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Kings 85, Spurs 112: Thanks NBA! xoxo

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What looked like a schedule loss actually turned out to be just that, as the Spurs run the tired Kings team out of the gym

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Just erase this one from the memory. Due to a weird schedule quirk, the Sacramento Kings were forced to travel halfway across the country to play against the defending champs. And much like the game against the Los Angeles Clippers a week and half ago, the Kings team came in and played a scrappy first quarter, but fizzled out in the second and the game was essentially over afterwards. The San Antonio Spurs did what they had to do, destroying the Kings 112-85.

DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay both had frustrating, forgettable nights. Due to a combination of foul trouble and blowout rest, Cousins only played 22 minutes tonight, scoring 14 points and only grabbing three rebounds. Gay, on the other hand, was completely annihilated by Kawhi Leonard on both ends of the court. Leonard was in Rudy's shirt all game long, harassing the passing lanes, contesting Rudy's usual good looks, and bothering his shaky handle. On offense, Leonard was on fire, shooting 9/11 from the field and 2/4 from three point range. Gay got a technical foul out of frustration in the second and, in my opinion, probably should have been ejected because of his continuing verbal assault on the refs.

But there was plenty of terrible play to go around. Ben McLemore, after some explosive games, crashed back down to earth, only scoring 3 points when the game was still competitive and finishing with 9 on the night. Jason Thompson was godawful, missing several easy bunnies around the rim on his way to a 3/8 shooting night. Ray McCallum was really quiet, but got to pad his stats in garbage time to end up with 12 points on 12 shots. The Spurs, on the other hand, were able to get practically whatever they wanted after the second quarter, scoring 28, 31, and 27 points in the final periods.

Again, this one is probably worth just flushing from memory. The team got into San Antonio last night at 3 am, facing a Spurs team that traditional ramps up its intensity about this time. There's not much to glean here. The next game is at Orlando on Friday.

Random Observations

  • Derrick Williams continues to be useful off the bench. He scored 11 points on only 4 shots in this game, hitting his only three pointer. Williams' first quarter explosion helped propel the Kings to a lead. The only thing is that he needs to do a better job on the defensive boards, although that just may be by design because George Karl has him leaking out so much
  • The Spurs' defensive pressure really spooked the Kings. They were harassing ballhandlers, attacking the passing lanes and just making it uncomfortable to run the offense. The Kings would have had trouble beating this given their level of discipline even if they were fresh, forget about when they were tired.
  • The refs didn't help matters in the first half. The Spurs are a quality defensive team, but definitely got the benefit of a friendly whistle tonight. Unfortunately, this led to the Kings complaining to the referees in place of playing basketball.
  • Andre Miller is a marvelous passer. Its been so long since the Kings have had a passer of this quality that he just amazes day-to-day
  • Happy Birthday to Kevin Johnson!
  • The Kings ESC has officially gone vertical
For the opponent's perspective, visit Pounding the Rock