Saturday’s contest between the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks began with a malfunction—not from the shot clock or the arena lights, but from the basketball cyborg known as Kristaps Porzingis. Perhaps he was a bit rusty from missing the Knicks’ previous game, or maybe it was just a momentary glitch in his targeting computer, but U.N.I.C.O.R.N. missed on his first three shots of the night as the Kings roared to an early 10-0 lead.
And then, suddenly, it was all over. Kristaps fixed the glitch, found the range from beyond the arc (4-6 from three) and terminated Kings defenders with extreme prejudice (11-21 overall). Overwhelmed Sacramento bigs sent Kristaps to the line nine times. The end result was 34 points, a rather pedestrian effort given Porzingis’s recent output.
Oh, did I mention that all of this happened in just 26 minutes of playing time?
So dominant were Kristaps and his merry band of Knickerbockers, head coach Jeff Hornacek could afford to sit his best player for much of the third and all of the fourth quarters. After all was said and done, New York walked away with a dominating 118-91 win. As P&T felinequickness said, Kristaps is making it look easy.
—Courtney Lee is a bipolar baller, sometimes playing far too passively while occasionally flashing some real offensive tenacity. It’s not that he’s ever truly bad; he’s just often far too meh. Saturday, however, was one of those aggressive-Lee games, as Courtney complemented Kristaps to the tune of 20 points (7-9 shooting, 5-6 from three) and 3 assists. Lee was even taking the ball to the rack on occasion, as well as bombing threes even when he was less than wide open. Feel free to shoot those threes, my dude; you’re hitting 46.5% of them.
—Not the best game for Frank Ntilikina, who finished with 2 points and 5 assists. I was really hoping he’d be more aggressive off the dribble during fourth-quarter garbage time, but he kept dumping the ball into high post for Michael Beasley and Kyle O’Quinn, both of whom are black holes (look, I love what O’Quinn has done this season, but once you pass the ball you aren’t getting it back unless it looks like a surefire assist).
—The Kings play a super-big frontcourt, which of course meant good things for Enes Kanter—he gets exploited when opponents play small, but there’s not a big in the league right now who can keep that dude off the glass. The young Turk cleaned up in this matchup, scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 boards.
—Cheers to Damyean Dotson, who got 14 minutes of garbage time and proceeded to dump that garbage all over the Kings, along with a deluge of buckets. D-Dot scored 14 points on 6-9 shooting. By comparison, he only scored 8 points on 3-11 shooting in 37 minutes in Friday night’s G-League game. Does this mean the Kings are inferior to a G-League club? Hey, you said it, not me.
Not much else to say here. The Knicks straight-up pantsed the Kings, as they should when playing at home. The Knicks are quite good at home, and they will hopefully prove that once again when they take on the Cavs Monday night. Until then, folks!