by Charlie O. Mallonee
“The road trip from hell” continued in Philadelphia on Monday when the Kings played the 76ers. This was the makeup game for the contest that was postponed on November 30 due to the wet floor from the ice below the hardwood. This game turned a seven-game road trip into the longest road trip of the year – eight games – with three back-to-back sets.
The Kings entered the game with a surprising 3-3 record on the road trip so far. Expectations were high as Philadelphia is also a “Tier 3” team which means they have comparable levels of personnel. Also, big man Joel Embiid who has been playing some great basketball for the Sixers was not available to play on Monday due to a knee contusion.
Even with solid momentum and player personnel advantages it was still an NBA game on the road which automatically favors the home team. The home court advantage played in Philly’s favor Monday night as they squeaked past the Kings 122-119.
The Sixers took advantage of a huge break when DeMarcus Cousins fouled out of the game with 58.5-seconds left in the contest. Cousins has scored 46 points up to that point and was leading the charge to take the lead in the game for Sacramento.
Even with their superstar on the bench, the Kings managed to remain in the fight and had a chance to tie the game with literally one-second to go in the game. With score 122-119 in favor of Philadelphia, the Kings somehow broke Arron Afflalo into the open in the right corner for an open three-point shot that would have tied the game. Unfortunately for the Kings and their fans, the shot hit the rim and did not go in and the win went to Philly (18-29).
Who did what in the game
- DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 46 points to go with 15 rebounds for his 13th consecutive double-double. Cousins – who was double-teamed the entire game – shot an incredible 20-for-22 from the free throw line
- Willie Cauley-Stein had another big game coming off the bench for the Kings. He put up 17 points in 20-minutes on the floor. He shot a very impressive 8-for-10 from the field
- Matt Barnes was a major factor on offense for Sacramento on Monday night. Barnes added 16 points hitting 6-of-12 from the floor including four 3-point baskets
- Ty Lawson may have to change his name to “the distributor”. Lawson dished out 11 assists working the point for the Kings
- Team numbers: 55.4 Field Goal Percentage; 44.8-percent 3-pt Field Goal Shooting (13-of-29); 24-for-29 Field Throws
- The Sixers had seven players score in double-figures against the Kings
- Robert Covington led Philly in scoring with 23 points and made it a double-double with 10 rebounds
- Dario Saric was a key force off the bench for the Sixers as he scored 17 points, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds while shooting 8-for-11 from the floor
- Former King Nik Stauskas enjoyed a good night versus his former team. The guard hit 6-of-10 field goal attempts including four 3-pointers for a total of 16 points in the game
- As a team: Field Goals 54.2-percent; 11-for-31 (35.5-percent) 3-point shooting; 80.8-percent Free Throw Shooting (21-for-26); 32 assists against just 16 turnovers ( the perfect 2-1 ratio)
Up next on the schedule
For the Kings, this nightmare road trip comes an end on Tuesday night in Houston against the Rockets. Houston sports 36-16 record and currently holds down the number three spot in the Western Conference. James Harden and company love to shoot the three, so expect the Rockets to “make it rain” in Houston on Tuesday.
The 76ers head out on the road as they will face the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday night.