Kings end drought beat Grizzlies 128-123; Fox and Hield lead in scoring

@ NBA Media Ventures

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Kings have already hit rock bottom. They are now just lingering at the bottom of the ocean on the ocean floor. Unfortunately, that’s really the only way to put it. The Kings are looking for anything to build on at this point. Having lost 8 straight, the Kings entered into Thursday nights game desperately needing a win. The opponent was the Memphis Grizzlies who were 13-21 coming into the game. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST at Golden One Center.

In the first, the Grizzlies got off to a roaring start. They shot 58% overall and 55% from deep to take a commanding 42-26 lead over the Kings. The Kings managed to put up 26 points on 43% overall and 33% from deep. Jaren Jackson Jr. showed up in a big way for the Grizzlies dropping 14 points on 5-7 shooting in the first. Leading the way for the Kings in the first was Buddy Hield who scored 12 points. The Kings would need to right the ship in a hurry before they let this game too out of reach.

In the second, the Kings took the lead about as quickly as the Grizzlies got it in the first. The Kings erupted for 37 points in the second quarter and held the Grizzlies to 18 points to take a 63-60 lead going into halftime. Richuan Holmes dropped 13 points in the second alone to lead the Kings in the first half with a total of 15 points. De’Aaron Fox also played well in the first half putting up 10 points. The Kings would hope to keep things going in the second half to snap their eight-game losing streak.

In the third, the Kings defense fell flat again. Like the first quarter, the Kings weren’t able to control the Grizzlies offense. The Grizzlies scored 37 points. So far in the game is was the tale of two quarters. The Kings managed to score 27 points but gave up the lead 97-90 going into the final quarter. The Kings only hoped they could replicate what they did in the second quarter in the final twelve minutes of action.

In the final quarter, the Kings battled back and the game was tied with 7:08 left. The Kings had put themselves in a position to win, and they did just that. The Kings snapped their eight-game losing streak by scoring 38 points in the fourth to win 128-123. The Grizzlies managed to score 26 points in the fourth but it wasn’t enough. Leading the way for the victorious Kings was De’Aaron Fox who scored 27 points followed by Buddy Hield who scored 26. For the Grizzlies, Ja Morant led the way with 23 points.

In a game the Kings desperately needed to win, they managed to pull it out. It wasn’t pretty, but they got it done. The Kings improved to 13-22 on the year. Don’t look now but the Kings are still only two games back of the eighth seed. All hope is not lost Kings fans.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday evening at 7 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings Tuesday game wrap: Clippers hand Kings 8th straight loss 105-87

@LAClippers photo: The Los Angeles Clippers dressed up in Buffalo Braves jerseys on throw back uniform night Tuesday at Golden One Center against the Sacramento Kings as Derrick Walton Jr (10) left congratulates Landry Shamet (20)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–It was a David and Goliath matchup at Golden One Center on Tuesday at 2 PM PST. The struggling Sacramento Kings who are 12-21 on the year, went up against the mighty LA Clippers who were 23-11 on the season. The vibes were nervous, to say the least at Golden One Center as the Kings prepared to take on the Clippers and try and snap the teams seven-game losing streak.

In the first quarter, the Kings came out a bit flat. They only managed 23 points on 41.2% shooting from the field. Buddy Hield was the lone bright spot for the Kings offense in the first who scored 12 points on 4-5 shooting. The Clippers also seemed a bit flat coming out for the 2 PM contest. The Clippers managed to score 28 points on 47.8% shooting with Kawhi Leonard leading the way with 5 points.

In the second quarter, the Clippers began to extend the lead. Paul George began hitting his shots to end the half with 11 points. The Clippers scored 29 in the second to take a 57-40 lead into halftime. The Kings, led by Buddy Hield who had 12 points, managed to score 40 points in the second.

The rest of the offense with the exclusion of Richuan Holmes struggled. Holmes dropped 14 points in the first half, but the rest of the Kings were all under four points. The Kings had a lot of work in front of them to come back from a 57-40 deficit in the second half.

In the third, the Kings bounced back. They outscored the Clippers 33-31 in the quarter to slightly cut into the deficit. The Kings played fast and were able to get some easy buckets against a great defensive team. Kawhi Leonard carried the Clippers in the third scoring 14 points. The Kings continued to get stellar play from Richuan Holmes. Holmes scored 6 more points in the third to lead the Kings.

In the fourth, the Clippers put the game away. Sacramento’s shot just would not fall in the last quarter. They had a number of good looks but were unable to convert. Both teams shot 41% from the field but the Clippers shot 33% from three compared to the Kings 29%.

