How's that for a sense of timing? The Kings put together a huge Tyreke Evans bash, with free t-shirts, video montages, Reke-on-a-stick, a speech by the mayor, heaps of adoration, punch and cake ... and Evans gets his first career triple-double, and the Kings beat a playoff team by 23. Un-be-liev-a-ble.
And how about them teammates, helping him out? The Kings took this game with a mammoth third quarter, a 43-23 drubbing that turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 16-point lead. In the third, Spencer Hawes had 5/4 on 50 percent shooting. Carl Landry had 10/3 on perfect shooting. Donte Greene had eight points and two assists, on 3-4 shooting. Beno Udrih had nine points and five assists on 4-6 shooting. That's some good stuff, right? And Reke polished it off with 9/4/2, missing one shot and giving up one turnover. Just a brilliant quarter of basketball all the way around.
Evans and Udrih combined for 18 assists, 29 FGAs and nine FTAs ... and had only four turnovers between them. That's just incredible guard play, more assists between the two than the entire Raptors roster had. Count Francisco Garcia, as well -- he had 12 points on perfect 5-5 shooting. Greene was excellent all night, Landry turned it on for the second half, Jason Thompson was notably effective on defense, Omri Casspi had a nice second half, and Hawes hit the glass quite effectively.
Rebounding was not a problem, not in the least. Toronto had seven offensive rebounds in 45 opportunities, a defensive rebounding percentage of 84.4 percent for Sacramento. (And three of those offensive rebounds were by Andrea Bargnani, so those don't even count.) Chris Bosh was ineffective throughout, shooting 3-4 at the rim but just 3-16 beyond five feet. The Kings did good work keeping him off the line, too -- he had only three FTAs, despite averaging 8.5 per game on the season. In the fourth, Thompson effectively muscled up Bosh, forcing some misfires. But mostly, the Kings just kept Bosh from driving by giving him the jumper, and he happened to miss them. This season he's shot nearly 50 percent from 5-10 feet -- he was 2-7 Wednesday night. He's shot 44 percent from 10-23 feet -- he was 1-9 Wednesday night. Even the mighty feel weak now and then.
Brilliant start to the homestand, gents. Keep it up.