Kings Blog and Q&A

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

March 16, 2011
In-game blog (Kings vs. Cavaliers)

By Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

FINAL
Cavaliers 97, Kings 93

Game story has been filed. Now it's time to go over many of the things that went wrong tonight for the Kings.

This was a game between two of the worst teams in the league and the game ended up being competitive at the end, which isn't surprising.

*Let's start with the free throws. The Cavs shot 30 while the Kings shot 13. If you watched the game, you saw the Kings do plenty of talking to the officials. But it's not like the Cavs took full advantage. They made only 19 (63.3 percent).

"We got to find a way to get to the line and we got to find a way to keep the other team from shooting so many free throws," said Kings coach Paul Westphal.

DeMarcus Cousins wasn't happy that there was no foul called in the fourth quarter when he was hit in the face and ended up with a bloody nose.

The free throw disparity bothered plenty of Kings.

"It was 30 to 13 - it was obvious - 30 to 13," Cousins said.

Did he ever talk to the officials?

"Can't talk to them because...," Cousins said, wisely stopping before he said something that got him fined by the NBA.

The Kings led 28-18 after the first quarter but were outplayed by the smaller Cavs the rest of the night.

"A lot of things played into them cutting into that lead," Cousins said. "I'm not going to sit in here and blame this team for it. A lot of things had something to do with it. We've got to play through it and keep playing."

*There are questionable calls every night but the Kings are among the best teams at fouling. Entering tonight's game, the Kings average 22.3 fouls. That's the fifth most in the league. Perhaps there's more to it than just the officials.

*In the end, the Kings inability to defend guards continues to be a problem. Ramon Sessions made 10-of-15 shots in scoring 20 points. In two games against the Kings, Sessions made 19 of his 28 shots, averaging 20.5 points. Sessions scored the go-ahead basket with 18.1 seconds left to give the Cavs a 95-93 lead.

*The Kings (16-50) shot 38 percent for the game. The Cavs (13-53) shot 51.4 percent. Somehow the undersized Cavs outscored the Kings in the paint, 48-46.

*Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 23 points. Cousins had 11 points and 16 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Besides Sesssions, J.J. Hickson (17 points) and Luke Harangody off the bench (15 points, eight rebounds) were effective for the Cavs.

*And finally a thought from Cousins on losing to the team with the worst record in the NBA:

"Even though they have a losing record, they have beaten key teams, just like we have beaten key teams. They are a good team. W can't let the record tell how well they play or how hard they play."


THIRD QUARTER
Kings 74, Cavaliers 73

*The third quarter got ugly for Sacramento with Cleveland taking a 65-58 lead with 6:44 left in the quarter. Being outscored 20-7 is not the way to start the quarter against the team with the worst record in the NBA. Marcus Thornton was able to help rally the Kings making three three-point shots in the quarter. Overall, the Kings made five of 10 from three to eventually regain the lead.

*The Kings shot just 38.1 percent in the third quarter (8-of-21).

*Thornton leads the Kings with 18 points. All five starters for the Kings have scored in double figures. DeMarcus Cousins has 11 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento.

*The athleticism of J.J. Hickson is bothering the Kings. He had 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter. Hickson is playing out of position at center, but also has seven rebounds. Ramon Sessions leads the Cavaliers with 14 points and five assists.


HALFTIME
Kings 51, Cavaliers 45

*DeMarcus Cousins is starting to assert himself against the overmatched Cavaliers up front. Cousins scored nine of his 11 points in the second quarter. Cousins also has eight rebounds. Beno Udrih, Marcus Thornton and Francisco Garcia have nine points for the Kings.

*The Cavs made 11 of 17 shots in the second quarter to keep this game close. Leading the way for Cleveland is Luke Harangody with 11 points. Also every Cav has scored. They're going to give the Kings problems with their energy and effort to make up for the lack of talent.

*The Cavs have 12 turonvers. Meanwhile the usually sloppy Kings have only five turnovers.


FIRST QUARTER
Kings 28, Cavaliers 18

*Aside from DeMarcus Cousins missing four of his first five shots, there's not much not to like about the first quarter for the Kings. All five starters scored. Marcus Thornton and Francisco Garcia each have seven points. Beno Udrih has six points and five assists.

*The Kings had just one turnover. Cleveland had six turnovers.

*Of note from pregame, coach Paul Westphal said he hopes Tyreke Evans can play by the end of next week. Westphal said his "inclination" is to bring Evans off the bench.

*Baron Davis still isn't with the Cavs after the death of his grandmother.



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