When Rudy Gay left the game with a left knee injury late in the first quarter, memories of the Sacramento Kings’ (16-22) recent poor play minus a star resurfaced. The thought came to fruition as DeMarcus Cousins joined him on the sidelines in the waning seconds of regulation, and the short-handed Kings fell to the visiting Dallas Mavericks (27-12), 108-104.
“We scrambled, we were scrambling,” Tyrone Corbin said after the loss. “I can’t say enough about the guys. We had some guys in situations that they’re not accustomed to, trying to make plays down the stretch, but we didn’t make shots down the stretch.”
For 47 minutes, it looked like a Kings win. Sacramento’s offense attacked the rim without abandon, which helped negate the team’s 1-for-18 shooting from behind the arc. The Kings shot 44.2 percent from the floor and scored 54 points in the paint. They converted 27-of-24 free throws, and out-rebounded the Mavericks 59-44, but lost 20 turnovers.
“I had nine turnovers,” Cousins acknowledged. “That could have changed the game a whole lot more if I cut that in half. A lot of things could’ve been done better.”
The Kings blew a four-point lead with a minute to go, and succumbed in overtime. Sacramento entered the extra period minus Gay, who left with 1:44 in the first quarter, and Cousins, who fouled out with 21.7 seconds to go in regulation. Sacramento shot 0-for-7 field goals in extras.
“I could tell guys, when they missed a shot, they kind of got down,” Cousins reflected on overtime. “I was constantly yelling, ‘Just pick yourself up. We’re good. Just keep playing.’ So it was a tough night.”
After the initial loss of Gay, others were forced to pick up the scoring slack. Cousins nearly missed a triple-double with 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists. Carl Landry added 14 points off the bench, all in the first half, and Darren Collison recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
On the other side, the Mavericks took care of the ball (10 turnovers) and their starters did most of the offensive heavy lifting. Monta Ellis led his team with 28 points and 10 assists, Rajon Rondo produced 21 points and seven assists, and Tyson Chandler notched 16 points and 17 rebounds. Dallas attacked inside as well with 46 points in the paint and dished 23 assists.
With the loss, the Kings failed to win two games in a row since the last time in late November. Sacramento will have a chance to restart a winning streak when they host the Miami Heat (17-21) on Friday.
Notes and Analysis
- DeMarcus Cousins was a one-man wrecking machine tonight in Sacramento. With Rudy Gay lost for most of the game with a left knee strain, Cousins went to work, finishing with 32 points,16 rebounds, nine assists and two steals in 40 minutes of action. He fouled out with 21.7 seconds remaining and turned the ball over a game-high nine times, but without the big fella, the Kings had no shot in this one.
- Darren Collison looked like a man possessed in this game. The former Maverick pushed the tempo, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss. The Kings front office wants to a fast-paced team and that is what Collison delivered tonight.
- Carl Landry continued his strong play off Corbin’s bench. The veteran forward dropped in 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting and added 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.
- With Gay out, Corbin turned to Derrick Williams for 36 big minutes. The 23-year-old wing scored 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, while playing solid defense on Dirk Nowitzki.
- Despite a poor shooting night, Ben McLemore finished with eight points and four assists for the game. McLemore went 0-for-5 from behind the arc for the Kings who couldn’t buy a long ball.
- Ray McCallum’s stats don’t jump off the page, but the second-year guard came to play defense and held his own. McCallum finished with six points and five rebounds, but his defense against Monta Ellis in the final seconds of the fourth pushed the game to overtime.
- Stat of the Night: The Kings shot just 1-for-18 from behind the arc tonight in a four point overtime loss.
Quote of the Game
Tyrone Corbin on the demoralizing loss
“It can do both. It can give you a lot of encouragement. Or it can go another route, our guys competed their tails off. When DeMarcus fouled out, and Rudy didn’t play after the first quarter, they still had a chance. To lose a tough game in overtime against this team should be encouraging for them.”