Sacramento played without starting Center DeMarcus Cousins as well as forward Reggie Evans. Carl Landry got his first start of the preseason in their absence but only played the first five minutes of the game. Without Cousins and Evans, the Kings' rebounding suffered, and they allowed Brooklyn to grab 12 offensive rebounds for 17 second chance points.
Sophomore Ben McLemore led the way for the Kings with 22 points on an efficient 7-13 from the field including 3-4 from downtown (and his only miss was an end of quarter heave). McLemore also added 3 rebounds and a steal, although he did have 4 turnovers. McLemore definitely has looked much improved this preseason compared to last year, which is a good sign. Rudy Gay also had a bounce back game, stepping up in Cousins' absence to provide 21 points on 9-18 shooting along with 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
The Kings got down early thanks to some hot shooting from the Nets but turned the game around in the second quarter thanks to Darren Collison, who came off the bench in this game. Collison finished the game with 18 points and 6 assists in just 17 and a half minutes, including going 4 of 6 from three. The Kings managed to outscore Brooklyn 36 to 16 in that quarter to take a 9 point lead into halftime.
The Nets came out on fire in the second half, led by Mirza Teletovic, who got the start in place of the resting Kevin Garnett. Teletovic scored 22 points on the game to lead the Nets and at one point was 6-7 from three (he finished 6-9). Brooklyn's bench also proved to be a key factor, particularly Mason Plumlee, who scored 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting. Mike Malone was not impressed with Sacramento's defensive effort tonight, as they allowed the Nets to shoot 51.8% from the field and 41.7% from three.
The Kings lost the lead in the fourth quarter but were able to tie it up thanks to a step back three from Omri Casspi that eventually sent the game into overtime. However the Kings weren't able to get much offense going in the extra period and the Nets prevailed.
Sacramento's trip to China is now over and they're heading back home to face Maccabi Haifa in Sacramento on Saturday.
For the opposing perspective, be sure to visit Nets Daily.
- Derrick Williams actually looked ok during this game, mainly because he decided to be aggressive in attacking the rim. He finished with 10 points on just 4 shots.
- I like Ramon Sessions but more as a sparkplug. The team seems to run the offense better with Collison on the floor and Collison's better shooting also provides more spacing.
- Another off-shooting night for Nik Stauskas, going just 4-11 from the field and 1-5 from three. He does have a really good knack of being able to create just enough space to get his shot off though. I'd actually like to see the Kings try to run more plays for him on offense because he's a natural there. Defense is a different animal though.
- Eric Moreland actually got some significant time and there was both good and bad. He definitely looked like a rookie, turning the ball over a couple times and fouling a bit too much, but he did manage two blocks and protected the rim.
- Speaking of protecting the rim, please stop swatting balls like they owe you money Ryan Hollins. Hollins wasn't credited with a block in the box score, but he did have one on Plumlee where he could easily have just stopped the ball. Instead he swatted it out to the three point line where a Net grabbed it and hit the wide open three.
- Jason Thompson brought back his mid-range jumper to play and it was a welcome sight. He can definitely hit that shot with consistency and it's a weapon I'd like to see him use more, especially if he's paired with Cousins. It will open the floor up a bit.