Sacramento Kings game wrap: Kings played improved ball but can’t hang on with Blazers 123-119

The Portland Trailblazers forward Robert Covington tried prying the ball out of the hands of the Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica during first half action Thu Mar 4, 2021’s contest in Portland (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The day has finally arrived for Kings players. That day is the end of the first half of the 2021 season. The first half of the season has been very up and down for the Kings. They went on a streak of winning 7-8 games, and also a nine game losing streak. It was really a tale of two teams.

On Thursday night, the Kings would suit up for the last time before the All Star break. It would be the second night of a back to back after playing in Sacramento against the Lakers the night before.

In Wednesday’s game, the King battled. It wasn’t the cleanest game of all time but the Kings did manage to pull out the win against the Lakers. Granted, the Lakers were without their stars Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The Kings managed to win 123-120.

Thursday night, the Kings would be on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland. Tip-off was set for 7 PM PST. Only to lose it in a close well battled game between the two clubs with the Blazers winning 123-114.

In the first half, the Kings played well. They didn’t allow the Blazers to take a large lead and kept the game close. The Kings were out scored 30-27 in the first quarter as they looked to solidify the defensive end of the floor.

In the second quarter, The Kings and Blazers both scored 29 points to send the game into halftime with a 59-56 lead over the Kings. The Kings would look to continue the decent defense in the second half to keep the game close.

In the second half, the Kings pulled ahead early. After the third quarter, in which the Kings out scored the Blazers 34-30, the Kings offense began to show life. It would be up to the defense in the fourth quarter to contain Damion Lillard and come away with a win.

That wasn’t to happen. The Blazers out scored the Kings 34-29 in the final quarter to beat the Kings. The Kings played sloppy offense in the final minute which ultimately cost them the game.

Lillard finished the game with 44 points and the Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox who had 32. This was the Kings final game before the All Star break and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some roster moves when the next Kings game takes place.

Up next: The All Star break will last until Thursday March 11th when the Kings welcome in the Houston Rockets at 7 PM PST in Sacramento.

Sacramento Kings game wrap: Rockets take second game 102-94; Kings get swept in two game match

The Houston Rockets John Wall who led the Rockets in scoring with 28 points contributed to the Rockets eight point win over the Sacramento Kings on Sat Jan 2, 2021 in Houston (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

On Saturday, the NBA community is mourning the loss of Paul Westphal. The legendary coach passed away at the age of 70. Westphal was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.

The Sacramento Kings are set for another matchup in this young NBA season. Last game, the Kings were on the losing end against the Houston Rockets on New Year’s eve.The Kings battled through the whole game. Unfortunately, James Harden went off in the last few minutes of the game. The Rockets were able to defeat the Kings 122-119 in Houston.

The Kings didn’t fare much better on Saturday night in Houston taking a second loss to the Rockets 102-94.

However, unfortunate news for the Kings was revealed over the last couple of days. Standout rookie Tyrese Haliburton was not be available for the rest of the road trip. He has an injury to his wrist and his tests came back negative. Haliburton is going to be looked at whether he can play or not on Mon Jan 4th in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors.

In the first half, the Kings kept things close with the Rockets. The Kings matched the Rockets in the first quarter scoring 36 points. Neither team played much defense and the offenses were getting all the shots they wanted. The second quarter was very similar. The Kings and Rockets both scored 28 points to go into halftime tied at 64 apiece.

In the second half, the Rockets pulled away from the Kings. The Rockets outscored the Kings 19-17 in the third quarter as the offense in the game evaporated. Neither team was able to get into an offensive rhythm and both teams played better defense. In the fourth, the Rockets sealed the fate of the Kings. They outscored the Kings 19-13.

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 points in the game. John Wall led the way for the Rockets with 28 points.

Up Next: The Kings will continue this road trip in San Francisco at Chase Center against Golden State on Monday at 7 PM PST.

Kings unable to continue hot start as they lose to Rockets 122-119

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By Ana Kieu

The Sacramento Kings hit the road to open a back-to-back series against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center on Thursday evening. The Kings looked to continue their hot start, but ended up losing to the Rockets 122-119 in the first game of a back-to-back series.

