January 4, 2017, 11:03 pm
The Sacramento Kings lost another close matchup against the Miami Heat, losing 107-102 at the Golden 1 Center. The starting unit struggled mightily, but some great bench play kept the Kings in the game down the stretch.
Sacramento trailed by as much as 19 in the middle of the third quarter, and some incredible play from the Kings bench was able to get the team up by 5 early in the fourth. The starting group was unable to maintain that success, and lead the team to their eventual five point loss.
Here are some notes from the matchup:
- Kousta Koufos played some great defense in the third quarter, and was a huge part of the team’s eventual comeback. Koufos showed just how valuable he can be for the Kings as a backup center, and nay be looking at more playing time going forward.
- DeMarcus Cousins struggled tonight, unable to provide his usual level of effectiveness at either end of the floor. Without Hassan Whiteside playing for Miami, it seemed like Cousins was in line for a good night, but he was unable to take advantage.
- Despite being -26 tonight, Matt Barnes led the team in minutes with over 33 played. Dave Joerger spoke earlier in the season about giving Matt Barnes regular rest, but he continues to play heavy minutes even while struggling. Omri Casspi and Malachi Richardson have both shown that they should get a chance in the rotation, so it will be curious to see if they eventually start eating into Barnes’ minutes.
The loss moves Sacramento to 15-20 on the season, and 1-3 in their last four games. Sacramento will have quite a few games at home coming up, but will also have to contend with some very tough teams. Their next game comes against the 24-14 Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.