The Kings shot a disappointing 68% from the free-throw line compared to the Clippers 95%. That right there was your game. The Kings dropped their eighth consecutive game and to 12-22 on the year. The leading scorers for the victorious Clippers were Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with 24 and 21 points respectively. Leading the Kings in defeat was Richaun Holmes who was spectacular. Holmes scored 22 points on 8-13 shooting.

In what has been a rough season so far for the Kings, we flip the calendar to 2020. Kings players and coaches inferred to that fact postgame. Head coach Luke Walton said postgame, “It’s going to be a better year, 2020.” Shooting guard Buddy Hield echoed those sentiments in the locker room saying, “It’s go time – it’s a new year.

Were [34] games in so we have about [48] left – it’s go time. We can’t wait anymore.” For Kings fans, they hope that is true. Kings fans hope that same urgency will carry over into the new year. 2019 turned out to be a very disappointing year for Kings. Unfortunately, Kings fans have been disappointed for all of the 2010s. Here’s to a more successful decade in Sacramento for Kings fans!

Up Next: Kings stay home to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday at 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Will Walton hit the panic button as loses mount for Kings

photo from The Phoenix Suns Dario Saric pins the Sacramento Kings Yogi Ferrell in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game at Golden One Center in Sacramento

On the Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The Kings have lost six straight games where does it reach the point that Luke Walton hits that panic button and the juggling of the line up starts?

#2 The one player whose been playing consistent and that’s the Kings De’Aaron Fox but he’s suffered injuries how much has his absence impacted the Kings?

#3 Just taking the first quarter of Saturday’s game alone the Kings The Kings managed to put up 30 points on 48% shooting from the floor. Having struggled in his last few contests, Buddy Hield put up a team-leading 8 points in the first quarter. Do the Kings need to take more shots, distribute the ball, try to get in the paint more often where do the Kings from here.

#4 The Suns on Saturday were led by Kelly Oubre Jr. who had 15 points followed by Devin Booker who had 14 on defense is Oubre and Booker just difficult to defend for the Kings?

#5 You had a chance to cover the Kings in Denver on Sunday tell us if you saw anything different in this game compared to the say the last six games.

Charlie O is a Kings beat writer at


Kings hit rock bottom can’t stop Suns’ Booker in 112-110 loss photo: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, center, is defended by the Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, left, and Kings forward Richaun Holmes, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings have hit rock bottom. In what was a season with such high expectations going in, the Kings have not impressed. Granted, the Kings have had a fair share of adversity this season. Early season injuries to Marvin Bagley and De’Aaron Fox have not made things easy for the Kings as the Kings have now lost six straight losing to Phoenix 112-110 Saturday night.

However, after spending a significant amount on players such as Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hied, Kings fans expect more. After a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, the Kings would look to bounce back against the Phoenix Suns at 6 PM PST.

In the first, both teams were shooting the ball well. The Kings managed to put up 30 points on 48% shooting floor. Having struggled in his last few contests, Buddy Hield put up a team-leading 8 points in the first quarter. The Suns shot 57% in the first led by Kelly Oubre Jr. who had 9 points. The Kings would look to play a little more solid defense in the second to take the lead on the Suns. It was 31-30 Suns leading going into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, the shot-making disappeared for the Kings. With 4:45 left in the second, the Kings had only scored 8 points in the quarter. Bad shot selection and the inability to hit shots. The Kings only managed to score 19 points as the Suns dropped 28 points on the Kings lacking defense. Leading the Kings in scoring through the first half was Corey Joseph who scored 10 first-half points.

The Suns were led by Kelly Oubre Jr. who had 15 points followed by Devin Booker who had 14. The Kings would go into the second half trailing the Suns 59-49 and in need of a comeback to snap the teams five-game losing streak.

In the third quarter, the Kings played better than the previous quarter but not well enough to take the lead. The Kings put 28 up on the scoreboard in the third compared to the Suns 22. Buddy Hield continued a good bounce-back night for the Kings ending the third with 19 points on 7-15 shooting. Devin Booker did what Devin Booker does in the first three quarters putting up 21 points on 9-15 from the field. In what has been a rough stretch for the Kings they looked to put a solid fourth-quarter together to snap the skid.

In the fourth, the Kings came storming back to tie the game at 81 with 10:48 left in the game. It was a new game and whichever team played better the rest of the way would win the game. The next five-plus minute’s teams would trade baskets back and forth. The game would come down to the final 30 seconds.

