Kings come up two points short, lose to the Lakers 99-97

LAK 2
Graphic: @NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings trailed the LA Lakers 99-97 with 5.5 seconds to go in the game on Friday night at Staples Center. After designing a play during a timeout, most of the crowd expected the ball to go to Bogdan Bogdanovic in order for “Bogi” to attempt a game-winning 3-point shot. Instead, the inbounds pass went to Harrison Barnes who slipped or was tripped on his way to the bucket.

Barnes went up in the air and was met head-on by Anthony Davis who blocked his potential layup. There was a lot of body contact, but because Barnes was out of control from the slip (or trip) no foul was called. Time expired and the Kings (4-7) had lost the game by two points.

I am now going to interject an editorial opinion. If the play had been the other way around with Davis driving on the hoop, slipping and Barnes making contact, a foul would have been called and Davis would have gone to the line to shoot two free throws. That is the inequity of officiating in the NBA. If you are a superstar and playing on your home court, the calls will always go your way. It is a major flaw that needs to be fixed but don’t hold your breath. No changes are coming anytime soon.

Spotlight on the Lakers (10-2)

  • LeBron James scored a game-high 29 points and made it a double-double game by dishing out 11 assists. He also played a game-high 38 minutes and 40 seconds. Not bad for an old guy.
  • Anthony Davis added 17 points and blocked four shots. His most important blocked shot came at the end of the game.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points in just over 24 minutes of playing time. He went 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
  • Kyle Kuzma came off the bench to put up 13 points and hauling in five rebounds.
  • The Lakers outscored the Kings in the paint 42-36.
  • LA also won the battle of 2nd Chance Points 15-5.

Focus on the Kings

  • Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring attack with 21 points. Hield shot 6-for-15 from the floor. All six of his baskets were 3-pointers.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic played almost 37 minutes on Friday night. He scored 18 points shooting 7-for-13 from the floor.
  • Richaun Holmes had a big game on offense and defense. Holmes scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Lakers.

Up Next

The Kings will host the Boston Celtics at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday at 12:30 PM.

The Lakers host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Kings fall hard in the “Big Easy” as Pels pull out a last-second 121-118 win

NO starting 5
Kings starting five in New Orleans Photo @SacramentoKings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings are now on the verge of mathematical elimination from playoff contention after losing to the Pelicans in New Orleans 121-118 on Thursday night. The Kings chances of making the playoffs were remote, but now, they are non-existent.

The Kings are just 14-23 on the road after the loss in New Orleans. That really is not surprising for a young team like Sacramento. Learning to win on the road in the NBA is one of the most difficult lessons to learn for a young team.

The biggest lead in this game was nine points by the Pelicans. The game was tied 13 times and the lead changed between the teams 15 times. This was the very essence of what is defined as a “close game”.

Julius Randle put a driving layup through the basket for the Pelicans with 8.7-seconds to go in the game to give New Orleans a 121-118 lead.

Buddy Hield took a potential game-tying 3-point shot from 28 feet away from the basket with 4.0-seconds remaining on the clock. Unfortunately for the Kings, the shot was not good and the Kings would lose by three points.

The loss dropped the Kings record to 37-38 on the year with seven games to play on the schedule. The Pelicans are now 32-45 for the season.

Key Performers in the Game

NO Kosta
Koufos drives on Randle Photo @NBCS

Kings

  • Buddy Hield – the Pels former first-round draft pick – was Sacramento’s leading scorer with 27 points. He shot 11-for-21 from the floor but went just 1-for-8 from 3-point range.
  • De’Aaron Fox recorded a double-double by scoring 25 points and dishing out 12 assists. Fox hit 11-of-22 his shots from the field. He also grabbed five rebounds, made three steals, and had one blocked shot.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein also put a double-double in the book by scoring 18 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. WCS who has struggled at the charity stripe went 4-for-4 at the free throw line on Thursday night.
  • Bogdon Bogdanovic scored 14 points in just over 18 minutes of playing time.
  • Marvin Bagley III and Harrison Barnes each scored 10 points.
  • The Kings were outscored in the paint 74-64.
  • The Pelicans won the battle of 2nd chance points 14-9.

New Orleans

  • Julius Randle was the leading scorer in the contest with 34 points. He hit 12-of-24 shots from the floor and went a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Randle made it a double-double game by pulling down 10 rebounds.
  • Christian Wood came off the bench and scored 25 points in just over 27 minutes on the floor. He sank 11 of his 16 shots.
  • Elfrid Payton put 16 points up on the board shooting 50-percent from the floor (7/14). He also recorded nine rebounds.
  • Anthony Davis did not play due to “lower back spasms”.

