Sunday, March 24, 9:00 PM (EST) at Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
26-42 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
25-45 (4th Pacific, 13th West)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: I. THOMAS | T. EVANS | J. SALMONS | J. THOMPSON | D. COUSINS
Updated: 9:31 PM, March 23, 2013
When one thinks about the Sacramento Kings, they probably don't think about efficient, high-powered offense. But that's exactly what the Kings have become.
Since the All-Star break, the Kings lead the NBA in points per game at 110.0, primarily due to the vastly improved play of young backcourt-mates Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton. After combining for 23.6 points per game on 41.7% from the floor and 33.2% from deep prior to the All-Star break, the duo are accounting for 34.7 points per game on 50.0% shooting and 45.9% from deep (on 10.6 attempts per game).
In the 15 games since the break, Sacramento is second in the league in three-pointers made per contest (10.3) and is fourth in offensive efficiency, behind just Denver, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio.
Quality Wins (And Near-wins)
In the last two weeks, the Kings have notched two very impressive wins. On March 13, they beat the playoff-bound Bulls by a 42-point margin, marking just the 10th time Chicago had fallen by 40+ since 1980. Six nights later, they toppled the 46-21 Clippers 116-101 at Sleep Train Arena.
On February 26, the Kings took the Heat, who at the time 11 games into their now 25-game winning streak, to double-overtime in Miami, eventually falling 141-129.
SIXER TO WATCH
C Spencer Hawes
Selected 10th overall by the Kings in the 2007 Draft, Spencer Hawes spent his first three NBA seasons with in Sacramento. The 7-1 center out of Washington averaged 8.8 points (46.6 FG%) and 5.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game with the Kings before being dealt to Philadelphia, along with veteran swingman Andres Nocioni, in 2010 for center Samuel Dalembert.
This season, Hawes is enjoying his most efficient campaign to date, averaging 10.7 points (45.9 FG%), 7.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks in just 26.7 minutes per contest. Amazingly, he is the only player in the league averaging at least 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks in fewer than 27.0 minutes per game.
Since the All-Star break, Hawes has arguably played his best basketball as a Sixer. Averaging 12.4 points (45.6 FG%), 8.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game, he has seven double-doubles in 17 games since the break, five of which have come over his last eight games. Over those eight games, Hawes is averaging 15.9 points (54.3 FG%), 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.6 blocks in 32.9 minutes.