Embiid goes off as the Sixers beat the Kings 97-91

Sixers B
Photo: @Philadelphia 76ers

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings wrapped up their four-game road trip in Philadelphia on Wednesday on a “low note”. The 76ers Joel Embiid exploded for a game-high 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead his team to a 97-91 victory.

Embiid really was in need of a good game after being held scoreless in his team’s loss to the Raptors on Monday night. Embiid said he didn’t feel any pressure to have a “statement game”, but he was happy his team came away with the “W”.

3rd Quarter letdown

After trailing by just one point at halftime, the Kings put themselves in a great position to steal this game on the road. After starting a bit slow in the third period, Sacramento came alive and kept the score close until midway through the quarter.

The Kings went into a 3:04 scoring drought at the end of the third quarter which allowed the Sixers to outscore them 29-19. Philly led 76-65 after 36 minutes of play and the Kings would never be able to catch up.

SAC outscored the 76ers in the final quarter but it was too little too late. The Sixers (12-6) won the game 97-91.

Spotlight on the Kings

Looking at the final box score there is one glaring stat that jumps off the page. The Kings (7-10) went to the free throw line only nine times on Wednesday night and converted just four of those opportunities. An NBA team is not going to win a game going to the charity stripe just nine times.

To give you a comparison, the 76ers went to the line 24 times in the game – a very acceptable number. They went 20-for-24 (83.3%) from the stripe which helped them to win the game.

Ironically, the Kings outscored the Sixers in the paint 40-38 even though they were facing Embiid, Al Horford and Tobias Harris.

The biggest lead for Sacramento in the game for SAC was one point. The 76ers held a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Kings also had a tough night from “downtown”. They shot just 9-for-34 (26.5%) from beyond the 3-point line.

Sacramento scoring:

  • Buddy Hield was the team’s high scorer putting 22 points in the book. He had a tough night shooting going 9-for-24 overall and 3-for-12 from 3-point land.
  • Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench to put up 18 points and grab six rebounds.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 points hitting 7 of 15 shots.
  • Harrison Barnes scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Focus on the Sixers

Sixers A
Embiid had a big game @ Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers blocked 10 Kings shots in the game while SAC blocked just three of the Sixers shots.

Philly scoring:

  • Matisse Thybulle came off the bench to score 15 points. He went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and hit 3 of 3 from behind the 3-point line.
  • Forward Tobias Harris scored 14 points.
  • The veteran Al Horford scored 12 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
  • Point guard Ben Simmons recorded a double-double putting up 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Up next

The Kings return home and will host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center.

The Sixers will face the Knicks on Friday night at the Garden.

So close yet so far – the Kings lose to Boston 103-102

BOS 3
TD Boston Gardens @ SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

If the Sacramento Kings (7-9) had emailed their performance in on Monday night versus the Boston Celtics (12-4), no one would have criticized them. They were facing the Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back on the road after winning a very tough game over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

The Kings didn’t just sleepwalk through the game on Monday night. They came out looking for a win which would mean they would sweep the season series with the mighty Celtics. In the end, the Kings would come up one point short, but they put themselves in a position to win the game.

Luke Walton was not unhappy with his team

Luke Walton said in his postgame comments that all you can ask of your team in the second game of a back-to-back on the road is to put themselves in a position to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Walton said his team did that but came up just short.

With 5.7 seconds to go in the game, Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Bogdan Bogdanovic. “Bogi” put up a 3-point shot with 3.0-seconds remaining. The ball hit the back of the rim and one of the Kings in the lane put the rebound back up, but it went over the backboard. Time expired and Boston won the game 103-102.

Record-setting night for Buddy Hield

BOS 1
Graphic @SacramentoKings

“Buddy Love” set a franchise record by sinking 11 three-point buckets on Monday night. The previous record was held by Mike Bibby who connected on nine 3-point shots on March 25, 2007, versus Phoenix.

