The Kings lost their fifth consecutive game in Miami 118-113

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings lost their fifth consecutive game on Monday afternoon in Miami. The Kings took the Heat to overtime but lost 118-113.

The optimist will say the Kings came close to handing the Heat just their second home loss of the season. The proper response at this point of the season is: “Close on counts in hand grenades and horseshoes!”

The situation is going supercritical

The Kings record has fallen to 15-28 for the season. They are now 5.0 games out of eighth place which is the final playoff spot. With the season more than half over, time is slipping away at a rapid rate.

As head coach Luke Walton said over a week ago, “No one is coming to save us.” Sacramento is not going to be able to make one blockbuster trade that is going to change their entire direction for the remainder of the season. They just do not have the pieces in place to make such a deal.

FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Kings just a 2% chance of making the NBA Playoffs. They are projecting Sacramento to finish with a record of 32-50 which certainly seems to be within the realm of reason. That would also put the Kings well short of being a playoff team … again.

The Kings battled hard in this game

After being blown out in Utah to start this road trip, the Kings regrouped to put up a fight against the very talented Miami Heat. In fact, the Kings held a 58-56 lead at the half. The Kings continued to battle the Heat and the game finished in a tie in the regulation 48 minutes after Bam Adebayo tied the game with a layup with less than a second left in the game.

Miami went on a 7-0 run to finish overtime to guarantee the win over the Kings. Miami has lost just one game this season at home and after the game on Monday, the Kings now know why.

Top performers

Kings

  • Nemanja Bjelica scored 22 points and pulled down six rebounds
  • Buddy Hield put up 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and added seven assists
  • De’Aaron Fox scored 14 points and dished out eight assists
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points
  • Harrison Barnes scored 11 points and hauled in five rebounds

Miami

  • Kendrick Nunn scored 25 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists
  • James Johnson added 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks
  • Goran Dragic put up 18 points plus four assists
  • Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points, 11 points and five assists

 

 

Up next

The Kings will travel on to Detroit to face the Pistons on Wednesday.

The Heat will host the Wizards on Wednesday night.

 

Kings dropped their fourth consecutive game on Saturday night in Utah 123-101

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings lost their fourth-consecutive game in Utah on Saturday night 123-101. That is not how the Kings wanted to kick off their five-game road trip.

The Kings were never really in the game against the Jazz. Utah outscored the Kings 38-22 in the opening quarter and that set the tone for the entire game.

Sacramento (15-27) was not able to stop the Utah (29-13) pick and roll attack. The Kings also kept sending the Jazz to the free throw line and Utah kept converting those opportunities.

The Kings were missing Holmes

The Kings defense really missed the injured Richaun Holmes on Saturday night. When Sacramento beat Utah back in November, Holmes played a very physical game versus Jazz star Rudy Gobert. On Saturday night, no one kept a body on Gobert and he had his way with the Kings.

Bogi was back for SAC

Bogdan Bogdanovic returned to the lineup for the Kings, but it was apparent that he was still a bit “rusty” as he returned from being off the court. Bogdanovic scored 11 points shooting 5-for-11 from the floor. He also added four rebounds and four assists in his 22-plus minutes of playing time.

The other Bogi was really on

Utah’s Bogdanovic – Bojan – scored 30 points in his team’s victory. He shot 10-for-15 overall and 6-of-9 from behind the 3-point line. Bogdanovic was really just unstoppable.

TOP PERFORMERS

Leading scorers

  • Bojan Bogdanovic was the game’s high scorer putting 30 points in the book
  • De’Aaron Fox scored a team-high 21 points for the Kings

The Glass cleaners

  • Rudy Gobert the leading rebounder with 15 and made it a double-double game by scoring 28 points
  • Marvin Bagley III led the Kings with seven rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • Joe Ingles distributed a game-leading 12 assists
  • Fox led the Kings with eight dimes

THE BIG HEADLINE OF THE NIGHT

According to league sources, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings have made a five -player trade. There has not been an official announcement because one of the players involved cannot sign a regular NBA contract until Tuesday.

Reportedly, the Kings will send Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan to Portland in exchange for Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver. The Kings would also receive two second-round draft picks, one in 2024 and one for 2025.

The reason Portland was interested in the trade is believed to be their interest in adding Kevin Love to their roster. This trade will clear millions from their payroll that they need in order to make room to make a deal for Love.

The Kings were interested in the deal because they will receive two serviceable players with expiring contracts. Combined those contracts will be worth over 21-million dollars salary cap clearing-dollars. Sacramento may have just made the way to keep Bogdan Bogdanovic a Sacramento King for the long term.

The Kings will also open an extra roster spot in the deal.

Look for the next deal that the Kings will make to involve Dewayne Dedmon who has publicly requested a trade. The Kings will no doubt be looking for a player with an expiring contract in order to have the flexibility for next season.

Kings just couldn’t get to finish line Mavericks win it 127-123

@Sportsnet photo: The Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic was hard to contain as he and the Mavericks rains buckets on the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Golden One Center in Sacramento

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SRS Kings beat writer

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings continued to be mire in the mist that is mediocrity. Just when you think they are turning a corner they have a puzzling defeat that puts them back at square one.

The Kings were hoping to flip the script against an opponent they beat on the road last month, the Dallas Mavericks. It was set to be the showdown of Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley both of whom were picked high in the draft two seasons ago. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST at Golden One Center.

In the first quarter, the Kings got a strong showing from Buddy Hield. Trying to put his early-season struggles behind him, Buddy was in double figures in the first with ten points. However, the Mavericks managed to take the early lead on 55.6% shooting 35-31. Maxi Kleber was the leading scorer for the Mavs with eight points.

In the second quarter, The Kings kept things close. The Kings scored 36 points in the second but it wasn’t enough to take the lead. The Mavs added 36 as well to keep the game right where it started in the second at a four-point Kings deficit 71-67. The games leading scorers to this point were Buddy Hield and Seth Curry who both had 16 points. The Kings would look to keep up the pace on defense to contain the Mavs offense.

In the third quarter, The Kings had a familiar occurrence take place. That is the third-quarter meltdown. The Mavs outscored the Kings 37 to 26 in the third to make it a 108-93 game. The Kings looked defeated. The Kings defense had let them down in a big way. The Mavs had scored 35, 36, and 37 points in the first three quarters. No NBA team is going to win a game with those numbers. The Kings were heading into the final session looking for a miracle.

In the final quarter, no miracle occurred in Sacramento. The Mavericks scored 19 in the fourth compared to the Kings 20 as the Mavs came away with the victory 127-123. The Leading scorers for the Kings in defeat were De’Aaron Fox with 27 points, Buddy Hield with 25 points and Harrison Barnes who put up 22. For the victorious Mavericks, it was Luka Doncic who had 24 points to go along with 17 assists and 15 rebounds. The Kings are now 15-26 on the season and are running out of excuses.

They are about to embark on a long road trip that will really test this team’s resolve to stay in the hunt this season.

Up Next: The Kings head out on the road to take on the Utah Jazz on Saturday at 6 PM PST. The Kings won’t return home until January 29th.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings can’t force overtime lose by a bucket 114-112 to Orlando

nbcsports.com photo: The Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox (35) defends against the Orlando Magic’s center Nikola Vucevic (9) Monday night at Golden One Center in Sacramento

 On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The Kings were focused and concentrated but in the end they lost by a bucket in a see saw fourth quarter loss to the visiting Orlando Magic 114-112 on Monday night at Golden One Center.

#2 The Magic wanted this one just as badly as the Kings did and both team played to death and maybe forcing sudden death but the Magic were able to survive and win in regulation.

#3 Four players in double figures for the Magic with Nikola Vucevic finished on top for the Magic with 26 points it was hard to defend the Magic.

#4 Talk about the kind of night that Nemanja Bjelica who led the Kings in double figures with 34 points the highest scorers for both team

#5 Wednesday night at Golden One the Kings will try again to get in the win column as they tip off against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:00pm

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Empty Sac: Kings battle back only to come up short, lose to Magic 114-112

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–Slow starts, heartbreaking finishes, the Kings have seen enough of those this season.

But the reality is that’s what the Kings are about, and Monday’s heartbreaking 114-112 loss to the Magic–decided on Aaron Gordon’s three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining–was another painful reminder.

“You don’t want to come down to these one-point games because crazy things happen,” coach Luke Walton said. “You have to take care of business before that.”

The Magic came in as the NBA’s lowest-scoring team, averaging just above 103 points per game. But the Kings immediately made the visitors feel comfortable by allowing them 33 first quarter points, which matched their best output in the opening quarter this season. Orlando didn’t have to up the tempo, they just took what the Kings gave them: 26 shot attempts, ample second chance opportunities, four made threes and five made free throws. Down 33-25 after a period, the Kings were already trending negatively.

