By Shawn Whelchel.
The Sacramento Kings dropped the first game of their four game roadtrip to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, after sloppy play and a lack of bench scoring neutralized a big night from DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.
Gay led all scorers in the game with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting, while Cousins continued his strong play, following closely behind with 24 points on an efficient 9-of-12 shooting from the field, accounting for 49 of the Kings 99 total points.
But while four out of five starters finished Monday’s contest in double digits for the Kings, the bench failed to provide the necessary support during their minutes on the court, adding just 19 points while contributing to the losing effort.
Nets center Mason Plumlee continues to shine in place of Brook Lopez, who has been reserved to a bench role as of late, as he dumped in 6-of-7 attempts good for a team high 22 points on the night.
The Kings continue to hurt themselves with sloppy play, as a total of 21 turnovers on the night led to 25 points for the Nets at home. Brooklyn’s bench also outscored the Kings by 19 points.
Despite the lack of bench play, the Kings pulled to within 5 points with just over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But the defense couldn’t hold off the Nets, who used a pair of runs to solidify their victory over the visiting Kings for their 14th win of the season.
The Kings will take on the Celtics on Wednesday, December 31 at 10 a.m.