Turnovers, Bad Third Quarter Deal Kings ‘unfortunate' Loss in Philly

Missed it by that much. Arron Afflalo's last ditch corner 3-ball caught the side of the iron and bounced back Monday evening in Philadelphia, as the Sixers snuck away with a 122-119 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Call it unlucky. Call it the effects of seven games in 11 nights. Either way, it's a tough break for a team looking to claw its way back into the playoff race.

"(Garrett Temple) drew two guys - kind of just saw an open corner and just missed it," Afflalo told reporters following the game. "Got to shoot it on the way up."

Affalo was on the opposite side of the court and raced to the right corner where Temple found him out of the double-team. He released the ball with a full second on the clock and unfortunately for Sacramento, it just didn't slide in.

It shouldn't have come down to a last second shot. The Kings jumped all over the Sixers early. They led by as many as 14 in the first quarter and 16 in the second. But they let off the gas and let Philly back in the game, even before the half.  

"After the first quarter, we relaxed a lot and didn't guard anybody for the next three quarters and struggled," Dave Joerger said during post game. "They scored 47 points off of our turnovers and second chance points. 47 - that's a big big number."

In the third quarter, the entire tenor of the game changed. Robert Covington went off for 12 of his 23 in the quarter as the 76ers outscored the Kings 42-30.

Philly shot 70.8 percent in the period, including an impressive 4-of-5 from behind the arc. They came away with 12 assists and just one turnover in the third, as the Kings just flat out stopped playing team defense.

"Third quarter, we just couldn't get any stops," Afflalo said. "Only thing we got was maybe two or three stops the whole quarter. They're a young team. They play with a lot of energy. Once they got momentum, it's kind of hard to slow them down."

It's hard to compete with a team that scores a season-high 74 points in a half. The Kings didn't box out on the defensive glass and they didn't value the ball.

"We made a couple of mistakes, but whenever a team gets going like that, that's all it takes, a couple of mistakes," Anthony Tolliver told media members. "After that, you can play as hard as you can and sometimes it's just not going to go your way."

The Kings have been solid holding onto the rock as of late. They turned the ball over 19 times in Indiana, but that is one of the few times in the last two weeks that they haven't valued the possession. It was a different story in Philly.

"We've just got to take care of the ball a little bit better," said Afflalo. "We've got a lot of guys just trying to make plays, I don't think they're careless turnovers."

It's hard to fault Cousins for his mistakes. He posted a game-high eight turnovers, which by all measures is unacceptable. But he also poured in 46 points on 11-of-16 shooting and grabbed 15 huge rebounds.

Sacramento turned the ball over a total of 21 times, but they also handed out 31 assists in the loss.  

"We felt like we were in a good position to come in here and get a win and to walk out with a loss is unfortunate," Tolliver said.

With the defeat, Sacramento fell to 3-4 on the road trip. They travel to Houston following the game where they will face off with the high-powered Rockets on the second night of a back-to-back. Eight games in 12 nights on the road is a tough stretch for any team. The Kings have held up remarkably well.

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