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

DNuggets_Global

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.

FiveThirtEight.com 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 lose a heartbreaker in Chicago 102-99; SAC has now lost five in a row

 

bulls-boogie-victim
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.

bulls-wade
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 lose in Memphis; 1 down 7 to go on key road trip

 

memphis randolph.jpgby Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings started an eight game road trip in Memphis on Friday night with a 107-91 loss to the Grizzlies. The Kings (16-26) have now lost four games in a row and have fallen to 11th place in the Western Conference but are just 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets who are in eighth place – the final playoff qualifying position.

As the Kings struggle to figure out how to win games without the injured Rudy Gay (Achilles tendon) for the rest of the season, the team must also deal with the fact they are still in playoff contention. At this point, it is almost appears that no team really wants to take control of eighth place in the West.

The Kings started the game strong in Memphis – something that this team has not been doing recently. They outscored the Grizzlies 23-15 in the first behind seven points from DeMarcus Cousins and Ty Lawson’s six points. The Kings also played strong defense holding Memphis to just 30.4-percent shooting including going 0-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line.

The situation changed dramatically in the second quarter as the Grizzlies came alive behind the play of Vince Carter who scored 11 points off the bench. Memphis shot 12-for-22 (54.5-percent) from the floor and hit 3-of-7 from long range. The Grizzlies outscored the Kings 34-19 and took a 49-42 lead with them to the locker room at halftime.

The Grizzlies came out in the third quarter ready play just like they had in the second period. In the third, it was Marc Gasol who led the Memphis attack with 15 points. Zach Randolph put up seven points in less than three minutes on the floor. The Grizzlies outscored Sacramento 34-22 as DeMarcus Cousins was limited to just three points in the period. At the end of three quarters, Memphis held a 84-63 lead.

After his team’s lackluster third quarter performance, Dave Joerger sat his starters for the fourth quarter and inserted Willie Cauley-Stein and Ben McLemore. Later in the fourth, rookies Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere saw playing time. The Kings did outscore the Grizzlies 27-24 in the final period.

Joerger’s postgame analysis

  • It was a tough game
  • We didn’t play really well
  • We didn’t make shots
  • We threw the ball away
  • Memphis has a really good team -players

Stars of the game

Grizzlies

Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Game-high leading scorer Marc Gasol Photo: NBAE
  • Marc Gasol scored a game-high 28 points on Friday night shooting 9-for-19 from the floor. He shot 3-for-6 from 3-point range and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Gasol recorded eight rebounds and handed out four assists.
  • Zach Randolph was a star of the bench which is really no surprise. He posted a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 23-minutes of playing time

Kings

  • It will come as no surprise that DeMarcus Cousins was the Kings star of the game. Sacramento with Rudy Gay lost for the remainder of the season is even more dependent on Cousins than they were three days ago. He led the Kings in scoring with 19 points and made it a double-double by recording 10 rebounds. The oddity was Cousins scored 16 points in the first half and just three point in the third quarter. He did not play in the fourth quarter by coach’s decision. Cousins also picked up his 14th technical foul in the second quarter of the game. That becomes very serious because technical foul number 16 results in a one-game suspension with additional suspensions for every two technical fouls after that 16th tech.

Co-stars

Kings

Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Ty Lawson working hard on defense Photo: NBAE
  • Garrett Temple made the start at forward and made an effort to fill the gap left by the loss of Rudy Gay. Temple put up 14 points and hauled in three rebounds while distributing three assists.
  • Ty Lawson worked hard on the second unit again on Friday night. He scored 13 points and dished out five assists. Lawson has really become a dependable “go to ” player off the bench for the Kings.

Grizzlies

Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley is a key player for the Grizzlies Photo: NBAE
  • Mike Conley showed again why he is such a key to the Grizzlies success working at the point by scoring 16 points and distributing eight assists. He also recorded eight rebound.
  • Tony Allen recorded a double-double at guard for Memphis against the Kings. He scored 13 and pulled down 10 rebounds. Five of those rebounds were offensive boards which kept possessions alive.

Key stat of the game

The Grizzlies out-rebounded the Kings 58-35. More importantly, 15 of the Memphis rebounds were offensive rebounds which extended possession and created second chance scoring opportunities. The Grizzlies posted 18 second-chance points to just four for Sacramento.

