SAN ANTONIO -- Tyreke Evans had 23 points and 11 rebounds, including the go-ahead jumper with 47.2 seconds left to give the Sacramento Kings a surprising 88-86 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points apiece for the Kings, who won on the road for only the second time and did so in the NBA's toughest place to play this season. The Spurs had been 9-0 at home.
It was the first time the Kings beat the Spurs in the teams' past 13 matchups.Tony Parker led the Spurs with 24 points. San Antonio missed its last five shots, including Danny Green badly airballing a short runner as time expired.Sacramento had been abysmal away from home, getting blown out by an average of 23 points in its seven road losses. But the Kings, who have already endured a tumultuous season, savored this one when it was over.Evans paced around the court with both his arms raised. His teammates lingered long on the floor with wide smiles and high-fives as the stunned Spurs walked to their locker room.San Antonio started 9-0 at home for the third time in franchise history. Now only Chicago (6-0) remains unbeaten at home.The Spurs hardly gave the game away. Sacramento led the entire way before Spurs center Tiago Splitter finally put San Antonio ahead with just under 10 minutes left.The Spurs led 84-78 with 4 minutes to go but went cold down the stretch. Evans hit his game-winner in the face of Green, whose runner as time expired didn't even reach the rim.Splitter, Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair all had 10 points for the Spurs. Duncan, coming off a punishing back-to-back in Florida, didn't play in the fourth quarter save for the final 5.5 seconds.Cousins also had 17 rebounds for the Kings. Jason Thompson added 10 points and 10 rebounds.The Kings nearly let this upset slip away. They built a surprising 15-point lead early in the second quarter that quickly evaporated thanks to seven consecutive missed shots and bad decisions. Among them was Cousins getting a technical foul for protesting his third personal - despite teammate J.J. Hickson racing toward referee Ed Malloy in hopes of talking him out of a whistle.He didn't make it in time."I gave him a chance," Malloy told Kings coach Keith Smart.A chance is rarely what the Kings have had on the road. The NBA's youngest team was routed by 39 points in Dallas last week.Four of Sacramento's next five games are on the road, too. It's one of the myriad challenges facing Smart, who took over Jan. 5 after Sacramento fired Paul Westphal. The Kings are 4-5 since.Notes: Sacramento CF Chuck Hayes missed his eighth straight game with a dislocated left shoulder, but Smart said his big man is finally able to sleep through the night without pain. Smart said he expects Hayes to resume contact in practice in the next few days. ... The Spurs hadn't lost to the Kings at home since 2006.The Associated Press contributed to this report
Somebody has to warn me when sentences like this appear at random. From a tweet by Paul Lukas of UniWatch:
“International outreach: (Sacramento) Kings' new black alternate court includes graphics in Hindi and Mandarin, depending on team's promotional campaign.”
Now when did that become up for grabs?
Not the Hindi or Mandarin legends below the Kings’ logo, which were announced by the team on NBA.com Thursday. I think every nation that wishes to should feel a part of the Dave Joerger Experience – Mongolia, Kazakhstan, South Sudan, Placerville, you name it.
But what I didn’t know is that there is now a desperate marketing need for alternate floors.
I mean, you don’t get much more fundamental and frill-free than the ground. You can paint it, you can decal it, you can varnish it, you can stain it, you can scuff it, and it still stays pretty floor-y.
And it robs the Kings of a potential competitive advantage that they could desperately use.
The Boston Celtics made great use of their old parquet floor at the now spectral Bostonb Garden. There were hot spots and dead spots, seams and gaps that only the Celtics players knew, and they all used them to their benefit throughout the golden age of Celtic basketball.
And now that the Celtics are celebrating the Garden’s 20th year of rubblehood, they probably miss that old floor a bit. Even though they pretty much sold off most of the bits for great scads of cash and used others to be included in the current floor.
But the Kings need two. No, wait. They need three. Hmmm.
Now the Kings also have four different uniforms to go with their floors, meaning that every game prep will include a few minutes to figure what socks go with what grain of wood. This seems like an unproductive use of everybody’s time.
As for the languages on the floor . . . well, if I was from Bulgaria, I’d be pretty damned cheesed off right now that I can’t see my team’s name on one of my floors.
So I will do it for you. Go You царства на сакрамента!
Free Z-Bo. According to TMZ.com, Sacramento Kings big man, Zach Randolph, pled no contest to a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge stemming from an arrest during a block party in the Nickerson Garden area of LA on Aug. 9. The 16-year NBA veteran originally faced two felony counts, including marijuana possession with the intent to sell.
Randolph walked out of a courtroom on Aug. 31 with reduced charges, but still faced a pair of misdemeanor counts, including one for drug possession. According TMZ, potential drug charges were dropped in exchange for the no contest plea on Wednesday.
Per the plea agreement, Randolph was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and he must stay out of trouble for the next year. If he holds up his end of the bargain, the resisting arrest conviction will be voided from his permanent record.
Randolph, 36, signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the Kings over the summer after spending the previous eight seasons in Memphis. There is no word yet as to whether the NBA will chime in with a fine or suspension.