Up Next

The Kings traveled to Houston after the game and will take on the Rockets on Saturday night.

The Pelicans will host the “hapless” LA Lakers on Sunday.

Cardiac Kings do it again with a fourth quarter, come-from-behind 122-117 win over the Pelicans

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Harry Giles III tips the ball back into the basket Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won their second consecutive come from behind in the fourth quarter game on Sunday night as they defeated Anthony “the Brow” Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 122-117. The Kings trailed the Pelicans by as many as 19 points in the contest, and frankly, it did not appear that the home team would have enough momentum to overcome the New Orleans lead.

The Kings had trouble putting the ball in the basket right from the beginning of the game. At one point in the first quarter, Sacramento was shooting just 25-percent from the field while New Orleans was hitting more than 50-percent of their shots. The Pels dominated the paint and were converting high percentage shots. The Kings were not taking bad shots, but their shots were not dropping.

The Kings shooting improved in the second quarter (48.1-percent) and they were able to match the Pelicans point for point. Each team scored 33 points in the second period. Buddy Hield led the scoring attack for SAC with nine points. New Orleans was paced by Jrue Holiday who hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points.

At the half, New Orleans held a 69-58 lead over Sacramento.

The third quarter was dominated by a former Wildcat and Sooner. New Orleans center Anthony Davis scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds for his team as they scored 27 points in the period. Buddy Hield led the charge for Sacramento scoring 11 points in the third. He went for 4-for-4 shooting (3-for-3 from 3-point land). The Kings won the quarter 28-27. At the end of 36 minutes, the Pelicans held a 96-86 lead over the Kings.

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Koufos and Miller jump ball in 4th quarter Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings went on a comeback run that saw them outscore the Pelicans 36-21 in the final quarter. Sacramento was paced by De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic who each scored nine points in the period. Buddy Hield stayed hot as he recorded eight points. Willie Cauley-Stein hauled in nine of his career-high 17 rebounds in the final 12-minutes. The Kings went on a mission in the final quarter and they were not going to be denied. When the final buzzer sounded, the Kings (18-15) had defeated the Pelicans (15-19) 122-117.

Willie Cauley-Stein had a monster game

The Kings center played just over 35-minutes in his team’s victory. He scored 22 points and made it a double-double as he pulled down a career-high 17 (four offensive) rebounds. WCS shot 10-for-19 from the floor and went 2-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. The big man also made three steals in the game.

 

 

 

 

De’Aaron Fox posted a double-double

The Kings versatile point guard made it a double-double game in the win over the Pelicans on Sunday night. He scored 19 points and dished out 11 assists. Fox also added two steals. He did all of this while still nursing a sore shoulder injured in the game on Friday with Memphis.

“Buddy Buckets” was amazing again

Buddy Hield was the leading scorer in the game on Sunday. He put 28 points in the book in 36-plus minutes of playing time. Hield shot 11-for-16 from the field and hit 6-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc. He also pulled in six rebounds.

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Buddy Hield lets it fly from 3-point land Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Bogi comes up Big

Bogdan Bogdanovic is finding his legs and really getting into the flow of the game. On Sunday afternoon, he scored 24 points shooting 7-for-16 from the floor. Bogdanovic hit 2-of-5 from long range and converted 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. He also dished out seven dimes.

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Bogi sinks one from the free throw line Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Coach Joerger summarizes the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pelicans numbers

Pels logo

  • Leading scorer Jrue Holiday with 27 points, seven rebounds, and six assists
  • Anthony Davis scored 26 points pulled down 17 rebounds (double-double) plus four assists and four blocked shots
  • Julius Randle put up 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds

The Pelicans were extremely frustrated after the loss to the Kings. Giving up a 19 point lead and losing by five points will make you walk the aisle of the plane all the way back to the “Big Easy” out of frustration.

Up next

The Kings next game will be on Wednesday, December 26 at the Staples Center versus the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings lost to the Clippers at the Golden 1 Center on November 29, 133-121.

The Pelicans next game will be in Dallas on December 26. New Orleans beat the Mavs on December 5th, 132-105.

Pelicans land hard on the Kings in a 149-129 win in “the Big Easy”

Bagley vs Pels
Bagley slams it home Photo @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

By the end of the evening in New Orleans, the Sacramento Kings would rather have been in Yuba City because they had no reason to celebrate on Bourbon Street. The Kings gave up 149 points to the New Orleans Pelicans in their loss on Friday night. The 149 points was a new game-high scoring record for the New Orleans franchise.

The Kings did score 129 points of their own, but it was in a losing effort. There were some highlights but a loss is a loss. This was the Kings first road loss of 2018-19, and they are now 0-2 on the season.