With the threes falling, and the free throw opportunities swinging dramatically in Orlando’s favor, the Magic took their biggest lead of the night, 65-48 with a minute remaining before halftime. At that point the Kings not named Nemanja Bjelica started to play, constructing a 15-2 run ending the second quarter and starting the third that got them back into it.

Bjelica was keeping the Kings afloat at that point, scoring 25 of the team’s first 63 points. Bjelica would go on to put up 34 points and eight 3-pointers, both career bests, but his super efficient output wasn’t what consumed his thoughts after the game.

“We lost the game earlier, and we need to stop that,” Bjelica said. “We need to start the game like we finished the last five minutes.”

In the game’s final five minutes, Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox turned on the jets and helped his club wipe out a 100-93 deficit. As the capper to his 31-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist night, the speedy guard got into the lane and converted a three-point play that gave the Kings a 112-111 lead with 15 seconds remaining. As a small consolation, Fox thoroughly outplayed Markelle Fultz in matchup of guards taken in the first five picks of the 2017 NBA Draft. Fultz finished with 16 points and two assists.

On the Magic’s final possession, Evan Fournier patiently dribbled down Fox, but didn’t gain much advantage, and seemed content to settle for an off-balance jump shot at the free throw line extended. Instead Fournier got the ball to Gordon in the lane, who flipped the ball in the basket as Cory Joseph fouled him for the three-point opportunity. The resulting free throw put the Magic up 114-112 with little time remaining.

The Kings felt a foul should have been called on the game’s final play in which a pass in bounds gave Harrison Barnes a four-foot shot opportunity that fell short. But whistles weren’t blowing in Sacramento’s direction on Monday: the Magic converted 25 of 30 free throw attempts to the home team’s 10 of 11.

The Kings fell to 15-25 with the loss, and it was eighth time this season they’ve lost by three points or less.

Marvin Bagley Jr. returned to the lineup after missing the previous ten games and had a strong game with 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. Buddy Hield added 16, but Barnes and Trevor Ariza combined to miss 11 of their 14 shots.

The Kings continue their homestand on Wednesday when the Dallas Mavericks come to town looking to break a four-game losing streak to Sacramento that dates back to last season.

 

 

 

 

Kings can’t pass the Buck get stomped 127-106

nbcsports.com photo: De’Aaron Fox (5) of the Sacramento Kings drives on the Milwaukee Bucks Khris Middleton (22) at Golden One Center on Friday night

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Kings have been playing better of late. They are 3-1 in the new year and hoping to continue the trend after a brutal month of December. The Milwaukee Bucks were the opponent in store for the Kings. The Bucks have the best record in the NBA while the Kings are just starting to get their footing again. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST at Golden One Center.

In the first, the Kings were flat outplayed. The Kings weren’t able to hit any of their nine three-pointers and only shot 38.1% overall from the field. The Kings mustered only 18 points in the first quarter. It was a different story for the Bucks. They shot 56% from the floor in the first and were able to put up 34 points. Leading the way for the Bucks was Eric Bledsoe who had 11 points. The Kings had four players with four points.

In the second, the Kings continued to miss shots. Thankfully for Kings fans, the Bucks couldn’t hit a three-pointer to save their lives either. The Kings shot 18% from deep in the first half while the Bucks shot a whopping 19%. Each team struggled mightily to hit from deep.

However, the Kings did manage to pull closer. The Kings scored 26 points compared to the Bucks 19 to pull within nine points. The score would be 53-44 as the teams paused for intermission. Leading the way through the first half for the Kings was De’Aaron Fox with 10 points as Eric Bledsoe dropped 17 first-half points.

In the third, The Kings rallied early. They even came all the way back and took the lead for a short minute. However, the success was short-lived. The Bucks rallied back to retake the lead and coast into the fourth quarter. The Bucks put up 37 points compared to the Kings 31 to make it a 90-75 headed to the final session.

In the fourth, there wasn’t much good for the Kings. Both teams traded buckets with each other to keep the game around a 15 point bucks lead. Unfortunately for the Kings, Harrison Barnes came up hobbling with a few minutes left in the game. It wasn’t apparently known the severity of Barnes’s right leg injury but it didn’t appear good.

Barnes hobbled off the court and the Kings couldn’t muster anything from the reserves as came in. The Kings ultimately fell to the Bucks 127-106. Leading the way for the victorious Bucks was Kris Middleton with 27 points followed by Eric Bledsoe who had 24. The Kings received good appearances form De’Aaron Fox and the aforementioned Harrison Barnes who both had 19 points.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to face the Orlando Magic on Monday at 7 PM PST.

