Kings – Jazz Postgame Notes & Quotes

by Charlie O. Mallonee

utah afflalo
Arron Afflalo puts the ball up for the Kings Photo NBAE

If you are Dave Joerger this morning, you are probably having an agony and ecstasy moment over your coffee. The ecstasy is your team played a great game on Sunday versus a very talented playoff bound Utah Jazz squad. The agony is your team let a 16 point lead slip away and you lost in overtime on a tip-in with 1-tenth of a second left on the clock.

Joerger really had a good attitude after the game on Sunday. “It was good. Arron Afflalo, like I said pregame, has really stepped up into the leadership position. I thought he really set the tone for us. I think he made four of his first five, five of his first six. He was aggressive. He did a great job at (defending) Gordon Hayward.

Afflalo scored 17 points shooting 6-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He had four rebounds and three assists. Afflalo was one of seven Kings to score in double figures.

“It was good,” said Afflalo after the game. “I was extremely proud of my teammates. Everybody was engaged on both ends of the court. We played with a purpose to win tonight. It’s going to be a true test of our will to take a tough loss like this and play the team (Denver) tomorrow (Monday) that we’re trying to catch for the eighth spot.”

Garrett Temple returned to the court

utah temple 2
Garrett Temple returned after missing 11 games Photo NBAE

Garrett Temple returned to action for the Kings on Sunday night after missing 11 games with a partially torn left ham string. Temple scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting including two 3-point baskets to go with four assists and three steals.

“Well certainly he has a positive impact,”, said Dave Joerger. “We were better defensively whether he was in there or not. He is certainly a positive defender and a solid positive contributor for sure.”

Willie Cauley-Stein played with intensity

utah wcs 2
Cauley-Stein dunks it over Gobert Photo NBAE

“That was a playoff game for us,” opined Joerger. “We played with playoff intensity. If a guy plays 12 minutes of that, that’s better than four (quarters) in summer leagues where he plays 38 minutes. Summer league, you just get minutes, they keep score and that’s great. This is where you find out where you are as a player and what you need to work on. The intensity of competition is a fantastic experience.

Cauley-Stein put up 15 points while shooting 6-for-12 and grabbing 9 rebounds. “WCS” also had Three assists, two steals and one blocked shot.

The Kings have now lost four in a row

The Kings have now lost four consecutive games and their record has fallen to 25-37 for the season. Sacramento has fallen to 11th place in the Western Conference three games behind Denver in the eighth and final playoff spot. They are tied with the Timberwolves while Portland and Dallas stand in between them and the Nuggets.

Kings (25-37) must face the Nuggets (28-34) Monday night in Denver


The Kings have the tough task of playing the Nuggets in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road at high altitude in Denver. The Nuggets are coming off a loss to the Hornets and are anxious to take advantage of the fact that 8 of their next 11 games at home. projects that the Kings have just a 17-percent chance of winning the game in Denver (ouch!). The second game of a back-to-back on the road coupled with the high altitude seems to the influencing factors. This lopsided prediction is out there despite the fact the Kings are 2-0 versus the Nuggets this season. The second Kings win came after the DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans but that win came in Sacramento.

The Jazz were thrilled to escape Sacramento with the overtime win

“It’s a big lift,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.”I think particularly, Sacramento played well. We made some plays to win the game, but they did a heck of a job and probably deserved to win. I like to think our guys did some good things and we were able to steal one. It gives you a lift. There’s no question about it. With plenty more to go right now, you can’t rest on that any more than you can with getting beat.”

The Jazz also have a back-to-back

The Jazz flew home to Utah where they will host the New Orleans Pelicans in the second game of a back-to-back set. Both teams are coming off wins on Sunday. The Pels picked up their first win with DeMarcus Cousins on the roster by beating the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Utah will be looking to increase their 1.5-game lead over the fifth-place Clippers. The Pelicans are in 13th-place in the Western Conference 3.5-games out of playoff contention.

Kings work as team and earn a big 109-106 win in Charlotte

Cousins drives to the hoop in Charlotte Photo NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings could have easily rolled into Charlotte with their heads hung low after losing a tough game in overtime in Indiana on Friday night. After all, it was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road and no road team wins those games anyway, but that is not what happened on Saturday night.

The Kings came out from the opening tip-off looking like a team that had just finished two days of rest. They ran the court, made crisp passes, looked for the extra pass, sank 3-point baskets and played defense. Literally, the Kings had shaken off the disappointment of losing to the Pacers and were focusing on beating the Hornets.

The Kings did exactly that. They beat the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 on the road. The Hornets came into the game having lost three consecutive games. They desperately were looking for the magic of the home court advantage to work for them and it almost did. What the Hornets did not count on was the new found togetherness that Kings have developed on this road trip that has them playing as a team and not individuals. That makes Sacramento (19-28) a very dangerous opponent.

The Kings have learned how to start games fast and strong. On Saturday, the Kings shot 50-percent from the floor while going 6-for-15 (40-percent) from beyond the 3-point line putting up 52 points on the board in the first half. Sacramento also played tough defense holding the Hornets to 44 points on 42.9-percent shooting. Charlotte hit just 3-of-18 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc which is normally a strong point for them. Their All-Star guard Kemba Walker was limited to six points.

In the third period, the Hornets (23-25) came alive to no one’s surprise. It was Kemba Walker who led the charge scoring 20 of the Hornets 33 points in the quarter. Charlotte shot 66.7-percent from the floor and for 3-pointers. The Charlotte crowd came alive as their team was working their way back into the game. It is also important to note the Kings shot 54.5-percent in the quarter while Cousins and Collison scored 11 points each. Each team scored 33 points in the third period. At the end of 36-minutes, the Kings held an 85-77 lead.

The game took a sudden change of momentum early in the fourth quarter as the Hornets cut the Kings lead to just three points in under just two minutes behind the 3-point shooting of Nicolas Batum and Frank Kaminsky. Sacramento pushed it back to an eight-point lead but then things went downhill.

The Hornets hit five 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter and took the lead in the game with 2:19 remaining on a 3-point field goal by Marvin Williams. The Kings tied the game at 106 each and gained control of the ball with 31-seconds to go in the contest.

Following a Sacramento timeout, the Kings put the ball in the hands of DeMarcus Cousins who drove on the basket from the right wing to make the layup and give his team a two-point lead. With 14-seconds left, the Hornets hopes fell to a 3-point shot by Kaminsky which came up short and was rebounded by Cousins who was fouled. Cousins hit 1-of-2 free throws to give his team the 109-106 victory.

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets
Darren Collison scored 17 points against the Hornets Photo NBAE

Cousins on the win

  • We’re understanding better – we can win by playing together
  • (we’re playing) team oriented defense
  • The “iso” style is out of play
  • The only way we win game is playing together

Who did what in the game


  • DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 35 points and pulled down 18 rebounds to record his 12th consecutive double-double game. Cousins also had four assists and seven of his rebounds came on offense which extended possessions
  • Anthony Tolliver scored 14 points hitting on 4-of-8 shots from long range. Those 3-point baskets seemed crush the Hornets momentum each time. He also grabbed seven rebounds
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played 14-minutes of impressive basketball against the Hornets. He shot 6-for-7 from the floor for 13 points and made his presence known on the floor
  • Other key contributors: Darren Collison 17 points, Arron Afflalo 13 points and 4 assists
  • Team numbers: 51.9-percent Field Goals, 11-for-27 (40.7-percent) 3-pt Field Goals, 27 assists and just 10 turnovers that resulted in just nine Hornet points
Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets
Willie Cauley-Stein had a big game for the Kings Photo NBAE


  • Kemba Walker led the Hornets scoring with 26 points (20 in the third quarter). He did not score any points in the fourth quarter. Seven assists
  • Nicolas Batum put up 19 points that included hitting 3-of-6 for 3-pointers. He also had seven assists
  • Former Sacramento King Spencer Hawes scored 12 points off the bench and grabbed seven rebounds. He also tried to get DeMarcus Cousins ejected from the game (see below)
  • Team numbers: 48-percent Field Goals, 32.4-percent 3-pt FGs, 22-for-24 (91.7-percent) from the free throw line
NBA: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Hornets
All-Star Kemba Walker scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter Photo NBAE

Dave Joerger’s postgame analysis

  • Good NBA game – both teams played hard
  • We’ve been playing much better lately and we showed some resiliency tonight coming back on the second night of a back-to-back
  • Kemba Walker was fantastic especially in the third quarter
  • We’re getting better at the little things-taking care of the ball
  • We had (only) three turnovers in the second half which has been a problem for us. We executed there

Oh no – Tech foul number 13

DeMarcus Cousins and Spencer Hawes were both assessed a technical foul with three minutes to go in the first half of the game. Cousins had just made a layup and was fouled by Hawes. After the foul, there were a few words and very (VERY) minor pushes with one hand from each player. It was really a nothing moment that happens in virtually every NBA game nightly.

Neither player ( and believe me when I say that I am no fan of Hawes ) deserved to be hit with a tech foul. A verbal warning from the referee would have been more than sufficient.

Being the agitator that he is – Hawes kept trying to get under Cousins skin in the second half because a second technical would have meant an automatic ejection. To Cousins credit, he just ignored Hawes.

For Cousins, this is his 13th technical foul of the season. When he reaches 16, it is an automatic one-game suspension with another one-game suspension for each two tech fouls after that. The Kings cannot afford to be without Cousins for one quarter let alone for an entire game.

I would not be surprised to see this technical reversed because it was really too much – too soon for what was happening between the players.

Up next on the schedule

The Kings travel to Philadelphia on Sunday where they will play the Sixers on Monday to make up the game that was postponed on November 30 due to a wet court. The 76ers play the Bulls in Chicago on Sunday. Joel Embiid will not travel to Chicago so there is anticipation he will be available to play against the Kings on Monday. It will be a 4 p.m. tipoff on the West Coast.

The Hornets will head out on the road to play Portland on Tuesday.


Kings lose a heartbreaker in Chicago 102-99; SAC has now lost five in a row


The victim of Cousins wrath after the loss in Chicago Photo: Sean Highkin TheAthleticChi

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls came into the game in Chicago on Saturday night looking to end losing streaks. The Kings had lost four games in a row and the Bulls had lost two consecutive games. Both teams had been beaten soundly on Friday night.

The Kings and Bulls played hard and gave their full 48-minute efforts in a game that ended with a controversial call – if you are a Sacramento fan. When the final buzzer sounded, the Bulls (22-23) had won the game 102-99 and ended their losing streak. The Kings (16-27) went to their locker room frustrated and the owners of a five-game losing streak – their longest of the season.

You call that a foul?

With 15-seconds on the clock and the game tied at 99-99, Dwyane Wade was able to steal the ball from the Kings Garrett Temple and start a fast break for the basket. Wade went up for an uncontested dunk and hit the back of the iron. DeMarcus Cousins was trailing Wade and may (emphasis on may) have brushed Wade on his way down after missing the dunk. The officials blew the whistle and called a foul on Cousins. Basically, the referees could not believe that superstar guard would miss the breakaway slam unless he was fouled.

Multiple video replays showed that there was no foul on the play but the play was not eligible for video review. The call stood. Wade made 1-of-2 free throws and the Bulls took a 100-99 lead.

Dwyane Wade scored 30 points against the Kings Photo: NBAE

The final 14-seconds

The Kings began working a play following a timeout when Taj Gibson was able to reach in and steal the ball from Cousins. The Bulls were able to score when Michael Carter-Williams put the ball through the hoop on an Alley Oop layup with an assist from Wade that gave the Bulls a 102-99 lead.

Garrett Temple brought the ball into the frontcourt quickly for the Kings and put up a 41-foot desperation shot that banged off the rim as the buzzer sounded. The game ended with the Bulls winning 102-99.

DeMarcus Cousins was a one-man wrecking crew

Cousins scored a game-high 42 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to record his 23rd double-double game of the season. Cousins scored those 42 points on just 28 shots. He converted 8-of-9 free throws and hit 2-of-7 shots from 3-point range. He sank those 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the game. Cousins had three assists and two blocked shots while committing only two turnovers in the contest. The Kings big man was their only player to score in double figures in the game.

Sacramento Kings v Chicago Bulls
Cousins left it all on the court in Chicago Photo: NBAE

To no one’s surprise it was the Wade and Butler show for the Bulls

Dwyane Wade led the Bulls scoring attack with 30 points. Wade did not have a great night shooting as he went 9-for-20 from the field. He did go an impressive 12-for-15 from the free throw line. Wade also added four assists, four blocked shots and three steals in the game. The superstar guard sent out a tweet to Bulls fans apologizing for their poor play in Atlanta on Friday night. Wade has nothing to apologize for after the way he played against the Kings on Saturday night.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and dished out seven assists against the Kings. He spent most of the game acting as the playmaker. Butler shot 6-for-14 from the floor and was a perfect 10-for-10 from free throw line. Butler and Wade went a combined 22-for-25 from the charity stripe.

Coach Joerger’s postgame analysis

  • Good game
  • Really proud of our guys
  • Thought we played our tails off for 48-minutes
  • (team) made major progress
  • (We have to) keep working hard; we’re going to figure it out; work it out
  • DeMarcus had a heck of a game
  • (In this game) Too much Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler
  • On the foul call on Cousins as Wade missed the dunk: Live ball – three on one

Kings needed another double figured scorer

If one other Kings player had scored in double figures, the final outcome might have been different. Nine other players participated in the game besides Cousins but none scored in double figures. Afflalo posted nine points and Collison, Temple and Lawson each scored eight points. With Rudy Gay sidelined for the rest of the season, one of the Sacramento players has to step up and become a double-figure scorer. More 3-point production could help that situation.

Where’s Rondo?

Rajon Rondo’s time in the Windy City may be coming to a close. Rondo played just six-minutes against the Kings on Saturday distributing four assists and scoring no points. The point guard who was so productive in Sacramento is finding it rough sledding in Chicago. Do not be surprised if Rondo is wearing a different uniform by the trade deadline in February because his time with the Bulls seems to be over.

Up next on the schedule

The Kings travel to Detroit where they will play the Pistons on Monday night. The Kings last win came over Detroit in Sacramento. The Kings will be looking to pick up their first win on the eight-game road trip versus the Pistons.

The Bulls will return to action on Tuesday in Orlando against the Magic.

Kings battle hard again but come up short against the Thunder 122-118

Westbrook en route to 20th triple-double Photo: Kelley L Cox USA Today Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento — Stop me if you have heard this before. “Tough night. Tough game to watch. The guys (Kings) are playing as hard as they can,” Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger after watching his team lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-118. The Kings actually cut the Thunder lead to just two points with 11-seconds to go in the game, but there was not enough time left to finish the potential comeback.

The Kings were down by 12 points with 2-minutes remaining in the game and it felt like things were over at that point. Three 3-point baskets by Tolliver, Collison and Gay along with three Oklahoma City turnovers allowed Sacramento to work their way back into the game. Literally, the Kings waited 60-seconds to long to start their comeback and have enough time to finish it with a positive outcome.

The Kings are playing hard. They are not giving up. They just do not have enough “____________” (fill in the blank with your own opinion because there are so many and no one idea seems to be the right one at this moment). There can be no doubt that something is missing. Be assured the Kings want to fix it. At this point, it must not be that easy to fix or the organization would do it immediately.

No team wants to be in playoff contention – and the Kings are still in ninth place one-game back of Portland even after this loss – with a record of 1-5 on a seven-game homestand. The Kings management, coaching staff and players want to fix whatever is wrong. At this point, they just have not been able to do so successfully.

What will the Kings do next? They have a multitude of options so predicting the next move is very difficult despite whatever anyone is saying. The one thing that is known at this point is the Kings want that eighth spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
Dave Joerger draws up a play for the Kings versus the Thunder Photo: NBAE

It was a long game on Sunday night

Early in his postgame comments, Kings head coach Dave Joerger talked about what a long game it was on Sunday night. In fact, Joerger said it felt like game went on for hours.

  • There were 57 personal fouls committed by both teams
  • A total of 81 free throws were attempted
  • Four technical fouls were assessed

Add in timeouts, arguments by coaches and players plus video reviews and it was a long night for everyone

Stars of the game

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
Cousins goes to the basket against the Thunder Photo: NBAE
  • Russell Westbrook – it did not look like the triple-double machine would pull off another impressive stat night early in the game. The OKC star guard had just 11 points, four rebounds and six assists at the half. By the time game ended, Westbrook had posted his 20th triple-double of the season by scoring 36 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. The man is truly a phenomena.
  • DeMarcus Cousins – the Kings center had a big night as he scored 31 points for his team and made it a double-double game by hauling in 11 rebounds (6 offensive). He also had seven assists. It was not a great shooting night as he went 8-for-20 from the floor but Cousins made up for it from the free throw line by hitting 14-of-17 from the stripe.


  • Darren Collison – the point guard had just two points in the first half of the game and finished the game with 21 points. He shot 7-for-9 from the floor including going 2-for-3 from 3-point range. Collison also took advantage of the charity stripe going 5-for-6 from the free throw line. He also posted two assists and two steals.
  • Enes Kanter – he is an easy selection for the Thunder. When Steven Adams went down due to injury, Kanter picked up the slack. Kanter scored a season-high 29 against the Kings hitting 10-of-18 shots. He also recorded a double-double by pulling down 12 rebounds.

Other featured players

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay brings the ball up the floor versus the Thunder Photo: NBAE
  • Kings – Rudy Gay 21 points and 10 rebounds, Anthony Tolliver 10 points, Garrett Temple 8, Matt Barnes 7 points and 8 rebounds, Arron Afflalo 7 points
  • Thunder – Victor Oladipo 23 points shooting 7-for-14, Alex Abrines 13 points and Steven Adams 6 points and 4 rebounds in just 19-minutes before being injured

Spotlight on stats

  • Points in the Paint: Thunder 56 Kings 46
  • 2nd chance points: Kings 17 Thunder 14
  • Fast break points: Thunder 25 Kings 9
  • Turnovers: Kings 22 (23 pts for OKC) Thunder 19 (28 pts for SAC)
  • Rebounds: Kings 44 (14 offensive) Thunder 44 (17 offensive)

Injury update

  • Steven Adams, OKC Thunder – Adams went down after battling for a rebound at the 10:48 mark of the third quarter. He left the court and did not return to the game. Adams hit his head on the floor and was experiencing concussion-like symptoms. He will be evaluated on Monday to determine if he must enter the NBA concussion protocol program.

Up next on the schedule

Kings – Sacramento closes out the seven-game homestand versus the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento is just 1-5 on the current homestand and would like to close it out on a positive note before heading out on a brutal road trip. The Kings will play eight games over 13 days on the road and will not be back in Sacramento until February.

Thunder – Oklahoma City has the second game of a back-to-back set on Monday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers. The Thunder will then head back to the Bay Area on Wednesday night to take on Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors in a nationally televised game.

Kings-Raptors postgame notes page 2

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay jams home the final Kings points of the game on Sunday night Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

NBA Crew Chief Mike Callahan answers questions on the last 2.4-seconds of the Kings vs Raptors game

Dave Joerger said no small lineup and then said yes

In his pregame press conference, Kings head coach Dave Joerger said he was not sure that a “small ball” lineup was going to happen against the Raptors. Joerger indicated he was really upset after the game on Friday and may have spoken to quickly.

Then … we were waiting for the starting lineups to be announced. They are usually brought to the press tables approximately 20 minutes before the start of the game. We were still waiting for the lineups when the National Anthem was performed.

Just before the player introductions, we received the official starters sheet. Coach Joerger decided to go small. Cousins slid into the number five slot while Gay and Matt Barnes took over the forward positions. Joerger went with twin point guards – Ty Lawson and Darren Collison to start the contest.

The small lineup played fast but was not able to overcome the four to five point lead the Raptors had established. At the 6:23 mark, Joerger switched things up and inserted center Kosta Koufos for Lawson.

The Kings responded to the new configuration and tied the score. Then, the “2 bigs” unit started establishing a lead that grew as large as 10 points. At the end of the first period, Sacramento was up 36-28.

The Kings had a tough second quarter without Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins picked up two personal fouls in the first quarter which was obviously part of the Raptors plan to neutralize the Kings star center. With 8:54 to go in the second, Joerger felt like he had to get Cousins back on the floor. At 8:34 on the clock, Cousins was headed back to the bench having picked up his third personal foul.

Willie Cauley-Stein came into the game for Cousins and the second-year center went to school. He had the task of trying to defend Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas. At seven feet and a solid 265 pounds, the very experienced Valanciunas was just too much for Cauley-Stein to handle by himself.The Toronto center scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot during Cauley-Stein’s time on the floor.

Kosta Koufos reentered the game and was able to slow down Valanciunas while Rudy Gay and Arron Afflalo went to work scoring points. The Kings were able to cut the Toronto lead to five – 63 to 58 – at the half.

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Jonas Valanciunas Photo Rocky Widner NBAE

Kings got small again in the third quarter

Dave Joerger returned to his “small” starting lineup to start the third period. The small Kings kept the game with five points but were unable to cut into the Raptors lead.

At 7:17, the Kings returned to the “2 bigs” lineup when Koufous subbed back into the game. The presence of Cousins and Koufos made Toronto’s Valanciunas much less effective.

Sacramento – led by a quick five points from Matt Barnes – began to score points. First, they tied the score. Then, Cousins converted a layup and the Kings took the lead. Sacramento scored the final four points of the quarter. At the end of three quarters, the Kings held the lead 86-81.

The fourth quarter lacked execution

Both teams shot just 25-percent from the floor in the final period. Toronto scored 18 points and the Kings 16 points in the quarter. Rudy Gay had the hot hand for the Kings shooting 3-for-5 and scoring seven points including the crucial final two points of the game for Sacramento.

Kyle Lowry tried to will the Raptors back into the game single handedly. He scored nine points, hauled in five defensive rebounds and dished out two assists in the final 12-minutes.

Toronto committed seven turnovers that created seven points for the Kings while Sacramento turned the ball over just three times which yielded three points for the Raptors.

Each team had four starters with 30 or more minutes of playing time in the game.

Joerger went deep into the bench

After having played a shorter rotation in several games, the Kings  used 11 players against the Raptors. Only Omri Casspi and Gerorgios Papagiannis did not play. Coach Joerger was very proud of his team and their effort.

A little rest and some practice time

The Kings will get some time to rest and get in some practice as they will not play again until Wednesday night when they will host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set after facing the Lakers on Tuesday night in LA.




Kings win a thriller over the Raptors 102-99

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Raptors vs Kings Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

The Sacramento Kings have done the improbable by defeating the mighty Toronto Raptors 102-99 on Sunday at home to complete the season swept for the second consecutive season.

The win broke up a Sacramento four-game losing streak. Ironically, the Kings victory earlier in the month in Toronto also ended a four-game losing skid.

It is too early in the season to label it a “must win” game, but it was a “we need to win soon” game. The Kings have two games remaining on this homestand with Oklahoma City and Houston – two teams that are playing good basketball right now. The last thing the Kings wanted to do was go winless on a five-game homestand.

This game had one of the best endings for Kings fans in some time. If you are a Raptors fan, you do not share that opinion. In fact, you feel your team got “hosed”.

The final 101-seconds were wild

Darren Collison stole the ball from Patrick Patterson of the Raptors. Collison pushed the ball up the floor. He then passed the ball to Barnes at the top of the key. Barnes passed back to Collison who found the trailer Rudy Gay who put the ball away with commanding dunk.

Following a series of missed shots by both teams, Kyle Lowry was fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer by Darren Collison. Lowry hit the first two charity shots but missed the third and Cousins pulled down the rebound.

Following a 20-second timeout, the Kings were unable to make a basket after playing keep away and committed a shot clock violation.

With 2.4-seconds left is when all the fun began.

The final 2.4-seconds felt the final five-minutes … oh they were!

Following the shot clock violation, the Raptors took a 20-second timeout which meant they would inbound the ball in the frontcourt. Toronto had to have a 3-point basket to tie the game and force an overtime session.

DeMarre Carroll was the player who was selected to inbound the ball. DeMarcus Cousins was put on Carroll to defend against the inbound pass. At the whistle, Carroll threw the inbounds pass to Terrence Ross. The ball hit the floor before Ross picked it up. Ross then took a 30-foot shot that was a beautiful “swish” shot for a game-tying 3-pointer. The ball clearly went through the basket before the red light lit up around the backboard.

DeMarcus Cousins immediately indicated to anyone who would listen that he had tipped the inbounds pass. If he did, the clock should have started then and Ross’ shot may have come too late to count.

Because it was under two minutes, the play went to an automatic video review to the NBA Video Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey for the final decision. After a complete review, the final decision was Cousins did indeed deflect the ball which means the clock started at the point. Running the clock from that point Ross’ shot came after time had expired, so the basket did not count. Kings win the game 102-99.

Toronto head coach Dwane Casey was incredibly upset with the officials and the decision. However, no one would expect him to be happy to have a potential tie game taken away from his team.

Important numbers for the Kings

  • Rudy Gay was the Kings high-scorer with 23 points and needed just 13 shots to tally those points. It was a nice comeback after having to two rough games.
  • DeMarcus Cousins recorded another double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) despite missing considerable minutes in the first half with foul trouble
  • Darren Collison put up 15 points and added nine assists in a very active game for the point guard
  • Arron Afflalo scored 14 points in 19 minutes coming off the bench
  • The lead changed 11 times in the game
  • This game was tied 13 times
  • The Kings shot 40.7-percent (11-for-27) from 3-point land
  • Sacramento held DeMar DeRozan – the NBA’s leading scorer – to just 12 points
Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Kyle Lowry and Darren Collison Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

Key stats for the Raptors 

  • Kyle Lowry led the Raptors scoring effort with 25 points. He went 9-for-10 from the free throw line
  • Center Jonas Valanciunas – who did not play against the Kings in Toronto – put up 23 and hauled in 14 rebounds for the double-double in 37 minutes of playing time
  • DeMarre Carroll hit for 17 points to make 4-0f-5 starters in double figures
  • The Raptors shot 91.7-percent (22-for-24) from the free throw line

Up next

The Kings are off until Wednesday when they will host Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Raptors have the back-end of a back-to-back on the road tomorrow night in Los Angeles versus the Clippers.



Kings Countdown: “Small ball” arrives for the Raptors on Sunday in Sac

by Charlie O. Mallonee


Kings head coach Dave Joerger has seen enough

“I’ve seen enough.We’re going to play small. DeMarcus is going to play center. I don’t know who else will play with him. It just gives us more zip, more life, more experience. That’s not any detriment to anyone else or what they’ve done.” That quote is from Dave Joerger’s postgame press conference on Friday night after the Kings lost to the Clippers 121-115.

After watching his team being blown off the court in the first half by the Clippers, Joerger shook up his lineup in the second half by going small with Cousins at the five, Gay at forward and three guards – Lawson, Afflalo and Collison. The result was improved shooting percentage, higher point production and better defense.

Kings had lost four in a row the last time they played Toronto

Sacramento faced the Raptors in Toronto at the end of a five-game/seven-day road trip that had seen the Kings lose four consecutive games. Expectations were very low for the Kings chances after they had been dominated by the Bucks in Milwaukee the night before.

To everyone’s surprise – especially the Raptors – the Kings played a strong game led by Rudy Gay’s 23 points and DeMarcus Cousins double-double (22 points, 14 rebounds) to defeat Toronto 96-91.

The Sacramento defense was as intense as it had been all season in that game in Toronto. The Kings held DeMar DeRozan under 30 points for the first time in the season. He had scored 30-plus points in the five consecutive games to start the season.

Kings can sweep the series for the second consecutive year

Sacramento swept the season series in 2015-16. Now, the Kings have the opportunity to do that again after winning the first game in Toronto.

The Raptors are a Tier-1 team which means they are definitely a playoff team that has chance to make it to the NBA Finals. They made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season where they lost to the eventual NBA Champions – the Cleveland Cavaliers. projects the Raptors as being the number two seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season with a 20-percent chance of being the top seed.

The Kings are still a Tier-3 team which means they basically have no chance of making the playoffs and will be a lottery team again. FiveThirtyEight currently projects the Kings have a 12-percent chance of becoming a playoff team.

Toronto beat the Nuggets 113-111 in OT on Friday night on the road in Denver

The Raptors Terrance Ross hit a 3-pointer with 37.6 seconds to go in the game and Emmanuel Mudiay missed from halfcourt as time ran out and Toronto won in overtime 113-111. DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points for the 10th time in 12 games this season for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry posted a double-double by scoring 18 points and dishing out 13 assists for Toronto in the contest.

Toronto Raptors v Denver Nuggets

The Raptors aren’t afraid of the road

Toronto (8-4) is 4-1 on the this season. The Raptors will not be intimidated just because they are coming into a new arena in Sacramento. Evidently, the Raptors don’t understand that they are supposed to have a 60-percent chance of losing because they are the visitors.

The key to winning is to stop DeRozan

DeRozan is currently the leading scorer in the NBA at 33.0 points per game. He is shooting 50.3-percent from field and leads all players with 145 field goals.

The Kings will also have to neutralize Jonas Valanciunas

Valanciunas did not play in the game in Toronto due to injury. He scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Denver game Friday night. Valanciunas ranks seventh with a field goal percentage of 57.8-percentage.

Toronto Raptors v Denver Nuggets

For entertainment purposes only predicts the Raptors have a 63-percent of winning the game on the Sunday night in Sacramento. They also say take Toronto minus 3.5 points.

The sports books show the game going to Toronto minus 1 to 3.5 points. The over/under is a consistent 209.5 points.

Kings put up a fight but the Clippers win 121-115

by Charlie O. Mallonee

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
J.J. Redick fires away Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

The Clippers are now 6-0 on the road but they almost blew this win

The Los Angeles Clippers improved their record to 11-2 on the season with a 121-115 win over the Kings in Sacramento on Friday night. At one point in the first half, Los Angeles had a 26-point lead. They held a 19-point lead after three quarters were in the books.

The Kings outscored the Clippers 30-17 in fourth quarter led by Matt Barnes and his 10 points that came from his perfect 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. DeMarcus Cousins added seven points, Ty Lawson put up five, Garrett Temple four, Anthony Tolliver three and Rudy Gay one point.

Sacramento cut the Clippers lead to two points with 2:04 to go in the game, but that was as close as they would come to retaking the lead. Los Angeles scored the final four points of the game on a dunk by DeAndre Jordan and two free throws from Chris Paul.

The Kings changed the the lineup in the third quarter which changed the game

Dave Joerger went “small” to start the second half moving Cousins to center, keeping Gay at forward and starting three guards – Lawson, Afflalo and Collison. Joerger felt the lineup change had a profound affect on his team’s pick and roll execution. He also felt the defense improved.

The Kings team shooting percentage improved to 52.9-percent (9-for-17) in the third period as they scored 31 points.

The Clippers scored 31 points as well but their shooting percentage fell to 42.9-percent as the Kings tightened up their defense.

Los Angeles still had a 19 point lead – 104 to 85 – at the end of three quarters.

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
Ty Lawson Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

The Clippers started the game on fire

Los Angeles started the game aggressively with Blake Griffin scoring 15 points and J.J. Redick adding 14 of his own. Griffin went to the free throw line eight times and converted seven times. Redick was a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point land. The Clippers shot 70-percent as a team in the first quarter.

The Clippers put up 33 points in the second quarter paced by the 20 points scored by the second unit coming off the bench. Paul Pierce – who has been used sparingly – even made an appearance scoring six points. As a team, they shot 70.6-percent from the floor and 85.7-percent (6-for-7) from 3-point range.

The Kings improved their lot in the second period by scoring 30 points. DeMarcus Cousins scored 15 points in seven minutes on the floor to keep the game relatively close.

The Clippers held a 19 point lead – 73 to 54 – over the Kings at the half.

To no one’s surprise Cousins had another monster game

The Kings superstar scored 38 points in 36 minutes of playing time on Friday night. He also posted another double-double as he pulled down 13 rebounds in the game. The amazing big man also had seven assists and three steals.

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

Lawson, Collison and Barnes also came up big

Ty Lawson played 36-minutes against the Clippers and scored 18 points, dished out eight assists and hauled in seven rebounds. His point guard counterpart – Darren Collison – played 32-minutes putting up 16 points shooting 7-for-11 (one 3-pointer) from the floor.

Matt Barnes came off the bench and played 30-minutes for the Kings scoring 15 points and recording seven rebounds. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Coach Dave Joerger on the Kings performance

“I was proud of our guys. We came out and battled and got after it and we competed. I thought we had a lot of open shots – didn’t knock some down that could’ve really put it over the edge there late in the third quarter and then into the fourth quarter. But we didn’t put out heads down. We competed and I’m really proud of guys tonight.”

The Kings are going to go small

“I’m going to play small,” declared Kings head coach Dave Joerger after the game. “DeMarcus (Cousins) is going to play center. I don’t know who else is going to play with him. It just gives us more zip, more life, more experience. That’s not any detriment to anyone else for what they’ve done. Of course in four or five games, I’ll probably go back.”

It was the usual suspects doing the job for the Clippers on Friday night

Blake Griffin was the Clippers leading scorer with 29 points. He shot 7-for-15 from floor and was an impressive 15-of-16 from the free throw line.

J.J. Redick made rain like usual. 18 of his 26 points came off 3-point baskets. He was 6-for-8 from long range.

DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double scoring 16 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. His free throw shooting did not come into play as the big man did not go to the foul line once in the game.

Chris Paul also had a double-double for the Clippers. The star point guard put up 11 points and handed out 12 assists.

Austin Rivers was the key man off the bench for LAC adding 12 points and four assists.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on how the Kings got back into the game

“Us! I thought that was more us. I give them credit. Coach (Joerger) went small and they got more patient in the game. They scored every time down it felt like and then we stopped offensively. We (started) going in North Carolina four corner stall, I felt like. You’re always happy to win the game, but we want to be better that … First half was beautiful basketball. It was a clinic; you couldn’t have played any better. Defensively is where it started and then in the second half we decided we were going to trade baskets with them.”

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
DeAndre Jordan dunks the ball Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

What’s coming up

The Clippers flew back to Los Angeles where they will host the Chicago Bulls (8-4) on Saturday night at the Staples Center.

The Kings will host the Toronto Raptors (8-4) on Sunday night at 6:00 PM at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.


Kings triumph in Toronto 96-91

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors
Photo credit:Tom Szczerbowski USA Today

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Kings victorious in final game of road trip 

The Sacramento Kings bounced back from playing one of their worst games of the season on Saturday in Milwaukee to playing one of their best games of the year on Sunday in Toronto to defeat the Raptors 96-91. Toronto (4-2) had won three consecutive games. The Kings (3-5) had lost four games in a row.

The Kings have played what has been rated the toughest schedule so far this season in the NBA. Five games in seven nights on the road in the Eastern Conference traveling from Miami to Toronto is brutal. It is also the reality of playing in the NBA. Every team has stretches in their schedules like this and to be successful a team has to deal with the difficulties.

The Kings found a way to deal with best team they had to face on this road trip by stepping up their defense and shortening the rotation off the bench. Head coach Dave Joerger used just nine players off his bench on Sunday night and his veteran players came through for him with the extended playing time – especially on defense.

The Kings held the hot shooting Raptors to just 35.7-percent (30-for-84) from the floor. The Toronto guard tandem of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry entered the contest averaging 53 points combined per game. The Sacramento defense held them to just 38 combined points on Sunday night.

DeRozan had scored at least 30 points in each of Toronto’s five games this year. The Kings held him to just 23 points.

The Sacramento Kings won on Sunday because of their defense. It has been awhile since you have read those words.

It’s deja vu all over again

The Kings swept the two -game series with the Raptors last season. The Kings won 107-101 in Sacramento behind DeMarcus Cousins 36 points and 10 rebounds. The Kings downed the Raptors in Toronto 104-94 when they had six players score in double figures.

The Kings will have a chance to complete the sweep this season on Sunday November 20 when the Raptors will visit the Golden 1 Center.

Kings dominate the paint

Toronto was without starting center Jonas Valanciunas who sat out because of a left knee contusion. That meant the Raptors 2016 first-round draft pick Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira who the Raptors have been developing overseas and in the D-League since 2011 had to play the five spot. Poeltl looked like a rookie and eventually fouled out of the game. Nogueria who was seeing his first action of the season after being out because of a sprained ankle looked very good. It is easy to see why Toronto has invested in his development.

The Kings dominated the paint outscoring the Raptors 52-30. Sacramento also out-rebounded Toronto 47-43.

Top performers

Rudy Gay led the Kings scoring attack with 23 points. Gay missed the game in Milwaukee with sore ribs. He played the game in Toronto with his ribs wrapped which did affect his shooting as he went 9-for-19 from the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins posted another double-double game with 22 points and 14 rebounds to go with four assists. Cousins was much more effective from out on the high post than down low under the basket. When he would drive the lane, Cousins was virtually unstoppable.

Ty Lawson was very good on the point dishing out 11 assists and adding five points. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo scored 12 points off just eight shots.

Matt Barnes was a force on defense and scored eight points plus grabbed 10 rebounds. Garrett Temple impacted the game with presence scoring eight points to go with a steal and a blocked shot.

DeRozan led the Raptors in scoring with 23 points but went 7-for-20 shooting. Lowry had 10 assists. Nogueia was the Raptors leading rebounder with five.

Dave Joerger was a happy man after the game

In the postgame press conference Joerger said:

  • He was really proud of his guys and how they responded in a back-to-back game
  • They (the Kings) get after people defensively
  • We had seven guys with two or more rebounds
  • We kept the turnovers down (the Kings had 11 turnovers and gave up just two points off those turnovers)
  • We had seven stops in a row with under 2:30 to play
  • A win like this gives you confidence
  • Rudy (Gay) gave us a big boost

What’s coming up

The Kings have a long flight home and then must get ready to face the New Orleans Pelicans (0-6) on Tuesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento then has the Lakers (3-3) at home on Thursday night before heading back out on the road.

The Raptors hit the road and will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. They then travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Friday night.

Kings to sign free agent shooting guard Arron Afflalo

Afflalo Knicks

by Charlie O. Mallonee

There are multiple reports that the Sacramento Kings have made their first free agent signing by convincing veteran shooting guard Arron Afflalo to sign a two-year contract. The news of the deal was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical and confirmed by Sam Amick of USA Today – both credible sources. The deal is worth a reported $25 million.

Afflalo spent last season with the lowly New York Knicks. He averaged 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 33.4 minutes per game for the Knicks. Afflalo shot 44.3-percent from floor and 38.3-percent from 3-point range. He shoots 84-percent from the free throw line.

The Kings will be the sixth team that Afflalo has played for in his nine seasons in the NBA. He has also played for Detroit, Denver, Orlando, Portland and New York. Afflalo was a first-round pick (27th overall) of the Detroit Pistons in 2007 NBA Draft out UCLA. He played his high school basketball at Centennial in Compton, California.

What are the Kings getting in Afflalo? He is a solid, mid-range shooting guard that has played in situations where you have to patiently wait for your opportunity to take shots. When you play with Carmelo Anthony and Prozingis, you know that you are going to be at least the third option in the offense.

That is going to be the case in Sacramento as well. The offense runs through DeMarcus Cousins. All other players get involved only as necessary. Afflalo will have to adjust to that reality.

The Kings missed many scoring opportunities last season by not being able to convert mid-range jump shots especially off offensive rebounds. Afflalo with his shooting skills should be able to be of real help with that problem. He has not been a big 3-point shooter averaging just under four attempts and 1.3 conversions per game.

The signing of Afflalo probably ends the pursuit of Dion Waiters, but it does not mean the Kings are done looking for another shooting guard. No one would be surprised to be surprised to see current shooting guard Ben McLemore move via trade before the season begins.

McLemore who has been a starter for the Kings who has never lived up to the expectations the team had placed on him. Frankly, he was probably rushed into a starting role before he was ready. McLemore is also another victim of what has been the coaching chaos that has surrounded the team since he was drafted. Dave Joerger is McLemore’s fourth coach in four years with the Kings. The best thing for McLemore might be a change of scenery.

If McLemore moves on, the Kings need to find a shooting guard who can be a sixth man that can come off the bench and fire up the second unit with some quick scores. A guard who can hit some 3-point baskets would be ideal.

Sacramento does have Malachi Richardson coming from Charlotte in exchange for Marco Belinelli. He is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, but it would be nice to be able to work him into the offense slowly rather than just toss him into the fire.

Rondo Update: The possibility of Rondo remaining with the Kings is still a reality but rumors are circulating that the Kings have cooled on the idea of keeping the talented point guard. It is now being reported that the Chicago Bulls are showing interest in Rondo. The Kings will probably not participate in a bidding war.