With 20.9 seconds left and the score 109-107 Suns ahead, Richaun holmes was fouled and made only 1 of his free throws to make it 109-108. The Suns had the ball with the shot clock off and took a timeout. Out of the timeout and with 18.9 seconds left, they inbounded to Devin Booker in the backcourt while leaving Aron Baynes wide open for a layup.

The score was 111-108. After a few fouls from both teams, the final possession would be the Kings down 112-110 and 5.9 seconds remaining. The Kings inbounded after the timeout to Buddy Hield who kicked to Harrison Barnes on the perimeter and missed the open three to end the game.

Up Next: The Kings travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Sunday at 5 PM PST. The Suns Travel to Portland to take on the Trailblazers on Monday night.

Kings put up a pathetic showing bow to the Timberwolves 105-104; Skid hits five Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox left Thursday night’s game at Golden One Center with back spasms and never returned, Fox had just recently returned after a previous injury. He’s day to day.

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–It’s been a rough month for the Kings. December has not treated them well. Going into this month, the Kings were looking at a break in the schedule. Instead, this has turned into a bit of a nightmare. The Kings were 4-8 in the month and they should be well over .500 in December if they hope to be a playoff team. Tonight was their shot. Their opponent, the Minnesota Timberwolves, were without their star Karl-Anthony Towns and still were able to win 105-104. The Kings were looking to get back on track against the Timberwolves at 7 PM PST.

In the first quarter, both teams started out slow. The Kings managed to put up 26 points in the quarter followed by Minnesota’s 21. The leading scorer in the game at this point was Marvin Bagley with nine points and teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic with eight. Robert Covington led the Timberwolves in the first with five points. Though the Kings were leading in the first, bad news loomed. Early in the first De’Aaron Fox came limping off the court in discomfort. It was later revealed he left the game with back spasms and would not return. Kings fans would hope for the best as Corey Joseph would run the point the rest of the game.

In the second, things did not get better for the Kings. They only managed to put up 22 points while the Timberwolves scored 29. This led to a 50-48 Timberwolves lead going into halftime. The Kings shooting was non-existent in the first half. They shot a combined 34.1% while shooting 23.5 from the long-range. The Timberwolves weren’t able to do much better. They shot a combined 40% and 22.7 from deep. The Kings have yet to play five games with all starters healthy, and it shows. The Kings are not able to find a rhythm on offense and the defense has also suffered of late. They would need to pick it up in the second half if they hoped to go home winners.

In the third, the Kings played better. They put up 31 points and held the Timberwolves offense to 21 points. Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes both added 8 points to their totals as Bogdan Bogdanovic was a steady force finishing the third with 15 points. The Kings would take a 79-71 lead into the final quarter.

Unfortunately for the Kings, the improved play didn’t last. The Kings disappeared in the fourth quarter. With 4:09 remaining in the quarter, the Kings had only scored seven points. It was a pathetic showing from a team that has been struggling to get an offensive rhythm all season. In the final minutes, the game didn’t get much better.

The Kings and Timberwolves continued to miss shots in an unimpressive game. At one point in the fourth, the Kings fans were so uninterested in the game they started doing the wave. The game would be tied 90-90 with 27.4 on the clock and Timberwolves ball. That possession would end with no points and a rebound. The game would go to overtime.

In overtime, both teams would trade shots. The game would be decided with 5.6 left in the game and Kings ball tied 97-97. That possession would end with a missed shot that went out of bounds with .5 remaining in the game. The Timberwolves had one last shot in overtime to go home with the win. They weren’t able to inbound as time expired and it was double overtime in Sacramento.

In double overtime, the Timberwolves went on a 6-0 run before Luke Walton called a timeout with 3:33 remaining in the game. From there, the Kings made it a game at the end. It was 104-105 and the Kings had the final possession with just over 10 seconds left. Buddy Hield dribbled on the perimeter and ultimately missed the final shot as the Kings lose 105-104. It was a rough game and the Kings were unable to pull it out. Richaun Holmes finished as the Kings leading scorer with 20 points. Gorgul Dieng led the Timberwolves with 21.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the Pheonix Suns at 6 PM PST on Saturday. The Timberwolves go home to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday at 5 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings fall short to Rockets 113-104; Fourth consecutive loss for Sacramento

photo from Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) shoots over Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) for three-points during a game at Golden 1 Center on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 in Sacramento

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Coming off three straight road loses the Sacramento Kings (12-18) played host to the Houston Rockets (21-9) at Golden One Center in Sacramento and yet lost another game 113-104.

