Kings Bench Ranks Best in League During February

Through six games, Sacramento’s reserves sport the NBA’s best net rating.
by Shahbaz Khan
Managing Editor, Digital

Winners of three-consecutive games and four out of six overall, the Kings are seemingly finding their groove in the month of February. While Sacramento fell at the buzzer versus Phoenix to open the month, the team has rallied together to earn victories over some of the Association’s best since then, including the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.

Impressively, the team’s bench is stifling opposing offenses this February with a League-best 97.6 defensive rating for reserves. On the other end, Sacramento’s reserves are tied with the Warriors bench for the NBA’s third-highest offensive rating this month. Overall, Sactown’s 15.7 net rating – signifying a point differential per 100 possessions – ranks at the top for a reserve unit in the NBA.

The play of Willie Cauley-Stein, Matt Barnes, Ty Lawson and Anthony Tolliver has led the bench unit during February, providing a spark whenever called upon.

Trailing by 16 headed into the fourth quarter versus Chicago, the reserves shot a combined 9-of-10 from the field for 23 points, aiding the team in a near 27-point comeback. Sans DeMarcus Cousins versus Boston, the reserves strung together a 50-point performance, led by Ben McLemore’s 17. Down by 22 versus Atlanta, the reserves second half play allowed the team to climb back in, eventually securing a victory. Finally, versus New Orleans on Sunday evening, the bench scored 15 of the Kings 29 points in the final frame to sustain their lead.

“We are just playing hard,” said Ty Lawson of his unit’s play. “Everybody is getting out there and getting the 50-50 balls on the defensive end. Offensive end, we’re getting the offensive rebounds. Like I said, we’re just playing hard. When we do that, it gets more energy, the ball gets energy and we move from hand to hand and we just play well.”

Sacramento will look to continue its winning ways as the team faces the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday at 7:30 pm at Staples Center.

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