It wasn’t pretty, but rarely are the Sacramento Kings (28-53). In a duel with the rival Los Angeles Lakers (21-60), the Kings overcame missed open looks, defensive hiccups and the absences of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to win by the final score of 102-92.
“It was more hard work and gritty than pretty, but that’s good for me,” George Karl told the media after the game. “I enjoyed it.”
With help from the referees, the Kings overpowered their opponent by drawing 36 free throws and converting 28. Meanwhile the Lakers scored only 8-of-13 free throws.
“High emphasis, early in the game was they don’t have shot blockers,” George Karl noted. “We wanted to continue to attack the paint. I’m sure the stats will show that we got to the paint a lot. Omri was big time there, but I think Ray and Ben and Andre, we kind of won the game with the back door cuts.”
Sacramento exposed Los Angeles’ weak defense in halfcourt and transition by shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and notching 19 fast break points. The Lakers shot 41.7 percent on field goals and 28.6 percent for the fourth quarter.
Once again Omri Casspi made his presence felt with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Derrick Williams led the bench with a season-high 20 points. Combined with Casspi, the duo accounted for 22 free throw attempts. Carl Landry scored 14 points and Ray McCallum added 12.
For the Lakers, Jordan Clarkson produced 23 points, five rebounds and six assists. Jordan Hill dropped in 18 points and six rebounds after sitting out the previous three games. Former D-Leaguer Jabari Brown had 18 points and seven assists.
With the win, Sacramento improves to 10-19 under coach Karl. The Kings will travel to face the Lakers in Los Angeles for their season finale.
Notes and Analysis
- Omri Casspi continues to impress in Rudy Gay’s absence. The veteran forward has been one of the few consistent bright spots down the stretch and tonight was no different. He finished tonight’s game with 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting and added six assists and nine rebounds in the win. Dollar for dollar, Casspi has been the Kings best deal this season.
- Derrick Williams loves playing against his hometown Lakers. The 23-year-old wing scored a season-high 20 points tonight in just 29 minutes off George Karl’s bench. Williams has a way of both exciting the crowd and making them moan in the span of seconds.
- With his parents in the stands, Jason Thompson brought his lunch pail and hard hat to work today. The longest tenured King finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in place of DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings have shopped Thompson in the past. If this was his last home game as a King, he made it a good one.
- Carl Landry has had another throwaway season in Sacramento, but tonight against the Lakers, he was solid. The veteran forward dropped in 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting and chipped in 4 rebounds in 19 minutes.
- Ray McCallum came to play again tonight. The sophomore guard finished the night with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists. In 29 games as a starter, McCallum is averaging 10.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 30 minutes a night. Not too shabby for a second round pick .
- Andre Miller keeps on plugging away. The 39-year-old point guard wants to play one more season and for good reason. Miller came in late to help finish this one off. He finished with 10 points and six assists in 27 minutes off Karl’s bench. Not bad for a guy who has played over 1,300 regular season and playoff games over his 16-year career.
- Stat of the Night: With tonight’s victory, the Sacramento Kings have now won 28 games for the third consecutive season. They have one more game to try to pick up win No. 29.
Quote of the Game
Omri Casspi on his potential return to Sacramento
“I love it here. I want to come back. My agent knows that, I know that, I love it here.”