The Kings rolled with their tried-and-true starting lineup of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, and Richaun Holmes. But it wasn’t enough to contain James Harden and the Rockets.

The Kings were off to a fast start. Harrison Barnes opened the scoring with a 3-pointer at 11:31 of the first quarter. Buddy Hield made a 2-point shot tied the game at 14 with 6:45 left in the first. Former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who signed a one-year contract with the Rockets on December 1, missed a second free throw that could’ve tied the game, and the Kings held onto a 33-32 lead at the end of the first.

Corey Joseph entered the game for De’Aaron Fox to start the second quarter. The Kings went on an 8-2 run late in the second. Harrison Barnes made a driving layup, Richaun Holmes made a pullup jump shot off a pass from De’Aaron Fox, and Buddy Hield hit two 3-pointers. However, the Kings’ 4-point lead quickly disappeared as James Harden made a driving layup and a 2-point shot to give the Rockets a 63-59 lead at halftime.

The Rockets went on a 9-2 run to start the second half, but the Kings caught up late in the third quarter. Harrison Barnes made a pair of free throws to pull the Kings within 2 with 6:46 left in the third. De’Aaron Fox hit a 3-pointer to give the Kings an 87-86 lead with 35.9 seconds left in the third. Fox then missed a 2-point shot, and the Kings settled for an 87-86 lead after three quarters.

With the score tied at 90, Houston decided to challenge the John Wall shooting foul. After further review, the challenge was ruled successful. As a result, the play was a Harrison Barnes tip and it counted. The Kings led 92-90 at 10:40 of the fourth quarter.

Cory Joseph made a 2-point shot to give the Kings their biggest lead of the game, 99-92, with 8:24 left in the fourth. The Rockets had some dry spells, but they bounced back to beat the Kings 122-119 for their first win of the season. The Rockets moved to 1-2.

The Kings fell to 3-2. Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist. Richaun Holmes had 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 assists. De’Aaron Fox had 22 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Buddy Hield had 19 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. Tyrese Haliburton had 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Cory Joseph had 9 points, 5 assists, and 1 assist. Nemanja Bjelica had 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. Marvin Bagley III added 4 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist.

The Kings wrap up their back-and-back series against the Rockets on Saturday, January 2 at 2 pm PT.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Kings get 7 players in double figures dominate Nuggets 125-115

(@SacramentoKings photo) De’Aaron Fox (3) celebrates after scoring. Fox led the Kings in scoring on Tue Dec 29, 2020 against the Denver Nuggets at Golden One Center

On Headline Sports with Tony R:

#1 The Sacramento Kings pick up a key win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night 125-115. The win marked the second home victory for the Kings and put the Kings two games over the .500 mark at 3-1.

#2 One thing about Kings head coach Luke Walton he made sure that the Kings came out of the first half competitive, offensively ready and they protected the first half lead by a good margin 74-62.

#3 Seeing how the Kings have been winning their games but in the second half the Nuggets outscored the Kings 53-51 but the Nuggets couldn’t make up the lesser ten points and the Kings came away with the victory.

#4 The Kings had seven players finish in double figures with De’Aaron Fox 24, Richaun Holmes 20, Marvin Bagley III 18, Tyrese Haliburton and Harrison Barnes both with 13, and Nemanja Bjelica and Buddy Hield with 12 points.

#5 Kings are in Houston for New Year’s eve for a 4:00PM tip on Thursday night then the second game of the two game series on Sat Jan 2 at 2:00pm in Houston.

Join Tony for Headline Sports every other Thursday at

It was bombs away as Rockets blow out Warriors 135-105

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Warriors resumed play Thursday night against the visiting Houston Rockets. The Rockets, playing with a smaller lineup since the trade of Clint Capela, raced up and down the court. Their defense smothered the W’s in the first quarter. The Rockets connected on threes all night long. The Rockets, having been eliminated in the playoffs several times by the Warriors, had to enjoy pummeling the young W’s.

