The question “how much worse can things possibly get for Sacramento?” wasn’t intended to be a challenge.
Of course, the Kings just had to find out.
With the Utah Jazz in town for a Sunday afternoon game, things went from bad to worse very quickly for Sacramento. The Kings started the game incredibly flat and quickly fell down by as much as 20 points.
Quin Snyder was off of the bench instructing his team, Utah was cleaning up the glass, and scoring three-pointers at will. They looked like a team with a direction and their played proved it.
Sacramento couldn’t seem to care any less.
The Utah Jazz outscored, out rebounded, and out hustled Sacramento the entire quarter. Maybe the entire game. Gordon Hayward was off to a rather hot start scoring 11 points and leading his team with a net rating of +18.
However, he was unable to stay in front of point guard, DeMarcus Cousins on this play:
Just like this entire season, the game was completely on the shoulders of DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins outscored all of his teammates in the first quarter alone with 11 points. Rudy Gay and Darren Collison were held scoreless and only two players had assists for Sacramento.
The Jazz, on the other hand, had nine assists between seven players.
As the second quarter began, Omri Casspi was able to come off of the bench and provide Sacramento with any sort of energy. No matter how large the deficit be, Casspi was leading his team with hustle plays and invigorating a very frustrated crowd.
Boo’s were raining down from the fans midway through the second quarter as Rajon Rondo carelessly lost the ball on an uncontested pass and DeMarcus Cousins lost the ball as he was dribbling up the court.
The lack of interest was apparent the entire afternoon.
“It’s the level of fight, there’s a lot of frustration in this locker room,” Cousins told The BMF after the game. “We haven’t performed to the level of exceptions so it’s a lot of frustration with that.”
The Kings were able to slowly chip away at the lead to end the third and begin the fourth. Slowly moving a Utah lead from 21 to as little as seven with three minutes left. Sacramento went on a 14-4 tear to begin the fourth quarter but its was too big of a gap to overcome in such a little amount of time.
Unable to fully contain the paint, Derrick Favors was able to grab two offensive rebounds with under a minute left and keep the distance between Sacramento and Utah no less than six points. Favors finished the game with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
With the first quarter aside, the Kings outscored the Jazz for the remainder of the game but couldn’t dig themselves out of their early hole. That is the biggest part about being decisive on when to care. You can’t control outcomes.
The Kings take on the Lakers next in their final game against Kobe Bryant.
For the Jazz, they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on a back-to-back which will continue on Monday night.