SACRAMENTO -- “Mercy, David.” That is what coach Dave Joerger said his mom would say after looking at the Kings schedule over their five-game homestand. It’s also what plenty of Kings fans were saying Wednesday night as Joerger’s team was manhandled by the San Antonio Spurs by a deceiving final of 110-105.
Gregg Popovich’s starting squad put on a show for a sold out Golden 1 Center crowd. After a slow start to the season, 36-year-old Pau Gasol had a breakout game against the Kings frontline of DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos. The 16-year NBA vet dropped 24 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes, but he wasn’t the only starter to find success against Sacramento’s defense.
All-NBA defender Kawhi Leonard dominated the battle at the small forward position over Rudy Gay. The twice reigning defensive player of the year scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds while holding Gay to just 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 21 points and six rebounds and Tony Parker added 14 points and seven assists in the win.
Cousins looked like a man possessed. Depending on the quarter, that was either a good or a bad thing. Sacramento’s leading man came away with 26 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, but he forced plenty of shots and the Spurs made the Kings pay on the other end.
Sacramento’s bench unit made their mark on the game, combining to outscore the Spurs 57-22. Matt Barnes (15 points) and Ben McLemore (14 points) were the catalysts for the strong second team play, combining to score 29 points on 12-for-17 shooting.
Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action and Darren Collison finished with 10 points and six assists.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Gasol never seems to age. He frustrated Cousins on multiple occasions and looked every bit the part of player 10-years younger than his actual age.
TURNING POINT -- The Kings had a few moments in the early second quarter and even made a late fourth quarter run once the Spurs waved the white flag, but this game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score reads.
INJURY UPDATE -- Sacramento continues to motor through their early season schedule without any major injury to speak of. Omri Casspi and Anthony Tolliver sat the bench for 48 minutes, but both are 100 percent healthy.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings continue their five-game homestand Friday night with a matchup against the red hot Los Angeles Clippers.