Rajon Rondo is in the midst of a bounce-back season for the Kings, and he delivered his “I’m here” moment in front of a national audience on Thursday night.
Rondo stormed the baseline in the fourth quarter and delivered a thunderous dunk to put the cherry on top of another strong night and let the NBA world know that his struggles last season were a fluke, leading the Kings over the Knicks 99-97 in a nationally televised contest.
The Kings’ standout guard narrowly missed another triple-double with 16 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds, but it wasn’t without a little bit of drama at the end.
Sacramento clawed their way to an eight point lead after one quarter, which grew to eleven heading into the fourth. After three quarters, the Kings had committed just three turnovers, but would quadruple that number in the fourth, letting the Knicks back into the game. After Carmelo Anthony marched to the basket for a layup to cut the Kings’ lead to two with just over five seconds remaining, the Knicks would force a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and call a timeout to setup one last shot.
That’s when Anthony, as blissfully unaware of his teammates as ever, clanked a 35-footer in the faces of Rondo and Rudy Gay as time expired on a Kings victory.
DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento (9-15), who have now won the first two games of their current three-game homestand. They are off until Tuesday, when they host Houston.