Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on Feb. 5, 2011
The San Antonio Spurs got off to a quick start against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, allowing them to coast to a 113-100 victory at Arco Arena.
The Spurs entered the game with the best record in the NBA and showed the Kings why. They jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game, and continued to knock down open shots.
The Spurs seemed to do everything right in the first quarter, using good of ball movement and making their shots to take a 34-19 lead after one quarter of play.
“I thought they put on a clinic in the first quarter against us. After that, we were just trying to play catch-up the rest of the game and they're too good to do that against,” said Kings head coach Paul Westphal.
Meanwhile, the Spurs defense forced the Kings to play out of their offense and not get into an offensive rhythm.
“The first quarter was just one pass and a shot too often, or no pass and a shot. They're too good of a defense to not make them work more,” said Westphal. “We got shots, but we weren't getting good shots against them. We took the shots they wanted us to take.”
The Spurs managed to maintain their dominant play when they turned to their bench after finishing the first quarter with a 34-19 lead.
A big reason for the Spurs' effectiveness was their pick-and-roll offense, which the Kings had little success stopping. Spurs Guard Tony Parker orchestrated the offense nearly-flawless and finished with 25 points and seven assists, shooting 11-17 from the field.
“They know how to run their offense. They know the system because they've been running it for a long time,” said Kings guard Tyreke Evans, who had a team-high 25 points and five assists. “When they're running their offense that well, there's nothing we can do about that.”
With the bench playing effectively, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was able to rest All-Star forward Tim Duncan for much of the game. Duncan finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds in just 12:47.
The Kings finally got their offense going late in the third quarter, but were only able to bring the Spurs lead to 12 points. That was the closest the Kings would get, as the Spurs continued to knock down shots en route to shooting 57 percent from the field for the game.
Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins had scored 20 or more points in the last three games, but the Spurs limited him to just seven points, while grabbing 10 rebounds. Kings guard Beno Udrih scored 18 points and had four assists. Kings forward Carl Landry finished the game with 17 points and three rebounds, but none came easy for the Kings.
“They do a good job with the scouting report. They did a good job of forcing 'Reke left. They really didn't let me drive baseline which is something I like to do,” said Landry. “They did a great job of scouting our team in the little time they had.”
The Kings look to bounce back when they host the Utah Jazz on Feb. 7 at Arco Arena.