Dwight Howard battled foul trouble throughout the game, but the Sacramento Kings were unable to gain an true advantage, eventually falling 104-97 to the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
“Anytime you can do that is good,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart of Howard’s foul situation. “I thought our guys stayed pretty much into the game plan, we didn’t overreact to the penetration and give Howard absolute freedom at the rim with dunks. I thought they did a great job with their weak side, coming in.”
DeMarcus Cousins was able to take advantage of Howard’s absence, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. However, the Kings big man played with foul trouble himself, recording only 22 minutes in the matinee match-up.
- Tyreke Evans went down and badly rolled his left ankle at the end of the first half. Although it appeared to be a major injury, he started the third quarter and finished the game with a game high 28 points in 41 minutes.
- Both DeMarcus Cousins and J.J. Hickson recorded double-doubles. Cousins scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 22 minutes, while Hickson finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes.
- Marcus Thornton scored zero points in the first half, missing all seven of his shots. He would finish the game with 13 points, eight of which were scored during a one minute span in the third quarter.
- Despite shooting 52.1 percent from the floor, the Kings dished out only 16 assists in the game.
- All 11 Sacramento Kings played in today’s game. Jimmer Fredette played just 13:39, his lowest minute total of the season. Jimmer finished with two points.
- Tyreke Evans had half of the teams 16 total assists. This is the first game of the season where Evans has dished more than five dimes.
- Jason Thompson had a very productive 20 minutes, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and chipping in six rebounds.
- Cousins fouled out for the fourth time in eight games this season. Cousins is now averaging over five fouls per contest.
- Stat of the Night: Dwight Howard didn’t score his first points until midway through the fourth quarter. He played only 20 minutes and scored five points while grabbing just four rebounds.
- The Kings dressed 12, but had only 11-healthy bodies to play Sunday. Will they look to add another free agent in Chuck Hayes’ absence? Keith Smart says no decisions have been made yet and hopes “we won’t be so banged up to where we really have to go out and get someone.” The Kings appear to have no plans of recalling Tyler Honeycutt or Hassan Whiteside from their D-League affiliate either.
- During timeouts, the arena entertainment department cut to live action of today’s AFC Wild Card match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos. A diehard Steelers fan, Tyreke Evans wasn’t pleased to watch the black and yellow go down at the hands of Tim Tebow. “I seen it on the screen, I was a little upset,” Evans said postgame with grin, simultaneously shaking his head. “Man, Tebow, [expletive].”