Kings lose third in a row to Bucks 133-127

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, right, takes a shot against Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Sat Jan 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

Kings Lose Third In A Row To Bucks 133-127

By Barbara Mason

Flashback Wednesday: After losing a very disappointing game Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, the Sacramento Kings (18-30) traveled to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks (30-19). The Kings led in the Piston game by nine points with 2:34 left on the clock.

In the NBA two and a half minutes is a lot of time however the Kings did not score a single point for the rest of the game and the Pistons took full advantage. The Kings had two turnovers, three missed shots and a foul in those final two minutes. They needed to finish the game and they were unable too. This has been a problem for the Kings this year, finishing games.

Saturday night in Milwaukee: On Saturday night the Kings face a huge challenge taking on the fourth place Bucks at Fiserv Forum. They will have Tyrese Haliburton back on the court for this game a plus for Sacramento. There is bad news as well because De’Aaron Fox has been ruled out with an ankle injury. This is a tough loss for Sacramento, losing their leading scorer.

The Kings had a nice start winning the first quarter 35-27. Their lead did not last very long and mid-way through the second quarter the Bucks heated up taking the lead. At the half the Bucks led 62-54. Harrison Barnes led the shooting for the Kings with 14 points in the first half. He was the only King in double digits so far in the game.

The Bucks took their second quarter momentum into the third quarter extending their lead by as much as 15 points. The Kings would cut that deficit in half trailing after three quarters 94-86. Milwaukee’s Chris Middleton and Jrue Holiday led the Bucks in scoring, Middleton with 20 and Holiday with 18.

The Kings continued to hang around and got to within three points with under two minutes left in the game. That was as close as Sacramento would get losing their third game in a row 133-127.

The Kings got some great play from their starters. Harrison Barnes finished with 29 point, Tyrese Haliburton with 24, and Terence Davis had 22. All of their starters had double digits.

Tuesday the Kings will be playing the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM PT.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Kings start five game road trip Saturday in Milwaukee

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) is fouled by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) at the Golden One Center in Sacramento on Wed Jan 19, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson :

#1 The Sacramento Kings (18-29) just simply melted down in their 133-131 loss to the Detroit Pistons (11-33) on Wednesday night. The Pistons Corey Joseph shot a game winning shot with 25.9 seconds left as the Pistons topped an 11-0 comeback win.

#2 Joseph who formerly played for the Kings at the guard position who dealt to the Pistons at the trade deadline last season scored 19 points and had nine assists on Wednesday night.

#3 Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said the Pistons show resilience saying these are the dog days before the All Star break and the team has be ready to go and that they found a way to defeat the Kings.

#4 The Kings Terrance Davis led Sacramento with 35 against the Pistons and scored 14 of them in the fourth quarter. The Kings De’Aaron Fox followed up with 27 points, eight assists, and six rebounds.

#5 The Kings now face the Milwaukee Bucks (28-19) who have been on a slight struggle losing six of their last nine games. The Kings have lost eight of their last 11 games and start this five game road trip Saturday.

Join Jeremiah for the Kings podcasts Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sacramento Kings podcast with Tony Renteria: Kings latest loss close but not good enough to beat Detroit

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) drives past Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) at Golden One Center on Wed Jan 19, 2022 the Kings play the Milwaukee Bucks on Sat Jan 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Kings podcast with Tony R:

#1 Tony, the Sacramento Kings (19-28) played a close game against the Detroit Pistons (10-34) on Wednesday night at Golden One but just couldn’t get past them for the loss 133-131.

#2 The Pistons who have one of the worse offenses in the league had five players in double figures and Saddiq Bey led the way with 30 points.

#3 The Kings were favored to win against the Pistons but lacked just enough depth to finish it. The Kings were certainly missing Tyrese Haliburton who was out of the line up as of three days ago with Covid 19 protocols.

#4 The win for Detroit was their tenth win of the season and they’re just getting into double figures for the win column but were able to off set the Kings and win by just two points.

#5 The Kings take on the mighty Milwaukee Bucks (28-19) on Sat Jan 22 in Milwaukee and if the Kings had a handful against the Pistons the Bucks should win this one by ten or more. Tony what’s your take on this Saturday’s game in Milwaukee.

