When the Kings’ reserves were in the game, the team showed some resistance and energy on the court.
But the bench didn’t play the entire game and the Kings looked lethargic with their starters in most of the night in a 99-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
“The bench did a great job keeping us in the game, bringing us back,” said center DeMarcus Cousins. “Even coach said the first group was terrible which is true. We start the games off and we basically set the tone for the game and we did a terrible job.”
Reggie Evans had 10 rebounds and eight points. Ray McCallum had eight points, two assists and no turnovers.
The reserves helped get a 13-point lead in the second quarter down to two midway through the quarter and the Kings trailed 51-44 at halftime.
The starters came out in the third quarter and killed all momentum with an eight turnovers in the third.
“We didn’t come out and play hard,” said Isaiah Thomas of the starters. “I don’t know what was on our agenda tonight but we just didn’t play with energy. We were playing a little selfish and that cost us. That second group helped us a lot. That first unit, that game was on us.”
Cousins said the Raptors were the “aggressors” Friday.
“We’ve got to lock in and focus better,” Cousins said. “It’s the same mistakes. Every time we take two steps forward we come back with a game and take three steps back. We’ve got to come in more focused and know what our objective is every night. that alone will help.”
*Here’s how the former Kings fared tonight:
Patrick Patterson: 15 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots
John Salmons: Eight points, two assists
Greivis Vasquez: four points, three assists
Chuck Hayes: Four rebounds, two steals
*Salmons on the difference between tonight and Toronto’s loss at Sacramento:
“I think we let go of the personal stuff. We said we were going to do that the first game, credit that we didn’t. It’s time to just let it go and just play basketball. It was more professional this time around.”
Patterson on playing the Kings this time around:
“The difference in my opinion is the way we approached the game. I thought the way we approached the game last time was too friendly, too cool, too lackadaisical, and too laid back. They jumped on us, they attacked us from the get go. I thought the roles were reversed this time. We came out the right way, with the right amount of energy and intensity.”
*The Kings are 3-22 when scoring under 100 points this season.