With Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas, and Reggie Evans all out, the Sacramento Kings knew that they had to play perfect basketball in order to have a chance against the Thunder, with or without Russell Westbrook. DeMarcus Cousins and Travis Outlaw got the memo, and with the starters in the game we were always in it. Then, the bench came in. The Kings' bench was especially stagnant, even by their own standards. They had amassed all of 5 points by the time garbage time came around, and they were able to pad their stats.The end result was a 107-92 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 24 and 14 on his way to his 50th double double of the season. For those keeping track at home that ties him with Chris Webber for the most double doubles in a single season by a Sacramento King. One has to assume that he will break that in these last few games, though I may have just accidentally put an Akisesque curse on him. Travis Outlaw was his typical self, with 24 pts, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 1 turnover. As predicted, he outscored Kevin Durant by 1 point. While Ben McLemore, Ray McCallum, and Jason Thompson didn't have record breaking performances, they didn't hurt the team, and they were actually in the game when this crew was on the floor. The bench, outside of a nice dunk and some solid effort by Quincy Acy did absolutely nothing worth noting.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to put themselves in cruise control for a majority of the game. Kevin Durant never had to do much, as guys like Caron Butler and Serge Ibaka carried the load for him. Kevin Durant finished with 23 points, which halted his 25- point game streak at 41. Caron Butler was on fire, shooting 6-6 from downtown on his way to 23 points. Serge Ibaka tallied 19 points on 4 boards, as well. Outside of the others stepped up when they needed to, and shocked the world by playing better than the Kings did.
The game was not without highlights. DeMarcus was on fire for a while, though it appeared that fatigue eventually got the best of him. He even appeared to spin away from Durant and break his ankles! (It was probably more due to the fact that Durant was stepping back, but I am going to tell it like I saw it.) McCallum, who was struggling with his shot now that defenses are making him create more, showed off those great handles we have learned to loe. And Travis Outlaw's was doing his typical turnaround jumper, fadeaway, and tip- in routine.
While the bench play was terrible, most of the rotation players played a good game, and we were basically in the game for 3 quarters. The big story was as simple as missing three starters from our lineup. As ideal as it is to continually lean on Travis Outlaw, who is just a few games away from his jersey retirement, we just can't always ride him off into the sunset and be fine. The Kings have some opportunities to play spoiler these last few games, so let's end it on a win streak!
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