In one hand we have a team that has been in the playoffs the last twelve years and is getting ready for the playoffs as the regular season comes to an end.
In the other hand we have a team that will not be in the playoffs and hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2005-2006. Until the 4th quarter you would not have been able to tell which team was which.
The Sacramento Kings (24-54) hosted the San Antonio Spurs (48-29) on Bobby Jackson night at Arco Arena.
It was a night that celebrated the career of a player who brought many memories to Sacramento and their fans. One of those memories is the 6th Man of the Year award, which is given to the best player off the bench in the NBA.
Being that the night focused on the fruitful times of the Sacramento Kings past; showing old clips of the team and video of former Kings wishing luck to number 24, there was hope that the Kings would break the current losing streak.
That hope held on until the 4th quarter when San Antonio kept going and the Kings did not.
The Kings kept it close until then. Both teams scoring 18 in the first quarter and 29 in the second.
Donte Greene had a big second-quarter, scoring 12 points and making the first four shots of the quarter.
Sean May was also productive in the first half, shooting 5 for 6 and scoring 10 points.
The problem was both players finished the game with the same amount of points they scored in the first half.
It seemed as though Manu Ginobli was in control of the game.
“(Ginobli) decided to let us hang around until we weren’t going to be able to hang around anymore,” said Coach Westphal after the game. Although Ginobli only scored 5 points in the first-half, he finished strong with 11 in the fourth-quarter.
Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess recorded double doubles and Richard Jefferson led the Spurs with 18 points.
Former King Garrett Temple also played well filling in for Tony Parker, who sat out the last 16 games because of an injury to his hand. Temple scored 15 points and had 4 assists.
“We were sorry to see him go,” said Westphal. “We were impressed with Garrett and wanted to keep him around but he saw a better opportunity there particularly for a team going to the playoffs. He caught on and he’s done a nice job for them, I’m happy to see that for him.”
Evans and Landry led the game in scoring, combining for 42 of the Kings 86 total points. Only 14 of the 39 second half points came from someone besides Evans or Landry. Three of those points came from a late three by Jason Thompson. It was the first three of his career.
Evans finished the game with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Evans now needs 79 points and 1 rebound in the last four games of the season to reach the 20-5-5 mark.
This historic mark that is thought to ensure a Rookie of the Year award for Evans, would be the first major award given to a Kings player since Jackson won his Sixth Man of the Year award in 2003.