#2 The Rockets had 16 points to the Kings 25 in the fourth quarter and still the Kings never held the lead in the game and never got that burst on the scoreboard. The Kings are missing a number of their offensive plays to stay a step ahead of their opponents.

#3 The Rockets got top scoring from James Harden 34 pts and Russell Westbrook 28 pts who have pave the way to the win

#4 De Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes led the Kings with scoring Fox with 31 and Holmes 12. Fox carried the weight of the team and the Kings fell nine points short.

#5 After their last win to the Golden State Warriors the Kings have now lost four straight and host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night

Join Charlie Tuesdays for the Kings podcast at




Another Night in Sacramento: Rockets race to big lead, then hold on to beat the Kings, 113-104

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–You know the story: since the Kings’ last playoff appearance in the spring of 2006, they’ve accumulated 13 losing seasons, run through 10 coaches, two arenas and finished last in the Pacific Division five times.

But that’s just the surface. Below the surface–or below .500–the Kings’ story gains greater focus. Eliminating the first 10 games of each of the last 14 seasons, including the current one–a sample size of 956 games–the Kings have held a winning record just 66 times.

That’s a winning record 6.9 percent of the time in 13 plus seasons. The most significant Kings’ won-loss record since 2006? March 6 when the Kings were 33-32. They lost three of their next four games and haven’t been over .500 since.

51 of the 66 occasions with a winning record happened last season under coach Dave Joerger, but the occurrence wasn’t treated as an upswing. Joerger was fired by GM Vlade Divac after the season.

So Monday was business as usual: a new Kings’ coach, Luke Walton, a losing record, and a tough loss–113-104 to the Houston Rockets–at home. The Kings have dropped four straight, and are just 12-13 since their 0-5 start to the season that foreshadowed continued playoff irrelevance.

By one measure, the Kings put themselves in harm’s way on Monday by beating the Rockets 119-118 at the buzzer on Nemanja Bjelica’s 3-pointer December 9 in Houston. Since then the Rockets have won six of seven and seen the one-two punch of James Harden and Russell Westbrook grow more cohesive. The pair came into Monday’s contest averaging 62 plus points per game. They scored 62 Monday after combining for just five points in a first quarter in which the Rockets exploded to a 37-21 lead.

After leading by 16 points after a quarter and 86-63 with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter, the Rockets made it interesting. Houston clanked through a 16-point fourth while seeing their lead paired to 102-96 at one point. But that’s as close as it got: the Rockets responded with a pair of Clint Capela free throws then Westbrook’s 3-pointer that increased the lead to 107-96 with 4:13 remaining.

The Rockets shot 3 for 17 in their uncharacteristic fourth quarter, but all three of the makes were 3-pointers.

“You get up 18, 20 points and you start doing things that you weren’t doing to gain the lead,” Harden said. “It happens.”

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 31 points, 19 of those in the fourth quarter. Fox didn’t get much help; starters Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield missed 12 of their combined 13 3-point attempts and finished with nine and 10 points, respectively. The Kings outrebounded the Rockets, 49-39, but couldn’t fully take advantage of Houston’s smallish lineups with Capela the only player over 6’6″ to see action.

Hield, the Kings’ leading scorer, was a spectator in the fourth quarter as the Kings mounted their comeback. Walton explained afterwards.

“It wasn’t a punishment at all. It was more, `Look, we’re a team and we’re trying to win out here and if these guys are going well, well then we keep rolling with them,'” Walton said.

Bogdan Bogdanovich missed his second straight game with a sore ankle. Harry Giles continues to be out, he’s missed the last 13 games for the Kings.

Capela contributed 15 points, 14 rebounds in 41 minutes on an admittedly sore right heel. Harden played 38 minutes with a brace on his knee that coach Mike D’Antoni revealed was bothersome. Still, the NBA’s leading scorer put up 34 points, five assists with Westbrook adding 28.

The Rockets conclude their road swing in San Francisco in a meeting with the Warriors on Christmas Day.

The Kings host the reeling Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.





The Kings lose the final game of their road trip in Memphis 119-115

Buddy Hield vs Memphis
Buddy Hield goes for the steal @NBC CA

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings had to fly home from Memphis licking their wounds after losing the final three games of their four-game road. On Saturday night, the Kings dropped the final game of the road swing to the Grizzlies 119-115. The game was never as close as the final score might imply.

Lead Changes

There were three lead changes in the game; however, the Kings never held the lead after the first quarter of the game. The largest lead of the game for Sacramento was seven points. The Grizzlies biggest lead was 17 points.

