Rudy Gay was on his way to another monster game with 22 first-half points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Gay finished with 24 points for the game with only three shots in the second half in the Kings’ 108-97 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Sleep Train Arena.
“I just feel like I got out of rhythm a little bit,” Gay said.
Kings coach Michael Malone said Minnesota’s defense did not change drastically in the second half.
“Corey Brewer was aggressive but to me, it wasn’t anything that they changed,” Malone said. “Isaiah got it going—he and DeMarcus Cousins got it going. It was what we did to ourselves (turnovers).”
Cousins and Thomas were each 5 of 10 from the field in the second half.
One shot Gay was especially upset about was his missed layup 1:49 to play in the game that would have tied the game at 97.
That’s as close at the Kings would get the rest of the game.
“I probably should have tried to dunk it,” Gay said. “That’s what I probably should have done instead of trying to avoid the contact.”
*The Kings committed 19 turnovers that led to 27 points for Minnesota. Malone also was not happy about the Kings allowing Minnesota to score 30 or more points in two quarters.
Here’s how Malone summed up the game:
“For whatever reason we just continue to beat ourselves—we had 19 turnovers and gave them 27 points. Good teams don’t beat themselves like that. It’s very hard in the same game to beat your opponent and yourself, but we did that tonight. The weird thing was that in the first half, in the first quarter we had seven turnovers. Then the second quarter we defended at a much higher level—held them below 40 percent and only had one turnover to get back in the game. Then there was the third quarter where it was 31-14 and we didn’t defend anybody. They got whatever they wanted and the game was out of our reach. Then we came in with our bench and took care of the basketball and held them to 35 percent in the fourth quarter. Before the game we talked about consistency and our inability to be a consistent team over 82 games and over a 48 minute timeframe. Our turnovers and inconsistent defense cost us the game.”
*There was no pregame blog (hence no pregame prediction) because I had quite the adventure returning from Los Angeles. Who knew it could be hectic with a one-hour flight back to Sacramento? But I made it back in time for the game.