The Least You Should Know
[sny-box]Paul Pierce only played 1:13, as he re-aggravated that troublesome right shoulder stinger injury and his night ended early. He made his only shot attempt.
Andrei Kirilenko, who entered the game when Pierce left injured, suffered a game-ending ankle injury himself in the third quarter after 18 minutes of action.
Former King Marcus Thornton had a great game against his former team, with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc.
The Nets had 14 steals, making it the sixth game in a row that they had at least 12 steals. They are the first NBA team to do that since March 1999.
25-year-old point guard Jorge Gutierrez made his NBA debut, playing the final five minutes of the game for Brooklyn. He scored 1 point in his debut.[/sny-box]
The Nets started fast, jumping out to a 17-4 run to start the game. Pierce made the opening bucket of the game, but it ended up being the only shot of the night for him, as he headed to the locker room early and did not return.
Brooklyn led by as many as 16 in the first half, but Sacramento didn't hang their heads, rallying to make it a nine-point game by halftime. The Nets shot 52.5% from the field in the first half and forced 13 turnovers, but the Kings kept themselves in the game thanks in large part to a 15-point, 10-rebound first half from DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins was dominant, finishing with 28 points and 20 rebounds, and he and Rudy Gay combined to score 48 of Sacramento's 89 points. Cousins and Gay helped Sacramento rally to erase that 16-point deficit and tie the game in the third quarter.
Cousins and Gay had 41 of the Kings' 57 total points before Gay rolled his ankle shortly after they'd tied the game, and it seemed to suck the life out of this young Kings squad. Cousins got in foul trouble as well, and the Nets pulled away after that.
After Kirilenko's injury, Jason Collins stepped up and did an admirable job defending Cousins. His contributions rarely show up in the stat sheet, but the Nets needed him to play a season-high 20 minutes, and he did a great job in expanded playing time.
The Nets will be back in action tomorrow night, when they host the division-leading Toronto Raptors at the Barclays Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 pm.