Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

March 14, 2011
In-game blog (Kings vs. Warriors)

FINAL
Kings 129, Warriors 119

Here are some things from the postgame that didn't make it into the game story that's already been filed (along with some facts that did):

*Marcus Thornton scored a career-high 42 points tonight. That's the most points by a Kings since Kevin Martin scored 48 points, Nov. 2, 2009. Thornton's previous best was 37 points.

*This was the most points scored in regulation this season. The previous high was the 122 scored on Denver Jan. 6.

*Samuel Dalembert had a career-high 27 points. He also had 16 rebounds. Dalembert's previous best was 24.

*Thornton remains very popular back in New Orleans. But he might be just as popular after 10 games with the Kings. He's averaging 22.2 points.

Thornton was on a playoff team with the Hornets, but this season he wasn't being used like he had under former coach and general manager Jeff Bower. So when he was dealt to the struggling Kings, Thornton saw it as an opportunity.

"Everything that happens, happens for a reason," Thornton said. "I always say that and my mom says that. I treat every move and every step as a blessing. That is exactly what it is, a blessing."

Kings coach Paul Westphal gave Thornton the green light to shoot early even though Thornton said it took a couple of games to get used to that.

"He's always been a scorer, in high school, in college and when he got to New Orleans," Westphal said. "He's somebody that has the knack. I think if somebody is really a top scorer you don't want them to be too worried about making a mistake every now and then."

*Dalembert scored his 27 without having a play run for him.

"I've been watching film to see what my teammates have been doing and see what has been open and what they have been giving us," Dalembert said. "I see what is going on throughout the play and were can I fit myself in and then I put myself in for the jumper or go to the basket. It has been working."

*The Kings credited their defense for the win. I know that sounds crazy after allowing 119 points and the Warriors shooting 50 percent. The Kings said the defense in the first quarter set the tone. They held the Warriors to 20 points, their lowest total for a quarter tonight.

The Kings said their pick-and-roll defense was better to start the game. That play has hurt the Kings all season and Dalembert said the Kings are finally starting to understand where they need to be to defend it better.

*With the way Thornton has played it will be interesting to see how he meshes with Tyreke Evans. Evans will see his foot specialist in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The team hopes Evans will be cleared to begin practicing and hope he can get back on the court in seven-to-10 days.

If the Kings continue to move the ball, there should be enough shots to go around. With Thornton as a scoring threat to go with Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings should have better spacing on offense to create.

But we shall see how that develops in the very near future. If that timeline holds up, could happen before the end of the month.

*The Warriors made it interesting late, forcing Westphal to put his regulars back in the game. Golden State made that run without their starters. They cut the lead to seven in the final minute but by then the Kings had the game in hand.

Francisco Garcia's three with 48.7 seconds left gave the Kings a 126-114 lead that would be more than enough to not be threatened by the Warriors.

After the last two games against the Warriors ended with blown leads in the fourth quarter and overtime losses, there was reason to be nervous. But the Kings ended their six-game losing streak.

And finally, Westphal on DeMarcus Cousins' passing:

"Coach (Pete) carril talked to him before the gaem and had some little poem about not throwing the ball away and I think it went in one ear and out the other becasue some of those were some high-risk passes. But he is learning. He's got some special skills and anytime somebody's as gifted as DeMarcus it takes awhile to learn when to do which of those skills. He's really coming along."


Getting yet another offensive charge from Marcus Thornton, the Kings beat the Golden State Warriors 129-119. Thornton had 42.

"That's above and beyond what you can expect from anybody," Kings coach Paul Westphal said of Thornton's offensive output since his arrival with the Kings. "He obviously has confidence and I don't think that's his last 40-point game."

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 107, Warriors 84

The Warriors' defense is making it possible for career nights. Samuel Dalembert already has matched his career high with 24 points. He also has 14 rebounds. Marcus Thornton has 35 points, two shy of his career high.

There's not much the Warriors have stopped tonight and Dalembert and Thornton are getting whatever they want because of it.

*The Kings are shooting 60 percent (39 of 65). That's ridiculous. The Kings have 58 points in the paint. They've outrebounded the Warriors 36-19. This is about as dominant as the Kings have been in a while. I don't think they can blow this one.

*Stephen Curry has 19 points to lead the Warriors. Dorell Wright has 18 points while Monta Ellis has 15 points.


HALFTIME
Kings 71, Warriors 59

The Kings have scored a season-high for a half, but the Warriors have done well to stay in the game. As expected, the Warriors weren't going to be shut down all night.

*Marcus Thornton leads the Kings with 26 points, the most he's scored in a half. His career-high is 37 points. Samuel Dalembert had the highest scoring half of his career, too, with 19 points. Dalembert also has 10 rebounds.

*There were four technical fouls in the second quarter. Dalembert and Francisco Garcia each picked up one for the Kings. Monta Ellis and Al Thornton each had one. They resulted from a brief exchange of words and shoves late in the quarter. Garcia's came after he accidentally knocked Al Thornton's headband off.

*Dorell Wright has 13 points to lead the Warriors. Stephen Curry has 10 points.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 35, Warriors 20

Just about everything went right for the Kings. After giving up a three pointer to open the game, the Kings went on a 19-0 run and eventually led by 22 at 35-13.

That of course means the Warriors closed the quarter on a 7-0 run.

*Kings-Warriors games always seem to go like this. Kings jump out to a big lead, Kings blow big lead, and we have a close game at the end. That's how the first two games have gone this season. The Kings lost both games in overtime.

*Marcus Thornton continues to look good. He already has 12 points. Samuel Dalembert had nine points and five rebounds.

*Monta Ellis was scoreless in the first quarter for the Warriors. I don't expect that to last long considering the problems he's always given the Kings.



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