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.

Kings come up two points short, lose to the Lakers 99-97

LAK 2
Graphic: @NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings trailed the LA Lakers 99-97 with 5.5 seconds to go in the game on Friday night at Staples Center. After designing a play during a timeout, most of the crowd expected the ball to go to Bogdan Bogdanovic in order for “Bogi” to attempt a game-winning 3-point shot. Instead, the inbounds pass went to Harrison Barnes who slipped or was tripped on his way to the bucket.

Barnes went up in the air and was met head-on by Anthony Davis who blocked his potential layup. There was a lot of body contact, but because Barnes was out of control from the slip (or trip) no foul was called. Time expired and the Kings (4-7) had lost the game by two points.

I am now going to interject an editorial opinion. If the play had been the other way around with Davis driving on the hoop, slipping and Barnes making contact, a foul would have been called and Davis would have gone to the line to shoot two free throws. That is the inequity of officiating in the NBA. If you are a superstar and playing on your home court, the calls will always go your way. It is a major flaw that needs to be fixed but don’t hold your breath. No changes are coming anytime soon.

Spotlight on the Lakers (10-2)

  • LeBron James scored a game-high 29 points and made it a double-double game by dishing out 11 assists. He also played a game-high 38 minutes and 40 seconds. Not bad for an old guy.
  • Anthony Davis added 17 points and blocked four shots. His most important blocked shot came at the end of the game.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points in just over 24 minutes of playing time. He went 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
  • Kyle Kuzma came off the bench to put up 13 points and hauling in five rebounds.
  • The Lakers outscored the Kings in the paint 42-36.
  • LA also won the battle of 2nd Chance Points 15-5.

Focus on the Kings

  • Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring attack with 21 points. Hield shot 6-for-15 from the floor. All six of his baskets were 3-pointers.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic played almost 37 minutes on Friday night. He scored 18 points shooting 7-for-13 from the floor.
  • Richaun Holmes had a big game on offense and defense. Holmes scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Lakers.

Up Next

The Kings will host the Boston Celtics at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday at 12:30 PM.

The Lakers host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

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 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.

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.

 

NBA Basketball in Mumbai: Pacers beat Kings 132-132 in OT

Mumbai final
Photo/Graphic: NBC Sports California

The NBA goes to Bollywood!

By Charlie O @Charlieo1320

The first-ever NBA game was played in Mumbai, India on Friday night between the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings. Well, it was Friday night if you were in Mumbai. If you were in Sacramento, the game tipped off at 6:30 AM, so it was bagels and basketball.

The Game

Much to the chagrin of the coaches and to the delight of the crowd, the game required overtime. The Pacers prevailed in OT 132-131. The Kings’ Buddy Hield put up a long 3-point shot that had a realistic chance of going in, but bounced high off the rim and was put back in by Marvin Bagley for two points at the buzzer. Sacramento fell one point short of causing double overtime.

To say that the players were “gassed” would be a gross understatement. All five of the Indiana starters and three of the Sacramento starting five played 30-minutes or more. Rest assured that neither Nate McMillan nor Luke Walton planned to play any of their players for that long in the first preseason game.

Key Numbers

T.J. Warren — who was traded the Pacers by the Suns in the off-season — was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points. He hit 11-of-18 from the floor and was 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.

Domantas Sabonis recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. He made six rebounds on offense and six on defense.

Point Guard Malcolm Brogdon also had a double-double game with 15 points and 14 assists.

Buddy Hield led the Kings’ scoring attack with 28 points. He shot 11-for-20 from the field and converted 4-of-10 from downtown.

Harrison Barnes — fresh off his time with Team USA — put 21 points in the book. Barnes went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

De’Aaron Fox added 15 points and dished out eight assists.

Numbers for concern

Luke Walton cannot be happy that his team was outrebounded 47-30. The Pacers scored 21 second chance points to the Kings’ seven. That is not a winning formula in the NBA.

Nate McMillan will be talking to his team about turnovers. The Pacers turned the ball over 25 times in the contest, which resulted in 25 Sacramento points.

Why India?

The NBA really sees itself as being a worldwide game and marketing force. The league’s goal is to literally market itself around the globe. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is a market that cannot be ignored.

Here are a few other facts:

  • More than 3 million fans in India follow the NBA on Facebook.
  • Over 300 live NBA games are available to viewers in India each season. In fact, fans in Sacramento often welcome Indian viewers just before tipoff.
  • The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2012 — one of 12 NBA offices outside the USA.
  • The NBA Academy India was opened in 2017 in Delhi to help develop top male and female basketball prospects.

The other reason India is a key target for the association is Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive is originally from Mumbai. It has been his dream to bring the game to his country of origin.

“This is a historic day, but for me it’s a dream come true. I left Bombay (Mumbai) when I was 17 years old and literally I had $50 in my pocket, so to come back here with my NBA team and also bring my friend Herb Simon with his team and to play an actual NBA game is beyond my wildest, wildest imagination,” explained Ranadive.

Ranadive has a vision for the future, “What I see happening is that within the next 10 years, this game, it’ll never surpass cricket as the national pastime, but it’ll be right up there. And hopefully, Commissioner, we can launch a league right here in India. I hope in the next 10 years that we’ll have at least one player that comes out of the system that plays in the NBA. We already see players. And I fully expect that there will be arenas that spring up across the country where we can play these games.”

More from Mumbai tomorrow

The Kings and Pacers will play one more preseason game on Saturday night in Mumbai. The tipoff time in Indiana is 8:30 AM and in Sacramento it is 6:30 AM. If you call yourself a real NBA fan, it is breakfast and basketball tomorrow morning.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Raiders’ Brown threatens to punch GM Mayock over fine; Kaval meets with the media at Jack London Square to share dreams; plus more

Photo credit sfgate.com: Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown shown in photo during his signing with the team during happier times threatened Raiders general manager Mike Mayock at practice on Thursday over his recent fines from the team.

On Headline Sports with Tony:

#1 Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown threatened Raiders general manager Mike Mayock after he was fined $53,000 for leaving camp twice. Don’t be surprised if Brown is cut. Brown also has not gotten his $30 million from his current contract and may not get it.

#2 The Oakland A’s held a presser last Tuesday afternoon at Jack London Square with team president David Kaval, who stood in front of a number of white cranes that help lift cargo shipments. Kaval said rather than remove them they would be part of the new stadium landscape kind of a conversation piece.

#3 It’s just simply a deal that has to get done. Kaval acknowledged that the environmental report which includes topic on toxic clean up, mass transportation, traffic conditions, and the railroads that circle the prized area where the A’s new ballpark is supposed to be built on.

#4 The New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball said that his father Lavar’s brand sneakers The Big Baller ZO2 brand fell apart after each quarter “If you literally have those shoes from those games, they’re exploded,” Ball said. Not the ringing endorsement from the off spring of the founder.

#5 The Sacramento Kings owe Harrison Barnes $2.1 million. Barnes, who played for the Kings two different times, is owed the money after the Kings who originally signed him for $12 million and sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans with DeMarcus Cousins in 2016. After Barnes returned to Sacramento in 2018-19, he was paid but with $2.1 million left. Bottom line — how much will Barnes be missed in Sacramento?

#6 The Oakland Raiders kick off on Monday Night Football at the Oakland Coliseum to start Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. How do you see Raiders quarterback Derek Carr matching up against Broncos starter Joe Flacco in this one?

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

 

The term “ugly loss” was redefined as Nets come back to beat Kings 123-121

IMG_2984
Bogi goes to the hoop Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento — At the end of three quarters on Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings held a 25 point lead over the visiting Brooklyn Nets, 103-78. The Kings largest lead of the night had been 28 points. All of the fans in the Golden 1 Center were settling in and getting ready for some “Showtime” basketball in the final period. Things did not go as planned.

The Nets – behind an incredible 27-point scoring barrage by D’Angelo Russell – outscored the Kings 45-18 the fourth quarter to end a three-game losing streak and defeat Sacramento 123-121. The stunned sellout crowd left the arena trying to figure out how the Kings allowed what appeared to be a sure victory to become such agonizing defeat.

This was just the fourth time in the NBA shot clock era that a team has come back to win after trailing by 25 points through three quarters. That is not the kind of stain you want to have on your season if you are the Kings.

Why Did the Kings Lose?

  1. The took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. The looked at the scoreboard, saw a 25 point lead and relaxed. After all, there was no chance the Nets were going to mount a comeback down by that many points.
  2. Sacramento did not hustle back on defense. D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made them pay for that as the two Nets combined for 39 points in the final quarter. Russell hit 10-of-15 shots including four 3-point baskets. Hollis-Jefferson was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in the fourth quarter.
  3. The Kings also shot horribly in the final stanza. They connected on just 5-of-22 attempts (22.7%) and went 0-for-8 from behind the 3-point line. They also turned the ball over seven times which resulted in six Brooklyn points.
IMG_2907
Fox takes the shot from the key Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

KINGS

Top Performers

  • Marvin Bagley III was the Kings top scorer with 28 points. He shot 12-for-15 in the game and went 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Bagley has been working on adding the 3-point shot to allow him to become a true “stretch four”. Bagley also played just over 29 minutes. That is the most playing time he has seen since returning from his knee sprain.
  • De’Aaron Fox added 27 points as he hit 10-of-20 shots from the field. Fox went 2-for-5 from downtown. The point guard dished out nine assists and made four rebounds in almost 35 minutes of playing time.
  • Harrison Barnes put up 17 points, added seven rebounds and played just over 38 minutes in the loss.
  • Buddy Hield did not have a “Buddy Buckets” type game. He scored just eight points shooting 4-for-13 overall while going 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. His off night was not the cause of the Kings loss.

Team Stats

  • SAC shot 51.6-percent (49/95) for the contest. They sank 9-of-25 (36.0%) of their 3-point attempts.
  • The Kings went 14-for-20 (70%) from the free throw line. Both the percentage and number of attempts are a little low.
  • The turnover to assists ratio was awful. The Kings made 25 assists but they turned the ball over 21 times. That missed the desired 2:1 ratio by a “country mile”.
  • Sacramento was outscored in the paint 68-64. The Kings usually own the paint when they win.
  • The Kings are now 34-36 for the season. They are 7.0 games out of the eighth-place and the final playoff slot in the Western Conference with 12 games to play.

BROOKLYN

Spotlight Players

  • D’Angelo Russell was the games leading scorer with 44 points. He shot 17-for-33 from the floor and connected on 6-of-15 from downtown. Russell made it a double-double by distributing 12 “dimes”. He made four steals. Hey Lakers, Mr. Russell is a Restricted Free Agent in the off-season. Maybe you should make a play for the one you traded away.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came off the bench when it looked like it was going to be “mop-up” time and wound up scoring the winning bucket. He scored 14 points in just under 17 minutes on the floor. Hollis-Jefferson went 6-for-7 shooting from the field.
  • Jared Dudley scored six points in the contest. Why is that significant? All six points came in the fourth quarter when all the points were scored by three players – Russell, Hollis-Jefferson, and Dudley.

Team Stats

  • The Nets shot 50.0-percent (47/94) from the floor and hit 12-of-35 (34.3%) attempts from 3-point land.
  • Brooklyn hit 17-of-23 (73.9%) of their shots from the charity stripe.
  • BKN recorded 28 assists and committed 18 turnovers. The TOV’s were too high but they made it work.
  • They made 16 steals versus 13 for SAC.
  • The Nets blocked four Kings shots. The Kings recorded only one blocked shot.
  • The Nets are now 37-36 on the season and one-half game back of sixth-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference.

Up Next

The Kings will return to action on Thursday when the Dallas Mavericks come to Sacramento for a 7:00 PM tipoff. This will be a chance for Sacramento fans to see rookie Luka Doncic and possibly see Dirk Nowitzki for the final time.

Brooklyn will continue their seven-game road trip on Friday night in Los Angeles when they will take on the Lakers.

 

 

 

Kings crush the Bulls 129-102 on St. Patty’s Day

IMG_2488
Bagley shoots over Lopez Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings broke up a three-game losing streak on Sunday by devouring the hapless Chicago Bulls 129-102 before a delighted sellout crowd at the Golden 1 Center. After returning home from a very disappointing four-game road trip that saw the team pick up just one victory, the young Kings were in need of something to put a smile back on their faces. There were plenty of smiles after the game on St. Patrick’s Day.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger said, “… they do work so hard, it’s fun to see them get the result that does make them feel good.”

The teams played a tough first quarter that saw seven lead changes and four ties. It appeared that the Bulls had arrived ready to put up a fight on Sunday.

Sacramento was trailing 23-21 with 6.7-seconds to go in the first quarter. Bogdan Bogdanovic brought the ball up the court while watching the clock, took a step back behind the 3-point line, and sank a 26-foot shot to give the Kings a 24-23 lead at the end of the first period.

The Kings would never trail in the game again.

IMG_2503
The bigs crash the boards Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Why did the Kings win?

  1. Sacramento was ready for a win, and they came out willing to work for it. Dave Joerger revealed after the game that their plan was to work the for a shot in the paint early in the possession (four to six seconds) then start looking for open shots outside if layups were not available. The Kings outscored the Bulls 80-56 in the paint.
  2. The Kings shot the basketball very well in the contest. They shot 52.4-percent (54/103) overall and 34.8-percent (8/23) from 3-point land. They also converted 13-of-16 (81.2%) or their free throw attempts. Poor free throw shooting had hurt them on the road trip.
  3. The Kings also banged on the boards. Sacramento out-rebounded Chicago 48-39. They also outdid their opponent on the offensive glass 15-10. The Kings scored 23 2nd chance points to 15 for the Bulls.
  4. Sacramento continued to take very good care of the basketball as they turned it over just 12 times (13 CHI points) while the Bulls turned it over 20 times (25 SAC points).

Top Performances

IMG_2597
Bogi challenges Lopez Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Kings

  • Marvin Bagley III played an amazing 21-minutes of basketball (we believe the minutes restriction from his knee injury is still in place). He scored a game-high 21-points by shooting 9-for-14 from the field and going a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. MB35 also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out two assists.
  • The other young big – Harry Giles III – also played 21-minutes. H20 scored 16 points while shooting 8-for-14 in the contest. He also hauled in six rebounds, added three assists and blocked three shots.
  • And those other guys: De’Aaron Fox scored 17 points, Buddy Hield, 16, Harrison Barnes 15, Willey Cauley-Stein 9, Bjelica 8, and Bogdanovic 8.
  • All 13 players on the active roster saw playing in the game on Sunday.

Chicago

  • Zach LaVine was the leading scorer for the Bulls with 18 points. You may remember that Kings tried to get LaVine in the off-season, but the Bulls matched the Sacramento offer to keep talented guard in Chicago.
  • The real star for the Bulls is “tankathon”. Chicago is 19-52 on the season and their real goal is to finish with the best chance to get the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery in June. Right now, they have the fourth worst record in the league and have a 12.5-percent chance in Zion Williamson sweepstakes. It is tough to be too motivated when you know your team’s goal is to be “the biggest loser”.

Import Milestone

The Kings record improved to 34-35 after the win on Sunday. That is most wins for Sacramento since back in 2007-08 when the team won 38 games. The prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight.com predict that the Kings will win 39 games this season.

IMG_2662
Bjelica hits the corner three Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Up Next

The Kings are off until Tuesday night when they will face the much improved and playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets at the Golden 1 Center.

Chicago traveled to Phoenix after the game and will play the pesky Suns on Monday night.