Up next on the schedule

  • The Kings moved on to Chicago were they will play the Bulls in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road. They will also face former teammate Rajon Rondo.
  • The Grizzlies are also back in action on Saturday as they host the high powered Houston Rockets in the FedEx Center “Grind House”.

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

okc-west
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.

Co-stars

  • 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 grind out a win in Memphis 96-92

Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Cousins takes the shot in Memphis photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings went into Memphis seeking a win in a city where they had not recorded a victory since 2009 but have posted 12 straight losses. The Kings were also taking their new head coach Dave Joerger back to the city where he was the head man for three years and an assistant coach for six years before they went their separate ways after last season.

If that was not enough motivation, the Kings also needed to bounce back the demoralizing loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night 132-98.

The Kings did respond to all of those motivating factors and beat the Grizzlies on the road 96-92. It was not a pretty win. Both teams played very physical basketball and packed the paint rather than depending on the 3-point shot to win as the Rockets did in Houston. Ironically in a game that was not about 3-pointers, the Grizzlies Troy Daniels made it a 3-point game with 55.3-seconds remaining in the game with a “trey” from 26-feet away from the basket.

The Kings were able to hold on following Ty Lawson hitting 1-of-2 free throws to win the game 96-92.

Kings coach Dave Joerger sounded a bit conflicted after the game

“Kind of a crazy game. A lot of fouls – a lot of free throws, but from a personal stand point a very difficult day for me. You know … to come in here having spent as much of my love and time and family  in this community and we love it. It was not an enjoyable game to coach from that aspect. But, now I’m here and these are my guys now. I’m really proud of them. I congratulated them. We’ve had some great efforts … or performances I should say. Kosta Koufos was fantastic tonight. I thought Garrett Temple had a nice game. I thought Darren (Collison) got us in and out of stuff,” said Joerger after the win.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol talks with his former coach Dave Joerger before the game in Memphis photo: Justin Ford USA Today Sports

Koufos and Temple step up big for Sacramento in the win

  • The Kings were without two key players on Friday as Rudy Gay – a former Grizzly – did not dress due to a right hip flexor strain and Omri Casspi sat out due to illness
  • Garrett Temple started at shooting guard and responded by scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebound, adding four assists and two steals in 37-minutes of playing time. Temple shot 4-for-11 but went 3-for-6 from long range was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He may be playing himself into the role of starting shooting guard
  • Kosta Koufos – another former Grizzly – may have played his best game of the year to date. He scored a season-high 16 points and made it a double-double by hauling in 13 rebounds. Seven of his rebounds were offensive boards that kept possessions alive. Koufos got his running baby hook shot going the way he likes for the first time this season in the game as well. The downside in his night was he hit just 2-of-6 from the foul line
  • DeMarcus Cousins had some struggles with the physical play of the Grizzlies particularly in the first half. He shot just 2-for-10 and scored only nine points in the first 24 minutes. In the second half, the big man shot 5-for-10 and scored 13 points to bring his total points to a game-high 22. Cousins did get into foul trouble picking up his fifth personal with 6:02 to go in the game. He fouled out of the game with 1:27 remaining which gave hope to a surging Memphis team
  • Darren Collison scored 11 points and dished out six assists in 37-minutes at point guard in the victory
  • Other contributions: Matt Barnes seven points and 10 rebounds; Anthony Tolliver nine points; Ben McLemore – who started at forward – scored eight and Ty Lawson added six points
Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Temple on the dribble-drive in Memphis photo: NBAE

Kings (10-16) team numbers were not great but were good enough for the win

  • Shooting: 31-for-80 (38.8- percent) – you do not record a win shooting under 40-percent very often
  • 3-point shooting 7-for-24 (29.2-percent)
  • Free throw shooting 27-for-37 (73-percent) missed free throws could have cost the Kings this game
  • 45 rebounds including 13 offensive boards
  • Turnovers 12 which led to nine Memphis points
  • Points off turnovers – Sacramento score 17 points off 13 Memphis turnovers
  • 18 assists, six blocked shot and five steals