Kings Fox and Hield help in getting big road win in Phoenix 114-103

photo from sacbee.com: Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, center, drives between Phoenix Suns guards Ricky Rubio, left, and Tyler Johnson on Tuesday in Phoenix

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings are above .500! Well, that statement isn’t entirely true. The Kings are above .500 in the year 2020. Having won two of the first three games this year the Kings were looking to continue to get back on track against the Phoenix Suns. Tip off was set for 6 PM PST at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The Kings got an 11 point win over the Suns 114-103.

In the first half the Kings battled. Harry Giles got his first start of the season and Dewayne Dedmon was active for the first time in three games as the Kings played without Richaun Holmes. The Kings managed to shoot 50% from the field and 43.7% from downtown to score 53 points in the half.

The Suns shot 51.1% from the field and a mediocre 31.5% from deep. De’Aaron Fox player great with 16 points in the half followed by Buddy Hield and his 12 points. Also not to be forgotten was Harry Giles with eight points in 11 first half minutes. Leading the way for the Suns in the first half was Deandre Ayton with 14 points almost all dunks. Right behind him was Devin Booker with 11 first half points. The Kings looked to continue the solid performance in the second half.

Early in the second half the Kings began to implode. The Kings only managed to score six points in the first seven minutes of action in the third as the Suns built a 21 point lead. Overall the Kings only managed to shoot 26% from the field compared to the Suns 55% in the third.

The Kings would need a large second half comeback to have a chance to start a winning streak. Fortunately for Kings fans, the Kings came roaring back. From the 4:25 point in the third quarter the Kings went on a 52-20 run the rest of the way to win the game 114-103. De’Aaron Fox emphatically led the Kings finishing with 27 points followed with a great performance by Nemanja Bjelica who had 19.

Dewayne Dedmon played a season high 31 minutes with 12 points. Devin Booker led the Suns with 34 points in 39 minutes of action in defeat. The Kings are now 3-1 in 2020 and looking to carry that into a solid month.

Up next: The Kings head back home to take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Friday night at 7 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings dominate Warriors from tip to finish 111-98

sfgate.com photo: All the Golden State Warriors could do on Monday night at Golden One Center was scramble for the basketball as seen here against the Sacramento Kings

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Charlie what happened to former Sacramento King Willie Cauley Stein of the Golden State Warriors  who was held to only six points

#2 The game wasn’t even close the Kings dominated from the tip to the end of the game

#3 The Kings had five players in double figures which tells part of the story of this game

#4 De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield both finished as the Kings top scorers with 21 points

#5 The Kings are in the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix tonight set this match for us

Join Charlie O does the Sacramento Kings podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Kings bounce back, Holmes hurt in ragged 111-98 win over the Warriors

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–“Wake your *ss up!”

Coach Steve Kerr’s profane directive hurled at referee Jason Goldenberg wasn’t prudent or appropriate, but it certainly fit like a glove in describing a sleepy night of basketball at Golden 1 Center on Monday night.

The Kings came in despondent, the victim of too many close losses, and left slightly less despondent, thanks to a 111-98 win over the Warriors that was stained by a potentially serious injury to Richaun Holmes.

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield led Sacramento with 21 points apiece, and Trevor Ariza and Harrison Barnes each contributed 18 in a game the Kings led by 31 points in the third quarter only to see the Warriors erase more than half that lead before the final buzzer. Coach Luke Walton emptied his bench early, mindful of the Kings’ quick turnaround with a game against the Suns in Phoenix on Tuesday.

“We continued to do what we wanted to do offensively,” Walton said. “We got better and made some progress tonight.”

The win interrupted a stretch of nine losses in 10 games for the Kings, including Saturday’s two-point loss to the Pelicans in which the NBA admitted Derrick Favors should have been called for an offensive foul on the game’s final play for over aggressively setting a screen on the Kings’ Ariza that created a path for J.J. Reddick to get the basket for the game-winning layup.

Entering Monday’s game, the Kings had an NBA-worst 10 losses by five points or less.  The Warriors anemic shooting–almost from the outset–put an end to the Kings adding to that dubious total of close defeats.

The Warriors missed their first 15 3-point attempts, and scored just 40 points before the halftime break. That break was just minutes after Kerr went ballistic, frustrated with whistles that went in favor of the Kings on one end, and against the Warriors at the other. Kerr’s choice words got him tossed in short order. Ironically, Kerr opted to sit Draymond Green, after he was ejected in the Warriors’ home game on Saturday against Detroit, saying the veteran needed a mental break, caused by a draining season of losing following five straight trips to the Finals.

