Raiders Answer Backup QB Question After 30-19 Win Over Seahawks

Photo credit: @NBCSRaiders

By Tony Renteria

The Oakland Raiders have spent much of the preseason looking for the backup to All-Pro quarterback Derek Carr and have found that answer in a great game by EJ Manuel.   Manuel, who spent time in Buffalo before coming to the Silver and Black last season, has looked spotty at best during the first three preseason games, but came out tonight looking like a quality starter as he went an outstanding 18-for-22 with 255 yards and three touchdowns as the Raiders won 30-19 against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.

Manuel found a security blanket in Keon Hatcher, who caught two of those touchdowns from Manuel, three overall and seemed to be everywhere on the field as he was the punt returner and on special team coverage. Hatcher did make a case for making the final 53-man roster, but might end up on the scout team.

Quarterback coach Brian Callahan took over the play calling duties tonight from head coach John Gruden and seemed to do a good job balancing the run/pass ratio. The Raiders, who did not dress 21 of the 22 starters, did a very good job with players who will be cut on by September 1.

The Raiders used this last game to ensure that Manuel had it in him to be the backup and with the team more than likely only keeping two quarterbacks this last meaningless preseason game carried some meaning for the Raiders’ coaching staff.

NFL preseason leading Rusher Chris Warren III had 41 yards on 12 rushing attempts, but looked much better in pass protection and route running and looks like he will be one of the five running backs to make the roster.

Manual, Hatcher and Waarren III all made a differance tonight, lets see if tonight turns in a roster spot for these three young men.

The Raiders host the Rams to open the season on Monday Night Football on Monday, September 10 at 7:20 pm PDT.

Kings black out Suns 99-92; Sac wins two out of last three

Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph, left, drives against Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 99-92. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings (9-18) were looking to rebound from a bad home loss against against the Toronto Raptors and got what they were looking for with a much-needed 99-92 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns (9-20) at Golden 1 Center in California’s capital.

The Kings, who have now won two of the last three games, are looking to make a move up from last place in the Pacific Division by beating the Suns, who are directly above the Kings in the standings. With tonight’s win, the Kings are now in fourth place and a game ahead of the Suns.

Kings’ George Hill made a nice return to the starting lineup with a solid stat line of 18 points with seven boards and five assists. Hill has been averaging only nine points a game, but in this return, he played a quality game in only 28 minutes. Veteran Zach Randolph, who has been playing center for the young Kings, chipped in 17 points himself.

The Suns, who are are really on a tail spin by dropping eight of their last 10 games before tonight’s loss, really need to turn things around soon if they hope to salvage this season at all.  Interim coach Jay Triano is not not helping his cause to remain at the helm of this once proud franchise with effort from his squad like tonight. The Suns were led by third player T.J. Warren, who scored 18 points, but had less than 40% shooting from the field.  He missed all four of his three point attempts against the Kings.

With the win tonight, the Kings have evened up the series this season to one game apiece with each team winning on their home floor.

The Suns head up to Canada to play the mentioned Raptors Wednesday night. while the Kings also head up north to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Thursday.

Kings Suffer Hangover From Win Over Warriors As Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Scores 32 In 112-87 Romp

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, left, congratulates teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo after he scored during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Bucks won 112-87. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

by Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings (6-14) came off a great over over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Tonight, the Kings hosted the Milwaukee Bucks (9-9) and looked as if the team bus never arrived from Oakland as they fell embarrassingly 112-87 in front of the Purple and Black faithful.

When the Kings brought in Dave Joerger to coach the team two seasons ago, it was the hope he could bring life into a somewhat experienced group of seasoned NBA players. The squad he has now with Rookies and second year players getting many minutes, he has his hands full. This young squad is capable of a great win against the NBA elite in the Warriors, but also landing on a sour note against a mediocre Bucks squad.

The Kings were outscored 29 to 11 in the second quarter, and the Bucks cruised to an easy road win. It’s the type of loss that’s hard to swallow and forget, but that’s exactly what the Kings need to do as they start a road trip in Chicago on Friday as they take on the Bulls.

The Bucks were led by forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 32 points in just 26 minutes.  He also added five rebounds and assists. The Bucks needed this win as they tried to keep pace in a tough Central Division as they try to move up from fourth place.