Hield also set a personal record by scoring 41 points in the game. He shot 15-for-26 from the floor and went 11-for-21 from downtown. Hield also had five rebounds and two assists.

Spotlight on the Kings

This game featured 22 lead changes and seven ties. The Kings held the largest lead of the game – 11 points in the second quarter. The Celtics built up a 53-46 lead at halftime. After the game, Luke Walton felt his team’s play in the final six minutes of the first half is where they lost the game.

Individual scoring:

  • Harrison Barnes put 20 points in the scorebook. He went 7-for-10 from the free throw line.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic added 13 points but had a tough night shooting. He went 5-for-20 from the field and 2-for-13 from 3-point land. “Bogi” did dish out eight assists.
  • No other player on the Kings scored in double figures.

Team numbers:

  • Sacramento hit 37 of 78 (46.8%) shots from the floor in Boston.
  • The Kings went 18-for-47 (38.3%) from behind the 3-point arc.
  • This was the Kings downfall: they only went to the free throw line 15 times. They converted 10 of those opportunities, but that number of attempts should have been at least 25. Sacramento could have won the game at the charity stripe.
  • The Kings were destroyed in the paint. The Celtics outscored Sacramento 50-26 down low in the game. That just can not happen.

Focus on Boston

Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double figures:

  • Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 24 points.
  • Jayson Tatum put up 20 points shooting 7-for-18 from the floor.
  • Enes Kanter added 13 points and nine rebounds.

Team stats

  • The Celtics hit 20 of 23 (87.0%) attempts from the free throw line. That was the key to their victory.
  • Boston shot 44.7% (38/85) from the floor.
  • The Celts hit just 7 of 30 (23.3%) from downtown.

Up next

The Kings wrap up their four-game road trip on Wednesday in Philly versus the 76ers.

Boston hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night before they sit down to turkey dinner.

Kings win on the road, beat the Wizards 113-106

wiz 112419
Graphic: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings (7-8) jumped back into the win column on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Washington Wizards 113-106 in game two of their four-game road trip. The victory did not come easy, but the Kings never let their concentration wavier which allowed them to win the game.

Sacramento outscored Washington (5-9) in three of the four quarters. They also avoided the dreaded “third quarter letdown”. The Kings outscored the Wizards 33-30 in the third quarter, and then, they outscored the Wizards 33-28 in the fourth quarter. That is another major step forward for the Kings.

Kings starters carried the day

The Sacramento starting five scored 79 of the teams 113 total points. Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 26 points. Richaun Holmes recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Buddy Hield put 18 points in the book. He shot 4-for-14 from the field with 3 of his field goals coming from behind the 3-point line. Hield drove the lane very hard and went to the foul line seven times and was successful on all seven attempts. He also dished out five assists.

Cory Joseph had a big game for the Kings scoring 10 points and distributing five dimes. Joseph hit 5 of 10 shots from the floor.

All of the Kings starters expect Bjelica played well over 30 minutes in the game.

Sacramento bench

The key man off the bench was Bogdan Bogdanovic. “Bogi” scored 21 points shooting 7-for-16 from the floor while hitting 3 of 9 attempts from 3-point land. He also went 4-for-6 from the free throw line while dishing out four assists.

Focus on the Wizards

  • Bradley Beal scored a team-high 20 points while distributing eight assists. Beal has been averaging 29.6 points per game this season.
  • Thomas Bryant put up 14 points and added eight rebounds
  • Former King – Isaiah Thomas – scored 17 points against his old team.
  • Mo Wagner recorded a double-double scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
  • The Wizards bench outscored the Kings bench 48-37.

Addition to the Kings roster

After having several outstanding games in the G-League with the Stockton Kings, Kyle Guy has been called up to join the Kings NBA roster. He joined the team in Washington but did not play.

Up next

The Kings have the unenviable task of playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road in Boston on Monday night.

