Sacramento 94 (9-11) | New Orleans 96 (9-11)
Hooray! Another nail-biter against an inferior organization! No offense to the players and fans of California's capital, but a CP-led Hornets squad should be able to take care of business against a Kevin Martin-less Kings.
Both teams shot at or above 50% on the night, but both seemed to approach scoring quite differently. The Kings flew through the lane (Collison had met his speedy nemesis in Tyreke Evans) and outscored the Bees in the paint by more than 20 (56 to 34). The Hornets, on the other hand, took care of business downtown, going 8 for 18 from deep.
New Orleans was also fortunate to have great performances from CP, DX, and Mek, which was nice since the bench didn't show up. The 3 aforementioned players each logged 35+ minutes and finished with a double-double and at or above 50% from the field. On the other side of the ball, the Kings got a more even performance from their entire team, with the exceptions of Evans and Jason Thompson, who both played out of their minds.
Ultimately, the team stats for both teams look remarkably similar (which isn't surprising for a game decided by 2 points), but it would appear that the King's poor, poor performance from the stripe is what ultimately did them in (9 for 19... which is worse than Shaq's career 51%). Actually, the Hornets performed poorly from the stripe, too (just over 60%... you don't have to be better than the best, just the team you're playing). Both teams combined to go 23 for 42 from the stripe tonight, which comes down to about 54.8%. Looks like everyone will be running laps tomorrow.
Bullets after the jump.
- Who would have thought the Hornets would enter this contest behind the Kings in the standings. (For those of you who just noted that we didn't have Chris for 8 games, consider that the we went 4-4 over that stretch and that the Kings have not had Kevin Martin for 14 contests.)
CP: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals
DX: 24 points, 12 boards, 5 assists, 1 block
- Mek: 17 points, 12 boards, 1 assist, 4 blocks
Peja: 4 of 5 from deep.
Buckets and Dimes: Good showing for Buckets (can't praise this kid enough). Tough night Dimes, who played 14 minutes and finished with 0 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal and FOUR turnovers.
Posey and Devin: Combined for 7 points (including 1 for 6 from deep), 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and a block in 42 minutes. Thanks, guys.
Evans: Impressive performance. 25 points (on 10 for 17 shooting), 5 rebounds, 9 assists in 38 minutes. And he did most of that damage after a nasty fall at the end of the first quarter (we heard him hit the ground and yelp from the upper deck).
- Thompson: 20 points (on 9 for 13 shooting), 9 rebounds, and 1 assist in 30 minutes (numbers could have been higher, but he fouled out). Thompson looked good on the floor, getting the better of DX several times. He also has a nice floater that goes so high, you have just enough time to doubt it before it invariable swooshes through. Good things to come for both he and Evans, methinks.
- Quick follow up on the free throws, it's worth noting that Andres Nocioni had a chance to potentially send the game to OT. After being fouled with 1.1 seconds to play--and the Kings down by 2--Nocioni bricked the first of 2 free throws. Then, knowing he had to then miss the next shot and hope for an offensive board, he got too excited and committed a lane violation on the second shot. Bummer of a way to lose (or rather "not send it to OT").
Composed to: MGMT's Oracular Spectacular
Opponent's Take: Sactown Royalty