On a Monday night bringing in the new month, the Sacramento Kings held their home opener against the Toronto Raptors.
With World Series Game 5 and "Monday Night Football" airing around the same time, most of the national audience (and even a lot of the local) missed out on a great game in Sacramento.
The night began with Tyreke Evans receiving his trophy for winning last year's Rookie of the Year award and introductions to this year's Kings team for the home fans.
From there, the Kings built a 17-point first-half deficit. They looked like they were in some kind of hangover from the pre-game festivities.
The Raptors' Reggie Evans made the Kings bigs look stupid in the first half, grabbing every loose ball and rebound, getting 10 boards in the first quarter and ultimately finishing with 19. Many of those were taken away from the Kings DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins did finish with 16 points in 17 minutes, but played lackluster defense on this night.
The Kings allowed an opponent to score 60 points in the first half for the third straight game.
In the third quarter, the Raptors seemed to be in control, especially after a couple of big threes by Jose Calderon off the bench. For the Raptors, Bargnani led the way with a game-high 28 points.
The young Kings remained calm and eventually made a push to shrink the lead and re-claimed the momentum.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, they had regained the lead and looked poised for the finish.
There were a few anxious moments in the closing minutes as the Raptors held on for dear life.The Kings defense held up on a last-minute possession by the Raptors and hung on for a 111-108 win.
Ultimately, the Kings held on behind the 23/7/5/+12 from Tyreke Evans, who showed why he had earned the trophy that started the night.
Other Kings highlights included Sam Dalembert continuing to anchor the defense, pulling in 14 rebounds of his own, and Omri Casspi who had 14 points and a couple of big fourth quarter threes in his third straight start in place of Donte Greene.
In the end, the Kings home-opening crowd of 17,317 got what they came for.