Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on Dec. 1, 2010
The Sacramento Kings lost their fifth game in a row on Nov. 30, falling victim to the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 107-98 at Arco Arena.
The Kings headed into halftime with the score tied at 52, but again faltered in the second half to lose their 12th game of the season.
“We had that stretch at the start of the second half,” said Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal. “We didn't execute. We didn't move the ball. They started hitting some shots, and we got ourselves behind, and we tried to chase the rest of the game.”
The Pacers started the third quarter on a 17-2 run to open up a 15-point lead, which proved to be too big of a deficit for the Kings to overcome.
“Yeah, that's where it got away,” said Kings guard Tyreke Evans. “The third quarter. We didn't run a play, and they came out executing and hit big shots.”
The Kings again struggled offensively, much to chagrin of the entire team, which sees progress during practice.
“In practice we are doing good, just when it comes down to the game, it’s a whole different story,” Evans said. “We just kind of lose focus and we just gotta stay focused and keep our concentration.”
Evans once again had a hard time offensively but was able to provide a spark by dishing out nine assists to go with his 16 points and seven rebounds.
Another bright spot for the Kings was rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins offered a spark off the bench with 20 points and eight rebounds. Just the day before, Cousins was kicked out of practice after a run-in with Westphal.
Cousins acknowledged that he was frustrated and “being selfish” when he was kicked out of practice, but both him and Westphal were glad to see the rookie come out strong and have arguably the best game of his young career.
“I'm just real happy for him,” Westphal said. “He's very intense. He showed why we are so high on him.”
Evans said he also knows that Cousins is a crucial piece to the rebuilding of the Kings, and was pleased with how Cousins played against the Pacers.
“He came out and played like the Cousins we know he can play like. He can be big for us, especially off the bench.” Evans said.
Although the Kings are tired of losing, they still know it's early in the season, and they need to keep pushing to get better.
“Its still the first quarter of the season,” Cousins said. “We still got a lot of time to turn this season around.”
The Kings head to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Friday before coming back to play the Dallas Mavericks at home on Saturday.
Photos by Ron Nabity