Kings Follow Blowout Win with Blowout Loss

By Rob Small,

The Sacramento Kings’ 127-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves was a feel good win to start their five-game road trip.

The 32-point blowout included a 21-0 run by the Kings in the fourth quarter, a 26 point, 17 rebound performance by center Samuel Dalembert and removed them from the bottom of the Western Conference, only to be replaced by the T’Wolves.

Surely, the win gave them confidence going into Tuesday’s game against the much-improved Chicago Bulls, who were tied for the East’s top record. It would seem that way when the Bulls led 34-28 at the end of first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Kings, that’s the closest the Kings would ever be for the rest of the game because this was not the same Bulls team that gave a 35-point lead and the game last season.

As the Bulls went on an 18-6 and the turnovers mounted for the Kings, the game became out of reach early. For the game, Chicago gave up 12 points off 10 turnovers. The Kings gave up 35 points off 22 turnovers. The Kings were blown out by 40 points, losing 132-92.

“We talked with our guys about those breakdowns,” Kings coach Paul Westphal said about their turnovers in the Kings’ post-game recap. “Their scoring in the first quarter wasn’t so much on defensive breakdowns as it was off our turnovers. They then got out on a breakaway after every one.

“You just can’t turn it over against a good team. Yes, the Bulls have legitimate championship aspirations. They’re in it with four or five other teams.”

After coming off a near triple-double in the previous game, Kings guard Marcus Thornton scored 25 points.  Teammate Beno Udrih had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

None of the Kings players stepped up offensively to help Thornton.

“I don’t know what it was, we just didn’t show the effort tonight,” Kings center Samuel Dalembert said. “Some nights you will struggle like we did early. You have to realize that teams aren’t going away and you just have to grind it out when things like the calls aren’t going your way. That’s what we didn’t do tonight.”

Player of the Week

Thornton continues to be an effective player as a new addition to the Kings. In the past four games, he’s averaged 19.5 points, 4.75 rebounds, 4.5 assists and two steals per game.

Even though he had his first single-digit scoring game as a King last Friday, he followed it up with a near triple double performance with 23 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

Rookie Performance

This past week was not a one for DeMarcus Cousins. To start off, he was ejected after he was shoved by T’Wolves guard Luke Ridnour. Cousins wouldn’t back off from Ridnour, tensions rose and he was given two technical fouls.

He averaged 11 points and 9.25 rebounds during the past four games had only three points and one rebound against the T’Wolves. With five games left in March, he still has a chance to grab the West’s Rookie of the Month honors.

Play of the Week

Darnell Jackslon and Jermaine Taylor throw down consecutive alley-oops dunks near the end of the game against Minnesota.

What’s Next?

The Kings will face the Milwaukee Bucks today. Tyreke Evans plans to return to action against the Indiana Pacers, according to Jim Gray on the Kings’ telecast.

Friday they’ll take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday before returning home to host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

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