Joerger’s take
”I saw some really good things offensively tonight,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ”I see, certainly, a lot of things defensively that can be learned through experience that just takes time as younger guys learn how to play against older guys. I am not fired up about giving up 149, but I do like what I see from a lot of our guys.”

Maybe this reporter is just a little impatient, but he has heard the “I saw some really good things” line many times over the last two years. Yes, this is a completely reworked roster with some very young players, but the “I’m happy with some of what I saw from my team tonight” line is going to wear thin very quickly. After 10 games if the team is playing poorly, the coach is going to have to speak honestly about the way his team is playing. The time to “kick butt and take names” is coming sooner and not later for Sacramento.

Coming out party for MBIIIV
The Kings top draft pick saw some major playing time on Friday versus the Pelicans. Bagley played 32-plus minutes and matched up well against “the Brow” – Anthony Davis. MBIIIV put up 19 points hitting 7-of-10 from the field. He converted 5-of-6 opportunities from the free throw line. Bagley grabbed eight rebounds, had three assists and made three steals.

Not a bad second game as a professional for a 19-year old having to go up against Anthony Davis.

WCS comes up “Big” again
Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer for the second consecutive game with 20 points in just over 25 minutes of playing time. He shot an impressive 9-for-14 from the floor. The big man also grabbed seven rebounds.

Swipa the Fox and Buddy Buckets showed up as well
De’Aaron Fox shot 6-for-12 from the floor and scored 18 points for the Kings. He also dished out six assists and pulled down seven rebounds. The Fox hit 6-of-7 chances from the free throw line.

Buddy Hield recorded 17 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots from the field. Hield put in 3-of-4 tries from behind the 3-point line. He also added three assists.

Mr. Mason had a big game coming off the bench

Mason vs Pels
Frank Mason works against the Pelicans Photo: @SacramentoKings

Frank Mason III played just over 21-minutes and scored 18 points. Mason shot 7-for-13 from the floor and converted 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He also handed out six assists.

What about Harry Giles III?
Harry had a tough game on Friday night. He committed six fouls in just over 18 minutes on the floor. Giles scored seven points and added four rebounds. He shot just 3-for-11 for the game. Rookies sometimes struggle.

Team stats
The Kings shot 52.1-percent (50/96) for the game. The problem was the Pelicans shot 58.9-percent (56/95) in the contest.

Sacramento hit 10-of-25 (40-percent) from 3-point land. New Orleans buried 16-of-31 tries from behind the long-distance line.

The Pelicans outrebounded the Kings 52 to 39.

The need for defense
The practice on Saturday will be all about defense. The Kings have proved they can score. Now, they need to figure out how to stop their opponents from scoring at will.

Up next
The Kings will return to action on Sunday on the road in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder at 4:00 pm PT. The quest for their first victory of 2018-19 does not get any easier having to face a team a talented as the Thunder on the road.

NBA Playoffs: New Orleans will be tough in potential second round series with Golden State

Photo credit: @NBAonSP

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

The Spurs shouldn’t be returning to Oakland for a Game 5 on Tuesday.

Golden State, leading 3-0 in their first-round series against San Antonio and looking unbeatable in the first three games, now has to play one more game after dropping Game 4 with a 103-90 rout Sunday afternoon in the Alamo City.

The Warriors now lead the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series, 3-1.

Instead of sweeping the seventh-seeded Spurs, who are dealing with a myriad of issues from the recent death of Erin Popovich, the late wife of San Antonio’s head coach Gregg Popovich, to the ongoing Kawhi Leonard saga, Golden State allowed itself to cut 48 hours off its schedule to prepare for a New Orleans Pelicans team that will give the Warriors all it can handle in the second round.

The sixth-seeded Pelicans showed no remorse against the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in their first-round series. Many prognosticators, including myself, thought this could be a series that would go six or seven games with the Trail Blazers likely prevailing.

And why would you not pick Portland over New Orleans?

The Trail Blazers arguably have one of the NBA’s best backcourt duos in point guard Damian Lillard and shooting guard CJ McCollum to carry them over unheralded combination of  point guard Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday.

Oh yeah, and the Pelicans were without center Demarcus Cousins, who tore his Achilles tendon and was lost for the season on Jan. 26. Before the injury, Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game and along with power forward Anthony Davis (28 ppg and 11 rpg during the regular season), were on pace to become the first set of teammates in NBA history to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Boy were we wrong.

Now, The Pelicans have all of their detractors eating crow with a side of “we told you so.” Portland (49-33) did finished the regular season with one more win than New Orleans (48-34), but it were the Trail Blazers that were over-matched.