The Wizards will travel to Denver to face the Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Bogi’s Big Night: Kings creep closer to .500, beat the Suns 120-116

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO — The Suns have come down to earth. And the Kings–playing more deliberate while applying the D–are ascending.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a career-best 31 points and the Kings survived a furious, fourth quarter rally from the Suns in a 120-116 victory on Tuesday.

After an 0-5 start–including an embarrasing 29-point loss in Phoenix on opening night–the Kings have won six of eight, and their goal of ending the NBA’s longest playoff drought is back on the table.

With the Warriors, Thunder, Blazers and Spurs in various states of disrepair, Western Conference playoff spots are up for grabs.  Phoenix (last appearance: 2010) and Sacramento (2006) own the lengthiest postseason absences along with the most promise for putting an end to the droughts this season.

The Suns started the season fast with five wins and two one-point losses under the direction of new coach Monty Williams. But DeAndre Ayton’s suspension and some difficult opponents have slowed their momentum. Meanwhile, the Kings have turned it around with defense, and relying on their depth under the tutelage of Luke Walton.

Bogdanovic, getting increased playing time in place of injured point guard De’Aaron Fox, got hot in the second quarter, scoring 18 points as the Kings’ lead swelled to 26. But Phoenix finally responded in a 41-point, fourth quarter that pulled them within 116-113 with 14.2 seconds remaining.

Richaun Holmes and Yogi Ferrell both made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to keep the Kings from an embarrassing outcome.

“It felt like to me that we started to stat-hunt a little bit,” Walton said of the near collapse. “When we continued to run our plays we got wide open everything. When we got stagnant their zone stopped us.”

The Kings limited Phoenix to 26 percent shooting in the first quarter, and the possibility of them holding a fourth, consecutive opponent to less than 100 points seemed doable. They also blocked seven shots, and had seven steals, but this was an important ballgame for both clubs. The Suns’ furious rally, and offensive emergence confirmed that.

“We changed up our defenses a little bit but they hit tough shots after tough shots,” Williams said. “But I just loved the fight of our team.”

“We kind of were ‘OK, we got it,'” Bogdanovich said. “It’s the NBA. You have to be ready to lock in and finish the game.”

Holmes finished with 20 points and a career-best 15 rebounds. Bodganovich hit 7 3-pointers for the first time in his career, but missed the final minutes with a hamstring issue. Cory Joseph dished out 14 assists, also a career-high.

Phoenix’s Aaron Baynes, the journeyman center turned 3-point sensation missed the game with a hip injury. Ricky Rubio was available after missing the previous night’s game in Phoenix against Boston, but couldn’t provide much help. Rubio played just 18 minutes and missed all seven of his shots from the floor.

Devin Booker started slow, drew a technical foul, but finished fast with 30 points to lead the Suns. Kelly Oubre and Mikal Bridges had 20 points each.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Washington sending scout to watch Kaepernick practice; 49ers look to get back in win column Sunday against Arizona; plus more

photo from tmz: Seeking work in the NFL Colin Kaepernick will be trying out his handwork this week in his quest for an NFL job.

On Headlines with Tony Renteria:

#1 Washington is one of the NFL teams that will be taking a look at quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his tryouts to get back on an NFL team. It was mentioned that Washington might not be interested in Kaepernick because they have rookie Dwayne Haskins as a team starter.

#2 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals next. It’s just one day less to rest as the 49ers are coming off that tough loss on Monday Night Football to the Seattle Seahawks. After a loss like that, how quick do you see the 49ers regrouping?

#3 The Oakland Raiders just edged out the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football last week 26-24. The Raiders’ Derek Carr threw for 218 yards and went 21 for 31 with one touchdown.

#4 The Sacramento Kings are believing in themselves. They have won four of their last five games and are getting great offensive production from Bogdan Boganovic, Buddy Heild, Nemanja Bjelica, and Harrison Barnes.

#5 After former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers said that the Astros were stealing signs during the 2017 season and 2017 World Series, how far down does the Astros’ credibility go down from here?