Join Tony R for the Kings podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings Unable to Finish off Pistons Losing 133-131

Detroit Pistons guard Cory Joseph (18) dribbles past Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis (3) at the Golden One Center in Sacramento on Wed Jan 19, 2022 (AP News photo)

Kings Unable to Finish Off Pistons Losing 133-131

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday night the Sacramento Kings (19-28) took on the Detroit Pistons (10-34) at Golden 1 Center. The Pistons have one of the worst offenses in the league and a loss to Detroit would be a huge disappointment for the Kings.

Sacramento is favored in this game but they would be missing Tyrese Haliburton who is on Covid 19 protocol as of two days ago. Haliburton is now the 12th King player to enter the protocol and he will be missed.

After one quarter the Pistons had grabbed the lead 33-26. Despite fouling all over the place Detroit had managed to outplay the Kings in the quarter.

The Pistons led by as many as nine points in the second quarter. Mid-way through the quarter the Pistons already had 14 fouls giving the Kings 23 free throws scoring on 17 of them. Neither team had played all that well through the first quarter and into the second quarter. Midway through the quarter, the Kings were able to take the lead 43-41. At the half, the Kings held a slim lead 71-66, winning the second quarter convincingly 45-33.

De’Aaron Fox was the high score leader in the half for the Kings with 18 points closely followed by Terence Davis with 17. Saddiq Bey was the only Piston in double digits with 17. In the later minutes of the half, the Kings finally got something going offensively to catch the Pistons and take the lead.

In the third quarter the Kings extended their half time five point lead to a ten point advantage. The Pistons would not go away and they chipped away in the later minutes of the quarter trailing by a single point 95-94 with 2:54 left on the clock. As the third quarter came to an end the Pistons had taken the lead 105-103.

The Kings took back the lead in the fourth quarter after trailing by a couple of points to end the third quarter. Detroit just kept on threatening and the Kings would have to pull out all the stops to win this one. Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley III started hitting shots giving Sacramento a 130-120 lead with 2:47 left in the game. This game was going down to the wire.

With a minute and a half left in the game the Kings had a nine point lead that they just could not maintain. Missed shots, turnovers and fouls lost this game for Sacramento in a sloppy finish. The final was 133-131 in favor of the Pistons.

The high score for the Pistons was Saddiq Bey with 30 points. The Kings had six players with double digits, the high from Terence Davis with 35 points.

The Kings will have a major challenge coming up when they play the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM.

Rocket Blast Of Reality: Kings start slow, squander opportunity in 118-112 loss to Houston

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–The NBA’s done its part, providing a postseason format tailored for the Kings’ shortcomings. Now the suffering ballclub has to fall in line, and provide the needed buckets and hard-earned, defensive stops to gain a spot.

Kings are you ready?

Well, not yet.

Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. each scored 23 points, and the Rockets held on for a 118-112 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center. The Kings fell 10 games below .500 with the loss and, for now, relinquished the coveted 10th spot in the Western Conference to the Spurs.

Buddy Hield led the Kings with 27 points in 30 minutes off the bench, and five others scored in double figures, but the hosts were doomed by a ridiculously poor start in which they trailed 13-0 and 21-5 six minutes in.

Struggling teams blow leads, that’s what they do, and the youthful Rockets followed suit. Their shooting, which topped 65 percent early, dipped to 48 percent at the half. The Kings got to the hoop and kept visiting to lead 60-55 at the half, and maintained a 88-85 advantage after three. Interim coach Alvin Gentry liked his team’s fight, but couldn’t ignore the residual effects of the lackluster start.

“They kept enough of a lead that it puts a lot of pressure on you to score,” Gentry said. “We created some really good shots. It’s just a matter of us knocking them down.”

The disjointed ballgame played in front of empty seats and fans wearing 49ers’ jerseys didn’t gain intensity until leading scorer De’Aaron Fox was ejected with 8:14 remaining. A video review revealed his Flagrant 2 foul for slappin at the ball as Houston’s Garrison Mathews attempted to cruise in for a layup. While Fox could legitimately claim he made a basketball play, Mathews fell awkwardly, landing on his hip with his legs taken from beneath him. Fox departed with 14 points, four rebounds and the Kings suddenly trailing by five.

