The Sacramento Kings kicked off their season-long eight game road trip in the best fashion possible, trouncing the New York Knicks on their home floor 124 to 86. Sacramento led by as many as 44 points midway through the 3rd quarter in this one as New York was never able to get anything going on either end of the floor. Sacramento had six players in double-figures, led by Rudy Gay's game-high 25. Alexey Shved led the Knicks with 15 points.
This game was never in doubt as Sacramento came out gunning to outscore New York 35-19 in the opening frame. DeMarcus Cousins scored 12 of his 22 points in the first quarter, including a three pointer from the top of the key. Sacramento as a team was surprisingly accurate from distance, hitting 10-18 overall. Sacramento added to their efficiency by getting to the line a ton, making 32 of 37 attempts.
Ben McLemore joined Cousins and Gay in the 20 point club with 20 points himself on 6-12 shooting and 6-7 free throw attempts. It has been nice seeing Ben be more aggressive getting to the line under Karl. Ben also had 4 assists which ties his season-high. The Kings as a team had 26 assists to just 14 turnovers.
Sacramento's bench was productive once more, a continuing trend under George Karl. Derrick Williams had his second good game in a row, scoring 17 points on just 12 shots. Andre Miller didn't score and had just 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 20 minutes, but he played a big part in Sacramento blowing the game open in the second quarter. Rookie Nik Stauskas also got his first meaningful look under George Karl and ended up having one of his best games of the season, tying his career-high with 15 points to go along with 2 assists.
The blowout was the perfect situation for the Kings, because now they have to go immediately to San Antonio for a game tomorrow for a rematch against the San Antonio Spurs.
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- Perhaps the best thing about Stauskas' time on the court was the fact that he wasn't settling for bad shots or just trying to spot up for threes. Nik came out aggressive early looking to get to the rim or the line and it paid off. He went 6-6 at the line and most of his points came at the rim. This is the Nik Stauskas we have been waiting to see all year. Now let's see if he can keep it up against much better upcoming competition.
- The rowdiest that Knick fans got was in the 4th quarter when they started breaking out "Tom Hanks" chants with the game well out of reach. Hanks went to Sac State by the way.
- "Early was late to that shot". I love Jerry.
- Shane Larkin provides a nice little energy boost off the bench. On a good team, he could be a decent change of pace option. He kind of reminded me of J.J. Barea.
- Jason Smith was the sole Knick with a positive +/-. I actually think Smith would work well with the Kings as a bench forward option with his ability to shoot. Perhaps someone to keep an eye on this summer for free agency.
- Carl Landry does not seem to factor into George Karl's gameplan, which is surprising given how good of a scorer Landry is. However, one thing that Landry is not is a passer, and passing is paramount to Karl's system.