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports each Thursday for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings win again, downing Portland 107-99 on Tuesday night

SAC 11-12

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTOOn Tuesday night, the Kings played their first game since learning that star point guard De’Aaron Fox was going to be unavailable to the team for an extended period of time. Fox suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain, which usually implies ligament damage, at the end of practice on Monday. Fox is currently on crutches and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. How long Fox will be gone has yet to be determined.

NBA observers immediately predicted “doom and gloom”

The national experts who cover the NBA almost immediately declared that the injury to Fox ended any chance the Kings had of making a playoff run this season. The team had stumbled out of the starting gate losing their first five games but seemed to be putting things together after going 2-1 on their first road trip to the East Coast.

“Those in the know” felt that the team would not be able to overcome the loss of Fox who is their uptempo playmaker. Fox is also a key scorer for the team when they need a boost on the scoreboard.

Tuesday night the Kings had to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their first test without Fox on the floor. Sacramento had lost to the Blazers 122-112 at home in the second of the season.

Portland tried to take control in the first half

The Trail Blazers came out in the first quarter shooting 50% from the floor and 33% from 3-point range. The Kings really struggled as they shot just 34.6% from the field and a miserable 16.7% from downtown. What kept Sacramento in the game was their volume of shots.

Portland hit 9 of 18 shots in the opening period while the Kings put in 9 of 26 attempts from the field. The Blazers held just a 24-21 lead when the first quarter came to a close.

The Kings’ shooting and defense improved in the second quarter, and they matched the Blazers in almost every statistical category. Portland was up by only three points, 49-46, at the half.

Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said after the game: “Sacramento didn’t shoot the ball particularly well – neither team shot the ball well in the first half. I felt like we should have had a bigger lead at halftime.”

Could the Kings overcome their Third Quarter nemesis?

The Kings have experienced difficulty in the third quarter in the majority of their games so far this season. They have had a tendency to start the period slowly and then watch their opponents put them in a position where they have to play catch up in the fourth quarter.

That did not happen on Tuesday night. Sacramento outscored Portland 35-21 in the third period. They accomplished that by shooting an outstanding 57.9% (11-for-19) overall and sinking 2 of 5 (40%) from long range. They also converted 11 of 13 opportunities from free throw line.

At the end of 36 minutes of play, Sacramento led Portland 81-70.

Portland Head Coach Terry Stotts: “They got off to a good start in the third quarter and built a lead and we really couldn’t recover from that initial burst at the start of the third quarter.”

Portland did not give up in the fourth

The Blazers outscored the Kings 29-26 in the final 12 minutes and cut the Sacramento lead down to five points with 2:51 to go in the game. Bjelica hit a 26-foot, 3-point shot to give his team an eight-point lead. The Kings would go on to win the game 107-99.

The Kings record improves to 4-6 and they have now won 4 of their last 5 games. Portland’s record drops to 4-7 on the young season.

After the game, Luke Walton wanted to talk “D”

“I want to talk about our defense. It’s been what we’ve been preaching about every day since day one of training camp and I’m the first to admit, it needs to get a lot better. But that’s why – not only tonight but I feel like slowly even if our numbers haven’t showed it, guys are starting to understand and really make steps as far as individual defense and team defense. Tonight, we started the game, we couldn’t make anything – great shooters, wide-open shots – and that’s why defense is important.”

Focus on the Kings

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the Kings top scorer. He came off the bench to score 25 points and dish out 10 assists. “Bogi” scored 25 of the Kings 36 bench points.
  • Buddy Hield added 20 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Hield did not have a great night shooting just 7-for-21, but he hit big shots when they were needed.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded a double-double scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Blazers top performers

  • To no one’s surprise, Damian Lillard scored a game-high 27 points. “Dame” went 13-for-14 from the free throw line. He also played almost 38 minutes. He is truly an incredible player.
  • CJ McCollum added 24 points shooting a very nice 11-for-21 from the floor.
  • Hassan Whiteside had another nice game against the Kings as he put up 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds.

Up next

The Kings will be off until Friday night when they will face the Lakers at Staples Center in LA.

The Blazers head home for the back end of a back-to-back with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Kings come up just short in their battle with the Raptors on Wednesday night, 124-120

TOR score
Graphic: @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings (2-6) went from having to play the worst team in the NBA East on Sunday night in the New York Knicks to having to face the defending NBA World Champion Toronto Raptors (5-2) on Wednesday night. While it is true the Raptors no longer have Kawhi, they still have a very competitive team that will go to the playoffs.

The Kings could have easily phoned this game in and saved their energy for the final game of the road trip in Atlanta. They chose not to do that. Luke Walton’s team showed up and played hard. They kept the outcome of the game in question until the final seconds of the contest. When the final buzzer sounded, the Raptors won the game 124-120, but they knew that Kings came very close to stealing this game on the road.

The Kings made it rain

Sacramento tied a franchise record by hitting 20 3-point baskets on Wednesday night. The Kings went 20-for-44 from “downtown” (45.5%). It was almost like the Raptors were daring them to shoot from behind the arc.

Buddy Hield just missed a 3-point shot with just seconds left that might have become a four-point opportunity that potentially could have tied the game. Hield went 5-for-7 from long range in the game.

Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings in 3-point scoring connecting on 6 of 11 attempts from behind the 3-point line.

Sluggish start

The Kings had a slow start in the game as they allowed the Raptors to outscore them 36-23 in the first quarter. Toronto shot 77.8% (14-for-18) from the floor including six 3-point buckets in the opening 12 minutes.

That slow start meant the Kings had to expel a lot of energy to get themselves back into the game in the second quarter. That was energy they would not have late in the game to help them overcome the Raptors lead.

Battle for points in the paint

While the Kings won the 3-point shooting battle, the Raptors owned the scoring down low in the paint. Toronto outscored the Sacramento 52-32 in the paint.

By being able to score in the paint, the Raptors were able to take high-percentage shots. They finished the game shooting 55.1% from the field (43-for-78) with 26 of those baskets being hit in the paint.

Pascal Siakam (23 pts), Serge Ibaka (21 pts), OG Anunoby (18 pts) and Marc Gasol (12 pts) were just too much of a force for the Kings defense to overcome. Siakam made it a double-double night by adding 13 rebounds.

Battle of the boards

Sacramento outrebounded the Toronto 43-37. Twelve of the Kings rebounds came on offense which allowed them to win the battle for 2nd chance points 13-2.

Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield led the Kings rebounding efforts with eight each.

Focus on the Kings

Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 26 points on Tuesday night. He shot 7-for-15 in the game including four 3-point baskets and converting 8 of 10 from the free throw line.

Supporting cast

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic put 22 points in the scorebook by hitting 7 of 14 field goal attempts.
  • Buddy Hield connected on 7 of 16 shots (5 3-point baskets) for a 21 point night.
  • De’Aaron Fox had a 21 point, nine assists and seven-rebound night. He did have to battle foul trouble early in the game.

Up next

The Kings wrap up their three-game road trip on Friday night in Atlanta (3-4)

The Raptors begin what their radio crew called a “murderous” five-game road on Friday night in New Orleans.

 

Kings down the Knicks 113-92 in the Garden

NYC Fox
Fox to the bucket Photo: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings took the opportunity to build off their first win on Friday night to put victory number two in the book by crushing the New York Knicks 113-92 on Sunday night in the Garden. Teams traveling to the East Coast from the West can sometimes suffer from fatigue and time disorientation in their first game of a road trip. That did not happen on Sunday night.

Fast start in Manhattan
The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter of the game. The third lead change came with 7:51 to go in the period. The Kings took a 10-9 lead off a Harrison Barnes finger-roll layup. Sacramento would never trail again in the game.

