The Sacramento Kings, the team that everyone spent the whole weekend mocking for their nonsensical DeMarcus Cousins trade, came out swinging in their first game post-Boogie and blew the doors off of the Denver Nuggets. The win puts them just half a game out of the playoffs somehow, and two games ahead of the Pelicans.
Willie Cauley-Stein stands to benefit as much as anyone from Cousins’s departure, and he made the most of his opportunity tonight, scoring a career-high 29 points in the 116-100 win. He’s springy and he wants to dunk on everyone’s heads always and I hope he does this every night now. The play of the game, however, belongs to Ty Lawson, who milked 23 whole seconds off the clock by letting an inbounds pass bounce then idly roll until he was forced to pick it up. Because he never touched it, the shot clock didn’t start, but because the Nuggets had just scored, the clock was running throughout.
For their part, the Pelicans lost by 30 to the Rockets. It’s only one game, and Cousins ended up with a monster stat line, but the divergent results are ironclad proof that the Kings won this trade and will make the playoffs and possibly unseat the Warriors in the first round.