I’ve taken a little break from notes and quotes lately, but after Wednesday night, I think there was definitely enough good information coming out of the locker room to give it a go. We also have a special treat for you today. Steven Chea, a free lance sports and concert photographer was kind enough to share some of his amazing in-game pictures with us.
Coaches Notes and Quotes:
- Coach Westphal’s opening statement: “Who can figure this thing out, huh? I just really appreciate the Sacramento fans, they were loud out there. They were with us the whole way. I think they like this team and I think they like to root for a team that is trying to climb out of where we’ve been and our team’s not quitting and I don’t think the fans were quitting. You can never figure a miracle shot like what Tyreke made, but I think we deserved it.”
- On what this win meant for the team: “It means they have a day off tomorrow.”
- On deserving it: “We’ve been knocking on this door, this fourth quarter thing, virtually this whole year, playing almost well enough to get a win. We’ve been trying to fix things that might be causing the breakdown. It’s like the fable where you put your finger in the dike here and it springs a leak over there so you put it over there and it springs over there. Our guys haven’t given up and we’ve been improving in areas all year and then something else would pop up. It just feels good to get a win.”
- On DeMarcus Cousins and the Coach’s decision to start him in the second half: “DeMarcus really has been trying to become the player
that everyone believes he can become. I thought in the first half he did a good job defensively and offensively. He’s cutting down on some of his impatient mistakes. He’s doing a better job of getting a wider base. He’s reading the defenses better before he makes his move and he’s staying out of foul trouble. The fact that Samuel (Dalembert) and Jason (Thompson) had three fouls and he had only two at halftime, and he’d been playing so well made it kind of an easy decision. He responded, he gave us 36 minutes of outstanding big man basketball.”
- On getting steals instead of fouls down the stretch: “We’re learning from some mistakes we’ve made before. I thought tonight we still fouled them. We missed that shot with 31 seconds left and we didn’t need to foul, we were only down two, we had time for a stop. At the same time, it did work out. Sometimes in this game, you find out that you can make mistakes and overcome them if it’s your night. Other nights you can play all the percentages and somebody throws in a half court shot at the buzzer on you.
- On what he was thinking when when O.J. Mayo hit the shot with 1.5 seconds left: “I was just in the moment then. Out of all the games I’ve coached in the NBA, I bet you there’s been two games where I didn’t have a timeout left in that situation. I always save one, but tonight I wasn’t able to, but I did know that we had time so I was screaming. I thought that maybe DeMarcus could have thrown a long pass because they relaxed after they scored. I knew we had time to at least advance
the ball up the floor and see what happened. That was fun to watch that. Fun to be down there on the floor and hear the people react the way they did.”
- On what was different about the defense of Francisco Garcia and Omri Casspi against Rudy Gay this time around: “In the NBA, I don’t know that there is ever one answer for a great player. That first game he made a lot of really good shots. Tonight they weren’t going to him as much, I thought Cisco, particularly bothered a couple of his attempts and he just wasn’t able to have an all-star caliber game. He played a great game today, he just wasn’t as unbelievable as last time and they found Zach Randolph. They were going to him and they didn’t need Rudy Gay as much, and then Gasol had his period of time when they were going to him. Memphis has so many weapons. They have five guys on their team that can go for thirty on any given night and I think it was Zach’s turn tonight.”
On Evans and his confidence: “Tyreke knows that he is a very good basketball player, but no matter how good a player is, their confidence can be shaken if they don’t know what their body is going to do. I think all of those things were a combination. I think the last game showed that he can be Tyreke Evans again. That probably took away a little bit of his hesitancy and we just think that when he’s attacking, he’s a double handful for anyone who’s guarding him. It was nice to see two games in a row where he looked like himself.”
Players Notes and Quotes:
DeMarcus Cousins on the big shot of Tyreke Evans: “It’s a good feeling. Great shot by Tyreke. Great shot. That was a clutch play and a clutch player did it.”
- Cousins on his career high in scoring: “I came in and I was like, I want to make sure that Marc (Gasol) doesn’t have a good game. Just make it hard as possible and I believe I did a pretty good job tonight. Hell, Zach ended up scoring a lot, but it’s better to have one monster instead of two. I believe we did a good job defensively.”
- Cousins on jumping up on the scorers table after the game: “It feels good to get a win. It feels great to get a win and to get a win like that feels even better.”
- Carl Landry on the final shot: “I was just like wowwwwwwwwww. Everybody was running around like a chicken with their heads cut off. Reporters, fans, us, it was a good feeling and I’m sure this city is hyped right now and continue this winning streak.”
Landry on the final sequence: “Wow, again, you know what I’m saying? When Mayo hits the shot, and I look up and there is only one second, I’m like wow – again? No timeouts. We have to shoot a half court shot and it just went our way. The ball bounced in our favor tonight and it feels great.”
- Tyreke Evans on the steal that led to his breakaway before the final sequence: “We just tried to do the trap. I wanted to get where he couldn’t see me and I didn’t think he really wanted to pass the ball so I just tried to get a hand up when he did and I got the steal and the breakaway dunk.”
- Tyreke on the final sequence: “It happened so fast and he (Mayo) made the shot and he had no expression on his face and he walked over to the bench so I thought it was a timeout call. I looked at Coach and everybody was spread out around so I just got the ball, put it up and it went in.”
- Tyreke on DeMarcus Cousins: “He needed it. We all needed it. He had a good game, a game I know he’s capable of playing every time we get on the court. It was good for us to get a win with everyone playing like that.”
So, in case you missed it, the Kings broke through and in dramatic fashion no less. The mood in the locker room was awesome. There was a buzz that has been missing for a while and there were plenty of smiles to go around from everybody. I have more photo’s from Steven that I will be using in other posts. I will leave you with one of my favorites from the batch.