Tyrese Haliburton was unavailable after it was announced earlier on Sunday that he entered COVID protocols, but the Kings got Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones back after protocols forced both into isolation and physical inactivity for a week. Marvin Bagley III couldn’t go due to shoulder soreness.

The Rockets remain last in the Western Conference but they’ve won three of their last four away from Houston’s Toyota Center. They opened the season with a win at Minneapolis, then lost 10 straight road games. Coach Steven Silas prefers what he sees now: an emerging team with youth, and time on it’s side.

“We’re not a playoff team yet but when we are this is what it’s going to look like,” Silas said. “We’re trying to learn as many lessons as we can. I was proud of them for that.”

The Kings host the Pistons on Wednesday, giving them three, consecutive home games against two of the NBA’s worst teams, but there’s no sweep to show for their scheduling luck.

Fox leads Kings with 27 points in 126-114 win over Rockets

Sacramento Kings’ Tyrese Haliburton guards Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate (8) during first quarter action at the Golden One Center in Sacramento on Fri Jan 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (18-27) were back in action on Friday night. The Kings last played on Wednesday when they took on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings downed the Lakers 125-116 at home in a great team win.

On Friday, the Kings welcomed the Houston Rockets (12-32) to town for a two-game set. The Kings would play the Rockets on Friday at 7 PM PST and Sunday at 3 PM PST. On Friday, the Kings downed the Rockets 126-114.

In the first quarter, it wasn’t pretty for either team on defense. The Kings and the Rockets were getting basically anything they wanted at the basket. However, it was worse for the Kings. The Kings allowed the Rockets to score 41 points in the first quarter.

It was one of the worst defensive quarters of the year for the Kings. On the other hand, the Rockets held the Kings to 31 points to take an early game nine-point lead.

In the second quarter, the Kings flipped the script on the Rockets. The Kings offense had a fire lit under them and erupted for 34 points in the second quarter. However, that’s not the whole story. The Kings also dramatically improved on the defensive end.

The Kings held the Rockets to only 20 points in the second quarter as the Kings stormed back to take the lead. In the first half, the Kings were led by an explosive De’Aaron Fox, who had 18 points. The Rockets best first-half performance came from Christian Wood, who scored 15 points. As a result, the Kings took a 65-60 lead into the second half of the game.

In the third quarter, the Kings continued to play as they did in the second quarter. The Kings outscored the Rockets 33-29 in the third quarter to increase their lead. The Kings offense continued their pace for themselves in the third quarter as the defense wasn’t as sharp.

On the other hand, the Rockets picked up the pace on the defensive end but couldn’t contain the Kings offense. The Kings would need to play a clean fourth quarter to come away with a win.

In the final quarter, the Kings managed to hold onto the lead and beat the Rockets 126-114. The Kings outscored the Rockets 28-25 in the fourth quarter. It was the third straight quarter the Kings outscored the Rockets after starting the game terribly in the first quarter.

It was the Kings second win in a row as they improved to 18-27. The Kings were led in victory by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 27 points, followed by Marvin Bagley, who had 26. The Rockets best performance came from Christian Wood, who scored 26 points.

It was an excellent win for the Kings, who so often get complacent against bad teams. It appeared they did again on Friday after a terrible first quarter, but they quickly turned it around in the second.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the Houston Rockets again on Sunday at 3 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Rockets come calling at Golden One on Friday night vs. Kings

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) attempts to get past Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (left) at Golden One Arena in Sacramento on Thu Jan 13, 2022. The Kings open a two game set starting Fri Jan 14, 2022 against the Houston Rockets in Sacramento (AP News photo)

On the Kings podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 The Houston Rockets (12-31) pay a visit to Golden One Arena to face off with the Sacramento Kings (17-27). Jeremiah, the Kings are coming off a win against the Los Angeles Lakers (21-21) from Wednesday night 125-116 how much confidence will that build for the Kings facing Houston Friday night?

