Sacramento, CA – It was a much needed win for both teams who have lost five or more consecutive games. One month into the season, is still enough time to turn things around yet the frustration begins to loom.
“We’re building and developing our chemistry,” Ronny Turiaf said. “We’re not in a rush but we definitely want to be on the other side in terms of winning.”
That wish came true for the New York Knicks who ended their six- game losing streak defeating the Kings 113-106. The Knicks started off looking lifeless and tired but that changed by the second quarter.
Being down by 13 points in the first quarter, New York had no defensive presence and just watched as Sacramento jumped off to a great start with a collective effort from all. It was one of their best and worst performances at Arco Arena.
“We mixed in some excellent basketball with some sub-sixth grade basketball,” coach Paul Westphal said. “It was indescribably bad and it’s really hard to find any middle ground for us.” “We’re looking for some consistency and it didn’t happen tonight.”
The Kings looked good, they played team ball and shots were coming from everywhere. But something happened when the second unit checked in the second quarter. After holding the Knicks to a season low of 14 points, they gave up 40 points and New York took the lead to end the period 54-49.
For the 12,817 King fans that were in attendance, that was hard to watch. A flow that seemed to fit a young up and coming team vanished quickly. The second half was spent playing catch up against New York’s power man Amare Stoudemire who finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
“We definitely have to get used to this feeling,” Stoudemire said. “Tonight was a night where we showed our progress from the Denver game.” “We knew we could play better than the way we started off.” “We stuck with it, was able to get the lead and maintain it.”
Danilo Gallinari was also unstoppable on the perimeter, he added 27 points and four rebounds. The Knicks shot 13 of 17 (76.5 percent) in the second and 66.7 percent in the last three quarters totaling 99 points. Six players were in double digits including point guard Raymond Felton who had 16 points.
Sacramento’s running out of excuses for their lack of defense. Practices are described as hard work and team improvement but game time a different team shows up. The one hurdle is mastering solid defense from start to finish throughout the game.
Two of the reserves provided a spark off the bench, Beno Udrih scored 18 points with four assists. While Donte Greene having only eight points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist gave the Kings a 9-0 run with a 3-point basket to close the gap 93-90 in the third quarter.
But countless opportunities led New York to the foul line and too many open shots. Recording their fifth loss at home has frustrated this team to find a quick solution. Back to the basics is probably the best place to start before facing the New Jersey Nets this upcoming Friday.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and play better defense,” said Carl Landry. “Defense is what wins games and we lost our focus in the second half tonight.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino