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A Minor Recovery

The Kings didn't quite make a full comeback from the atrocious Game #2 in Miami, but the performance was closer to good than bad. Honestly, Orlando should have cinched that game sooner than two minutes from the horn. With Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus all nailing shots and Dwight Howard at his best, the Kings would face long odds in any situation. With John Salmons completely off, Kevin Martin still not himself and the frontcourt playing ultra-meager at times, there's no chance.

Defensive rebounding was the biggest bogeyman. The teams were even on turnovers, but Orlando had an extra eight shooting possessions. Mikki Moore had another rough, rough rebounding night (one in 20 minutes), and Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson were outmatched on the defensive glass (six defensive rebounds in a combined 48 minutes). It's hard to fault Thompson, though: he was extremely active on both ends and yanked down three offensive boards, half the Kings' total. No Kings starter had a single offensive board. That says a lot about Howard, but it says too much about Moore and Hawes, unfortunately.

But again: there were good signs. Martin scored 1.34 points per shooting possession ... but he could have been more aggressive as Salmons deferred, and both of Martin's turnovers were pretty rough. Perhaps the shy referees through the first three games share responsibility, but Martin's not drawing nearly as many fouls as he's capable of.

Beno Udrih only coughed the ball up twice, which should be average, not a miracle. Hawes came alive in the fourth quarter, once he could ignore his foul trouble. Salmons did hit a few trademark jumpers, and he controlled his dribble well. Thompson was excellent again, and Shelden Williams was an absolutely force.

Road wins aren't going to come against good teams, though. In retrospect, it makes the opener in the Minneapolis more painful. But hey, the team comes home soon, and they can beat anyone anytime here.