kings stage biggest comeback

There are bad Christmas presents, and there are good Christmas presents.

Then there are Christmas presents that you will always remember.

The Kings (13-14) gave themselves and their fans one of the latter Monday night, with the team’s greatest comeback in Sacramento-era history – a 102-98 victory. On the road. Against the Chicago Bulls.

It didn’t look good as late as the third quarter, when The Kings trailed by 35 points (79-44) with 8:56 remaining. But the present hadn’t yet been unwrapped. 

And Tyreke Evans’ 23 points were a bow on the whole thing. 

The NBA delivered its own present to the Kings this season with this holiday schedule.

Bringing Cleveland’s LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and the Cleveland Cavaliers into Arco Arena two nights before Christmas — and Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest and the defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers three days after — offers opportunities to fill the house with folks. And revenue.

A Kings spokesman said Monday that fewer than 2,000 tickets remain available for each game. The Kings have sold out only one game this season, the season opener against Memphis.

The star attractions and high-powered opponents offer other, less-festive possibilities: Matching defeats, one on either side of the holiday.

Merry Christmas.

But that would be a pessimist’s view.

An optimist would see the two contests as opportunities for the Kings to establish legitimacy by competing against two of the NBA’s most talented teams.

It’s an opportunity to show the world — as well as themselves — that no opponent is too good, no moment too large for the league’s third-youngest team. Particularly at home.

Sacramento entered Monday’s action as one of 13 teams to win 10 games at home and to represent itself as a team with a future. They proved themselves capable of a stunning come-from-behind victory. Another victory or two — against the Cavs and/or Lakers — could provide a major confidence boost.

Of course, there are those 11 defeats in 14 road games to illustrate the inconsistency of a young squad. And there is the erratic nature the Kings displayed Monday night.

But at this early juncture of the team’s development, and despite Monday night’s big win, success in these two upcoming games would be a surprise. Sacramento’s inability to consistently defend, especially around the basket, will show up most glaringly against the NBA’s elite.

It’s easy to envision James attacking the basket and meeting little or no resistance. The Lakers will bring one of the league biggest and tallest squads to Arco. Coach Phil Jackson’s squad will attack one of the Kings’ most glaring weaknesses. And there are a number of them.

But Monday’s victory should provide momentum.  

The 35-point comeback was a memorable gift in an uncertain season, and gives credence to the young team’s optimists. The Kings should roll into these upcoming contests against James and Bryant feeling good. They have shown they are fearless, if nothing else. So bring on King James and the Black Mamba and let’s see if the neophytes can climb another mountain or two.

 photo courtesy of

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December 21, 2009 | 10:06 PM

Marty Mac’s world back in effect. True sportsman. Great article and you are right, this week is great for the Kings. Let’s hope they step up!

December 22, 2009 | 10:31 AM

Yes, district 24… The world is back… I think I was in a union (district 24?) like yours… villains, thieves and scoundrels union to show my age and appreciation of Rocket J, Boris Badenov (how do you spell that name?) and Bullwinkle. Don’t like that phrase step up. Play hard, as smart as they can and clog up expressways to their basket will be enough for me. Peace.

Article Author
December 22, 2009 | 12:58 AM

Thanks Marty, I think that Brockmans +26 play ratio really shows that his presence and quick hands did yield big for the Kings in this huge come back. If I were coach I might start him against Shack or Pau…..and see what happens.. this could be a huge! … From a 1974 Husky Forester (retired) in Camino. PS Anyone remember Wes Unsel??

December 22, 2009 | 10:37 AM

what up TT… I love Brockman (the wildman). I love dudes you hate if you are on the other team and love if he’s on yours. The kid never has seen a rebound that in his mind wasn’t meant for him. Plus, he rotates to help defensively like few rookies I can remember. He’s a keeper. I’m a New Yorker… help a brother out. What is a forester? I know what a Husky is, but a forester. Nope. Later, folks.

Article Author
December 22, 2009 | 1:13 AM

Marty One more note… What if Casspi, Brockman, Evans started with Thompson and Nos or Bano?? If they play well wouldn’t the Coach and GM forever erase a label by Phil Jackson as a cow town??.

December 22, 2009 | 10:44 AM

TT, No, it wouldn’t erase that label… Jackson didn’t coin the phrase and Sacramento has some cow-town mentality as I see it. Jackson should know from cowtowns, he’s played high school ball in Williston, North Dakota. The man whom Marv Albert used to call Head and Shoulders (because of his physique) when he played for the New York Knicks was a great college player.

Article Author
December 22, 2009 | 1:02 PM

Great article Marty Mac. The Kings need to become more consistent on the road we wish to be in the playoffs.

December 22, 2009 | 2:04 PM

Hi Marty.

A Forester is a servent of a corporation or the government in this county (in my case) and manages trees and whole forests to create healthy forests that provide water for a region. As for Brockman his size and quick hands more than make up for his shorter 6’7″ frame. Can you imagine what it would be like to put him on the floor when Shack is playing and Spense when Z is playing. I am not really a Spense fan but I love heart that Brock has. I have read your column for a while and have stood by the Kings since they came to town. I also remember Spenser Haywood in his day and the famous Downtown Freddy Brown. This guy knocked Jerry Reynolds team out of a national champion… ask him some time… I have followed the NBA since 1961 and was so amazed last night and being a die hard I watched all of the game to the end. You are wow too …in your columns and keep it up. TT

March 18, 2010 | 10:16 PM

It will be great to watch Chicago Bulls, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.

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