I'm a grown-ass man, and basketball shouldn't bring a tear to my eye. But that first half came close.
Typically with the Kings, we'll take either the extremely active, effective defense... or we'll take the electric, swift offense. We got both in the first half -- constant doubles and traps on Chris Paul (which limited him to 15 points and 19 assists, ha), solid man toughness on David West, good collapsing on Tyson Chandler. The only thing missing defensively was a hand in Peja's face.
On the other end, everyone played well, top to bottom. I mean, you know the Kings are feeling it when Mikki Moore delivers a wrap-around no-look to Brad Miller in the paint. Mike Bibby actually went to the bucket, Ron Artest actually went to the bucket, Kevin Martin nailed half his shots, Miller was a beast, Moore was frisky, Beno Udrih pressed at the right tempo.
The second half wasn't awful; the fourth was a bit slow, almost like Sacramento went into a prevent offense (illustrated by Martin pulling back on a 1-on-2 to get picked by Paul). But they survived, thanks to a few timely buckets (including one by Martin) and some stops. About that one stop, the Peja airball... if that doesn't break your heart, you are a spiteful person. I don't think Peja was born with the yips; all the attention paid to his so-called yips and fulfilled the theory he has the yips. So this is all partly our fault, since as a fan base we harped and harped on his fourth-quarter performance when he was a King. Um, sorry Peja. (Also to blame: Chris Webber. Those post-Minnesota comments sealed Peja's fate.)
Random observation: Tyson Chandler : Brad Miller :: Spencer Hawes : Tyson Chandler, in terms of being a huge frustration. Old Brad would have socked Ty in the third quarter. Current Ty almost socked Spencer. Fun!
I had more thoughts, but the Young Indiana Jones Chronciles in on the History Channel, and I am distracted.