Given the late finish to the Kings' victory over the Toronto Raptors in the home opener, here are a few other notables:
Except for "Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, the entire Maloof family was in attendance. Brothers Joe, Gavin, George and Phil agonized throughout the opening half. Then, of course, they appeared on the verge of suffering heart attacks when the Kings grabbed the lead and won the game. The only one who always seems to enjoy herself is matriarch Colleen Maloof. She shouts at the refs, gets angry at the players and the coach, but maintains a sense of humor throughout. At halftime, she said she hadn't seen Episode II of the "Housewives" series, but jokingly said she hears that her daughter is pretty good.
Before the game, rookie DeMarcus Cousins said he had heard all about Reggie Evans and the burly forward/center's bag of basketball tricks. The elbows to the gut. The tug on an opponent's shorts. The sly shove while positioning for the rebound. Evans (19 boards) torched Cousins early, but the rookie had another excellent fourth quarter and finished with 16 points. He also passed for two assists (zero turnovers), and threw up his hands only once in frustration ... in only 17 minutes.
The Kings haven't started the season with a 3-1 record since 2003-04. It's all about perspective, though. They were 13-14 a year ago when they plummeted.
More on this later, but in my less-than-humble opinion, that fourth quarter was the most impressive of Tyreke Evans' young career. He played fast -- took the ball off the boards and busted downcourt, found teammates in rhythm with passes, was quick, explosive, decisive with his dribble-drives, dove for loose balls, grabbed rebounds. (But we won't go into detail about his bathroom break that extended into the second half). If Tyreke continues to play like this, that Rookie of the Year award will be the least of it ...
Beno Udrih's maturation continues. The one-time disgruntled Spurs backup is in excellent shape, has mastered that leaning mid-range jumper so few players possess these days, converts crucial free throws, and commands the respect of his teammates as a coach on the floor.
The Kings don't win this game without Samuel Dalembert's defense and 14 rebounds. The veteran center, acquired in the offseason in the Spencer Hawes trade, was expected to miss four to six weeks with a thigh injury that sidelined him throughout preseason. "I can't explain it," said coach Paul Westphal, "but Samuel really wanted to come back and play."
The final word comes from Omri Casspi, after he influenced the outcome of the game despite failing to grab a rebound. "I have never done this," he said, shaking his head. "No rebounds in 32 minutes? I can't believe it. I just couldn't get my hands on the ball."