Kings fall apart against Rockets 123-101, Cousins goes down late
The Kings weren’t able to ground the Rockets Monday as Houston routed Sacramento 123-101 at the Power Balance Pavilion.
Sacramento got off to a decent start to the game, having a slight 30-29 lead to end the first quarter. The Kings then started to lose their lead during the second quarter, but the third was Sacramento’s worst, as they gave up 30 points and only answered with 16.
Power Balance Pavilion was not close to being filled, but the fans who were there showed as much support as they could for their Sacramento Kings despite the team’s struggles.
Forward DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 points and went 10 for 20 in field goals, tying the game-high with Houston forward Chase Budinger, who was 4 for 6 beyond the 3-point line. Cousins, however, had a collision with teammate Marcus Thornton in the fourth quarter when Thornton fell into Cousins’ shin. He was able to walk off the court and said there could have been worse results.
“It felt like it was about to snap, so I just so happened to jump up,” Cousins said. “It scared me.”
Cousins said that his injury is not serious and he hopes that he can continue to play soon.
“It’s a big relief, but my adrenaline is gone, and the pain is starting to kick in,” Cousins said. “Hopefully I can go tomorrow.”
Forward Omri Casspi was also thankful that Cousins’ injury was not serious.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Casspi said. “Thank God nothing happened. He’s walking and smiling, and he’ll be ready for the game Wednesday.”
There were some familiar faces on Houston’s roster: former guard Kevin Martin, center Brad Miller and head coach Rick Adelman, who during his time in Sacramento, earned 395 victories, the most in Kings history.
Martin started for Houston and scored 15 points in 23:40 minutes but only shot 3 of 12 from the field. Miller scored seven points in 18:37 minutes of playing time.
Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal said after the game that the team did not have enough defense to help win the game.
“You’ve got to guard somebody – you can’t give up 30-point quarters every quarter and expect to win,” Westphal said. “Our defense was not good enough really ever to give us a chance to hang around in the game.”
Casspi, on the other hand, said that the team should emulate how Houston plays on offense as well.
“We just have to look at them and play the way they play,” Casspi said. “We have to watch the tape in front of us and learn the way they play.”
When asked if Houston changed its defense to stop Cousins, Westphal did not think that was the case.
“I think DeMarcus ran out of gas a little bit, and I think he was getting frustrated,” Westphal said. “I think that they continued to score every time down the floor, and it disrupted our flow."
Cousins also said that the team has a bad tendency to panic when losing a lead during games.
“We have a tendency to do that, when the lead gets out of hand and they make a run, we have a tendency to panic and then just try to do things on our own,” Cousins said. “We’ve got to play the whole game together, and we’ve got to play team together and hopefully we can change things around.”
Sacramento will stay in town and prepare to host the Orlando Magic Wednesday.