The talk before Tuesday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors was about using the Sacramento Kings’ size and strength to control tempo and pull off an upset win.
But the Kings didn’t go to that early, instead starting Derrick Williams to matchup with Draymond Green.
It worked early, but the Warriors eventually found their rhythm and rolled to a 121-96 win. After trailing 20-10 midway through the first quarter, the Warriors closed the period on a 19-2 run and never had to worry again.
“Because of the matchup with Draymond Green,” replied Kings coach Tyrone Corbin when asked why the Kings started a small lineup. “We needed to spread the floor. It gave us the ability to switch more on the perimeter.”
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Jason Thompson, who would have normally started at power forward, played 19:28 and had eight rebounds, second to DeMarcus Cousins’ 11 rebounds on the team. Williams had three rebounds in 21:23.
The Kings were outrebounded 49-34 by the Warriors, which could not happen if the Kings were to have a chance at winning.
The Kings had only six offensive rebounds, two more than their season low of four, Dec. 18 against Milwaukee.
“We usually win the rebounding battle but they got 49 to beat our 34,” Corbin said. “They were shooting the ball extremely well earlier in the game, but we were missing a lot of shots so there were more rebounds for them to get. We usually win that battle but we didn’t win it tonight.”
No King was hotter to start the game than Ben McLemore.
He had 13 points in the first quarter, making four of his five shots, including three makes on three pointers.
McLemore took four shots the rest of the game and finished with 18 points.
The question is why did that happen?
“I believe he needs more designed plays,” said Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. “Especially the way teams are guarding myself, Rudy (Gay), even DC (Darren Collison) – we have to get Ben involved. He started off hot and like you said he didn’t touch the ball basically any more. So that’s on me – I can find ways to give Ben the ball more, especially seeing double teams – and also those guys in the back room (the coaching staff).”
Said Collison when asked if McLemore was “froze out” in the second half:: “I don’t know if he got froze out. I think we were just playing within the flow. Coach was calling some plays for him and we were calling some plays. So I don’t know if he got froze out – I think we just didn’t do a good job of screening for him, maybe they paid a good amount of attention to him. When a guy comes out hot they put a little bit more focus on him. Ben’s a guy that we know he’s a good player for us and we’re going to continue to give him looks and give him opportunities. I don’t know if he got froze out though like that.”
Cousins is now eighth all-time in Sacramento history in blocks, passing Francisco Garcia (343). Cousins has 346 after blocking four shots ... McLemore made four three-pointers to match his career high ... The Warriors swept the season series for the second consecutive season ... Klay Thompson had only 14 points after dropping 52 on the Kings last month, including an NBA-record 37 in one quarter ... the Warriors’ 25-point win matched the largest margin of victory over the Kings this season ... Golden State beat the Kings by 25 last month.