#2 Jeremiah, talk about some of the top scorers from each team from the Rockets Christian Wood whose averaging 17.2 points per game and for the Kings De’Aaron Fox who is averaging 20.0 points per game.

#3 The Kings coming into Friday night’s game are 12-19 against the Western Conference. They had a five game losing streak going before they defeated the Lakers on Wednesday night.

#4 The Kings need more help they have lost five out of their last 21 games when they were behind by ten or more points.

#5 Tonight is the first of a two game series with the Rockets in Sacramento, tonight being the first game and Sunday afternoon at 3:00PM concluding the series. Seeing the same team twice will that be an advantage for the Kings?

Join Jeremiah Salmonson for the Kings podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings bounce back to defeat Lakers at Golden One 125-116

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) gets a pass off by Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) and center Alex Len (25) at the Golden One Center in Sacramento on Wed Jan 12, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings were back in action on Wednesday night in Sacramento. On Monday, the Kings last played and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-108. It was a tough loss for the Kings, who had the chance to win the game with the final shot.

However, De’Aaron Fox missed the last shot as the Kings lost. On Wednesday, the Kings welcomed Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to town. The Kings had played the Lakers tough this year and were hoping to win against the rival from Los Angeles. The Kings won the game by the final of 125-116 against the Lakers. 

In the first quarter, the Kings defense got off to a rough start. The Kings allowed the Lakers to score 34 points to put themselves in an early hole in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Kings, the offense got off to a decent start. The Kings scored 29 points in the first quarter to trail the Lakers by only five after the first. However, the Kings would need to tighten up the defensive end to stay in the game long term. 

In the second quarter, it was rough early for the Kings. The Kings started the second, struggling to score the basket and allowing the Lakers to get pretty much whatever they wanted. However, the Kings turned up the intensity towards the end of the second as they began driving more to the basket and taking fewer perimeter shots. The Lakers outscored the Kings 33-32 in the second quarter to marginally increase their lead going into halftime.

The Lakers were led in the first half by Lebron James, who had 17 points. The Kings strongest first-half performance came from De’Aaron Fox, who scored 14 points. Nevertheless, the Kings trailed the Lakers, heading into halftime 67-61. 

In the third quarter, it was all Kings. That pretty much sums up the quarter perfectly. The Kings had an offensive outburst as they scored 40 points in the third quarter to take the lead on the Lakers. On the other hand, the Lakers only scored 23 points in the third to put themselves behind the Kings 101-90 heading into the fourth quarter. Could Lebron James and the Lakers come back to defeat the Kings? We found out in the final 12 minutes. 

In the fourth quarter, the Kings played tough. The Lakers outscored the Kings in the final quarter 26-24, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Kings surge in the third quarter. The Kings defeated the Lakers by the final of 125-116 and improved to 17-27 on the season.

The Lakers dropped to 21-21 on the year as Lebron James couldn’t bring his team back to victory. However, Lebron James led the game in scoring with 34 points. The Kings leading scorer was De’Aaron Fox, who scored 29 points for the Kings. It was an excellent win for the Kings with an electric crowd behind them at Golden One Center. 

Up Next: The Kings take on the Houston Rockets on Friday at 7 PM PST in Sacramento.

Queeta Provides A Boost: Rookie impresses, but Kings suffer heartbreaking 109-108 loss to Cleveland

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–The Kings’ inconsistencies are so far reaching, they intersect with everything the faltering club touches. In this case, the first NBA basket for rookie Neemias Queta was muddied by a dubious footnote.

Queta, the rookie of Portugese decent, who was a standout center for Utah State, was rushed into duty with the Kings missing Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones (COVID protocols) along with Tristan Thompson, a late scratch with a quad issue. That left the Kings with starter Alex Len and an anxious Queta to combat the Cleveland Cavaliers’ imposing front line.

Just 30 seconds after Queta’s first quarter appearance, his nifty, jump hook in the lane gave him his initial points in the NBA. But six seconds later while the Kings’ defense took a pause, the Cavaliers’ Cedi Osman cruised in for an uncontested layup at the other end.

