Finding themselves down by seven or more in each of the last three fourth quarters, Sacramento has needed to have near perfect execution. Led by the defensive efforts of DeMarcus Cousins, the resurgence of Ty Lawson and the play of other Kings reserves, the team has done just that.
Over the final 12 minutes of each contest during the team’s three-game winning streak, Sactown has outscored opponents by a total of 34 points. The Kings have also limited opposing teams to an average of 30 percent from the field while shooting 62 percent themselves.
Lawson and Cousins alone are averaging more fourth quarter points than their previous three opponents as well. The duo has tallied 21 points per final period over the Kings recent streak.
More than a quarter of the season in, the team is boasting one of the best second half margins in the entire NBA. This has led to seven close wins at or fewer than five point margins. Sacramento’s second halves sit among the upper echelon in the Association, with only the Warriors, Spurs, Jazz, Celtics and Raptors possessing better performances.
As the season progresses, it seems as if the squad is doing the same. Cousins and company are finding ways to win despite being shorthanded and playing from behind.
The Kings are winners of three straight, four out of five and five out of their last seven contests. Their recent success could be the indicator of a much improved Kings team for the latter half of the 2016-17 schedule.