A performance like that -- more or less start to finish -- makes losses to the Sonics and Clippers more infuriating.
If you can destroy the Jazz -- winners of 10 straight -- by 13, you can/should beat the Sonics at home. There's no excuse for a loss like that. That's the difference between a .500 team and a team which has to go beat Golden State and Memphis to get back to .500. That's the difference between a playoff team and a 35-win team.
Let's go bullet-style with the rest:
- 28 minutes for Kevin Martin, 27 points. Not gunshy.
- I thought the decision to keep the bench on the floor in the fourth (made easier by the fact they were playing their asses off) was terrific and bodes well for tonight, when the Kings get to suck air at Oracle. No starter played more than 33 minutes; Mike Bibby (23 min) should particularly have his lungs ready to chase Baron Davis and Monta Ellis around. ('Chase' is the key word there. Because staying in front of them... that might take more than lungs.)
- Quincy Douby became the story based on his fourth quarter shooting. I thought he did a fine job getting the team into its offense, and then finding space on the perimeter. Beno Udrih was also on the floor, but often QD set things up.
- Spencer Hawes was, again, a friggin beast in the second quarter. Best defensive stint he's played all year, and he has incredible passing instincts (it would seem).
- Nice round line for Johnny Salmons: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks. The key, as always: Long stints.
- Most improbable stat: 12 offensive rebounds in 36 opportunities, an offensive rebounding percentage of 33%. Kings' season average is 25%.
- Unfortunate collision between Ronnie Price and Francisco Garcia. Amick reports Garcia won't play tonight and could miss substantial time.
- Somewhat less frustrating moment: Ron Artest offers C.J. Miles some updog.
The man knows how to dunk emphatically.