Monday’s fourth quarter was a mixed bag as well with Cleveland riding a 20-5 run to seize control and lead by double-digits only to see the Kings answer with a 9-0 run but come up short when De’Aaron Fox’s shot in the lane was a little long. That conclusion saddled Sacramento with a painful 109-108 loss at Golden 1 Center.

The Kings’ fifth consecutive loss came one night after the team was embarrassed in Portland by the Blazers, who were without their dynamic Lillard/McCollum backcourt. Against the Cavs, the Kings battled, only to come up short at the final horn.

Their biggest issue Monday? A lethargic start in which they missed eight of their first 10 shots and dug themselves a hole they ultimately couldn’t climb out of. But after an uninspiring start–and that issue of getting back on defense after a made basket–the embattled club played hard, and hit difficult shots.

Yes, the inconsistencies. But this time, interim coach Alvin Gentry generally seemed pleased.

“We did all we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win. We just couldn’t quite get over the hump,” Gentry said. “If you tell me that I could get De’Aaron Fox a foul-line jumpshot to win the game, I’ll take that. If we play that way night in and night out, we’ll change the direction of our team.”

The Cavaliers–also on a back-to-back–aren’t inconsistent at all. In fact, as one the league’s hottest teams, they’ve ruled the paint against all their opponents for better than a month. They were the unfortunate opponent for Golden State’s Klay Thompson’s return on Sunday, scoring a season-low 82 points. But the Kings’ porous defense immediately had Cleveland back on track; they scored their first 17 points on Monday in the paint.

Then Kevin Love got hot, pouring in 14 of his 19 points in the first half. The Kings appeared whipped at the break, trailing by 13, and not doing enough to inspire the smallest home gathering of the season.

“We were rebounding the ball, protecting the paint, doing everything that made us a good team, said Jarrett Allen, who finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds for the Cavs. “It was a huge step in the right direction.”

The Kings made it interesting in the second half by hitting 12 of their 14 3-pointers along with some blue collar work on the glass that would yield 15 offensive rebounds. The Cavs did their part in aiding the home team with 17 turnovers.

With Fox clearly laboring, likely due to a shoulder issue he’s battled, the Kings got scoring from Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. Haliburton’s three with 7:51 remaining extended the Kings only lead of significance to 94-89.

But the ensuing Cleveland run sealed it. Laurie Markkanen’s three with 2:34 remaining put the Cavs up 109-99.

Haliburton led the Kings with 21 points, 8 assists. Hield contributed 19 points while connecting of five of his eight 3-point attempts. Four other Kings scored in double figures, and Queta added 11 points, five rebounds in a career-high 24 minutes.

The Kings continue their five-game home stand on Wednesday when the Lakers visit, this time likely with the streaking LeBron James in tow. James has scored at least 30 points in 10 of his previous 11 games, with the exception being a 26-point, 7-rebound effort in a 108-103 win over Minnesota.

Big night by Simons helps Blazers down Kings 103-88

Portland Trail Blazers guard Ben McLemore, right, and Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (left) go for the ball at the Moda Center in Portland on Sun Jan 9, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Anfernee Simons poured in 31 points, Jusuf Nurkic nearly put together a triple-double, and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Sacramento 103-88 Sunday night at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Kings, while Portland snapped a two-game skid.
Nurkic scored 14 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and collected nine assists for the Trail Blazers. Nassir Little and Ben McLemore each added 13 points for Portland. Simons finished with seven 3-pointers.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Kings with 17 points and nine assists, followed by Alex Len with 16 points and 10 rebounds. De’Aaron Fox had 14 points, Harrison Barnes scored 13 and Buddy Hield scored 10 off the Sacramento bench.

The Trail Blazers never trailed in the contest. Simons, filling in for Damian Lillard, hit a 3-pointer at the 7-minute mark of the fourth quarter to give Portland a 90-70 lead, its biggest of the game.
Sacramento then went on a 10-2 run to pull within 92-80. Simons responded with another 3 to halt the Kings rally with 4:36 remaining.

Fox’s start was a game-time decision because he’s nursing a sore right shoulder. Maurice Harkness sat this game out due to a sore right ankle. Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones were absent from the Kings lineup due to health and safety protocols.

The Kings return home Monday to host Cleveland, the first game of a five-game homestand.