completed by a 14-foot jump shot by Temple early in the fourth quarter. The game was tied two more times until the Kings took command with Cousins making a three-foot shot to give Sacramento a 93-91 margin.
Johnson nailed a 3-point shot on Miami’s next possession and the Kings never saw the lead again. The Heat closed the game out and lowered the curtains on the stage by outscoring the Kings 13-9.
The Kings were 40-for-78 shooting from the floor, 51.3 percent, but Miami made 35 of 72 shots from the field and made 12 of 28 shots from beyond the arc.
Miami’s supporting cast put in a scorching performance as well. James Johnson, who once played for the Kings, had 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists for Miami. Wayne Ellington made four of five shots beyond the arc and finished with 13 points off the bench.
The Heat halted a six-game losing streak at Golden 1 Center and it was the second time the team has beaten the Kings this season. Miami has beaten the Kings six consecutive times and holds a 40-17 all-time lead versus Sacramento.
Miami was short handed, but was able to put 11 players in uniform against the Kings. The Heat played with seven players in 99-90 loss to Phoenix on Jan. 3.
“I wasn’t used to having so many players on the bench,” said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “I looked down there and I actually had options. It was great to see guys go in there and complete, cheer for each other, and enjoy the moment.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Rudy Gay has missed 11 of the Kings' last 12 games with a right hip flexor strain.
Ty Lawson returned to action after experiencing blurred vision.
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photo Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.