The final score will show that the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 111-104, but buried in that score is that fact that the Kings played terribly for three quarters, played incredible sloppy basketball, and still mounted and impressive comeback that fell just short. There was a lot for Kings fans to be excited about, but a win sure would have been nice.
The Kings came out sloppy, perhaps a bit rusty after having over a week between their final preseason game and their season opener. The Kings had 16 turnovers, many of them completely unforced. The defensive rotations were lacking, leading to Blake Griffin feasting on the Kings for 33 points on 20 shots. At times, they seemed like the same old Kings, but luckily those moments were fleeting.
The difference was the bench unit. Last season the bench cost the Kings games, but tonight the bench brought the Kings back. Darren Collison was fantastic off the bench. As expected, he played heavy minutes (30) despite not starting. He also was on the court with Rajon Rondo several times throughout the game. Collison finished with a bench-high 13 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had an incredible night. He was by no means at his peak performance, being flustered by DeAndre Jordan throughout the first half, but still finished with 32 points, and 13 rebounds. Even more incredible, Cousins went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Truly unbelievable. If Cousins really has this in his arsenal, he's even more dangerous. After a few early threes, defenders started respecting the three as a threat, allowing Cousins to blow past them and get into the paint for fouls or easy buckets.
With this being the first game with such a dramatically different roster, we're going to have plenty more analysis of this team and the roster's performance.
For the opponent's perspective, visit our friends at Clips Nation.