SACRAMENTO -- Consistently inconsistent. After a huge win against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, the Sacramento Kings overlooked a beat up 10-26 Miami Heat team Wednesday night on their home floor. The Kings rallied to erase a huge deficit late, but faltered down the stretch, losing to the Heat by a final of 107-102.
Tyler Johnson shook off a migraine that kept him out of Miami’s loss to the Suns on Tuesday and hit the Kings for 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
Goran Dragic, the lone healthy starter for Miami, ran circles around the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 19 points and added seven assists in the win.
Former King James Johnson added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists before fouling out. Reserve Wayne Ellington hit 4-for-5 from deep on his way to 13 points and Luke Babbitt scored nine on a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point land.
Welcome back Ty Lawson. Despite struggling with a facial fracture, the pint-sized point guard attacked Miami’s defense, energizing the Sacramento crowd with 15 points and six assists.
Garrett Temple has a knack for knowing what his team needs. Some nights it’s just defensive help. Against Miami, they needed him to spark the offense. The versatile, wing scored 15 points off the Kings bench on 7-of-11 shooting.
For the second straight night, Arron Afflalo looked like the Arron Afflalo of old. The veteran shooting guard has had his struggles this season, but he couldn’t miss against the Heat early, scoring all 15 of his points in the first half.
Anthony Tolliver gave the Kings a nice lift off the bench, scoring 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Sacramento’s second unit dropped in a season-high 61 points in the loss.
Both DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison struggled to find their games. Cousins finished the night with 13 points and six rebounds, but shot just 4-of-15 from the field. Collison chipped in 10 points and three assists.
Matt Barnes struggled early as well, but woke up in the final minutes to give the Kings quality minutes. The 36-year-old forward scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out five assists.
In an NBA world where players miss games due to the smallest of ailments, Lawson shook off a broken face to lead the charge for Sacramento. He may not yet be the same player he was a few years ago in Denver, but he’s getting closer and he’s leading a very good Kings second unit.
Tyler Johnson’s circus shot basket and foul with 27.8 seconds remaining gave the Heat a three point lead and the Kings never scored again.
Rudy Gay missed his fourth straight and has now sat in 10 of the Kings previous 11 games with a right hip flexor strain. Despite suffering a maxillary sinus fracture on Saturday and then struggling with blurry vision on Tuesday night, Lawson returned to action off Dave Joerger’s bench.
The Kings continue their season-long seven game homestand Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.