Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 5, 2012
Kings finally break the century mark, and other notes

Guard Marcus Thornton talks to reporters following the Kings' 114-106 win over the Golden State Warriors in overtime at Power Balance Pavilion.

It had been a long time since the Kings scored 100 points in a game and, apparently, that was hovering in the back of head coach Keith Smart's mind.

Before the Kings beat the Golden State Warriors, 114-106, on Saturday night, they set a new Sacramento-era record by going 14 consecutive games without scoring 100 points.

The Kings hadn't broken the century mark since beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 5, 103-100. That was the day Smart took over as head coach, saying he wanted the Kings to adopt a running style, the likes of which usually makes for higher-scoring games.

"I've been trying to get us to get to 100 points for the longest time," said Smart, under whom the Warriors averaged 103.4 points per game last season.

"It took overtime to get there, but this team is going to figure out their potential to get to a certain level. They're still in the growth process."

* Marcus Thornton went into the locker room at halftime with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, having missed all five of his three-point attempts. He re-emerged after just a few minutes, the first player back on the court, and started practicing his jump shot.

Thornton then scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter on 7-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-4 from three-point range.

"I was kind of down on myself, missing wide-open shots in that first half I knew I could make," Thornton said. "I made sure I was the first person out there putting up shots and it helped in the third quarter."

* Smart called Warriors guard Klay Thompson's game-tying three-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation a "total, total, total breakdown" by the Kings on defense.

Nate Robinson got into the middle and found an open Thompson in the corner, and the rookie knocked down the shot right in front of the Kings' bench.

"Out of the huddle in the timeout, I said clearly and drew on the board, we do not leave the shooters. A (two-pointer) can't hurt you," Smart said. "But what happened, the ball moved away, we got sucked in (toward the middle of the court).

"(Robinson) came into the paint, and the shot was right there for Klay Thompson. Again, that's a young team, got to stay disciplined to the game plan and in timeouts they've got to focus."

Forward Jason Thompson discusses the Kings' rebounding performance and other topics following the team's win over the Warriors.

* Jason Thompson has clearly not forgotten about the Denver Nuggets scoring 92 points in the paint against the Kings on Jan. 25, the highest such total since the NBA began keeping track of that statistic.

Thompson said after Saturday night's win that the Kings "took that to heart" and have since put an emphasis on closing up the middle and forcing teams to try to out-shoot them.

Granted, two of the Kings' four games since that loss to the Nuggets have come against the Warriors, who lean heavily on their jump shooters anyway. But in each of those four games -- the other two being a loss to the Jazz and a win over the Trail Blazers -- the Kings have outscored their opponent in the paint, and done so by an average of 49-36.5.

* The Kings lost the turnover battle, committing 21 to the Warriors' 18. But the Kings made theirs count, scoring 33 points off Golden State turnovers while the Warriors turned their 21 takeaways into 23 points.

-- Matt Kawahara



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