The Warriors only came early in the first period. They were leading 4-3 when Houston went on a 17-3 run. The Rockets continued to pour it on and finished the first quarter 38-17. The game was over for all intents and purposes at that point.

The Warriors offense picked up in the second quarter. The Rockets won the period 34-33 and finished the first half with a 22-point advantage. The Rockets made 15 threes in 26 tries. The Warriors made just one. James Harden had 16, Russell Westbrook 17 to pace the Rockets’ attack. P.J.Tucker finished the half with 15. He made five threes. Andrew Wiggins led the W’s with 10. Marquese Chriss had 8.

The third quarter belonged to Houston. Harden, Westbrook, and Robert Covington made it look easy as they outscored the W’s 37-27 to finish the third quarter leading by thirty-two 109-77.

Houston removed the starters about halfway through the fourth quarter. With 6:04 left to play, Russell Westbrook was called for a foul as he shoved Damion Lee to the floor. Westbrook, who had a technical foul called on him earlier in the game, lost his cool and had to be restrained by several members of the Houston staff. Westbrook was ejected from the game. He leads the league with 13 technicals. Draymond Green is second with 12. Play resumed, but the W’s could do nothing as they lost by a final score of 135-105

Game Notes and Stats- Looking at the stat sheet, it doesn’t seem that the W’s didn’t play that poorly. They were 44 for 91 (48.4%) from the floor. The Rockets were 45 for 87 from the floor. The reason for the huge loss was the fact that the Rockets made 25 threes. The Warriors made 7.

The Warriors had four starters in double figures. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22. Jordan Poole 19, Damion Lee 13, Marquese Chriss 10. Eric Paschall and Juan Toscano-Anderson, both coming off the bench, knocked 13 and 10.

James Harden paced the Rockets with 29. Westbrook had 21, Robert Covington 20, Jeff Green 17, P.J.Tucker 15, and Danuel House 11.

The Warriors are now 12-44 for the year. Houston improved to 35-20.

The Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. The Pelicans’ big rookie Zion Williamson will be making his first appearance in San Francisco. The game will start at 5:30 pm at the Chase Center.

Warriors find good tidings under their tree shock Rockets 116-104 photo: The Golden State Warriors Damon Lee (1) goes airborne to take a shot against the Houston Rockets Clint Capela (15) at Chase Center in San Francisco on Wed Dec 25th

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Warriors met and defeated the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day by a score of 116-104. The game was on national television, and if the network executives had their way, they would have pulled it from the schedule.

The Warriors, who have been scuffling all season, won their third game in a row. On December 15th, the W’s were blown out by the Sacramento Kings. The W’s head coach Steve Kerr must have said something to the team as they have played well in their last four games. They gave Portland a tussle but lost.

They then beat New Orleans, Minnesota, and, now, the Rockets. It was a team effort. They played well on both ends of the court. They held the Rockets’ scoring machine, James Harden, to 24 points. They did not foul Harden either. Harden, the master of drawing fouls, had just one free throw, and he missed it.

The Warriors got off to a good start in the first quarter. They had an early 13-7 lead. The Rockets went ahead 16-15 about midway through the quarter. The Warriors were able to keep pace with the Rockets and finished the first period trailing by a point 29-28.

The Rockets appeared to have found their rhythm in the second quarter. Harden made 5 threes in seven tries to finish the first half with 19  points. Russell Westbrook added 18, and the Rockets led 68-64. The W’s Damion Lee led the W’s scoring with 17. D’Angelo Russell had 14, and Glenn Robinson added 10.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored the first bucket of the third quarter to cut the Warrior deficit to 68-66. The Rockets increased the lead to seven 75-68. The Warriors, behind Draymond Green and Damion Lee, tied the game at 78. The Rockets connected on a three to regain the lead. With the score 83-80, the Warriors went on a 12-4 run to finish the third quarter leading 92-87

The Warriors entered the fourth quarter, knowing they had to stop Harden And Westbrook. Harden loves to drive and pick up fouls. The W’s had not fouled him in the first three-quarters of play. Harden hit a three to put Houston back in the lead 97-96.

Harden was fouled on the play, and he missed the free throw. The W’s would not foul him again. The Warriors then went on a 17-2 run. Draymond Green and Glenn Robinson each made two 3-point shots. The Warriors defense stopped the Rockets attack cold. The W’s increased the lead to 115-99. The Rockets ran out of time, and the Warriors, with the fans on their feet, won the game.

Game Notes and Stats- With the win, The W’s improved to 8-24. The Rockets, leading the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, fell to 21-10.

The Warriors starters all finished in double figures Three players, Russell, Lee, and Green scored 20 or more points. Two players Lee and Green, had a double-double. Damion Lee led the team with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Draymond had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.

D’Angelo Russell knocked down 20, Willie Cauley-Stein 10, and Glenn Robinson had 18. Robinson made two three-point shots in the fourth quarter to help seal the Rockets’ doom/ Alec Burks, Jacob Evans, and Marquise Chriss, coming off the bench, had 8,8, and 6.

The Rockets were led by Russell Westbrook and James Harden, Each superstar had a double-double. Westbrook’s line was 30n points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Harden’s numbers were 24 points, 6 boards, and 11 assists. Harden made six threes in 10 tries. Danue House, Jr. had 18, Clint Capela 10, and P.J.Tucker 7. The Rockets’ bench added 15 points.

The Warriors shot 47% from the floor, and their defense held the Rockets to 37%. The Rockets made 16 three in 51 tries. The Warriors had nine.

The Warriors outrebounded the Rockets 54-49. The W’s defense stole the ball 7 times to go along with 8 blocked shots.

The Warriors resume play Friday night against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are 11-19 for the year. The Suns blew out the W’s earlier in the season. Steve Kerr’s troops have played well in the last four games, and Kerr will be hoping the team will continue to improve.

The game will be at the Chase Center and will start at 7:30 pm. The W’s then play again on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are in second place in the Southwest Division with a record of 19-10. The game will also be at the Chase Center and will start at 5:30 pm PT.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings fall short to Rockets 113-104; Fourth consecutive loss for Sacramento

photo from Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) shoots over Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) for three-points during a game at Golden 1 Center on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 in Sacramento

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Coming off three straight road loses the Sacramento Kings (12-18) played host to the Houston Rockets (21-9) at Golden One Center in Sacramento and yet lost another game 113-104.

#2 The Rockets had 16 points to the Kings 25 in the fourth quarter and still the Kings never held the lead in the game and never got that burst on the scoreboard. The Kings are missing a number of their offensive plays to stay a step ahead of their opponents.

#3 The Rockets got top scoring from James Harden 34 pts and Russell Westbrook 28 pts who have pave the way to the win

#4 De Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes led the Kings with scoring Fox with 31 and Holmes 12. Fox carried the weight of the team and the Kings fell nine points short.

#5 After their last win to the Golden State Warriors the Kings have now lost four straight and host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night

Join Charlie Tuesdays for the Kings podcast at




Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings take two on the road, host OKC and Knicks in upcoming homestand

Photo credit:

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

Looking at the road trip, our initial projections were the two teams they could beat on the road trip were Portland and San Antonio, they lost to Portland and they lost to San Antonio. The two teams we figured that they had no chance to beat the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets.

The Mavericks and the Rockets were back to back and that’s almost asking too much on the road. They lost to the Trail Blazers, they lost to the Spurs a heartbreaker, turned around and they beat the Mavericks and the Rockets in a back to back.

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday at

Kings surprise the Rockets on a last-second 3-point prayer

By Charlie O. Mallonee 

The Sacramento Kings shocked the 18,055 fans at the Toyota Center in Houston — when with one-second left to go in the game — Nemanja Bjelica put up a 33-foot, 3-point jump shot that went in for the winning basket. The Kings players ran off the bench to mob Bjelica, while the Rockets stood around with mouths wide open trying figure out what had just happened.

