The Sacramento Kings guaranteed a winning road trip by dismantling the playoff hopeful Indiana Pacers 110-93 on Friday. The Pacers, who had a three-game lead on the Bucks and Bobcats heading into the game, had an awful night shooting, shooting 35 percent from the floor and hitting just 4 of 25 three-pointers.
The wild part about the Kings' offensive showcase is that Marcus Thornton wasn't very sharp, and Tyreke Evans' scoring was wholly muted. Thornton shot just 7-22 from the floor and didn't get to the line at all, resulting in 15 points on baaad efficiency. Evans took only seven shots (he played just 17 minutes off the bench), and scored six. But Thornton was great on the boards (nine) and Evans dealt the ball beautifully (eight assists). And the big men handled business.
DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points on 9-17 shooting, to go with 14 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three turnovers. Samuel Dalembert added 16 points on 6-13 shooting with 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and a turnover. Jason Thompson had eight points and nine rebounds off the bench. Francisco Garcia and Donte Greene soaked up the small forward minutes, and scored 16 and 15 respectively, both on efficient shooting.
So how did Thornton and Evans look together?
The pair had two stints on the court together: at the end of the first and third quarters. Paul Westphal subbed Evans for Beno Udrih with less than five minutes to go in the first. The game was tied at 10. The Kings led 22-18 by the end of the quarter. Tyreke didn't score, but had three assists. Thornton had one assist, and took and missed one shot.
Evans entered the third quarter at about the same point, replacing Udrih. The Kings led 71-58. Thornton took two shots in this stretch; the make was a transition lay-up sparked by Evans after a defensive rebound. It was, really, the only successful Evans+Thornton play of the game. (Given that both are good defensive rebounders, it was a bit thrilling. I could get used to that.) Evans also took two shots in the span, and had two assists.
So obviously, we need more tape.
The Kings next play at Philadelphia e'rly Sunday morning. 9 AM Pacific.