Memphis (18-10) played their typical “grind house” game

  • The Grizzlies are not a team that is going to outshoot you from 3-point land or overwhelm the opposition with their overall shooting percentage. They are a defense first team that is most comfortable scoring in the paint
  • Memphis matched the Kings scoring 36 points in the paint
  • The Grizzlies just edged out the Kings in second chance points 15-13
  • Memphis out-rebounded Sacramento 47-45
  • The Grizzlies shot 37.7-percent (29-for-77) from the field and 5-for-20 (20-percent) for 3-pointers and Troy Daniels hit four of those shots.
  • Memphis tried to take advantage of their free throw opportunities going 29-for-36 (80.6-percent) from the line
  • Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies scoring attack with 20 points. Tony Allen added 16, Troy Daniels put in 13 while Andrew Harrison recorded 11 to go with Zach Randolph’s 10
Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Koufos guards Gasol Photo: NBAE

Coming up on the schedule

The Kings move on to Dallas where they will face the Mavericks on Sunday. The game time has been changed because the Cowboys game has been moved to Sunday Night Football. The game will now tipoff at 1 p.m. PST. The Mavericks lost a heartbreaker to the Jazz in Utah on Friday night 103-100 on a last second 3-point basket.

Speaking of the Jazz, they travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Sunday.

Knicks sneak past the Kings 103-100

by Charlie O. Mallonee

New York Knicks v Sacramento Kings
Cousins shoots against the Knicks photo: NBA.com

Sacramento – The Kings trailed the New York Knicks 103-100 with 2.6-seconds remaining in the game. New York had to inbound the ball in the frontcourt after calling a timeout. The inbound pass came to Carmelo Anthony who was immediately fouled by Rudy Gay before any time could come off the clock. The only problem with the plan was the fact that Anthony was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line in game up to that point.

Incredibly, Anthony stepped up to the line and promptly missed the first first free throw and the sellout crowd began to buzz. Anthony shot the second free throw and unbelievably missed again.

DeMarcus Cousins grabbed the rebound and ran as close to midcourt as he dared. The giant of a man then heaved a what was estimated to be a 52-foot desperation shot at his basket that hit the rim and then rolled out. For a few micro-seconds the thousands of Kings fans in attendance thought they were going to witness a miracle, then reality hit and the big crowd began to exit the Golden 1 Center knowing their team had lost the game.

Each team was missing a key player in the game

The Kings played the game without Matt Barnes who was held out of the game for what was called “rest”. Barnes of course has been at the center of a controversial story about a fight that allegedly took place in a New York City night club early last Monday morning. Rumors have been swirling that Barnes would be arrested by NYPD for his involvement in the incident. Barnes has also been named in a lawsuit that has been filed by two of the alleged victims of the brawl.

In his postgame press conference, Kings head coach Dave Joerger indicated that he believed Barnes would be available to play against the Jazz in Utah on Saturday night. Barnes was on the bench in street clothes for the game Friday night.

The Knicks were without Derrick Rose who is suffering from lower back pain. Rose had to miss the game on Wednesday night in New York City versus the Cavaliers due to the same problem.

NYK head coach Jeff Hornacek said before the game he was hopeful Rose would be available for the game on Sunday when his team faces the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Sacramento struggles shooting again against the Knicks

The Kings (8-13) shot much better in the first half against the Knicks on Friday night than did last Sunday in the Garden when they shot under 30-percent. However, the Kings shot under 40-percent in both the third and fourth quarters of this game which helped lead to their demise.

Sacramento shot 40.2-percent (35-for-87) from the floor and were a dismal 7-of-28 (25-percent) from 3-point range. The Kings went 23-for-27 (85.2-percent) from the free throw line.

Cousins led the way for the Kings

  • Cousins scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to post the double-double. He also struggled shooting going 9-for-25 from the field and 0-for-6 for 3-point opportunities. Cousins did dish out six assists in the contest
  • Darren Collison had a strong game against the Knicks. He scored 14 points shooting 5-for-11 in the game. He also had three assists and two steals
  • Rudy Gay recorded 15 points, five rebounds and a steal. He also had a tough night shooting going 4-for-15 from the floor and 0-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line
  • Omri Casspi keeps taking advantage of every playing opportunity he is given by Dave Joerger. Casspi put 12 points up on the board hitting 4-of-5 shots from the floor including one 3-pointer. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe and he had two steals in the game
  • Ben McLemore started his second consecutive game and scored 10 points. He hit 2-of-2 from long range
  • Other Kings scorers: Anthony Tolliver 10, Garrett Temple 5, Kosta Koufos 4, Ty Lawson 4
New York Knicks v Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay drives on the basket against the Knicks photo: NBA.com

Kings Dave Joerger on problems at the end of quarters in the game

“That was definitely a good basketball game. A couple of things came back and bit us. We gave up eight points at the end of the first, second and third quarter on last possession plays. In a close game, those things add up. We struggled to struggled to score the basketball tonight. We turned them over 17 times and scored 25 points off of that but outside of that we just didn’t make a lot of shots. Especially from the perimeter, we did not gain a lot of shots from the perimeter so it may jam up the paint on us. Good basketball game.”

joerger-nyk
Dave Joerger faces the press photo: SRS.com

Surprising stat of the night

The Kings are not a team that is outrebounded by their opponents on a regular basis. If the other team does record more rebounds, the difference is usually not dramatic.

On Friday night, the Knicks outrebounded the Kings 54-39. Kings head Dave Joerger felt their length and the fact the Kings played “small” much of the game is what allowed New York to establish such a margin.

NYK did not have a great shooting night but lived in “Melo’s” world

The Knicks shot just 42.9-percent (36-for-84) on Friday against the Kings. They shot slightly better from long range hitting on 10-of-29 (34.5-percent) of their 3-point shots.

New York (13-10) rode the hot hand of Carmelo Anthony in the first half and then relied on efforts of Kristaps Porzingis and their bench in the second half.

  • Melo put 33 points in the book on Friday night. He shot 9-for-22 from field, 3-for-10 from long distance and was an impressive 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Anthony scored 23 points in the first half
  • Porzingis scored 17 after shooting a pitiful 1-for-9 in the first half. He did wind up with a double-double by hauling in 10 rebounds
  • Brandon Jennings did a nice job filling in for Rose on the point scoring 13 points and distributing seven assists
  • Kyle O’Quinn had a nice game off the bench for the Knicks scoring eight points, pulling down 11 rebounds, dishing five assists and blocking two shots in 20-minutes of playing time
carmelo-kings
Melo fires away versus the Kings photo: NBA.com

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had nothing but praise but praise for Carmelo

“He had a great game. When he’s scoring, he’s getting the ball in a good position from our guys where he can drive it. We put him in some trouble later on in the game, giving him the with like four seconds to go, not a good thing to do. We talked about having to get to the offense a little bit quicker. Late in the game, we kind of walked to our spots. Carmelo, when we go to him, he can pump fake, he can drive, he’s making passes. He’s playing an all-around game, like a star does.”

Up next for the teams

The Kings go right back into action on Saturday night as they play the back end of a back-to-back set on the road in Utah against the Jazz.

The Knicks are off until Sunday when they will play game two of their five-game road trip in Los Angeles versus the Lakers.

Kings win game one on the road beating Brooklyn 122-105

By Charlie O. Mallonee

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets
Photo USA Today Sports

The road is a harsh place in the NBA

The chances of a road team winning a game in the NBA stand at approximately 40-percent. That means the odds are against you before you ever start the game.

The Sacramento Kings kicked off a six-game road trip in Brooklyn on Sunday night against the Nets. The Nets came into the game having lost six consecutive games and were desperate for a win. Sacramento knew this was a team they could beat and needed to defeat to make it a successful start to the road trip.

The Kings (7-10) met their goal by soundly defeating the Nets 122-105 to start the long road trip on a positive note.

The Nets opened the game with fast and furious play

Brooklyn plays fast as team normally, but they opened this game with a sense of urgency wanting to end their losing streak and feeling like the Kings were a team they could beat on their home court.

The Nets decided to use the Rockets philosophy and started shooting as many 3-pointers as possible against the Kings. The concept worked momentarily as Brooklyn opened up a nine point lead shooting 5-for-10 from long range, but the Kings got organized on offense scoring with high percentage shots in the paint. At the end of the first quarter, the Kings had cut the Nets lead to four points – 35 to 31.

The Sacramento second unit slowed the Nets down in the second quarter

The Kings second unit led by Matt Barnes and Garrett Temple slowed the Nets down by increasing the defensive pressure and continued to cut into the Brooklyn lead using high percentage shots in the paint. Sacramento tied the game up with 8:52 to in the first half, and then they took the lead.

The Nets took the lead back before the end of the half, but they were not able to reestablish the fiery pace of the first quarter. Also, the Kings continued to score. DeMarcus Cousins hit a 25-foot bank shot for 3-points near the end of period. At the end of the 12-minutes, Sacramento had won the quarter 27-24. Brooklyn went to halftime with a 59-58 lead over the Kings.

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
Photo NBAE

In the third quarter the Sacramento Express rolled into Brooklyn

The Kings have been a strong second-half team in general this season. On Sunday night in Brooklyn, they found a whole new running gear thanks to their star center. Cousins took charge of the game scoring 18 points in the quarter, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor including hitting 2-of-2 from 3-point range. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals in the period. Cousins did in 12-minutes what a majority of players would love to do in an entire game.

Rudy Gay added five points and two assists. Darren Collison scored five points and had one assist. Matt Barnes put up three points and dished out three assists in just 5:30 on the floor.

By the end of the quarter, the Kings had outscored the Nets 34-18 in the period and had a 92-77 lead in the game.

The one negative of the quarter was that DeMarcus Cousins picked up a technical foul for hitting Luis Scola in the face under basket while trying to make a layup. Cousins then went to the line to shoot two free throws because Scola fouled him in the act of shooting. It is Cousins fourth technical of the season.

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
Photo NBAE

The fourth quarter should have been an easy one for Sacramento but is wasn’t

Everything started off the Kings in fourth quarter just the way they wanted things to go. It looked like it would be a forgettable 12-minutes and Sacramento could move on to Washington, D.C. for the game on Monday night.

Then at the 9:35 mark of the fourth quarter, Sean Kilpatrick of the Nets drove to the basket for a layup. Matt Barnes of the Kings ran in from the angle to cut him off and there was heavy contact. Replay revealed that Barnes’ left arm made contact with Kilpatrick’s face. The officials went to review the video and everyone knew Barnes was going to be issued a flagrant one foul. Instead, the referees called it a flagrant two foul and Barnes was ejected from the game. (Let me just say that Barnes previous reputation as a tough guy may have come into play in the call – imho).

The ejection changed the momentum of the game and the Nets promptly went on a 16-2 run and cut the Kings lead down to 99-93.

Rudy Gay hit a 19-foot jumper with 6:29 to go in the game which kicked off a 14-0 run by the Kings. That run killed any hope the Nets had of coming back in the game.

Sacramento won the game by the final score of 122-105.

Sacramento leaders

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets
Photo USA Today Sports
  • DeMarcus Cousins was the leading scorer in the game with 37 points and made it a double-double with 11 rebounds
  • Rudy Gay had a big game with 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds
  • Darren Collison scored 18 points
  • Ty Lawson scored 13 points coming off the bench for the Kings
  • Omri Casspi played again for the Kings putting up eight point and grabbing five rebounds. He was 2-for-2 from 3-point range.
  • Everyone on the Sacramento bench except Anthony Tolliver – that includes Ben McLemore and Willie Cauley-Stein- played in the game

Brooklyn’s top producers

  • Guard Sean Kilpatrick was the Nets leading scorer with 22 points. He went 8-for-13 shooting including three 3-point baskets
  • Brook Lopez put up 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds while battling with DeMarcus Cousins all night
  • Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points for Brooklyn
  • Justin Hamilton was the Nets rebounding leader with 10

Key stat of the game

Points in the paint: Kings 50 Nets 36 – this is where the game was won

Up next on the schedule

The Nets game was the first game of a back-to-back set on the road for the Kings. Sacramento will play on Monday night in Washington, D.C. The Wizards are 5-10 on the season and are coming off a loss to San Antonio. The Kings did play the Wizards in the preseason at Rupp Arena on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

The Nets will try to end their seven-game losing streak on Tuesday night when they host the 14-4 Los Angeles Clippers.

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 waive two and set the opening night roster

sac3

by Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–Monday was the deadline for all teams in the NBA to trim their rosters down to 15 players in preparation for the start of the regular season this week. The Kings still had 17 men on the team as the day began so two players had to be released.

Sacramento vice president of basketball operations and general manager Vlade Divac announced Monday afternoon that guards Jordan Farmar and Isaiah Cousins had been waived by the Kings.

Farmar is a nine-year veteran of the NBA who played his college basketball at UCLA. Farmar spent the 2015-16 season playing for Kings head coach Dave Joerger in Memphis. He averaged 6.5 points in four preseason games for Sacramento.

Isaiah Cousins was drafted by the Kings in the second round (59th overall) out of Oklahoma in the 2016 NBA Draft. Cousins appeared in two preseason games playing a total of 12 minutes.

The Kings opening night roster will feature three rookies. Center George Papagiannis, Forward Skal Labissiere and Guard Malachi Richardson were all added to the team via the draft in June. Expect to see the three rookies log some time in Reno playing with Kings D-League team to go along with working out with the big club in Sacramento.

Ty Lawson will be a point guard for the Kings when they open the season in Phoenix on Wednesday night. After a turbulent 2015-16 season, Lawson ran into controversy with the Kings over being late to a workout and missing a flight in Las Vegas after a preseason game in “Sin City”. Lawson met with team officials and was kept on the roster. With Darren Collison lost to suspension for the first eight games of the season, Lawson will probably be the starting point guard versus the Suns in the season opener.

Sacramento native Matt Barnes will be a key member of the Kings as they open the 2016-17 campaign.  The 6-foot-7 forward/guard will be counted on to bring some much needed floor toughness with offensive aggressiveness that will add fire to the Sacramento game. Barnes played for Dave Joerger in Memphis last season so he is already familiar with his system and coaching style.

Three additional NBA journeymen will be new to the Kings roster this season. Guard Arron Afflalo, guard Garrett Temple and forward Anthony Tolliver all bring solid experience to the Kings. It appears that the Kings will really depend on Tolliver to be a spark plug off the bench with the second unit early in the season.

Also back are the usual suspects. Cousins, Gay, Collison, Casspi, Cauley-Stein, Koufos and McLemore are all names that Kings fans know well from previous seasons. There have been rumors flying that Rudy Gay and Darren Collison could be on the move to Miami or Minnesota, but for now, they are just rumors. McLemore has also been mentioned as a possible trade piece.

The Kings open the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night in Phoenix against the Suns. The team returns to Sacramento on Thursday evening to open the home season versus the San Antonio Spurs in the new Golden 1 Center.

Reports: Kings sign NBA veteran point guard Ty Lawson

ty-lawson-111915-getty-ftr-usjpg_wr9tqbf55azw1td6vo376xxvw

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Vertical” on Yahoo! Sports is  reporting that the Kings have have signed veteran free-agent guard Ty Lawson to a one-year contract. The source of the information is reportedly from within  the league.

Lawson met with the Kings on Sunday in Sacramento and was to go on to New Orleans to meet with the Pelicans officials this week. Apparently, the Kings made Lawson an offer and that made a trip to New Orleans unnecessary.

Ironically, Lawson played for former Kings coach George Karl in Denver and there were rumors that Karl wanted Lawson in Sacramento last season. Now, Karl is gone and Lawson is now a King.

Lawson joins a backcourt that has gone through a major makeover. Gone are Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Seth Curry. In are guards Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple, Lamar Patterson and rookie Malachi Richardson. They will join returning guards Darren Collison and Ben McLemore.

Lawson split his time last season between Houston and Indiana. The Rockets gave up a first-round pick to Denver during the off-season to acquire the veteran guard. Lawson agreed to a buyout in March and signed with the Pacers to finish out the season.

Lawson averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 assists per game for Houston mostly coming off the bench. He has averaged 13.1 points and 6.2 assists per game for his career in the NBA.

The 28-year old Lawson played his college ball at the University of North Carolina and his high school basketball was played at the famed Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.