Now that the talking heads have had 24 hours to pick apart the Sacramento Kings deal with the Toronto Raptors for Rudy Gay, it was time for the team to respond accordingly. They were definitely up to the challenge. Sacramento flew out of the gate, scoring 32 points in the first quarter and never looked back as they handed the Dallas Mavericks a lopsided 112-97 loss at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings showcased a balanced attack on offense as four starters scored in double-digits. Derrick Williams led the way, scoring 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting — a season-high — while DeMarcus Cousins added 32 points and 19 rebounds. Gay did not suit up for tonight’s game, but based on Sacramento’s effort tonight, he won’t have to rush.
The Kings had no problem executing their half-court offense as Isaiah Thomas took over starting point guard duty and flourished, recording a double-double with 24 points and 12 assists. This team has struggled with discipline, but has now pieced together a two-game winning streak.
The team has to feel confident knowing help is on the way while also forming their own identity this season. Isaiah rose to the occasion tonight and proved to many why he deserved to be starting all along. Cousins also had a defining moment, putting up a monster game against an equally versatile big man in Dirk Nowitzki.
Head coach Mike Malone stressed that discipline was needed in order to put away teams late in games, but blowing past opponents in the first quarter works just as well too. Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy were in attendance for tonight’s game and will likely suit up Wednesday against the Utah Jazz.
The Kings won the previous meeting just days ago, but will have the added firepower of Gay this time around. A three-game streak would be a team-high this season, and who knows what that could lead to.