Sacramento, CA – Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup after a three-game absence. He didn’t look like someone who had suffered an injury to keep him out of the lineup. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Kings for the fifth straight time and third straight in Sacramento. Last night’s 108-92 loss snapped the Kings three-game win streak.
Off to the best start of their season, the Spurs continued to play their game and coasted past Sacramento to improve to 5-1 on their road trip. They now stand at 48-9 which is the second best record in the NBA behind the Golden State Warriors. The last time the Kings beat the Spurs was on Nov. 15, 2014 (94-91).
“It’s tough to defend them, because they don’t have a one-man ego personality,” said Sacramento’s coach George Karl. “Their team is a team. Their bench pretty much beat us. We did a pretty good job most of the night on (Kawhi) Leonard, until the 4th, where he got loose for a couple 3’s.”
Leonard finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. David West made three jump shots to open up the fourth as the Spurs extended their lead. Tony Parker scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth while Danny Green finished with 16 points. An optimistic San Antonio team won’t look ahead to the playoffs but instead want to take a game by game approach.
“I feel like we have more weapons (than in the past), but if we don’t win a championship it won’t mean anything,” Parker said.
They held the Kings under 100 points. DeMarcus Cousins went 0-for-10 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free throw line in the first half, he finished with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Cousins had 21 of his 22 points in the second half. An unusual sluggish night for the All-Star. The Spurs smothered him in the paint forcing him to miss shots in the first half.
“You hope he misses shots and has an off night,” said Leonard. “We packed the paint against him and showed a lot of hands when he had the ball.”
Darren Collison and Quincy Acy had 15 points and Willie Cauley-Stein scored 12. Rajon Rondo dished out 18 assists, the 18th time this season he has handed out 15 or more assists in a game. It was also Rondo’s 38th game of the season with double-digit assists. He is one game shy of Reggie Theus’ Sacramento-era single-season record of 39, set in 1985-86.
“They capitalized off our missed shots; we didn’t do a good job of getting back in transition in those moments,” Rondo said. “It seemed like it happened so quickly – the lead was I think at 10 and it went to 19. So that’s what they do; I think that’s what they did here last time and it repeated itself again tonight.”