Alvin Gentry challenged his team and apologized to Kings fans after a blowout home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team without LeBron James. Less than 24 hours later, the Kings responded and trounced the LA Clippers 124-115 at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
In a season headlined by third-quarter struggles, the Kings outscored the Clippers 37-24 in the penultimate frame. Sacramento's struggles in the third quarter clearly were top of mind, as Terence Davis addressed them during his postgame interview with NBC Sports California after a career night.
"The third quarter hasn't been good to us this season, it just hasn't, we haven't been playing well in the third quarter this season and we just wanted to come out and show ourselves that when we're locked in and having energy and being tough on the defensive end, we can run with anyone," Davis said. "I know they were without their best player, but we made tonight about us and that was the biggest difference."
Davis finished with 23 points and three steals. Six Kings players finished in double figures, led by De'Aaron Fox's 24.
There was no emotional letdown from the Kings after a blowout loss to the Lakers, and both Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell spoke about how the team handled that within the locker room.
"I think as players we dictated a lot of the conversation last night coming into today with film," Haliburton said. "Coach Gentry has done a good job with letting the players have a lot of say, he comes in and we're already talking and keeping having that conversation and he just lets us go. Us as players know we have to be better, it seemed like Luke was the scapegoat at times when we weren't playing well, people were blaming him. But at the end of the day, it's on us as basketball players, we have to be better, it's not on any staff, it's not on any front office not anybody except the guys on the court and we just have to be better."
"We just talked to each other, it was just like a regular film session it was just a little bit longer, kind of watched the game a little bit longer and we just tried to correct our mistakes and we need to do this, need to make this box out, just little things that can contribute to a win," Davion Mitchell told reporters.
Paul George was out for the Clippers, along with Kawhi Leonard, but this is a pivotal win regardless of who was available.
The Kings avoided their third three-game losing streak of the season, and clearly are rallying around Gentry's strong postgame comments from Tuesday night.
Although they now are headed back to Sacramento, the Kings once again will play the Clippers on Saturday night at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings clearly are taking accountability for themselves and hashing things out in a professional manner. They'll be hoping Wednesday's good mojo carries over against the same group Saturday.