Kings continue success without leading scorer
November 10, 2009
SACRAMENTO – For the second straight game, the Sacramento Kings showed they can win without leading scorer Kevin Martin.
Once again it was rookie Tyreke Evans picking up the slack in the absence of Martin, who fractured his left wrist and will be out for a minimum of two months.
Evans scored 18 of his 23 points in the second quarter and Sacramento beat Golden State 120-107 to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a year.
Evans was coming off his best game of the year, scoring a career-high 32 points and getting seven assists in Saturday’s win in Utah. The Kings haven’t had a rookie score more than a combined 50 points in consecutive games since Walt Williams accomplished the feat in February 1993.
Evans shot 35 percent in the Kings’ first five games and was clearly having trouble running the team at point guard.
“I was struggling the first couple of games, but now I have a better feel for what’s going on,” said Evans, who didn’t turn the ball over in 29 minutes. “I’ve got my rhythm back and I’m letting the game come to me and not rushing anything.”
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Beno Udrih added 20 points and six assists for the Kings, who last won consecutive games on Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, 2008.
Stephen Jackson scored 21 points and Corey Maggette added 20 for the Warriors (1-4). Kelenna Azubuike had 13 points, Anthony Randolph had 14 and Anthony Morrow 11. Warriors leading scorer Monta Ellis made just 4-of-11 shots and scored nine points.
It was another rather humbling loss for the Warriors. In their previous game at home they suffered a 28-point loss to the Clippers.
“Another beat down, what can I say?” Jackson said. “It is just all bad right now. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Jason Thompson had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Donte Greene added 17 points for Sacramento.
Sacramento held a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter before Evans took over.
“We couldn’t guard him (Evans),” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “I put a bigger guy on him and with his size he has the ability to get where he wants to go in the paint. He is just getting better and better. He backed a really great game up with a very good game.”
The fourth-pick in the draft helped the Kings build an 11-point halftime lead using an array of moves.
“Honestly, I don’t want to go overboard about a guy who’s just played his seventh game but sometimes we just drop our mouths at some of the plays he makes,” Kings coach Paul Westphal said. “He’s a very special player.”
The Kings extended their advantage to 96-77 after three quarters as Udrih had 10 points in the period. The quarter ended with Greene lobbing an inbounds pass to Thompson for a dunk at the buzzer.
Notes: A sore back made Andris Biedrins a game-time decision. He started at center, but was ineffective, getting two points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. … This was the first of four straight home games for Sacramento. … Golden State entered the game allowing an average of 113.5 points, second-worst in the NBA.