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

SAC 11-12

By Charlie O. Mallonee

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

NBA observers immediately predicted “doom and gloom”

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

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

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

Portland tried to take control in the first half

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

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

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

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

Could the Kings overcome their Third Quarter nemesis?

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

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

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

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

Portland did not give up in the fourth

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

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

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

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

Focus on the Kings

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

Blazers top performers

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

Up next

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

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

The Kings pull one out of the fire as they beat the Heat 102-96 on Friday night

Heat Jersey exchange
DWade’s last game in Sac included a jersey exchange Photo: @SacramentoKings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Kings head coach Dave Joerger summarized the game on Friday night with one word — discombobulated! With two new players in the rotation and two key players traded to other teams, getting into sync was difficult for the Kings on Friday night.

Sacramento took their first lead of the contest with 1:21 to go in the game. Buddy Hield converted the second of two free throw opportunities to give his team a 97-96 lead. The Kings scored the final six points of the game to make the final score 102-96 to give them their 29th victory of the season.

Both teams had shooting and turnover problems

The Kings struggled early in the with their shooting. In the first period, they shot just 24.0-percent (6/25) overall and hit just 2-of-7 (28.6%) of their 3-point field goals. Sacramento also turned the ball over five times.

The Kings’ shooting percentage improved from there. Although it never was spectacular– 41.1–percent for the game. They cut down on the turnovers, finishing with 14 that resulted in 11 Miami points.

Miami’s poorest shooting streak came in the fourth quarter. The Heat shot just 25-percent (6/24) from the floor and hit just 1-of-9 (11.1%) from downtown. They turned the ball over six times in the final period that became nine Sacramento points.

The Heat shot 43.2-percent for the game and recorded 20 turnovers (22 SAC points). Those turnovers led to their demise.

Dave Joerger was happy to come away with a win

Harrison Barnes who just joined the Kings made his first start on Friday night

Barnes who was traded to the Kings from the Dallas Mavericks started in his first game in a Sacramento uniform. The veteran forward scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out two assists in just over 36 minutes of playing time. Barnes went 2-for-4 from 3-point distance and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line.

Buddy Hield had an important night on the floor and in the huddles

Buddy Hield posted a game-high 23 points in the Kings winning effort. He hit 8-of-16 shots overall and went 4-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc. Hield converted 3-of-4 opportunities at the free throw line.

Other Kings contributors

Heat huddle
Kings celebrate the win over the Heat Photo: @SacramentoKings
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 16 points, hauled in five rebounds, made four assists and added two assists.
  • De’Aaron Fox added 12 points, four steals, and three assists.
  • Harry Giles III was very productive in his 16-plus minutes of playing time. He booked 10 points, three rebounds, and one steal.
  • Coach Joerger was quick to point out that Willie Cauley-Stein had a very strong game on defense to go with his seven points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots.
  • Newcomer Alec Burks recorded nine points in just over 14-minutes on the floor. He also had four rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

More Sacramento Team Stats

Heat final score

  • The Kings had a good night at the charity stripe as they hit 19-of-25 (76%) opportunities. Both the number of attempts and conversion percentage showed improvement.
  • The Kings were outrebounded 49-46.
  • SAC distributed 18 assists and turned the ball over 14 times.
  • The team had a total of 11 steals and five blocked shots.
  • The Heat outscored the Kings 50-48 in the paint.
  • The Kings won the battle of 2nd Chance Points 17-6.
  • Sacramento also won with speed scoring 19 Fast Break Points to 8 for Miami.

The best performances by the Heat

  • Josh Richardson scored a team-high 21 points to go with four assists and three blocked shots.
  • Hassan Whiteside was especially productive scoring in the first half and scored 17 points to with 19 rebounds in the game.
  • Dwyane Wade overcame a nasty fall in the first quarter to go on and score 15 points and dish out four assists in his final appearance in Sacramento.

Up next

The Kings (29-26) will have Saturday off – no practice. They will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Phoenix “Tankers” — I mean Suns — come to Sacramento to wrap up the longest homestand of the season.

The Heat (25-28) have a date with Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Golden State Warriors Tuesday game wrap:The Warriors defeat the Miami Heat. It was not easy.

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, playing without Klay Thompson, faced a very determined Miami Heat team Tuesday Night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors downed the Heat 107-95 to improve the season record to 33-6. The Heat’s record dropped to 11-29.

The Warriors gave Klay Thompson the night off as they probably thought the Heat game would not be that difficult. Guess what?  The Heat got close about halfway through the fourth quarter, but the Warriors behind Steph Curry and Kevin Durantt were able to put the Heat away. The Heat is a team with professional basketball players.They have had a lot of injuries and lost Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, but they are in the NBA, and a lowly team can beat an elite team on any given night. Warrior coach Steve Kerr said that he “gave them a lot of credit and that the team plays hard.” He also said that their center Hassan Whiteside “was a handful.” ” They are better than their record shows, and they don’t have enough firepower to win consistently,”

The Heat led the Dubs by 10 25-15 late in the first quarter. The Warriors woke up and tied the game at 27, but the Heat scored at the end of the period to lead 29-27 after the first 12 minutes of play. The Warriors had a 13-2 run to start the second quarter. But they went cold late in the quarter, and the Heat turned the tables on them as they went on a 15-6 run to take the lead 49-48.The Warriors tied the game at 51, but Patrick McCaw committed a foul on a three-point shot.The half ended with the Heat ahead by one-point 54-53.

The Warriors played fantastic defense in the third quarter and outscored the Heat 26-14 to take a 79-68 advantage. Kevin Durant paced the Dubs in scoring and KD and Draymond Green along with Andre Iguodala were superb on defense. The Dubs scored the first bucket in the fourth quarter to up the lead to thirteen. However, the Heat chipped away at the lead and close the gap to just three trailing 85-82. The Dubs scored the next five points. Ian Clark drained a three to put the Dubs up by seven 89-82. The Warriors pulled away to lead by 17 late in the game. They led 107-90 but the Heat scored the last 5 points of the contest. Warriors win 107-95.

The Stats- The Warriors shot 45.7% from the floor. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 24 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds. Steph also blocked a shot. KD led the team with 28 points. Draymond Green added 13 to go along with 5 assists, nine rebounds, and 2 blocked shots.Zaza Pachulia had 8. The bench players Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Ian Clark added 9, 8 and 10 respectively.The Warriors, who love to run, scored 34 fast break point. However, the Heat was able to score 58 points in the paint, and they held the Dubs to 36 in that department. The Heat’s center Hassan Whiteside was a force as he scored 28 points and snagged 20 rebounds.Goren Dragic knocked down 17 and Tyler Johnson, from Mountain View, pitched in with 18 points, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds. Janes Johnson helped the Heat cause with 14.

The Dubs were terrific on defense. They outrebounded the Heat 57-49. Golden State had 6 steals and seven blocks. The Dubs protected the ball and committed just 11 turnovers.

The Warriors meet the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Game time will be at 7:30 pm.

 

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.