Sacramento Kings: The Roller Coaster That Was December

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Dec 6, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) dribbles the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kings started this month out on the road, south of the border — which was somehow considered a ‘home’ game for them. Unless California radically shifted south, Mexico City is nowhere near Sacramento. Technically, Sacramento is closer to Mexico City than Boston is, so take it however you like.

The young Celtics looked strong and played well under the facilitation of former King Isaiah Thomas, who scored 21 points and had nine assists on the night. The Kings played from behind most of the night, and Cousins shot an atrocious 4-17 from the field. There wasn’t much else to this loss, as the Kings were simply outplayed by a Celtics that looks poised to get better as they gain more experience.

Even worse than the loss though, Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein ended up dislocating his finger in the final quarter, and was ruled out for at least six weeks.

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  • Next, they landed in Houston looking for a rebound against the Rockets. Unfortunately, the Kings started sluggish once again, failing to score 20 points in the first quarter. The undermanned Kings put up a decent fight, but couldn’t contain James Harden, who had 31 points. Dwight Howard also won the battle of the bigs, posting 22 points and 18 rebounds.

    Ben McLemore had a great game, shooting 3-5 from deep and grabbing nine rebounds and adding three steals to top it off. Cousins had another poor shooting night. And even though Rondo had 19 assists, the Kings just couldn’t take the contest.

    The next night, the Kings continued their road trip, facing a fearsome OKC team stacked with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. In what was likely the most colorful game of the year, fans got what they paid for in this battle. The Kings played sharp, matching the Thunder blow-for-blow, and actually outscored them 31-22 in the fourth. It still wasn’t enough to pull out a win against a contender like Oklahoma City though, as Durant drilled a go-ahead jumper late and the Kings committed a killer turnover in the final seconds.

    Darren Collison continued his impressive bench play, but the team needed more efficiency from its starters to win. They looked like a team still struggling to find its groove, which in some ways, is concerning as the calendar winds its way through the season.

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