Memphis held a 10 point lead – 60 to 50 – at halftime.

By the end of three quarters, the Grizzlies were up 91-78 over the Kings.

The Kings made a big charge in the final period as De’Aaron Fox scored 14 points while Memphis went 12 players deep to rest their starters. Sacramento outscored the Grizzlies 37-28 the fourth quarter but came up four points short of winning the game when the final buzzer sounded.

3-point baskets made the difference 

The Grizzlies hit 15 of 35 attempts (42.9%) from downtown in the game versus the Kings.

The Kings shot just 30.6% (11-for-36) from behind the arc in the contest which ultimately led to their downfall.

The charity stripe was unkind to SAC

The Kings went to the line 24 times but hit only 18 shots.

The Grizzlies went 24-for-29 from the charity stripe. Those six points proved too big when the final horn sounded.


  • Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 25 points in the game.
  • De’Aaron Fox – who got the start in the game – finished with 22 points.
  • Richaun Holmes put up a double-double putting in 18 points and hauling in 12 rebounds.
  • Marvin Bagley III also had a double-double game with 11 points and 11 rebounds.


  • Jaren Jackson Jr. was the Grizzlies leading scorer with 18 points.
  • Jae Crowder recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Dillon Brooks scored 16 points.
  • Ja Morant and Grayson Allen both scored 13 points in the contest.

Up next

The Kings return home to host the very tough Houston Rockets on Monday night.

The Grizzlies will host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Kings Struggle in 119-105 Loss to Pacers in Indianapolis

Photo credit: @SoleCollector

By Jeremiah Salmonson

Just when you thought the Sacramento Kings were at full strength, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Trevor Ariza were unavailable for the Kings in Friday night’s tilt against the Indiana Pacers. Bogdanovic is dealing with a sore ankle and Trevor Ariza is not with the team for personal reasons. The Kings were coming off a tough loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday and would look to bounce back Friday.

In the first quarter, Nemanja Bjelica got off to a hot start. Bjelica scores 13 points in the first and helped lead the Kings to an early 32-30 lead. The Kings weren’t able to play their style of defense against the Pacers in the first, but that was overshadowed by the Kings offensive prowess.

In the second quarter, the Pacers went on a bit of a run that allowed them to build a double digit 53-42 lead with 6:00 left in the half. The rest of the half, the Pacers’ lead held true. The Kings would get the lead down to 8 points, but the Pacers were able to get it back by putting up 38 in the quarter. Richaun Holmes led the way for the Kings in the first half putting up 14 points. The Pacers’ T.J. Warren scored 13 points to lead the Pacers to a 68-57 lead going into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Kings couldn’t get anything going on offense. They had their chances, but players like Buddy Hield couldn’t get anything going in terms of hitting shots. The Kings were only able to put up 22 points and headed into the final quarter down 92-79. The bright spot for the Kings was Justin James, who had managed 10 points for the Kings off the bench.

In the fourth quarter, the implosion for the Kings continued. The Kings’ shot-making evaporated in the third and fourth quarters, and they weren’t able to shut down the Pacers’ offense. These negative ingredients for the Kings would lead to a blowout loss 119-105 to the Pacers on the road.

The Kings still look a bit lost on the offensive end. Kings head coach Luke Walton has a lot of work ahead of him to get this group to gel together and start putting wins together. A bright spot for the Kings was Justin James. James is definitely earning minutes with the absence of Trevor Ariza who is away from the team and Bogdan Bogdanovic dealing with some injury issues. Leading the way for the Kings in defeat was Richaun Holmes with 20 points. Leading things for the Pacers in victory was T.J. Warren with 23 points.

Up Next: The Kings travel to Memphis for a back-to-back against the Grizzlies on Saturday at 5 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Hornets force turnovers as Kings go down 110-102

Photo credit The Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier (3) drives towards the basket against the Sacramento Kings D’Aaron Fox as the Hornets defeat the Kings by eight points in Charlotte on Tuesday night.

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O

The Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night in Charlotte just simply got outplayed physically. In fact, that was one of the things that Kings head coach Luke Walton said. The Kings just physically got beaten up by the Hornets. It wasn’t in a bad way. It wasn’t like they played dirty.

The Hornets just went out and played a very physical game. They were determined. The biggest number that showed how physical Charlotte was that the Hornets outrebounded the Kings 53-31. When a team is outrebounded with 18 rebounds in a game, you’re not going to win.

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday at