Kings love Florida sunshine: SAC beats MIA 89-88 for second consecutive win

Kings-HEAT

by Charlie O. Mallonee

With 4.3-seconds left to play on Thursday night and the Kings in possession of the ball, Sacramento trailed the Heat 88-87 on the road in Miami. This is the kind of situation that Kings have faced and failed in as they try to find success as a team in the rebuilding process. It was a different ending last night.

Bogdan Bogdanovic took a 20-foot step back jump shot that missed and bounced above the rim. De’Aaron Fox ran in from the left angle and slammed the rebound home to give the Kings an 89-88 lead. The clock stopped with 3.3-seconds remaining to allow Olynyk to enter the game for Miami and Temple to come on the floor the Kings.

Miami’s Josh Richardson missed a 21-foot jump shot with less than a second left on the clock and the Kings won their second consecutive game 89-88. Both of the wins have come in the “Sunshine State” of Florida.

The key to the win for the Kings was their ability to keep the game close. They did allow the Heat to open up a 12-point lead at one time but for the most part, it was a seesaw battle. There were 19 lead changes and the game was tied seven times in what turned out to be an exciting 48-minutes if you are a Kings fan.

Sacramento also broke a destructive pattern that has plagued them this season of falling behind in the third quarter and then having to make a major effort just catch up in the final period. On Thursday, Kings trailed by just one point heading into the fourth quarter.

The Kings dressed 10 players versus the Heat and head coach Dave Joerger used all 10 players in the game. Sacramento held out Vince Carter (who started in Orlando), George Hill and Georgios Papgiannis. Rumors are circulating that Hill may have a toe problem and is not being held out because of a possible trade.

Top Performances

Kings

FoxtoHoop

  • De’Aaron Fox gets the Star of the Game billing for the Kings. Not only did he score the game-winning basket but he added 14 points, four assists and three rebounds in his 29-plus minutes on the floor.
  • Buddy Hield really battled Fox for top billing on Thursday night. Hield receives Co-Star designation for scoring a game-high 24 points. He hit 10-of-15 field goal attempts and went 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Hield scored 13 of his points in the second quarter.
  • Veteran Zach Randolph is also going to receive a best supporting player award for recording a double-double against the Heat. Z-Bo scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 28-minutes of playing time.

Heat

Miami in the Vice jersies

  • Goran Dragic was the Star of the Game for Miami. He was the top scorer for the Heat with 23 points shooting 8-for-14 overall for the game. Dragic hit 3-of-5 from long-range and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
  • Co-Star status goes to guard Wayne Ellington who put up 20 points against the Kings. He converted 7-of-16 field goal attempts and six of those conversions were 3-point baskets.

By the Numbers

Sacramento (15-33)

  • The Kings shot 46.9-percent (38-for-81) from the floor versus the Heat. They only attempted 12 three-point shots but they hit five of them.
  • SAC was out-rebounded 46-38 but managed to outscore Miami on second-chance scoring opportunities 8-7.
  • The Kings dished out 21 assists and turned the ball over 13 times which is below the desired 2-to-1 ratio. They gave up 13 points to the Heat off those 13 TOV’s.
  • Sacramento recorded six blocked shots in the game. Five Kings players posted a block and Cauley-Stein had two blocks.

Miami (27-21)

  • The Heat shot just 37.8-percent (31-for-82) for the game. If a team shoots under 40-percent in the NBA, there is not much of chance that they will come away with a win.
  • Miami decided to attack the Kings by taking as many shots from beyond the 3-point line as possible. They attempted 34 long-range field goals but hit just 12 for a 35.3 shooting percentage.
  • The posted 19 assists and made 17 turnovers for a very unacceptable 1-to-1 ratio. The Kings scored 20 points off those 17 miscues.

Up Next

SAC

Unless the Kings request to have the game on Sunday moved to any city in Florida, they will face the Spurs in San Antonio on Sunday at 4:00 pm PST.¬† The team is hoping to take advantage of the good “mojo” they have enjoyed in Florida by staying in Miami on Friday and waiting to travel to Texas until Saturday.

MIA

The Heat will host the Hornets on Saturday night in Miami.

 

Kings: Trade rumors and roster moves

 

rudygayinjuryby Charlie O. Mallonee

The NBA preseason came to an end for the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Now comes the tough job of setting the final roster to begin the regular season. The Kings must be down to 15 players by October 24 and they have 18 players on the roster right now.

To complicate the issue, many teams are evaluating their personnel and are realizing that they do not have the players they need or do not have the players they want to keep for the beginning of the new season. That has caused an uproar of rumors to rise up as “leaks” from reliable sources are reported and repeated about trade deals that teams would like to make or are thinking about making before the start of the season.

The Kings have figured prominently into some of those rumors. If the rumors are to be believed, the Miami Heat are ready to ship point guard Goran Dragic to the Kings in return for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. Why would the Heat be willing to make this deal? Miami is now in a rebuilding mode after the loss of Dewayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Gay will opt out of his contract at the end of the season and Collison’s contract expires. The money from those contracts plus the money available from Bosh being off the books would give Miami approximately $42-million to spend in 2017-18 season to spend on free agents.

For the Kings, they would receive a high quality player that they would control through the 2018-19 season. Dragic does have a player option in 2019. Dragic would give them a quality point guard to go with Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic who the Kings anticipate signing before the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

There have also been rumors that a deal with Miami might happen that would send DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to Miami for Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic. Such a deal cannot happen immediately because Whiteside cannot be traded by league rule until December 15 because he just signed a four-year $98-million contract. The Kings are not going to wait until December to move Gay because his value is falling daily because of his ability to opt out of his contract at the end of the season. That is not to say a Whiteside for Cousins deal could not happen but they will not be tied together with a deal involving Rudy Gay.

On Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Kings are pursuing Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio – who is owed $43-million over the next three years – is expected to become the Timberwolves back up point about 20 games into the season when number five overall draft pick Kris Dunn takes over the point. Then, Rubio is expected to become expendable. The Kings are trying to expedite the process.

Roster Move

The Kings officially announced on Wednesday afternoon that guard/forward Lamar Patterson has been waived. Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac made the announcement.

The Kings claimed Patterson off waivers from the Atlanta Hawks during the off-season. Patterson played his first season in the NBA with the Hawks in 2015-16. He was drafted in 2014 out the University of Pittsburgh by the Detroit Pistons and round up playing the season in Turkey.

The Kings roster is now down to 17 players. They must make another two cuts before October 24 to have their roster at the league mandated 15 players.

 

Lee, Thompson lead Warriors over Dragic, Green and Suns

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors went on a 21-2 run (38-17 overall)¬†in the third quarter and held on tight, picking up their fourth straight win 113-107 over the Phoenix Suns Sunday night in front of sold out 19,596 fans at Oracle Arena.

David Lee finished with game-highs of 26 points and nine rebounds on 11 for 18 in 37 minutes, and looked tremendous attacking the basket. Klay Thompson scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Thompson was 9 for 15 from the field, including 4 for 6 on 3s.

Stephen Curry added 18 points and a game-high nine assists on 7 for 16 from the field while dealing with a¬†strained right quad. Golden State shot a blistering 52.9-percent from the field (45 for 85), while the bench outscored Phoenix’s bench, 36-28.

Draymond Green was the high-man for Golden State off the bench with 13 points.

Phoenix had no answer for Golden State inside, allowing the Warriors to hold a 50-36 edge in points in the paint.

Gerald Green had 25 points and six rebounds, while backcourt mate Goran Dragic added 24 and six assists for Phoenix (36-26), who drop into a tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

With the win, Golden State (40-24) improves to 9-2 since the All-Star break, and moves two games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks (38-26) for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Golden State hosts Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on Tuesday.Klay Thompson

Dragic, Suns topple Curry and Warriors in the desert

By Joe Hawkes

PHOENIX — With the Suns clinging to a 104-102 lead with seven minutes in the fourth quarter, Goran Dragic was relentless Saturday night, scoring 13 of his career-high 34 points in the final frame, steering Phoenix to a 122-109 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors Saturday night.

Phoenix (30-21) moves a half-game ahead of the Warriors (30-21) for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, and dropping Golden State to third in the Pacific Division.

Dragic who many¬†people believed should’ve been voted¬†an All-Star¬†this season, played like one,¬†shooting 10-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Dragic was outstanding from the free throw line, finishing 8-for-10 and dished out 10 assists.

Gerald Green scored 25 points and five rebounds, while P.J. Tucker finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Morris had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, Channing Frye finished with 13 points, and Miles Plumlee 12 points and seven rebounds.

Playing without center Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and power forward David Lee (shoulder/hip), Stephen Curry led Golden State with 28 points and nine assists in 41 minutes of action. Curry shot 10-for-30 from the field, and 3-for-10 from deep.

Harrison Barnes had his best game to date, scoring 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting. It was Barnes’s first 20-point game since Dec. 13.

Klay Thompson had 17 points, Andre Iguodala scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Jermaine O’Neal finished with 11 points.

With both Bogut and Lee sitting out the game, Phoenix out-rebounded Golden State 45-34.

Golden State will look to rebound at home Monday, when they will host the Philadelphia 76ers (15-36).