East County Sports

Kings fall against World Peace’s club




Special to EastCountySports.com


EL CAJON – The San Diego Kings came up short in a high scoring exhibition game against Metta World Peace and his XvsX team, 145-135.

World Peace did not play, but he had a courtside seat to this high-octane matchup. The Kings made 20 three-pointers and XvsX made 23 threes.

XvsX started the game off strong in the first, knocking down shots and getting into a flow offensively.

The Kings were cold in the first and defensively tried to apply pressure with their 2-2-1 press but couldn’t stop XvsX from breaking it and getting easy layups in transition.

But as usual, the Kings were able to find their groove offensively late in the first by dumping the ball down low to their bulldozer inside James Hancock, who finished the night with his sixth straight double-double with 24 points and 16 rebounds.

The second quarter saw the Kings’ second unit come in and add an offensive boost to keep pace with the hot shooting of XvsX.

Spencer Mattox added 14 points, shooting 3-of-5 from 3. He also was a factor on the boards, collecting long rebounds and getting scrappy inside.

Both teams scored 30-plus points in the third and the Kings took a 105-104 lead going into the fourth.

But XvsX was able to get key stops in early in the fourth and go on a 16-4 scoring run to take a 117-109 lead with 8:41 left in the game.

It came down to a battle between which team could outscore who down the stretch but the XvsX passing and offensive rebounding were key in securing a win on the road.

Manny Perez was the top scorer for the Kings for the third straight week with 27 points, scoring 13 of his 27 in the third. He was able to shoot 5-0f-12 from deep.

Yuri Kozhanov put up 14 points and added four three-pointers. He showed more aggressiveness on the offensive end and really showed how valuable he is on both ends of the floor.

Deonte Jones returned to action tonight and dropping 12 points and contributed to the Kings’ huge three-point count with four triples. He also collected four rebounds. Braxton Smith scored 10 points and led the team in assists with five.

Metta World Peace stayed and took a gym picture with every fan in attendance. He is familiar with the San Diego Kings after suiting up for the Kings back on Dec. 7 against the Jacksonville Giants. The Kings also played XvsX in an exhibition game in November.

Kings’ owner Abraham Muheize was ecstatic about working with World Peace and is grateful the Kings’ fans got a chance to see him and his XvsX ballclub.

“To have a guy like Metta and his team come out and put on a show really brings the spirit of the community up,” said Muheize. “You could really feel the excitement and energy in the building tonight. It was great.”

The Kings go on the road to start February as they will travel to Marina to take on the Marina Sea.

The next home game for the San Diego Kings will be Feb. 8 as they host the Tucson Buckets in a rematch from earlier this year when the Kings traveled to Tucson to defeat the Buckets, 117-107.

Tickets cost $15 and $25 for courtside seats. But if you visit the link below, you get $5 off your standard or courtside seats.


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