The Sacramento Kings fell to the Golden State Warriors 95-77 on Wednesday night. Let's take a look at what head coach Michael Malone and some of the Kings players liked and disliked about the team's performance and their opinions on Friday's opponent, the Portland Trail Blazers.
What Went Right
Michael Malone: "Our defense was actually pretty good tonight against a very, very capable offensive team - to hold them to 95 and 44 [percent] from the field. We did a great job defending the three-point line, which was a big point of emphasis for us going in. We out rebounded them; did a lot of good things on the defensive end."
DeMarcus Cousins: "You always learn from a loss, that's the biggest thing. But I think we did a pretty decent job defensively. Some credit to us and some to them just missing shots. But I think we did a fairly good job defensively."
Rudy Gay: "We held them to what, one three pointer in the first half? They hit a couple - they are good shooters - they hit a couple in the second half, but for the most part, we took that away and made other guys make plays. Obviously, Steph [Curry] made some great plays, but I think Klay [Thompson] really had to work to get his spots."
Darren Collison: "I thought we did a solid job on [Steph] Curry and [Klay] Thompson...despite having 18-20 something points, they shot a lot and they didn't have a good percentage."
What Went Wrong
Michael Malone: "I think around the 5:40 mark of the third quarter we were up by one and we turn in to the Keystone Cops. They go on a 15-2 run. We couldn't even get a shot off. Our offense, or lack thereof, was really, really bad tonight. The turnovers, we talked about it in the preseason - 28th in the preseason in turnovers per game - and to come out here against that team and turn the ball over 27 times for 26 points, you're not going to beat anybody, nonetheless one of the best teams in the Western Conference. So offensively, a very disappointing effort. I thought we played very selfishly. Did not move the ball, pounded the ball. So we looked very similar to the Sacramento Kings of last season tonight."
(Here is some footage of the Keystone Cops in action.)
Cousins: "When they went on their run we kind of panicked...started trying to force things to happen. I don't think we really stayed poised enough in their run; same mistakes." "We've got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball."
Gay: "Turnovers and also our offense." "It's early, guys are trying to do things and trying to be productive, but sometimes it happens." "The middle of that third quarter is when we really didn't execute, that's when we kind of fell apart."
Collison: "We beat ourselves. Turnovers. There's no other way to explain it. We had turnovers that were unforced. They weren't turnovers where they were guarding us, they were turnovers where we simply threw the ball away and when you're playing a good playoff team, some say a contending team, you can't have that many turnovers and win the game."
What's Next: The Blazers
Michael Malone: "We're going to first worry about us and try to clean up all of our mistakes tonight on both sides of the basketball...They have a tremendous team. Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Nicolas Batum, [Robin] Lopez in the middle. We played them very tough last year. We beat them once, we lost to them three times, but all three of our losses went down to the wire. So it's Damian Lillard, it's LaMarcus Aldridge, we'll have our hands full."
Cousins: "Learn what they do, but the biggest thing is us playing the right type of basketball - us coming in and perfecting our own craft. Tonight, we beat ourselves, so it can't be the same thing next game."
Gay: "They are kind of similar. They shoot a lot of threes...I think it's good that we have them next because you kind of have a similar preparation and just clean up our offense and I think we'll be fine."
Collison: "At this point, you have to prepare for yourselves...the Blazers are going to be the Blazers, the Warriors are going to be the Warriors. I think at this point right now we've got to worry about ourselves."