New Orleans capped off the franchise’s first sweep of an NBA playoff series with 131-123 victory in Game 4 over Portland on Saturday night in front a rabid and sold out home crowd at the Smoothie King Center. The 131 points scored by New Orleans are a franchise record for a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In the clinching game, it was the combination Davis and shooting guard Jrue Holiday that punched the Pelicans’ ticket into the second-round for the first time since 2008 with Davis pouring in 47 points with 11 rebounds. Holiday finished with 41 points and eight assists against the Trail Blazers who had no answer for either guy in this series.

Both Davis and Holiday surpassed current Warriors’ power forward David West’s franchise record 38 points (also occurring in 2008 according to Elias Sports Bureau) with their scoring barrage.

The 6-foot-10, 253-pound Davis imposed his will against Portland bigs, most notably against center Jusuf Nurkic, averaging 33 points and 12 rebounds in four games against the Trail Blazers this postseason. There’s no doubt that Davis will be a force against Golden State’s stable of bigs, centers Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney.

Throw in the aforementioned Rondo, a 11-year, defensive, pass-first veteran with a championship ring from 2007 as the starting point guard for the Paul Pierce-Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, the Pelicans have some pieces in place to make the inevitable second-round matchup with Golden State interesting.

Rondo, or #PlayoffRondo, is the unquestioned floor general for the Pelicans. In the four games against the Trail Blazers, Rondo recorded 17, 9, 11 and 16 assists respectively. For the series, Rondo averaged 11.2 points and 13.2 assists per game and was glued at Lillard’s hip the entire time, helping New Orleans limit Lillard to 35.2 percent shooting in the series.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry, who also has a championship ring as an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2015 before leaving for New Orleans, knows some of the offensive and defensive tendencies of shooting guard Klay Thompson and power forward Draymond Green.

Even with two-time MVP Stephan Curry still not ready to play in the playoffs for the Warriors, Golden State is still the better team than the Pelicans by far and can win the series without him since the Warriors still have another former MVP in Kevin Durant.

In the four regular season matchups between New Orleans and Golden State, the Warriors won the first three matchups: 128-120 on Oct. 20 at New Orleans, 110-95 on Nov. 25 in Oakland and 125-115 on Dec. 4, while the Pelicans got the best of the Warriors 126-120 on Apr. 7 in Oakland.

Kings defeat the Pelicans 114-103 in NOLA to finish road trip with a 3-3 record

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings beat the Pelicans in New Orleans for the second time this season by downing the Pels 114-103 on Tuesday night. The victory allowed the Kings to finish their six-game, 13-day road trip with a surprising 3-3 record.

For the naysayers out there, yes the Pelicans were without DeMarcus Cousins who is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his left achilles last Friday versus the Rockets. The Kings were without the services of Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Frank Manson, Malachi Richardson and their head coach Dave Joerger.

Why did the Kings win the game?

Two sets of stats really explain why Sacramento came away with the “W” Tuesday night. The Kings out-rebounded the Pelicans 49-36 but even more important than the over all numbers is the offensive rebound count.

SAC pulled down 14 balls off the offensive glass while NOLA grabbed just two offensive rebounds. The Kings scored 26 second chance points converting 10-of-11 opportunities. The Pelicans scored zero second chance points and literally had no second opportunities in the contest. It is virtually impossible to win a game playing one shot and done basketball in “the Association”.

Rebounding made the difference in the game for Sacramento in New Orleans.

Top Performers

Kings

  • Star of the Game honors go to Zach Randolph who scored a game-high 26 points and made it a double-double game posting 12 rebounds. Z-Bo shot 11-for-23 from the floor and hit 3-of-6 three-point attempts. The veteran big man also played very physical versus New Orleans star Anthony Davis.
  • Kosta Koufos earns Special Co-Star of the Game status by starting the game and playing 37-plus minutes to post a double-double of his own. Koufos put up 17 points and recorded 17 rebounds (seven offensive rebounds). Koufos hit 7-of-12 shots from the field.
  • Co-Star of the Game credit goes to De’Aaron Fox for scoring 15 points, hauling in six rebounds and dishing out four assists in 27-minutes of playing time. Fox had a +9 rating for his time on the court.

Pelicans

  • New Orleans Star of the Game honors go to reserve shooting guard Ian Clark who played over 29-minutes scoring 20-points while hitting 9-of-10 field goal attempts. Only one of his field goals was a 3-point conversion. Clark also recorded six rebounds.
  • Anthony Davis receives Co-Star credit for the game. With Boogie Cousins gone for the season, the weight of success falls squarely on the shoulders of Davis. He scored a team-high 23 points and made it a double-double by recording 13 rebounds. Davis went 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
  • Jrue Holiday gets a Best Supporting Player nod for contributing 20 points but he went just 9-for-20 shooting from the floor to score those points. Holiday did not post a single rebound.