The Kings shot 52.2% from the floor in the first quarter and put in 5 of 12 attempts from behind the 3-point arc. When the buzzer sounded after the first 12-minutes were over, Sacramento held a 32-23 lead over the home team.

No let-up in the 2nd quarter
The Kings kept the pressure on the Knicks in the second period by continuing to shoot well and by playing tenacious defense. Sacramento made good on 11 of their 19 Field Goal Attempts (57.9%), hit 3 of 6 (50.0%) from downtown and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Kings defense held the Knicks to just 28.6% (6-for-21) shooting and limited New York to just 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

The Kings held a 61-41 lead at the half.

What would happen in the third quarter?
The Kings had not outscored an opponent in the third quarter of any of their previous six games. That had led to their demise in every contest except on Friday night versus Utah.

That all changed on Sunday night in NYC. The Kings outscored the Knicks 29-23 and broke the third quarter curse that seemed like it would never go away.

Again, it was a combination of good shooting and a strong defense that did the in the job for the Kings. One example of the defense is the fact New York went 0-for-7 from “downtown” in the period. Sacramento was up 90-64 after 36 minutes of play.

The Knicks didn’t roll over and play dead
Every player in the NBA is a proud professional. They all want to win and every one of them hates to lose. The Knicks tried to make the game competitive in the last period.

Kings head coach Luke Walton had to leave his starters in for over half the quarter because the pesky Knicks would not go away. It was a tremendous “chase-down” block that ended the New York comeback run.

The Kings won their second game of the season 113-92. Sacramento is 2-5 while New York drops to 1-6 on the young campaign.

Postgame thoughts
Kings head coach Luke Walton had a number of thoughts after the win:

  • Walton said he told his team this game would set the tone for the road trip.
  • He said the key to the victory was the reduced number of turnovers and competition for rebounds. The Kings turned the ball over just 13 times and outrebounded New York 49-39.
  • Walton was happy that his team won the 3rd quarter but emphasized the team did not talk about the problem during halftime of the last two games – both victories.
  • He also mentioned a sitdown that he and De’Aaron Fox had on the plane just to review video clips and plays. Fox scored a team-high 24 points and dished out six assists in the win. That was some productive coach-player time.
  • When asked by a New York reporter about the playoffs, Walton replied that he’s not worried about the playoffs. He said he is interested in getting better every day.

Top performances

  • All of the Kings starting five scored in double figures.
  • Richaun Holmes had another double-double game scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds (four off the offensive glass).
  • Buddy Hield found the bucket again. He put 22 points in the book shooting 8-for-16 overall and hitting 5 of 11 from long range.
  • Harrison Barnes enjoyed his night in the Garden putting up 19 points.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded 10 points, made eight rebounds and distributed six assists in his 24-minutes on the floor.
  • The Knicks were led by Marcus Morris Sr. with a game-high 28 points and rookie RJ Barrett who added 22 points in 40-plus minutes of playing time.

Up next
The Kings head up “North” to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. The Raptors will be much tougher competition, but the Kings have won in Exposition City before.

The Knicks will also return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Detroit.

0-4: Kings off to their worst season start in a decade after 101-94 loss to the Nuggets

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO — A better effort? Yes. But after a second half Monday littered with missed shots, the Kings are still in search of their first win of the season.

The Kings missed 18 of their 21 3-point attempts after halftime and fell to the Denver Nuggets 101-94. The Nuggets overcame Nikola Jokic’s foul trouble and a brief, second quarter, nine-point deficit to remain undefeated at 3-0.

The Kings were more accountable than they were in road losses to the Suns and Jazz, but were doomed by a substandard third quarter in which they were outscored 30-17 and missed 16 of their 21 shots from the floor. The missed shots proliferated as the Nuggets increased their defensive effort in the second half. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic were the biggest offenders, shooting a combined 4 for 25, 2 of 13 from three.

Even with Richaun Holmes (24 points, 13 rebounds) the Kings weren’t equipped to overcome an off shooting night from Bogdanovic and Hield.

The Kings fell to 0-4, one of three NBA teams (Pelicans, Pacers) still looking for their first win of the season.

The Kings played without Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley III, but got a break when De’Aaron Fox was cleared after his leg injury against Utah. Fox displayed his usual quickness leading the Kings to a 53-47 lead at the break. Fox finished with 20 points, nine assists.

The Kings couldn’t take full advantage of the Nuggets’ poor shooting before the half. Denver shot 32 percent in the first half, but they were still in position to take control defensively after the break.

“We didn’t change our game plan. We just changed how hard and how physical we were playing,” Denver coach Mike Malone said. “This was another night our offense struggled, but some guys stepped up and made big plays down the stretch.”

The Kings have struggled in all four third quarters so far, getting outscored by at least 10 points each time. Ironically, defense in the third was a bigger issue on Monday than offense, where the team had a gaping hole in the post without Bagley.

“We have to come in and just lock in, lock in to what we’re doing and lock in fast,” Holmes said.

The Kings continue their homestand Wednesday against the Hornets, who dropped games against the Lakers and Clippers Sunday and Monday.

 

 

 

The Kings get burned by the Suns 124-95 in their NBA season opener

PHX Kingx team
Graphic: @Kings.com

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The hopes and dreams of the Sacramento Kings hit a brick wall at 100 mph when they were blown out in their 2019-20 season opener in Phoenix by the Suns 124-95 on Wednesday night. The Suns did make upgrades to their team personnel in the offseason, but no one has them even coming close to making the playoffs. The Kings are considered to be a potential playoff team.

The first half was a back and forth affair

The teams played evenly in the first half. The Kings won the first quarter 29-25. Buddy Hield put 11 points in the book sinking 4 of 7 shots (two 3-pointers) to go along with seven points from Harrison Barnes.

Hield led the charge for Sacramento in the second period as he put in 11 of the Kings 30 points scored in the quarter. De’Arron Fox added five points and three assists.

The Suns scored 29 points in the second quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the scoring attack with eight points and Ricky Rubio added five.

At the half, the Kings were up 59-54 over the Suns.

Third-quarter turnaround

The Suns came out of halftime on fire. They hit 14 of 25 (56%) of their shots from the floor and went 3-for-6 from 3-point range.

The Kings shot just 29.4% for the quarter while turning the ball over 10 times which resulted in 19 points for Phoenix.

When the quarter ended, the Suns held an 86-76 lead over Sacramento and they would never look back.

Two major problems for the Kings

Turnovers were a major problem for Sacramento in their season opener. The Kings committed 27 turnovers that resulted in 35 points for the Suns. Last season, the Kings highest turnover total was 26 which ironically came in a game on the road in Phoenix.

The Kings were dominated in the paint. The Suns outscored Sacramento 68-34 in the paint on Wednesday night.

Both of those problems were seen in India when the Kings played the Pacers, but both issues had appeared to go away in the preseason games played in the States.

Players of the Game

PHX

Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double scoring 18 and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also blocked four shots and had one steal. Ayton went 9-for-14 shooting for a 64.3 Field Goal Percentage. For fantasy players, Ayton’s score was 46.2.

SAC

Buddy Hield scored 28 points, hauled in five rebounds and added two assists. He hit 10 of 19 shots (52.6%) from the floor and went 6-for-12 from 3-point land. His fantasy score was 32.0.

Honorable mention

Kings

  • Marvin Bagley III recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds
  • Harrison Barnes scored 12 points and added six rebounds
  • Corey Joseph put up 10 points and dished out four assists
  • De’Aaron Fox added eight points and five assists while missing most of the third quarter with foul trouble

Suns

  • Devin Booker scored 22 points and added 10 assists
  • Ricky Rubio recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. put up 21 points plus nine rebounds

Up next

The Kings will return to action on Friday night when they will host the Portland Trail Blazers in their home opener at the Golden 1 Center.