Kings lack energy, lose to Rockets 104-87

The Sacramento Kings dropped their fourth straight game as they fell to the Houston Rockets 104-87 at Power Balance Pavilion Sunday night.

Sacramento came out with little energy, and it showed as the Rockets jumped to a quick 10-2 lead and never trailed the rest of the game.

“We just didn’t have a lot of energy tonight, and that’s something we’ve got to work on,” Kings guard Jimmer Fredette said. “We’ve got to continue to get better at that and come bring it every single night so we are disappointed with ourselves.”

After scoring at least 99 points in their previous 12 games, the Kings have been held to under 85 points in their last three games.

Coach Keith Smart attributes this to the team not being at full strength right now with injuries to Marcus Thornton (calf), John Salmons (hip) and Francisco Garcia (concussion).

“I just think our team is not our team right now,” he said. “We are patching it up right now. We have guys that are normally rotation guys trying to come in and play frontline teams.”

But Kings veteran Chuck Hayes doesn’t believe the Kings should have any excuses this late in the season.

“Everybody should know each other’s sweet shot and their sweet spot where they want the ball and their most effective and so on and so forth,” he said. “We are still playing like it’s the beginning of the season. We are still trying to find ourselves, and we should have that figured out by now.”

With all the injuries, the Kings have failed to be the running team that Smart wants them to be, only scoring 12 fast-break points on Sunday.

“We haven’t run any more the last couple of games,” he said. “We are not getting up and down the floor, and we are not making the easy plays. We are trying to force something.”

Instead, it was the Rockets who continued to beat the Kings in transition as they took a 58-43 lead heading into halftime.

Smart then turned to his second unit in an attempt to get some more energy. The Kings bench was able to bring the deficit to just eight points when newly acquired Terrence Williams hit a jump shot to make the score 73-65.

But that was as close as the team would come, as the Rockets once again pulled away when Fredette missed a transition three and the Rockets capitalized with a lob to Rockets big man Samuel Dalembert.

From there the Kings were unable to stop the Rockets offense as they ran away with the game and captured the 104-87 win.

Williams, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract and then for the rest of the season, continued to be a bright spot for the Kings. Williams scored a season-high 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists. But he said going against his former team didn’t give him any added motivation.

“I really didn’t care,” he said. “It just so happened I scored whatever I scored and rebounded. I’m beyond payback with the Rockets. I don’t care for them. I wish I wished them well in the playoffs, but I really don’t. I have no thoughts for them. It’s all about Sacramento, and we need to grow as a young team.”

Even with Williams’ strong game, he sees room for improvement, especially in the turnover category, as he had five turnovers Sunday night.

“I can’t speak for everyone else, but you’re trying to do too much in one play,” Williams said. “You’re trying to get a point, a rebound and an assist on the same play. So sometimes you over dribble, turn the ball over. I definitely take blame for that. You just learn and move on.”

Williams’ teammates appreciate what he has brought to the team, including his ability to drive and get the ball to an open shooter.

“He does a good job finding everybody no matter whoever it is out there,” Fredette said. “He’s a good player and can pass the ball well and looks to throw it to you. He’s done a great job with that and he’s a great addition to the team.”

Sacramento hopes to get back to winning as they head out on a three-game road trip starting in Dallas against the Mavericks on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. 


Photos by Nick Hunte. Nick is also a freelance videographer. To check out more of his videos, visit his YouTube channel.

Conversation Express your views, debate, and be heard with those in your area closest to the issue. RSS Feed

April 10, 2012 | 10:34 AM

Love the collaboration between you two! The video, photos and articles make me feel like I was there!

April 11, 2012 | 2:09 PM

Thanks Casey! That’s the goal of my multimedia pieces, while Chris provides the fine details, I provide the visuals, giving everyone a full experience : )

April 11, 2012 | 2:57 PM

The beleaguerment of the Sacramento Kings franchise has reached an unprecedented nadir. This year’s “young, talented, up-and-coming” squad is on pace to finish the truncated 2011-12 campaign with a winning percentage on par, or worse, with the last three miserable seasons, which have been the worst since the team relocated from Kansas City in 1985.

The tepid afterglow of the recent ­guess-what-the-arena’s-probably-gonna-h­appen-after-all news was predictably short-lived, as the bafflingly tone-deaf Maloof clan quickly reverted to their beyond-tired obstructionist nonsense, as the team steadfastly maintained the slide it began in 2006. That was the year the spectacular election-night trouncing of city-subsidized arena deal became a referendum on the complete indifference of the majority of Sactonians to ponying up to see a demoralizing crapshow.

Lost in all of this is one DeMarcus Cousins, a potentially bona fide NBA star around whom a team desperately in need of ticket sales and legitimacy could build an identity. As it stands, the safe bet is that DeMarcus is in daily discussions with his agent, exhausting any and all avenues toward a ticket out of Sacramento to an actual NBA team. You know, like Milwaukee or Charlotte.

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