The Kings, who are in last place in the Pacific Division, fall father back on what looks to be another very long year for this organization. A bright spot tonight was Garret Temple, who scored 18 points,  Temple has had two back-to-back games with solid production as he chipped in 14 points against the Warriors yesterday.

The Bucks face the Utah Jazz on Thursday before heading home to host the Kings on Saturday as the Kings look for some payback in Milwaukee.

A Sweet One Point Win Kings get by Sixers 109-108; Sac Town grabs second straight win

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, center, shoots the game-winning basket over Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington, right, in the Kings’ 109-108 win in an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (2-8) hosted the visiting Philadelphia 76ers (6-4) on the first raining night in Capitol city as the country looked forward to celebrating Veterans day, as the Kings squeak out a one point victory 109-108.

The Kings may be on turning point as they won their second game in a row, while two wins may not seem impressive  but stack that against up against the overall record it may be a boost to the young roster that Kings seem to betting on.

The Kings were lead by Zach Randolph and his 20 points and seven rebounds.  Justin Jackson also chipped in 19 points.  The mixed of veterans and young players seems to be taking root in Sacramento as the youth movement maybe gaining momentum.

The Sixers were paced by forward Robert Covington who put in team high 24 points in slightly over 35 minutes of work.  The Sixers maybe the Houston Astros of the NBA as they have suffered for several seasons to ensure they had the high draft picks to start to assemble a rock star squad.   As the Kings are turning a corner it appears the Sixers are slightly ahead in the rebuild race.

The Kings travel to New York to play the Knicks on Saturday and the Sixers continue this west coast road swing as the take on the Warriors on the same day in Oakland.

 

 

 

A King Returns to Claim His Throne; Ex-King Cousins scores 41 in Pelicans win 114-106 over Kings

Kings center Kosta Koufos (41) fouls New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) as he goes to the basket with Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) on Thursday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO– DeMarcus Cousins return to the Capitol City resulted in a 114-106 win for the visiting New Orleans Pelicans.  Cousins who was the heart and soul of the Sacramento Kings for six seasons before being traded last season made his first return to the Golden One the stadium where Kings fans thought he who play for years to come.

Cousins who electrified the Sacramento fans with his talent but also polarized the fan base with his constant need to argue with officials and lead the league in technical fouls once again stood center court and received a huge standing ovation.  Cousins was acknowledge a few minutes in the first quarter during a time out  and reacted in a classy and professional way by waving to the crowd and pounding his heart to return the love that was being bestowed by the home town fans.

Cousins was the pregame story and he took that into the game as well as he scored 41 points and added 23 rebounds in showing the Kings and the fans what they gave up when they traded the All Star last season. “It was a special night,” Cousins told the Sac Bee “The fans were beautiful, they were into the game, they let it be well known they hated every shot I made but now I see how other players feel when I used to be on this side, on the other side of the fence. I can remember games where the crowd was the reason we won it. It’s well known the Kings have incredible fans. They showed up tonight as well.”

The Kings held an early lead but as in most NBA games the team behind made a run in third quarter and put the pressure on the Kings who folded late in the fourth.

The Kings were lead by Rookie De Aaron Fox who is continuing to show why the young man from Kentucky was selected fifth in this years draft as he scored a team high 14 points and five assists.

The Kings now drop to 1-4 on the year and host the Washington Wizards on Sunday.  The Pelicans 2-3 fly off to Cleveland to try to get to a .500 record on Saturday.

 

 

Sacramento Kings Friday game wrap: Kings Clip Hawks 108-107

Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, right, hugs teammate Darren Collison after the Kings came from 22 points down to beat the Atlanta Hawks 108-107 in an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (21-32) coming off a big win against the Boston Celtics hosted the visiting Atlanta Hawks (31-22) tonight in the capital city with a sold out crowd. The Kings have been looking to fight up to the eighth spot to make the playoff this season and tonight’s 108-107 thrilling win has helped the home towns team cause.

The Kings have be on the upside of the power curve the last month and tonight’s win against a quality opponent is the a  good sign that that rate will continue.  The Kings have been under some pressure to part ways with All Star Center DeMarcus Cousins either for his off court actions or to start the rebuilding process with a new squad.

