The Kings entered Friday's game in Sacramento as the worst defensive team in the league, but the Nets made them look more like the Celtics, scoring just 81 points in a five-point loss. The Kings controlled the glass early on and led by eight midway through the second quarter. The Nets used a 19-4 run to go up seven late in the half, but they continued to struggle offensively, and the game was close from then on.
The Nets missed three opportunities to tie it in the final minutes and, after DeMarcus Cousins rebounded his own missed free throw, Tyreke Evans put the Kings up four with a jumper with 59 seconds left. A Travis Outlaw jumper made it a two-point game with 27.9 left, but then Beno Udrih hit a dagger three with 3.4 on the clock to finish the Nets off.
Anthony Morrow (17 points, 6-for-10 shooting) and Kris Humphries (18 points, 9-for-12) were the only Nets who had anything going offensively. The rest of the team shot 17-for-48. Brook Lopez grabbed 10 rebounds and Devin Harris dished out eight assists, but the two combined to shoot 6-for-21, and Harris had seven of the Nets' 17 turnovers. In five games as a starter, Humphries is now averaging 11.2 points,12.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while shooting 60.9%.
Avery Johnson blamed the loss on a lack of leadership: "We can scream and holler all we want, but we're going to have to have better leadership from amongst the troops. I'm not pointing any fingers, but we've got guys that need to step up and hold each other accountable on the team."
- Boxscore - NBA.com
- Game Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
Kings-Nets notebook - Jimmy Spencer - NBA.com
- Tyreke Evans scores 20 as Kings beat Nets to end losing streak - AP
- Post-Game Plus (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- From the Booth (Video) - Marv Albert & Mike Fratello - YES Network
- Avery Johnson Press Conference (Video) - YES Network
Kris Humphries Interview (Video) - Jessica Taff - YES Network
- Missed little things in crunch time cost Nets - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Williams trying to drum up answers after being deactivated against Kings - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Nets can't answer Kings - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Taking a 'Melo approach - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Lopez and Harris struggle as Udrih's three gives Sacramento an 86-81 win - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Avery: Favors on schedule to be a starter this season - Stefan Bondy - The InterNets
Waiting for Lopez - Stefan Bondy - The InterNets
- Rapid Reaction: Kings 86, Nets 81 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kings remember the basics - James Jones - Sacramento Bee
- Kings notes: Westphal settles on starting lineup for "foreseeable future" - Jason Jones - Sacramento Bee
- Photo Gallery - Nets vs. Kings - Jose Luis Villegas - Sacramento Bee