Key Stats

Sacramento (16-34)

  • The Kings hit 46-of-97 shots (47.4-percent) from the field for the game. They took 20 more attempts than the Pelicans and made seven more field goals than New Orleans.
  • Sacramento converted 10-of-26 three-point attempts (38.5-percent) which was one more made 3-point field goal than the Pels hit in the game.
  • The Kings outscored the Pelicans in the paint 52-42.

New Orleans (27-23)

  • The Pelicans shot 50.6-percent from the field (39-for-77) for the game but it was 20 less attempts and seven less conversions than the Kings put in the books.
  • New Orleans won the battle of Fast Break points outscoring the Kings 23-22 for the game.
  • The Pels dished out more assists (26-22) than the Kings but they were not enough to turn the tide of the game.

Up Next

Kings

The Kings flew home after the game and were able to sleep in their own beds for the first time in 13 days. They will be off until Friday night when they have the unenviable task of hosting the world champion Golden State Warriors at the Golden 1 Center.

Pelicans

New Orleans will hit the road and will play the Thunder in OKC on Friday night.

Z-Bo goes head-to-head with Boogie and leads Kings to a 116-109 OT win in NOLA

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by Charlie O. Mallonee with Jordan Chapin

The Sacramento Kings went into the game in New Orleans on Friday night as eight to 10.5-point underdogs. FiveThirtyEight.com gave the Kings just a 15-percent chance of leaving the “Crescent City” with a win. By the end of 53-minutes of playing time in the Smoothie King Arena, everyone who picked the Pelicans to win were 100-percent wrong.

The Kings needed five extra minutes but they defeated DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans 116-109 to finish their four-game road trip with a record of 2-2. Sacramento won the games in Chicago and New Orleans. They had a realistic chance to win the games they lost in Milwaukee and Cleveland. The Kings played at a higher level on this road trip.

The Kings had to fight and claw their way through the 53-minutes of playing time to stay in this game. There were 12 lead changes and the game was tied 11 times. The Pels biggest lead was 10-points and the Kings largest lead was nine-points. This contest was a “Battle Royale” from start to finish.

Z-Bo was the star of the game for the Kings

Zach Randolph
Randolph and Cousins battled each other all game long Friday night (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The 36-year old veteran center played like a man half his age on Friday night. Randolph was the Kings leading scorer with 35-points and he made it a double-double game by hauling in 13 rebounds. He shot 14-for-22 from the field and hit 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Randolph did all of that while dealing Cousins on defense during his almost 34-minutes of playing time.

Kings co-stars

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Buddy Hield drives the lane in NOLA
  • Buddy Hield showed the fans in New Orleans what they lost when he was shipped to SAC for Cousins. Hield posted 18-points and grabbed seven rebounds. He shot 7-for-12 for the game and 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. Hield sank the 3-point basket that tied the game and sent it into overtime.
  • De’Aaron Fox played over 36-minutes in the game and scored 14-points. He was teamed up with Frank Mason down the stretch and in overtime to help lead the Kings to the victory.
  • Frank Mason came off the bench to lead the second-unit again on Friday night. The rookie out of Kansas scored 12-points, grabbed five rebounds and added three assists.
  • The Kings other “O.G” – Vince Carter – played a big role for the Kings versus the Pelicans. The 40-year old veteran played 32-plus minutes and scored six-points. He also recorded four rebounds and distributed two assists.  Carter also had two dunks ( three if you count the one at the final buzzer that was waved off that could have been the potential game winner).
  • Georgios “Papa G” Papagiannis played an important nine-plus minutes off the bench. The big man was almost a surprise contributor in this game. He came in and played “Boogie” tough while scoring six-points and hauling in three rebounds. Papa G was a perfect 3-for-3 shooting in the game.

DeMarcus was the star of the game for New Orleans

There are very few observers of the NBA who do not see DeMarcus Cousins as being the premiere center in the league. On Friday night, Boogie reminded everyone in Sacramento what they lost when he was traded to the Pelicans.

Cousins dropped in a game-high 38-points and made it a double-double game by adding 11-rebounds. The big man also had four assists and three steals.

Cousins shot 14-for-30 from the field (4-for-10 from 3-point land). He converted 6-of-7 opportunities from the charity stripe.

Love him or hate him – Cousins is an awesome talent.

Other Pelicans who contributed

  • Anthony “the Brow” Davis returned to action after missing three games. Davis played 30-minutes and scored 18-points. He went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
  • Ian Clark scored 15 points in just under 28-minutes of playing time. He shot 6-for-8 from the field.
  • Jrue Holiday added 14 points. He shot 50-percent for the game hitting 6-of-12 field goal attempts.
  • Rajon Rondo – who has been “hot” for the Pels since returning from injury was held out for rest. That decision may be questioned after this disappointing loss.

Team stats that matter

Kings

  • SAC shot 48.5-percent (47-for-97) for the game and 43.3-percent (13-for-30) from behind the 3-point line.
  • The Kings out-rebounded NOLA 46-35
  • Sacramento dished out 21 assists and turned the ball over 20 times (good for 12 Pels points).
  • The Kings made 12 steals in the game.

Pelicans

  • New Orleans posted a 46.1-field goal percentage (41-for-89). They hit 10-of-28 3-point attempts (35.7-percent).
  • The Pelicans converted 17-of-19 free throw attempts.
  • The Pels booked 19 assists and committed 17 turnovers (became 22 Kings points).

Update from Reno

Skal Labissiere scored 29-points, grabbed 17 rebounds and added seven blocks in his start for the Big Horns this week. Look for him to be in Sacramento on Sunday.

Up next

Kings (8-17)

The Kings will return to action on Sunday versus the very talented Toronto Raptors (16-7). The game has an unusual start time as it will tip-off at 12:30 pm.

Pelicans (13-13)

New Orleans wraps up a four-game homestand on Sunday when they host the 76ers.

 

 

 

 

Kings win again surging past the Pelicans 105-99

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Boogie and the Brow look for the rebound Photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings were in a must win situation on Sunday night when they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are also a “Tier 3” team that is trying to break free of the NBA Draft Lottery and make it into the first-round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.

The Kings entered the game with a predicted 69-percent chance of winning the contest with the Pelicans. The Kings had won three of their five previous games. Sacramento is still in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The men in white and purple had a lot on the line.

The Kings (22-32) did not disappoint their fans as they downed the Pelicans (21-34)  105-99. Sacramento repeated their familiar pattern where they under-performed in the first half and excelled in the second half. The Kings have been victorious in four of their last six games.

Where the Kings stand in the Playoff Race

The Kings are currently in 10th place 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers stand in between the two teams one game behind the Nuggets and one-half game ahead of the Kings. All three teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

It was another battle of Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday night

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The premiere match up of the night was at center which featured two former Kentucky Wildcats – DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Davis – “the Brow” is an All-Star starter for the Western Conference and Cousins – “Boogie” is a Western Conference All-Star reserve.

Davis scored a game-high 32 points and made it double-double by adding 10 rebounds. He shot an impressive 11-for-24 from the floor and went a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line in his 40-minutes on the floor.

Cousins led the Kings scoring attack with 28 points and also recorded a double-double by hauling in 14 rebounds. He dished out seven assists. Cousins shot 7-for-14 from the field and went 14-for-16 from the charity stripe.

Stars of the game

Kings

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Collison drives past Solomon Hill Photo: NBAE

Darren Collison gets the star for Sacramento. When the Kings needed someone to step up, Collison was the man. He finished with 20 points (7-for-16 shooting including 2 3-point baskets), eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Collison again played big minutes playing just under 41-minutes in the game.

Pelicans

The star has to go to “the Brow”. The fact is without the presence of Davis and his finesse on the floor the Pelicans are never really in this game. New Orleans is very much like Sacramento. Take their former Kentucky big man out of the lineup and they are a team that is in deep, deep trouble.

Looking into the book

Kings

  • Matt Barnes was important on offense when needed him and then on defense when the situation called for it. Barnes finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists. He also hit 2-of-6 3-point tries.
  • Ben McLemore had an 11 point game with nine of those points coming off three 3-point baskets. He hit on 3-of-5 tries from long range.
  • Arron Afflalo put up 10 points, had two assists and one steal
  • Anthony Tolliver struggled a bit shooting as he scored nine points on nine shots. All of his points came off 3-point buckets.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein – the other big man from Kentucky – scored eight points in 17-minutes on the floor. Cauley-Stein did a pretty good job defending Davis which is no easy task.
  • As a team: the Kings shot 44.9-percent; they went  11-for-31 (35.5-percent) for 3-pointers; they converted 24-of-27 from the free throw line; they out-rebounded the Pels 46-36; Sacramento had 23 assists and made 20 turnovers giving up 16 points to New Orleans.

Pelicans

  • Jrue Holiday had another solid game posting a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists
  • Dante Cunningham scored 14 points hitting on 4-0f-7 from long range. Do not leave that man open in 3-point land.
  • Solomon Hill went 3-for-5 from the field (all 3-point attempts) and scored nine points
  • As a team: the Pels shot 41.5-percent; they went 13-for-31 (41.9-percent) from downtown; NOP had 23 assists and 18 turnovers that resulted in 15 Sacramento points.

