A few nuggets from the Kings' win over Utah on Friday night...
* Considering this was the first Kings-Jazz meeting since that antics-filled night in Salt Lake City on Jan. 25, there was a bit of buzz about Ron Artest seeing Matt Harpring again.
And while the two didn't mix it up nearly as much as before, I was told that some of the Jazz players were reliving Round One of their tussle in the visitor's locker room before the game. A small group gathered around the television to watch the tape of the fourth quarter and all of Artest's theatrics, supposedly laughing pretty hard while doing it.
* Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin were alike in that neither player played the fourth quarter, but both situations appeared entirely different.
While Martin had provided all 27 of his points through three quarters and continued to sit when Quincy Douby exploded in the fourth, Bibby had another quiet night and was benched in favor of Beno Udrih.
Kings coach Reggie Theus said his moves were defensive-minded, that he wanted something different on that end down the stretch. Small forward Ron Artest made a good comparison, saying the way in which the bench finished the game (including John Salmons and his 13 points) was like the win at Detroit on Jan. 18.
* Dahntay Jones and Justin Williams have a new nickname for Douby: Master Splinter.
After Douby's late explosion and season-high 15 points, his teammates were comparing him to the martial arts master from the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics/cartoons. I'm not entirely sure of the context, but it was comical nonetheless. Douby smiled when they kept calling him "Splinter," then shot back, "You guys are my Ninja Turtles."
* Kings swingman Francisco Garcia - who took a knee to the back from former Kings guard Ronnie Price - was supposedly in a good amount of pain long after the game.
Garcia isn't expected to join the team to Oakland today, as the bus ride isn't exactly what the doctor ordered for such an ailment. And as a side note, bad form from Kings fans who booed Price. He was a fan favorite and a class act while here, and it was surprising how quickly the Kings faithful lumped him in with the other hated Jazz players.
* There are reasons aplenty to think Artest in Denver would be a good fit, but I'll opt for this rationale in light of yesterday's Practice-gate (read story first).
He'd be joining Allen Iverson, who knows a thing or two about veterans taking a day off when they need a day off.
And speaking of Artest and his unknown future? His agent, Mark Stevens, spoke up about the trade rumors yesterday. Let the posturing begin.
- Sam Amick