When the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings for the 11th consecutive time on Friday night, the result reflected what should happen when the team when the league’s best team meets the conference’s worst (record-wise). The final score (108-103) may have looked a little closer than it should, but nobody should really act surprised at the outcome.
Within this predictable contest, though, there were myriad moments of interest and points at which things did not go quite how one would expect. Reading the AP game summary or perusing the box scores won’t tell the whole story. Instead, we’ll line up the statistics against visual information, and see if we spot any trends or solve any mysteries.
|Box Score Says . . .||Eyes Report . . .|
|DeMarcus Cousins had five assists||Each of those five led directly to a layup or dunk for a wide-open teammate, as Cousins in the high post continues to represent some of Sacramento’s most efficient offense.|
|Cousins had five turnovers||Every Spurs double-team flustered him to the point that his normally acute court vision deserted him, culminating in a disastrous sequence that began with 2:07 remaining in the fourth that saw Tim Duncan knock the ball away from him and Manu Ginobili turn the ensuing fast break into a three-point play that effectively sealed the game.|
|Cousins hit 4-13 shots||It’s becoming too obvious to even bear mention, but if he would eliminate the long twos from his repertoire (0-4 outside 13 feet tonight), he would at least slow down coach Paul Westphal’s rapid pulse.|
|Cousins had five fouls in 35 minutes||At least three of those fouls were completely avoidable, including two occasions on which he simply shoved Tony Parker or Ginobili to the ground. There was also a senseless goaltend that allowed the Spurs to break a 91-91 tie with less than five minutes left in the game.|
|Pooh Jeter had 15 points and three assists in 26 minutes||Jeter gave up at least half of Parker’s game-high 27, as he offered little defensive resistance to the hot-shooting Frenchman.|
|Marcus Thornton went 5-14 from the floor||His misses included some of the worst forced jumpers of the season, including a 19-footer during San Antonio’s pull-away time in the fourth quarter that careened off the side of the backboard and halted momentum|
|Luther Head, filling in for flu-ridden Beno Udrih, had an amazing three blocked shots, a career high||Head was the only Sacramento defender to stand up to Parker, stripping him of the ball on at least two fast breaks and bottling him up on drives several other times.|
|Duncan had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes||Duncan’s turnaround bank shot with 3:11 remaining fired up the home crowd and sucked the life out of the Kings|
|Official game time was 2:08||For the second consecutive year, a live bat flying down from the AT&T Center rafters disturbed the Kings-Spurs game, this time flying around the Kings bench before finding refuge with the crowd|
|Omri Casspi, Jason Thompson, Jermaine Taylor, Jeter, and Darnell Jackson all played in the game||When this five-man unit started the second quarter, it may have set a record for worst offensive combination in league history, or at least this season – these five average a combined 32.9 points per game and represent Sacramento’s 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, and 13th-leading scorers|
About the Author
Written by Steven Jones
Portland native, Highland Park resident, middle school teacher/basketball coach.