Kings beat Hornets on Isaiah Thomas; steal and John Salmons layup; Kings win 99-98

I’m going to make random notes as I watch because that’s all I think this game requires. Nice beginning of the game by Isaiah Thomas with the 3 runners in the lane. That’s obviously a nice compliment to Tyreke Evans.

Well, first thing I’ve noticed is how sloppy the Hornets are with the ball. 3 TO’s early on, and that means 20 TO’s the rest of the game for the Hornets. Ouch.

Nice pass by Jimmer Fredette to Marcus Thornton (at the 1:14 mark of the 1st quarter) in the open court that results in the layup.

After 1 qtr, the Kings are shooting 57% to the Hornets 52%, are losing the rebounding battle 11-8, and the Hornets have 20 points in the paint to the Kings 16 points in the paint.

Travis Outlaw illustrates again why so many Kings fans do not like him.

 

Hassan Whiteside’s block on Chris Kaman was the most impressive thing about his stint that I saw. The first bucket Whiteside scored was a decent finish inside as well. (Hey, it’s only a few minutes. Whiteside needs more evaluation time than that.)

At the 5:35 mark of the 2nd qtr, Jimmer Fredette steals the ball and pushes the ball up the court eventually dishing off to John Salmons who gets a layup. Shooting 50% from the field is not a bad start for Jimmer to resurrect his season.

Speaking of Salmons, John Salmons scores 9 of his 12 points in the game during the 2nd qtr. (Long before the game winning layup.) Jimmer was also 3-5 in the first half (before finishing 5-10 for the game) with several nice assists as well. Quality outings for both I would say.

Isaiah Thomas scored all of his 12 points in the 1st half.

The Hornets scored 42 points in the paint in the 1st half, and the Kings 30.

At the 9:56 mark of the 3rd qtr, Marcus Thornton hits a 3 to push the Kings lead to 63-56. The Kings don’t score again until Marcus Thornton hits a techinical FT at the 6:43 mark. By this time the Hornets are up 67-64.

At the 4:37 mark Donte Greene passed up a shot to get Marcus Thornton a layup. Good times indeed.

The Kings turned the ball over 8 times in the 3rd quarter. In the entire 1st half (all in the 1st qtr actually), the Kings had 3 turnovers. The Kings end up with 13 total turnovers. The Hornets turn it 7 of their 23 times in the 3rd qtr as well. The Hornets had 17 turnovers by the end of the 3rd (they’d finish with 23 as I said) and the Kings had 11 of their 13 turnovers by the end of the 3rd qtr.

At 1:10 remaining in the 3rd qtr, Salmons passes it to Thompson who passes it to Greene who gets a dunk. Ball movement is a beautiful thing.


 

 

Jimmer has another beautiful pass to JT at the 10:13 mark of the 4th qtr. Thompson gets the bucket but misses the FT on the opportunity.

Jimmer’s 3 with 9:25 to go was such a beautiful thing to see: That was all confidence. That was not confidence Jimmer had 2 weeks ago.

One note about the ball movement: Tonight against the Hornets the Kings were often able to break the Hornets down off the dribble and were able to get quality shots throughout the night. More please.

Immediately after Aminu’s charge, Donte Greene hits a 3 to put the Kings up 90-89. Naturally the next Kings offensive possession Greene misses a 3. Sigh.

After Jarrett Jack (who had a big night and is the biggest reason Isaiah Thomas didn’t play more often) scores another layup of the night for him to put the Hornets up 95-92, that’s when the fun starts.

Marcus Thornton’s 3 ties the game at 95 at the 1:29 mark. Ariza then gets a fairly lucky bounce as his 3 caroms off the rim high while bouncing off the glass and bounces back in through the net. This puts the Hornets up 98-85 at the 1:12 mark.

At 43 seconds Tyreke Evans misses an off balance 3 except that Marcus Thornton manages to grab the O-Board (one of the rare few the Kings managed to grab as they were badly out rebounded all night long without DeMarcus Cousins) and a putback to keep the Kings within 1 at 98-97. This is at the 43 second mark of the 4th qtr.

At 19.2 seconds, the Hornets commit their final turnover on their 3rd shot clock violation of the game. Chuck Hayes, Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas do an effective job collapsing on Jarrett Jack as he has the ball. Jack passes to Lance Thomas who sees Jason Thompson hedge him and passes the ball to Chris Kaman. Kaman then has no time to shoot. Brilliant defense by all of the 5 Kings on the court (Thomas-Thornton-Evans-Thompson-Hayes). Thornton’s missed shot at the 14 second mark was a decent shot and a fairly good luck considering the situation.

Then of course came the biggest moment that this game will be remembered for….

 



     

Also, to top things off, Tyreke Evans played suffocating defense (as good as I’ve ever seen him do it actually) on Trevor Ariza who had difficulty even finding an open passing lane and ended up putting a heavily contested shot by Evans (who played the possession perfectly) and missing.

Wow. Here is the boxscore. As a wise Kings fan I know often says, “Gotta love your Sacramento Kings.” Ayup, sho nuff.

Until the flip side re-appears.

 

 

UPDATE: Jimmer’s postgame interview:

Keith Smart’s interview: