Kings falter in second half, lose to Nets 123-94

Photo credit: @SacramentoKings

By Jessica Kwong

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Sacramento Kings were in rhythm in the first half to beat the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and win their third straight game, but fell apart in the second half to lose 123-94. 

“It was a tough game for us,” Kings head coach Dave Joerger said postgame. “I thought we had a nice rhythm in the first half. We made a lot of mistakes in the first half but we were making some shots.”

Buddy Hield scored a triple for the Kings to start but the team played poor defense, allowing the Nets to get off with a 14-7 lead with 12 of those points coming in the paint. Brooklyn’s young star D’Angelo Russell made a triple to put the Nets up 26-20 with a minute to go. Bogdan Bogdanovic made a driving shot but Russell hit another three-pointer to put the Nets up 29-23 to end the quarter. 

Sacramento had a solid second quarter offensively, scoring 37 points. 

Russell hit another three-point jump shot, but Justin Jackson answered with a triple of his own and Bogdanovic made a pulp shot to tie the game at 32 a few minutes into the quarter. Then Yogi Ferrell made a triple to give the Kings a 35-32 lead. 

Brooklyn took a one-point lead halfway through the quarter when Alan Williams made a slam dunk. Bogdanovic followed up with a jump shot and the teams went back and forth with the lead until the final minutes. Buddy Hield made a triple to give the Kings a 60-55 lead to end the half. 

“The last three, four minutes of the second quarter we were much better defensively and we just didn’t come out with that same intensity in the second half,” Joerger said.

He said the game started to get away from the Kings “about three minutes into the third quarter.”

Russell, who was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, made a pullup shot, then stole the ball, missed and running layup but rebounded and made a triple to put the Nets up 66-64. Sacramento called a timeout with just over 9 minutes left in the quarter.

It didn’t help much. At the halfway mark, the Nets were up 77-70 and seemed to have more hustle. By the two-minute mark, Brooklyn extended their lead to 88-78. Harry Giles III made a cutting layup but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made a cutting dunk to give the Nets a 93-85 lead at the end of the third. 

Sacramento failed to regroup in the fourth. A minute in, DeMarre Carroll made three-point jump shot to boost the Nets to 98-85, a 13-point and biggest lead of the game. The Kings took a timeout. Spencer Dinwiddie made a running layup, putting Brooklyn up 100-87 with 10 minutes left to play.

The Kings were unable to cut the deficit to single digits for the remainder of the game, instead trailing up to 29 points when the game ended.   

“It was a blow-by, a backdoor, a couple turnovers and Brooklyn’s in a really nice rhythm right now,” Joerger said. “They’ve got guys making shots, but they put it on the deck and they get to the rim. They’re playing really well and they’re difficult to defend, so hats off to them.”

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said he was most proud of his team’s “excellent” defense in the second half.

“I thought TG’s (Treveon Graham) job on Buddy Hield was fantastic,” Atkinson said. “I don’t think he scored in the second half. He was a real concern for us but great job on him and great defensive performance.”

Bogdanovic scored a team-leading 22 points, Justin Jackson had 14 points, Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and Hield had 11 points. Jackson said he appreciated time to play with the starters. 

“For him to feel confident enough to put me out there on the floor, for one, helps a lot,” Jackson said of Joerger. “For him to put me in different types of situations is definitely big because then I know I can just go out there and play because then I know he has the confidence in me.”

Sacramento is now 24-23 and 10th in the Western Conference. They continue their road trip on Tuesday and face the Toronto Raptors (35-13). Tipoff is at 4 p.m. PST.

Cal Basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Cancelation of Thursday’s game gives Cal chance to breath for next game Monday in Brooklyn

photo by Outside of Haas Pavilion on Thursday afternoon after it was announced that the gym was infiltrated by smokey air caused by the Paradise Camp Fires giving Berkeley a 240 AIQ rating well over NCAA standards. The game between Detroit Mercy and Cal was canceled and will be rescheduled.

By Michael Duca

BERKELEY–Infiltrated poor smokey air in Haas Pavilion canceled the Legends game between Detroit Mercy Titans and the Cal Bears on Thursday night. The Bears will continue their Legends Classic series in Brooklyn on Monday night at the Barclay Center facing St. John’s and either VCU or Temple on Tuesday night Nov 20th.

The Air Quality Index for Berkeley exceed 200 and increased to 240 in the afternoon. By 4:30 the Cal’s Athletic’s Departement said in a statement, “With the air quality levels having risen to the very unhealthy range in the Berkeley area and a significant amount of smoke having infiltrated Haas Pavilion, Thursday night’s men’s basketball game between Cal and Detroit Mercy has been canceled,”

NCAA rules state that if the air quality exceeds 200 the NCAA recommends that the competition is canceled. Cal and Detroit Mercy are discussing plans when to reschedule the game.

Michael Duca and Morris Phillips cover Cal basketball for

Randolph’s 10,000th rebound is icing on the cake for Kings as they top Nets 104-99

Brooklyn Nets’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defends Sacramento Kings’ Zach Randolph (50) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in New York. The Kings won 104-99. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

By Jessica Kwong

BROOKLYN–The Sacramento Kings won back-to-back games for the first time this season on Wednesday night, surviving a late rally by the Brooklyn Nets to win 104-99 at Barclays Center.

As icing on the cake, Kings forward Zach Randolph surpassed 10,000 career rebounds.

“It’s a good win for us,” Kings head coach Dave Joerger said.

“It’s been a tough place for our organization to get some wins. I think in seven years we’ve only done it once,” Joerger said. “We got some good performances tonight from some guys who had tough nights last night.”

Sacramento led throughout most of the match at Barclays Center until about halfway into the final quarter. The Kings lead by as many as 15 points, but the Nets chipped away until Joe Harris made a driving layup to cut Sacramento’s lead to 97-95 with 5 minutes remaining in the game.

Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic was fouled with 10.7 seconds to go with his team up 101-99 and made one of two free throws. Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie missed a triple but the ball went out of bounds off the Kings with 4.8 seconds remaining. Brooklyn blew it when Harris made a bad pass.

Dinwiddie fouled Kings guard George Hill, who made both free throws, allowing his team to win the game 104-99.

“That was a team win,” Joerger said. “Teams are going to make runs, teams are going to make shots, so it’s how do we handle that, where do we get the ball to.”

Sacramento’s leading scorers were Hill with 22 points, Randolph with 21 points and Bogdanovic with 14 points.

Kings Swept By Nets In China.

The first leg of the Sacramento Kings international trip ended in disappointment as the Brooklyn Nets secured a 129-117 victory in overtime on Wednesday morning, sweeping the two game series between the teams in China.

After starting the game slowly on offense, the Nets were able to carry a strong second half outburst into overtime, where they outscored the Kings 17-5 to earn their second straight victory over Sacramento.

SG Ben McLemore led all Kings scorers with 22 points, with Rudy Gay following close behind, adding 21 points of his own in the contest. The Kings bench provided some additional firepower as well, with guard Darren Collison and forward Omri Casspi combining for 34 points in the losing effort.

With Kevin Garnett sitting out for the Nets, it was Mirza Teletovic who went to work down low for Brooklyn, leading the team with 22 points on the night. Teletovic was aided by his partner in the post Mason Plumlee, whose strong overtime play contributed to his 18 point total while capping off the comeback effort.

With DeMarcus Cousins taking the game off, the Kings relied heavily on plays from the guard and small forward position with 98 of their 117 points stemming from the two positions. While the team couldn’t get much going in the post with Cousins out, they took advantage of their outside opportunities, shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc while putting in 13 three pointers.

After falling to a 1-3 record, the Kings will make one more stop on their international itinerary, taking on the Isreali basketball club, Maccaba Haifa on Saturday.


Warriors Four Minutes Shy Of History In Brooklyn, Nets Snap Streak At 10

By Matthew Harrington

The Golden State Warriors fell just over four minutes shy of history Wednesday night, getting tangled up by the Brooklyn Nets (14-21) at the Barclays Center 102-98 to snap a 10-game win streak, including winning the last six consecutive road games. A victory would have matched the longest streak in Warriors history, set during the 1971-72 season. The ’71-’72 team got just 5 of their 11 wins on the road while the current Warriors (24-14) boasted seven-straight road victories, including a win in Denver December 23rd before returning home for a pair then returning to the road again for the current stretch of travel. It also would have been the NBA’s first 7-0 uninterrupted road trip.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson dueled for the game-high in points, with Curry coming out on top with 34 points to Johnson’s 27. David Lee netted 20 points for the Warriors and Andray Blatche grabbed 17 off the bench for Brooklyn. Nets forward Mirza Teletovic had a game-best 10 rebounds, while Andrew Bogut’s nine led the Dubs.

For the second time in two nights, the Warriors struggled to establish dominance against a struggling team. The Warriors came back from an early Milwaukee lead Tuesday to complete a 101-80 blowout for their 10th-straight win, matching the most wins in a row by a Warriors team since the 1975 championship team. In Brooklyn Wednesday night the Warriors again flirted with disaster, spotting the Nets, who entered the game with an 8-9 record at home, to a 59-52 halftime lead.

