Sheesh. Nothing easy for the Sacramento Kings. After a first half of truly godawful defense that found them down by double digits, the Kings found a way to clamp down in the second. DeMarcus Cousins exploded after an entirely forgettable first half for 30 points in the second on his way to a 40 point outing before fouling out in the fourth. Unfortunately, after Cousins fouled out, they watched a comfortable lead whittle down to only two and the last seconds of the game were far more tense than they had to be. But a win's a win, and the Kings certainly aren't caring how aesthetically pleasing they are. Onto some observations
- Can't speak enough about Rajon Rondo. His third triple double of the week, twice in a row, but his all-around brilliance were absolutely critical in this win. The first half would have been far uglier without Rondo's push. Rondo now has as many triple doubles as the rest of the NBA combined.
- Ben McLemore broke out of his slump and may have buried James Anderson on the bench for good. He scored 15 points and buried 3/4 of his three point attempts. He's even been passing the ball pretty well this year, hitting Marco Belinelli for some transition threes that helped the Kings climb back into the game.
- BOOGIE. 40 points, 13 rebounds after a first half which he couldn't make a layup from a foot away. He just caught fire in a way that no other big man in the league can today and single-handedly powered the Kings to the lead in the third quarter. Rondo and Boogie are developing excellent chemistry out of the pick-and-roll.
- George Karl's starting lineup decision was a complete and utter flop tonight. Normally a coach would look to his second-string small forward when the starter is injured, but Karl dug deep into the bench and pulled out a creaky Caron Butler for some reason. It didn't work. Thankfully Butler's minutes were limited in the second half.
- The Kings' backup point guard situation without Darren Collison is still very much in flux. Seth Curry didn't do much in his four minutes, and Belinelli is a horrible option there. Rondo racked up 44 minutes on the night.