Now that’s hitting below the below the belt

The Pelicans’ Buddy Hield was ejected from the game with 2:55 remaining to play in the second quarter after he literally hit DeMarcus Cousins below the below the belt. Cousins had already been assessed a technical foul and any retaliation by Cousins could well have resulted in his ejection. The Kings big man kept his cool. The officials in New Jersey reviewed the play and Hield’s actions were ruled a Flagrant 2 foul which resulted in an automatic ejection.

Who knows how the game would have turned out had Hield still been on the floor in the fourth quarter?

Night of Technical Fouls

nop-cuz-2
Cousins looks to drive the paint Photo: NBAE

The officiating crew felt free to pass out “tech fouls” in the game on Sunday night. They issued three:

  1. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry picked up the first “tech” just 2:11 into the game when he let the officials know he felt DeMarcus Cousins should have been called for a foul on a play that resulted in two points for Sacramento.
  2. Cousins picked up his 17th technical foul of the season with 1:06 to go in the first quarter when he tangled up with Donatas Motiejunas under the Pelicans basket. The play was reviewed to see if it was a flagrant foul which it was ruled not to be. If Cousins is assessed tech foul number 18, he will be suspended for another game under NBA rules since he is over the 16-tech foul limit.
  3. New Orleans was charged with a technical for a 3-second defensive violation in the first quarter.

In this writers opinion, the Gentry call was a quick trigger and the Cousins “tech” is a candidate to be rescinded. Also, the NBA needs to review the use of “the Tech” and decide what its purpose really is in the structure of the game. “The Association” also needs to grasp that fans do not come to an arena to watch refs call tech fouls.

Up next

The Kings will play the first of their two road games in the month of February on Tuesday in Los Angeles when they face the Lakers. This is another must win game for the Kings. The Lakers are a lower level “Tier 3” team that Kings have to beat if they are to jump into the eighth and final playoff slot.

The Pelicans travel to the Valley of the Sun to face the Suns on Monday night.

 

 

Steph Curry sets a NBA record as the Dubs slip past the Pelicans

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- Steph Curry led the Dubs to victory over the New Orleans Pelicans 116-106 Monday night at Oracle Arena, As usual, the Dubs got off to a slow start. The Pelicans held the lead for most of the first period until Steph hit a three-pointer to tie the game at seventeen. Steph hit his third three-pointer to put Golden State ahead 22-19. The Dubs finished the quarter leading 28-24. Steph made three-threes.

The Warriors played extremely well in the second quarter. They ran, they shot, they scored, they played defense, and they rebounded. At one point, they went on a 26-5 run to take twenty-one point lead. However, the Pelicans refused to fold, and they cut the lead to fourteen as they trailed 63-49 at the half. Steph led the Dubs with twenty-three. Klay Thompson added fifteen, and Kevin Durant chipped in with thirteen. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with fifteen. The Pelicans’ bench outscored the Warriors’ bench 22-8. The Dubs shot 53.2% from the floor, and they made eight three-point shots in nineteen attempts. They also scored nineteen fastbreak points in the half.

The third period was an entirely different story. The Dubs went to sleep for almost eight minutes in the third quarter. The Pelicans went on a 19-4 run to take the lead 73-72. The Pelicans, at this point, outshot, outran and outrebounded the Warriors. However, the two-time MVP took over and led the Dubs on a 12-5 run to give them a six-point lead 84-78 at the end of three. At his juncture in the contest, Steph had made ten three-point shots.

The Pelicans refused to quit, and the Dubs had to play well if they wanted to win. Kevin Durant, who did not score a lot in the first three periods of play, came to life and made a couple of key buckets. Steph made three more three-point shots leading Golden State to victory. Steph tied the record of twelve held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall when he hit a three to put the Dubs ahead 106-97. He broke the record on his next shot to increase the lead to twelve 109-97. The Pelicans could not catch up as the Dubs’s defense was strong in the final stanza of the game.

Game Notes- With the win, the Dubs are now 5-2 for the season. They are in second place just one game behind the LA Clippers. As mentioned earlier, Steph Curry set an NBA record with thirteen threes in the game. It was quite a turnaround as he failed to make a single three-point shot in ten attempts last Friday night in Los Angeles. Steph scored over forty points for the third time in his career against New Orleans. Steph finished the night with forty-six. Klay added 24 and Kevin Durant scored 22. Durant has now scored at least twenty points in 71 consecutive games. Draymond Green was outstanding on defense. He scored just two points but he had eleven assists and twelve rebounds. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with thirty-three. E’Twaun Moore had fifteen and Tim Frazier knocked thirteen to go along with his ten assists. The Pelicans, under former Warrior assistant coach, Alvin Gentry fall to 0-7. The Pelicans are missing several key players and hope to get on the winning track when they return.

Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr had this to say about Steph. “Quite a show. Not at all surprising. He comes right back after a bad game and lights it up. I didn’t realize he set the record until I got into the locker room.” Kerr , when talking about the team, remarked ” I liked the effort off the bench. I liked 35 assists. It’s a good number.I thought it was a good win and we’ll get better from this. We’ve got to do a better job of putting it all together” Kerr, responding to a question about Draymond Green said” He’s playing as well as he has in past years. The box score is going to look a little different.” Green’s scoring is down and Draymond responded ” I still approach the game this way. If I’m open, I shoot. I attack, mke plays and rebound. Our offense is different. We got a lot of guys that score with the basketball.”

The Warriors entertain the Dallas Mavericks at the Oracle Arena Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. Former Warrior players Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut will make their first appearences against their former teammates since leaving the club at the end of last season.

 

 

Kevin Durant leads the Warriors to their first win of the year, beat the Pelicans

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant goes for the high percentage points as the Dubs chalk up their first win of 2016-17 against the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night

New Orleans-The Golden State Warriors, led by the stellar play of Kevin Durant, subdued the New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 Friday night in New Orleans. The Dubs, although they led most of the way, could not break away from the Pelicans. The Dubs, however, had an answer for every challenge thrown at them by the Pelicans. Golden State took an early 7-6 lead and kept it until late in the third period when the Pelicans led by a single point 74-73. The Warriors went on a 19-7 run to finish third period leading 92-81. The Pelicans refused to quit. Golden State led by sixteen 103-87 but Anthony Davis and company continued to peck away and closed the gap to six with just 19.4 seconds left in the game.

The Warriors did not play well in the opening game against San Antonio. They were looking to get the offense going behind the Big Three of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry. They also wanted improvement on defense, especially rebounding. They did improve in both those categories but still need to be better.

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson led the Dubs to a 59-50 halftime advantage. Durant scored eighteen and had ten rebounds. Klay Thompson found his shot and knocked down fourteen. Steph Curry, saddled with three personal fouls, added six. Steph picked up the pace in the third period. He drained a couple of three-point shots and had a bucket and a free throw to complete a three-point play the hard way. Kevon Looney entered the game slightly after the mid-point mark of the period and was very effective as the Dubs closed out the period on a 19-7 run. Kevin Durant continued to amaze everyone as he blocked an Anthony Davis shot and the ran the court to make a spectacular dunk. The Dubs worked hard for the win. The biggest lead of the night was sixteen points, and they had to work hard on the defensive end to stop the Pelicans from overtaking them. Golden State wins a tough contest 122-114.

Game Notes. Kevin Durant had a double, double in the game. He scored thirty points and had seventeen rebounds.  Durant has now scored at least twenty points in sixty-six consecutive games. It is the longest streak since Michael Jordan’s sixty-nine in the 1990-91 season. Klay Thompson added twenty-eight, and Steph Curry finished with twenty-three. Za Za Pachulia had a double, double, too. Pachulia scored ten and had eleven rebounds. Draymond Green finished with eight points, and he recorded eleven rebounds, too. The Pelican bench outscored the Warrior bench 39-23.  The good news for Warrior fans was the play of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingstone. They made several key buckets and the second unit played much better than they did against San Antonio. The one sour note was the injury to Patrick McCaw late in the first half. McCaw sprained his left ankle and was helped off the court. The Dubs do not know the extent of the injury at this time.

Anthony Davis led the New Orleans attack with forty-five points and seventeen rebounds. He had ninety-five points in his first two games of the year. New Orleans lost both. Tim Frazier had a career-high twenty-one points to go along with ten assists and six rebounds.Lance Stephenson and Duane Cunningham each scored fifteen, coming off the bench.

After the game, Klay Thompson said: “it felt great to get the first win of the season.” , “I was just trying to be myself” when asked if he was too aggressive in the first half. He  said this about Kevin Durant: “he’s gonna be huge for us all year.”

Dubs’  head coach Steve Kerr was pleased the Dubs had just fourteen turnovers in the game. “We did a good job of taking care of the ball.He added that we had “lapses defensively and (that we have)some things to work on.” “We played hard, but we had some breakdowns when everyone just looked at each other.” It was “more lack of communication that led to the breakdown.” “We are going to get much better. You can see how much work we have ahead. We gotta be smart, tough, and grow.”

The Dubs travel to Phoenix to play the Suns Sunday. Game time is at 3:00 pm