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Kings 99, Spurs 106: Cousins dominates but Kings play sloppy and fall in San Antonio

DeMarcus Cousins had a dominating performance but it wasn't enough to overcome the lack of late game execution and overall sloppiness of the Kings.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Despite leading for much of the game, a dominating DeMarcus Cousins performance, and no Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard for the Spurs, the Kings fell to the San Antonio Spurs 106 to 99.  It was a bit of deja vu to the last few times the Kings have visited San Antonio, as once again the team failed to execute and close out in the final quarter as the game tightened up.

Cousins led the way with 32 points on 12-14 shooting from the field.  He also added a game-high 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block.  Boogie's problems taking care of the ball continued, as he one-upped his previous 9 turnover game against Maccabi Haifa with 10 turnovers tonight.  All five of Cousins fouls were of the offensive variety, and while a couple of them were iffy, they were all in situations that could have used more ball movement.  The team as a whole had 23 turnovers to just 19 assists.

The Kings were without Nik Stauskas and Omri Casspi and there was definitely a different feel to the bench without those two guys.  The offensive spacing was not good, and the Kings didn't really have any reliable three point shooters.  One of the big differences in the game was from beyond the arc, as Sacramento made just 1 of 8 attempts compared to 8 of 26 for San Antonio.  Carl Landry was Sacramento's only reliable bench weapon, scoring 15 points on 5-6 shooting to go with 7 rebounds in 18 minutes.  Ramon Sessions had 10 points himself but shot just 3-11 from the field.

The Kings now have almost the rest of the week off before finishing up preseason with a visit to Vegas to face the Lakers.

For the opponent's perspective, visit Pounding the Rock.

Random Observations:

  • Ben McLemore scored just 6 points on 3-5 shooting and was very iffy defensively but for a three minute span early on in the game he looked really good.  He had two good moves to the basket that more importantly he was able to finish, and he followed that up with a pump fake into a swished jumper.  I want to see more of that Ben McLemore.
  • Rudy Gay had a pretty disappointing game for 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists.  He shot just 4-12 from the field and there were several possessions where he opted for a tough shot rather than move the ball.  That's the Rudy Gay nobody wants to see.  One good thing about Rudy is that he did try and succeed to get to the basket, as he drew 12 Free Throw Attempts.
  • I liked seeing Carl Landry get going offensively.  When he's in the game, the Kings need to involve him on offense because he's a real threat down low.  It's a much more efficient play than trying to post up Reggie Evans or Derrick Williams (as the Kings tried to do several times).
  • Kyle Anderson is going to make a lot of draft analysts look silly. Sure, he's not the most athletic dude, but you know what? He can play basketball and he can play right now.  He finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block in just 30 minutes of action and didn't look like a rookie during much of that time.  How on Earth this guy was allowed to fall down to the Spurs is beyond me, especially when almost all the statistics showed him as one of the better players in the draft.  What's done is done though, and the rich get richer.
  • With Nik Stauskas out, Ray McCallum got the call as backup Shooting Guard.  He did not look very good at all.  McCallum was routinely blown by on defense, didn't score in 21 minutes and only had 1 assist.
  • Manu Ginobili is the NBA's version of Colin Kaepernick.  He has the ability to do the craziest things (and pull them off on many occasions), but then he also does the stupidest things.  He had a very weird stat line tonight with just 2 points on 1-11 shooting, but he still managed a +5 thanks to his playmaking, rebounding and defense.
  • I would like to add some more shooters to this team.  We still don't have enough, and it was really noticeable with Stauskas out.  Even Casspi, who isn't a huge threat from outside, at least warrants some attention from the defense on the perimeter.