By Dave “Deuce” Mason
The Sacramento Kings (6-12) beat the Orlando Magic 91-82 on Friday night at Sleep Train Arena to secure back-to-back wins for the first time in a month.
The Kings were without Tyreke Evans, who missed the game with a sore knee. Francisco Garcia, the longest-tenured King, got the start for Sacramento.
“The guy is always ready,” said head coach Keith Smart. “I knew I would get the right energy from him right away.”
Garcia has played in only eight games this season but said he’s ready when his name is called.
“You can’t sit here and complain when you’re not playing,” said Garcia, who played 22 minutes on Friday.
“You just got to stay positive, be a pro and just do your job. That’s what they pay you to do.”
The bench stepped up in a huge way for Keith Smart with 44 points and that was with Marcus Thornton having a tough night from the field (1-7 FG).
It was the young guns—Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette and rookie Thomas Robinson—who provided the spark for the Kings.
Robinson finished with one point but filled up the rest of the stat sheet in his 17 minutes with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“He [Robinson] changed the whole game,” Thomas said. “He was out there getting defensive stops, out there getting defensive rebounds and just bringing a lot of energy.”
Thomas finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists while Fredette chipped in 15 points in 21 minutes.
Smart was also pleased with Fredette’s defensive effort.
“I thought Jimmer did a hell of a job, a great job, chasing J.J. Redick,” Smart said. “He had to negotiate a lot of screens and I thought that was really big.”
Flashback Friday: Orlando was 4-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point range and did not hit its first three-pointer until the 3rd quarter. Orlando also struggled from the field (37.5 percent).
It was a different scene on Jan. 13, 2009 when Orlando set an NBA-record with 23 three-pointers in a 139-107 win over the Kings.
A Look Ahead
The Kings hit the road for a four-game trip, which includes stops in Portland, Dallas, Milwaukee, and Oklahoma City.
Sacramento has not won a game away from Sleep Train Arena (0-6).
Hear Dave “Deuce” Mason on The Jason Ross Show and follow him on Twitter: @DeuceMason