In getting ejected by Goldenberg, Kerr appeared to be needing that same break.

Ariza was the Kings’ catalyst early with three, first half dunks, and a pair of threes in the team’s burst that extended their lead to 15 early in the second quarter. Fox with his quickness, and Buddy Hield rediscovering his shooting stroke also put the Warriors at a disadvantage.  Then with the visitors already reeling, the Kings came up with eight made threes in the third quarter to extend the lead to 30.

“It was just to be aggressive, get to the basket, and just try to create, obviously make free throws,” Fox said.

The Kings played without Bogdan Bogdanovich, who was still suffering from the flu, and Marvin Bagley Jr., who continues to be out with a sprained foot.

Mike Bibby, the Kings’ standout point guard from the 2002 Sacramento team that reached the Western Conference finals attended the game and received a nice ovation from the crowd. Willie Cauley-Stein was greeted by a mixture of cheers and boos in his first game back in Sacramento after he signed with the Warriors in the off-season.

Holmes was injured in the third quarter, and left the court in visible pain while holding his shoulder. The 6’10” forward/center has proven to be indispensable for the Kings with his scoring and rebounding, and any prolonged absence would put the Kings in a tough spot. Holmes leads the Kings with 13 double-doubles and his constant presence has made Dewayne Dedmon expendable.

Marquese Chriss was waived following the game, a move the Warriors felt was necessary in order to free up a roster space for emerging guard Damion Lee, who is signed to a two-way contract that would limit his availability for the remainder of the season. The 22-year old Chriss is a Sacramento native, and was forced to greet his friends and family after the game following the news of his release.

 

Kings lose by a bucket 117-115 to New Orleans

nbcsports.com photo: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings Sat Jan 4th at Golden One Center

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings finally snapped the losing streak. On Thursday, the Kings managed to beat the Memphis Grizzlies to snap the streak. Saturday night, the task at hand was the New Orleans Pelicans coming off a back to back in Los Angeles. The Kings, fresh off of a day’s rest at home, were looking to make it two in a row at home. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST.

In the first, the Kings got off to a slow start. The Pelicans got out to a 22-8 lead with 5:18 remaining in the quarter. From there, it was all Kings. The Pelicans only added another three points as the Kings stormed back to take a 26-25 lead at the end of the first. Buddy Hield dropped eight points for the Kings in the quarter while JJ Redick led the way with eight for the Pelicans.

In the second, neither team really went on an extended run. The Kings and Pelicans traded leads and the Pelicans managed to score 27 compared to the Kings 22 in the second quarter. Buddy Hield disappeared in the second and scored no points as Harrison Barnes and De’Aaromn Fox led the way with seven points apiece. J

J Redick finished the half with 16 points and Lonzo Ball was the runner up with seven. The Kings would go into halftime down 48-52 looking to come out with better energy in the second half.

In the third, the Kings would bounce back. The Kings put up 32 points in the third over the Pelicans 24 to take an 80-76 lead into the final quarter. The Kings, who were led by Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield who finished the third with 21 and 17 points respectively.

The Pelicans were led by Jrue Holiday who had 17 points through the first three-quarters of play. The Kings would look to finish off the Pelicans in the fourth.

In the fourth, the Pelicans started to pull away. They put up good shots in the early minutes and took back the lead from the Kings. The Pelicans had pulled away to a 14 point lead with 4:04 to play. However, the Kings managed to put together good possessions to make it a game late. Aided by Buddy Hield hitting two three-pointers, the Kings were right back in it with the game 112-109 and 31.5 seconds to play.

After a few fouls by the Kings and ensuing free throws, the Kings were down four with 5.6 remaining. Nemanja Bjelica managed to hit a wild and one three-pointer to tie the game. Unfortunately for Kings fans, what happened next was not great. The Kings had a defensive breakdown on the inbound and allowed JJ Redick to get a layup to put the Pelicans up 117-115.

The Kings then just tossed in the inbound without a timeout and time expired. The Kings lost 117-115. Harrison Barnes led the Kings with 30 points as Buddy Hield was right behind him with 24. The Pelicans leading scorer was Lonzo Ball who finished with 24 points. Ultimately the Kings were done in by the 21 turnovers they committed. The Pelicans scored 29 points off of those turnovers which was the difference in the game.

In the locker room the Kings were pretty down. It’s been an upsetting last three weeks for the Kings as they look to get back on track. They hope to do that in Mondays matchup against the Warriors.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to face the Golden State Warriors on Monday evening at 7 PM PST.