Cousins still continues to deliver in the paint and on the stat line as he added 22 points and eleven rounds.  He was aided by Ben McLemore who had a great game for the young player who is still trying to find his feet in the NBA season grind.

The Hawks who fell on the third game of this west coast swing after a hard fought vicoty on Wednesday in the Mile High City against the Nuggets were led by Tim Hardaway JR who scored 28 points on the road and was helped by Paul Millsap who scored 25 of his own in the losing battle.

The Hawks continue the West Coast swing by heading up north to Portland on Monday to face the Trailblazers while the Kings host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

 

 

Kings-76ers Monday night post game wrap: Kings hold on to win 102-100

Philadelphia 76ers v Sacramento Kings
Cousins goes to the rack Photo: NBAE

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The game between the Sixers and Kings came down to free throws on Monday night as Sacramento won their fourth consecutive game 102-100.

Garrett Temple put the Kings up by three points with 14.9-seconds to go when he hit 1-of-2 free throws. Philly’s Sergio Rodriguez answered back with a 25-foot 3-point shot that cut the Kings lead to just one point. Robert Covington fouled Cousins with 5.9-seconds remaining in the game. The Kings big man converted 1-of-2 foul shots allowing the Kings to take a 102-100 lead. The Sixers Joel Embiid missed two 3-point shots in those final seconds and the Kings held on for the victory.

The Kings had to outscore Philadelphia 32-23 in the final period to win the contest. The Sixers held a 77-70 lead after three quarters.

The Sacramento Kings record improved to 14-17 with the victory while Philadelphia dropped to 7-23 after the loss. Sacramento holds on to eighth place in the Western Conference with a one-game lead over ninth place Denver and a two-game lead over 10th place Portland – the Kings next opponent.

With 31 games under their belt this season, the Kings just need three wins to get to .500. First-year head coach Dave Joerger continues to focus on defense and finding the right combination of players to put on the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins again led the team in scoring with 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting, while also adding nine rebounds.  Rudy Gay returned to the Kings lineup after missing six games with a hip flexor. He made his presence known chipping in 17 points himself. Gay’s return did create a significant change in the Kings player rotation.

Ty Lawson was again a major factor off the bench for Sacramento on Monday night. He scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds (three offensive), dished out four assists and had two steals in 20-minutes of playing time. Willie Cauley-Stein played significant minutes especially in the third quarter when Kosta Koufos experienced foul trouble. Cauley-Stein went into the game to help defend Embiid and wound up scoring nine points and pulled down four rebounds.

The Kings won the battle in the paint outscoring the Sixers 52-46 down low. Sacramento also out-rebounded Philly 42-38. The Kings had 24 assists but they turned the ball over 19 times which resulted in 24 points for Philadelphia.

The 76ers were led by Joel Embiid and his 25 points and eight rebounds. Sergio Rodriguez also added 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Jahlil Okafor played 19-minutes at center scoring six points and posting one rebound. Disgruntled big man Nerlens Noel received just three-minutes on the floor and scored three points for his team.

Former King Nick Stauskas never really got going in the game. He played just 19-minutes scoring four points shooting just 2-for-4 from the floor. Stauskas is actually having his best year in the NBA upping his scoring average to 9.5 points per game which is a 2.6 point improvement over his career average of 6.9 points per game.

The 76ers head to Utah to play the Jazz Thursday, while the Kings will travel to Portland play the Trail Blazers Wednesday. The Kings are 1-1 versus the Trail Blazers this season. Each team has won on their home court. DeMarcus Cousins scored 55 points in Kings 126-121 victory over Portland at the Golden 1 Center. The game on Wednesday night will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams.

Kings Feast on Thunder 116-101

By Tony Renteria

AP photo: Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins who led the Kings with 36 points on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center never too shy to ask an official a question came away with a team leading 36 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder

SACRAMENTO– The Sacramento Kings (5-9) played host in the Golden One Center to the Oklahoma Thunder (8-7) on the eve of Thanksgiving coming away with a 116-101 win for the hometown team.

