December 14, 2016, 7:43 pm
The Sacramento Kings traveled to Houston Wednesday night for a game against the Houston Rockets. The team struggled from the start after sitting both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and the Rockets ended up running away with a 132-98 victory.
Houston had won their previous game against the Kings, leaning on an impressive shooting performance that Sacramento had no answer for. Tonight was more of the same in that regard, with the Rockets going 22/42 from three point range thanks to some bad defense from Sacramento, particularly in transition.
The Kings put forth a good effort coming out of the half, but it was clear that the team didn’t have enough talent offensively to keep up with Houston. Following a 38 point third quarter from the Rockets, head coach Dave Joerger gave Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere an opportunity to show what they can do in the fourth quarter. While the game was fairly disappointing, the play of the two rookies was one of the few bright spots.
Here are some notes from the matchup:
- Sacramento’s younger players had some impressive moments in the game, with Willie Cauley-Stein, Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere all playing fairly well together in the fourth quarter. Cauley-Stein finished with 11 points and five rebounds along with a block and two steals, and Richardson scored seven points to go along with two assists while playing in just the fourth quarter.
- Many fans questioned the team’s decision to rest DeMarcus Cousins, especially with Rudy Gay being forced to sit with injury. Head coach Dave Joerger said that Cousin’s early workload was the reason for the rest, but the timing was certainly questionable.
- Garrett Temple and Anthony Tolliver impressed tonight, with the former effectively shutting down James Harden for the second time this season. Tolliver has failed to register much playing time, but he managed to be effective tonight, spacing the floor well while also being a factor on the glass. His combination of physicality and shooting ability could be a good fit next to Cousins, and he showcased both tonight.
The Sacramento Kings are now 9-16 on the season, and are digging a fairly deep hole for themselves early in the season. This game against the Rockets was a good opportunity for the team to see what some of their players can do, so hopefully the coaching staff can identify some possible adjustments to the rotation going forward. Sacramento will need to make some improvements soon if they want to turn the season back around.