Golden State managed to chip away at the Nets lead, outscoring the home team 24-16 in the third quarter. A Harrison Barnes three-pointer with just 32 seconds left in the third frame gave the Warriors their first lead of the second half 76-75. Kevin Garnett put the Nets back on top on a lay-up 12 seconds in to the final quarter. Garnett, fouled on the play by Draymond Green, converted the and-one for a 78-76 edge.

The two teams went shot-for-shot down to the wire, with no team making consecutive field goals for the first eight minutes in the final 12 minutes of regulation. The Warriors gained ground and took a one-point lead after Andrei Kirilenko missed a second free throw after hitting the first. Curry took a driving layup to the lane for the 88-87 lead with 6:48 left of game time. The Warriors lead grew to a second-half high of four points at 93-89 when Klay Thompson nailed a trey off a David Lee feed with 4:05 to go. Brooklyn outscored the Warriors 13-5 down the stretch, all but two Nets points coming on free throws, to halt the Warriors winning ways in the final game of the road trip. The Warriors ended the night with 27 personal fouls to the Nets 20.

The Warriors return home for a Friday night tilt against the Boston Celtics for the first game at Oracle Arena in the New Year. It’s also Golden State’s first game following a loss since a December 21st they demolished the Lakers 102-83 after suffering an embarrassing 102-104 loss to the short-handed Spurs just two earlier. It’s also the Warriors first home game since December 27, before they started their longest road trip of the season spanning seven cities in 11 days. When the Dubs last took the Oracle court just days after a win in Denver for a Christmas showdown with the Clippers, the Warriors were barely in the playoff picture, standing at eighth place in the Western Conference. By virtue of nine wins in their last ten, the Warriors now sit a game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the Pacific Division lead and a fourth-place ranking.

Michigan holds off late Cardinal surge


By Daniel Dullum

Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting by Nik Stauskas, Michigan held off Stanford 68-65 Saturday in a non-conference men’s basketball contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Cardinal (8-3) had won seven of their last eight games going in, including a notable road win over No. 10 Connecticut on Wednesday. But they came up short in their bid for back-to-back road victories on the East Coast.

Stauskas, who led the Wolverines with 19 points, sank two crucial free throws with nine seconds remaining in the second half. Glenn Robinson III added 17 points for Michigan (7-4), which turned the ball over only eight times. Wolverines reserve Zak Irvin added 12 points.

Stefan Nastic equaled his season-high of 14 points for the Cardinal, but he fouled out with 5:24 to play. Chasson Randle, meanwhile, led Stanford with 18 points.

Stanford pulled to within one point in the second half, but could never get ahead of the Wolverines, who surged ahead at the 14:42 mark of the first half and never trailed for the remainder of the game.

Michigan’s Caris LeVert missed a pair of foul shots with 45 seconds remaining in the second half, which left the door open for a Cardinal comeback. After Grant Verhoeven made 1 of 2 free throws for Stanford with :44 showing, the Cardinal chose not to foul and Robinson’s layup put Michigan up 66-62 with 14 seconds left.

Chasson Randle’s 3-pointer cut the Cardinal deficit to 66-65 before Stauskas hit his two foul shots that gave Michigan some breathing room. Randle’s last-second 3-point attempt was short as time expired.

It was Michigan’s first game since dropping a 72-70 home decision to No. 1-Arizona on Dec. 14.

After a holiday break, the Cardinal return home on Sunday, Dec. 29, for a non-conference game against Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Cardinal routed in Brooklyn

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

By Jeremy Kahn

Traveling across the country proved to be difficult for the Stanford Cardinal in the championship game of the Progressive Legends Classic.

Lamar Patterson scored 24 points, as the Pittsburgh Panthers never trailed in their two games and won the championship in a 88-67 victory over the Cardinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Jamie Dixon’s team also got help from Durand Johnson and Talib Zanna each scored 14 for the Panthers, who improve to 6-0 on the season.

Dwight Powell led the Cardinal with 20 points, while Anthony Brown scored 16 and Chasson Randle added 10, but the Cardinal fell to 5-2 on the season.

Despite Powell grabbing a game-high nine rebounds, the Panthers out rebounded the Cardinal 34-30 and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, while the Cardinal pulled down eight offensive boards.

The Cardinal cut the Panthers lead down to 11, but the Panthers got a big three and a free throw for a four-point play to put the Panthers up by 15 and they never looked back.