Sacramento had been plagued all season with bad third quarter play but rallied behind a strong 36 point game performance by DeMarcus Cousins and pushed the Thunder around in third by outscoring them 36-27.

Cousins who has been source of constant trade rumors though talk radio has tried to push through for another All Star year with quality stat line tonight of 36 points on 14-28 shooting and 13 rebounds with eleven of those on the defensive end.

Darren Collison added in 21 points to help from the two guard position as the Kings beat a team with a winning record for a change.  Rudy Gay also played well with 17 points as the Kings players all played alot of the minutes as the head coach Dave Joerger used a samll lineup and only played nine players tonight.

Russell Westbrook as usual played a lot of minutes, 35 and 31 points from the floor.  He had 20 points in first half but only eleven in the third as the Kings played hard on defense to pull away in the third quarter.

The Thunder look to improve on this three game road trip on Friday as they go up to Portland to play the Trailblazers on Friday while the Kings finish up on this five game home stand on Friday as well by hosting James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

 

 

 

 

Sacramento Kings Wednesday game wrap: Kings can’t beat “better Spurs squad” 110-105 at Golden One

by Tony Renteria

AP photo: DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings tries to get off a shot but is snuffed by the San Antonio Spurs Pau Gasol in the first half of Wednesday night’s contest at Golden 1 Arena

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (4-7) played host the Spurs of San Antonio (8-3) on a wonderful fall night here in the capital city but the night was the only thing wonderful as the Kings fell to a better Spurs squad 110-105.

The Kings had been off for five days and looked to retool and revamp the rotation as head coach Dave Joerger has had eleven games to to see his team perform.  The Kings did the start the season by playing more games than anyone else int he league before this long break.  The Spurs had come off a home win against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Sacramento looked to improve on the consistency of  the team flow that has been lacking by coming out strong against the visiting Spurs.   They lacked the the play of All Star forward DeMarcus Cousins who committed two quick fouls and only played six minutes in the opening quarter as the Kings fell quickly behind 27-22.

The Kings tried  to battle back in the second quarter but the quick passing and long range shooting of the Spurs quieted every run the the Kings seem to make.  Pau Gasol seems a perfect fit to the Spurs well oiled roster as he netted 16 first half points, as the Spurs raced to a 57-46 half time lead.

The the third quarter was just an extension of the result of the second quarter as the superlative passing and outstanding outside shooting extend the lead to 84-71.

The Spurs used this recipe for success as the pulled away early int he fourth to a 14 point lead, as the Kings looked lost on both offense and defense. The Kings seemed to fade as the fourth quarter continued as they were already thinking about Fridays game against the Clippers.  The kings made a mad dash run at the end of the game to make the score look so much closer than how the game actually went.

The Kings were lead by Cousins who scored 26 points to go along with 17 rebounds.  The Spurs were lead by Gasol who finished with 24 points and nine rebounds.

The Spurs head to Los Angles to play the Lakers on Friday as the Kings host the other Los Angeles team, the Clippers on the same night.

Sacramento Kings Tuesday game wrap: Kings Fall Again 92-89; Cousins 23 in 25 mins effort not enough

by Tony Renteria

AP photo: The Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (left) tries to put the pressure on the Los Angeles Clippers Marreese Spreights  whose taking a jumper in the first quarter at Golden One Arena on Tuesday night

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (1-3) hosted the visiting Los Angles Clippers (3-3) and fell behind early but battled back to lose by just three as they fell, 92-89.  The Kings have yet to win a game in the new Golden One Center against an NBA team in this preseason.

Tonight’s preseason game had a Nation wide broadcast on ESPN as the Kings continued as a team to have locked arms during the National anthem.  While some professional athletes have made this into  political lightning rod subject,the Kings seem to make a subtle but powerful statement.

DeMarcus Cousins has continued to make his own statement in this preseason by averaging close to a point a minute while on the court and tonight was not exception while he scored 23 points in just 25 minutes.

J.J. Redick tried to match the level of play that Cousins brought by scoring 18 points in his 22 minutes of play.  Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul failed to live up to their billing as they scored twelve and eight points respectfully.

The Kings need to find the right balance as they approach the start to the 2016-2017 Season on October 27th at home against a now Tim Duncan free San Antonio Spurs.