Manu Ginobli scored a team-high 20 points and rookie Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and 9 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion by a final score of 117-112. Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with a career high 28 points and 10 assists.
If this game had to be summed up in one thought, it would be this: The San Antonio Spurs value each and every offensive possession more than do the Sacramento Kings. That was the primary difference between the two teams in tonight’s game. 2nd chance points were a contributing factor as well, as the Spurs generated 5 more shots than the Kings. On a night where each team shot in excess of 53.8%, those extra chances made a big difference. But you could tell throughout the game that the Spurs had a purpose to every offensive possession, while the Kings continue to suffer stretches where the offense screeches to a halt. Call it the difference between a veteran team and a young team.
Ginobli scored his 20 on only 12 shots, converting 8 of them, including 3-4 from beyond the arc. Leonard was also 3-4 from 3, which is mighty impressive for a guy that came out of college (and dropped to 14 in the draft) with a questionable shot.
In addition to Thomas’ offensive game, he did a nice job of pestering Tony Parker throughout the evening, as Parker shot 4-11 from the floor, finishing with 10 points and 10 assists. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 24 and 11, though he was only 11-24 from the floor. Jason Thompson was a perfect 6-6 from the floor on his way to a 15 point, 7 rebound, 3 block and 3 steal evening.
This, that, and the other –
- Cousins 1st foul was a silly one at 8:57 of 1st quarter. But very smooth sailing after that. I call that progress.
- As a small forward, Evans needs to do a much better job of locating and sealing his man off the boards. Not that his man was dominating the glass – just an observation of how many times his man was underneath the basket and uncovered.
- The left hand of Jason Thompson is a huge improvement to his game.
- Fun fact – The first 8 baskets of the game were scored by 8 different players: Green, Parker, Duncan, Leonard, Cousins, Thompson, Evans, and Thomas.
- I like John Salmons in a suit.
- Manu Ginobli looks like that guy that just kills you (and pisses you off) in rec. league.
- Just realized that Williams is wearing #55. I wonder if that is the same jersey…
- The one thing that I did not realize about T. Wiiliams is how strong he has become since becoming a pro. I’d like to see Tyler Honeycutt get some of that.
- End of the 1st quarter and the Spurs already had 8 guys in the scoring column. T-E-A-M.
- Kawhi Leonard looks like he’s going to be a player. Too bad he wasn’t available when we picked…
- Hayes vs. Diaw – The battle of the bulge.
- Smart looks exasperated when the Kings turn the ball over, while Popovich just looks flat torqued when the Spurs turn it over.
- DeMarcus Cousins has incredible hands. Webber-like. And he shows it on multiple occasions every game.
- Jumbaco was catchy, but the marrying bacon ad is just plain creepy. <Insert pork your wife joke here>