Sacramento Kings’ Leaky Defense Betrays Them Again In Miami Heat Blowout

Dec 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (16) is pressured by Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The great part for the Sacramento Kings on Friday night is how well they shot the ball against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. The bad part was how poorly the Kings defended the Heat.

Sacramento shot 58.1 percent on the night and were blown out of the gym in South Beach as the Heat posted a 122-103 win, hanging up 98 points in the first three quarters before calling off the dogs—sort of—in the fourth period, as LeBron James and Chris Bosh didn’t play and Dwyane Wade came out with about five minutes left.

The 122 points were a season-high for Miami. The Kings had surrendered 124 in Atlanta on Wednesday night and fell to 0-3 on their East Coast-swing.

DeMarcus Cousins had another very good night for the Kings, with a game-high 27 points, a team-high eight rebounds and five assists. Ben McLemore matched his career-high with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, snapping out of a recent funk. Rudy Gay scored 14 points and had six assists, but turned the ball over seven times, while Jason Thompson and Isaiah Thomas each scored 11 points. Thomas had a team-high seven assists.

Bosh led the Heat with 25 points and eight rebounds, Wade added 20 points and James scored 18 on 8-of-11 shooting to go with eight assists. Ray Allen also had 17 points and Mario Chalmbers tossed in 16.

Sacramento was hot early, hitting 14-of-18 in the first quarter and taking a 36-33 lead at quarter’s end. Four quick points gave the Kings a seven-point lead early in the second period before Miami put its foot on the gas.

The Heat went on a 12-0 run to take a 47-42 lead with 8:31 left in the first half and after Sacramento battled back to lead 59-55, Miami closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 67-61 halftime edge.

Sacramento tried to stay close, getting to 72-71 early in the third quarter, but Miami turned up the heat one more time, using a 9-0 run as part of a 27-10 finishing kick to blow the game open by quarter’s end.

Miami was 51-for-83 overall (61.4 percent) and the Kings also hurt themselves with turnovers, committing 20 that Miami turned into 32 points. The Heat had the edge in fast-break points, 22-6, and led by as many as 25 points.

The Kings will try to salvage the final game of the trip Saturday night at Orlando. Tip is 4 p.m. Pacific.

Topics: Sacramento Kings

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