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April 13, 2013
The Morning After: Give the bench credit for keeping the game within reach

SAN ANTONIO - Friday night's 108-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs could have been worse if not for the bench.

On a night the starters couldn't find any consistency, it was the bench that was respectable most of the night.

Kings' reserves combined to shoot 19 of 40 (47.5 percent). The rest of the Kings shot 20 of 49 (40.1 percent) with the starting backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans combining to shoot 6-for-19 from the field.

When the Kings appeared on their way to losing by 20-plus, it was the bench that sparked 37 points in the second quarter to keep the game within 10 at halftime.

"They gave us spacing and ball movement," said Kings coach Keith Smart of the bench. "The ball moved a great deal. We had spacing with Marcus Thornton making some big threes that kind of closed the gap. It was done out of our penetration to find someone, not penetration to make plays of myself."

Toney Douglas has all seven of his assists in the second quarter. The bench accounted for 16 of Sacramento's 26 assists.

Three reserves (Jimmer Fredette, Douglas and Thronton) scored in double figures.

The Kings have gone through a few phases where the bench has come in and shown the starters how to execute. The teamwork of the bench Friday was another example.

"Guys were sharing the ball and hitting shots," Fredette said. "I think we were doing a good job spacing the floor and spreading them out. We made them not pack it up in the paint so much and we were doing a good job of hitting our jump shots."

That wasn't the case in the first quarter with the starters. The Kings shot 5 of 24.

"Not being able to put the ball in the basket right away really hurt us," Smart said. "We over penetrated too. We over penetrated rather than make the extra pass. You need to make the extra pass against this team."



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