The formula to beating the Kings appears simple.
Don't let them jump ahead.
The Kings are 9-21 this season when trailing after the first quarter.
The Kings are now 9-13 when leading after the first quarter after their nine-point lead during the first wasn't enough to propel them past the New Jersey Nets, Saturday night at Power Balance Pavilion.
The King actually led 35-31 at the end of the first quarter before losing 111-99.
But by overcoming the nine-point deficit, the Nets had already accomplished their goal
"We knew this team (Sacramento) was going to try to knock us out in the first quarter," said Nets coach Avery Johnson. "They are a first-quarter team but then we started adding 20- and 21-point defensive quarters. We got back to our defensive sets and got them out of transition."
The end of the first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game. By getting the lead down to four, the Nets were close enough to make the Kings have to work ahrd for a win.
The Kings just didn't match the intensity of the Nets.
"Overall, energy was down," said Donte Greene. "We got into it and picked it up late but it was kind of too late by then. We've got to start in the first quarter, even the third quarter - we've got to bring it."