What had happened was the Kings had beaten the Houston Rockets 119-118 to close out their four-game road trip. What was even more of a surprise was this was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road. On Sunday, the Kings beat the Dallas Mavericks on a last-second basket also by Bjelica.

The Kings finished the road trip 2-2. SAC suffered back-to-back losses in Portland and San Antonio before putting together consecutive wins over Dallas and Houston (15-8). After losing the first two losses, the Kings could have easily gone 0-4 on this road trip. Finishing with two last-second victories over two of the best teams in the Western Conference is a testament to the Kings tenacity and response to the new coaching staff.

Sacramento (10-13) has endured a very tough time without two of their star players – Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox. The good news for the Kings is that Bagley — who has been cleared for full basketball contact — may well be back in the lineup on Wednesday night when the OKC Thunder visits the Golden 1 Center. The team reports that Fox’s rehabilitation is going well, but no timetable has been set for his return.

This game was truly a battle that featured 12 lead changes and 14 ties.

Leading Scorers

  • Russell Westbrook was the high scorer in the game putting 34 points in the scorebook.
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring attack with 26 points.

The Glass Cleaners

  • J.P. Tucker pulled down 19 rebounds and made it a double-double game by scoring 10 points.
  • Harrison Barnes was the Kings top rebounder with eight.

Dishing out dimes

  • James Harden was the leading assist distributor dishing out 10 dimes to go with 27 points.
  • Trevor Ariza contributed seven assists for the Kings.

Game Notes

  • The Kings hit 40 of 88 (45.5%) field goal attempts in Houston. 20 of those buckets were 3-point baskets.
  • SAC worked the free throw line in this game. The went to the line 22 times and put the ball through the hole 19 times.
  • The Kings kept the turnovers to a minimum again making just 10 giveaways that resulted in 13 Houston points.
  • Both coaches used just eight players in the contest.
  • The Kings bench outscored the Rockets second unit 27-23.
  • Cory Joseph must be given credit for the incredible job he did on defense. He spent most of the game guarding “The Beard”. Joseph put up 14 points and added six assists while guarding Harden.

Up next

The Kings return to action on Wednesday night when they will host the OKC Thunder at the Golden 1 Center.

The Rockets head out to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Rockets knock off the young Warriors 129-112

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors started a three-game road trip at the Toyota Center against the Houston Rockets Wednesday night.

The Warriors, still short-handed and inexperienced, started the five players that upset the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night. The Rockets, lusting for blood after being eliminated by the Warriors in the playoffs last year, showed the five new players they have a long way to go. The Rockets easily won 129-112.

The Warriors gave the Rockets a tussle in the first quarter. They finished the period trailing 30-29. They tied the game at 36 early in the second quarter. The Rockets started to pull away and finished the first half leading 63-52. The Warriors shot just 38.8% from the floor.

The Rockets stopped the Warriors’ attack in the third period. The Rockets built up the lead to 23. The Warriors played better but ended the period trailing by 15. The Rockets kept the pressure on, and the Warriors fell 129-112.

The Warriors lost for the sixth time in eight games. The Rockets improved to 5-3.

The Warriors’ leading scorer was Alec Burks with 28. Burks did not start, but he played well. He made three threes in 8 tries and had 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Eric Paschall continued to play well for Golden State. Eric led the starters with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Glenn Robinson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Damian Lee and Omari Spellman were in double figures with 13 each. Jordan Poole and Ky Bowman each had 8.

The Rockets had six players in double figures. Harden had 36. Danuel House, Jr, had 17, Clint Capela had 19 points and 16 boards, Russell Westbrook, 18, and Austin Rivers, coming off the bench had 12. Rivers made four threes in four tries.

Draymond Green did not accompany the team on the road trip. He is recovering from an injury to his index finger on his left hand. D’Angelo Russell is with the team and may play in the next game or two. Kevon Looney will be out at least another two weeks with a nerve condition. He will be evaluated at that time. Alen Smailagic is also recovering from an ankle issue, and he may be back soon.

The Warriors travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night. The game time is at 4:30 pm PT.