The Sacramento Kings lost to the Detroit Pistons 95-90 Saturday night. After the game, Kings head coach Michael Malone and his players discussed what went wrong (giving up too many fast-break points and missing shots), what went right (rebounding) and how they get ready for their upcoming matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
What Went Wrong
Malone: "The key to the game is you can't give up 31 fast-break points, I mean they had 13 in the first half, they had 18 fast-break points in the second half. And to start the game it was Andre Drummond outrunning us for dunk, dunk and if we cut that in half, now we hold them probably to around 41 percent for the game and it's a much different story, but 31 fast-break points is ridiculous."
Darren Collison: "I think this game was more of our defense, especially in transition getting back, and just continue to help each other on the defensive end. We made a lot of mistakes on the defensive end where we can't even put the blame on the offense's shoulders … I always say the third quarter is the most important quarter. You look at our last five to six games, our third quarter has a lot to do with the way we're finishing out games. Whether we're up by 10, we're losing leads. Whatever the case may be, our third quarter is not where it needs to be and I think that's something that we've got to continue to clean up."
Nik Stauskas: "It's tough to beat a team if they're going to get out in transition and get easy baskets like that. So it was obviously a problem today, and obviously the shots weren't dropping the way they normally are for us so that didn't help either."
Ben McLemore: "Fast-break points. We discussed that after the game … it's something we've got to do as a team is just get back … We couldn't make a shot. It's kind of frustrating sometimes."
What Went Right
Malone: "I'm disappointed we didn't make shots, but I thought we missed a lot of great looks … 21 assists, obviously to get an assist you've got to make shots, which we struggled with tonight. But to be very honest, I wasn't overly disappointed with the offense tonight, I thought there was a lot of improvement with our execution, with our ball movement, I thought in that third quarter we got a little stagnant at times. We tried to do a little bit too much because we were struggling … I judge it on not if you make the shot, but if we are getting good looks and I thought we got a lot of good looks tonight, they just didn't go down for us."
Collison: "We rebounded the ball pretty well, so that's a good thing. We continued to fight, we didn't give up. But I'm not here for moral victories, I want the win."
Gay: "They're a big team. They have Josh [Smith], [Greg] Monroe and [Andre] Drummond, who I know is if not the leading rebounder in the league, then he's one of them. We beat them on the boards."
Stauskas: "We fought hard today, I feel like we battled. We really tried to get back in that game."
What's Next: Oklahoma City Thunder
Stauskas: "With [Russell] Westbrook and [Kevin] Durant healthy, they're one of the toughest teams to guard in the league just because those guys are so talented. So I'm sure we'll put together a good game plan and if we stick to it and work hard then things should go our way."
McLemore: "It's going to be a good matchup. Westbrook is back, Durant is back. We just have to be prepared."
Gay: "Turn on the TV, they're always on TV … they're a great team. They have Russ [Westbrook] who is really, really hitting his stride and KD … just make their shots tough, that's all."