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

Photo credit: mavsmoneyball.com

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 http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

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.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Will Rockets’ Morey get fired over tweet about Hong Kong?; Quakes only needed one game and couldn’t do it; plus more

Photo credit: businessinsider.com

On the Headline Sports podcast with London Marq:

#1 Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologized for tweeting that “We should stand with Hong Kong.” A statement that had China suspend all NBA games on state-ran TV, all NBA brands and any activities associated with the NBA because of Morey’s tweet. A source said that Morey’s job is on the line, but the Rockets’ front office has denied that Morey’s job is in flux, but stated that they don’t deny it’s a messy situation.

#2 The San Jose Earthquakes finished up the 2019 season on the outside looking in when they had the postseason by the tail and then went on to lose six straight games, including being eliminated last Sunday in Portland with a 3-1 loss. A disappointing end to say the least for Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda.

#3 The Sacramento Kings lost their first two preseason games in India to the Indiana Pacers. The Kings used most of their rookies, draft picks, and C-League prospects. The Kings return back to Sacramento on Thursday night at Golden 1 Center to host the Phoenix Suns. What will head coach Luke Walton be looking for in that one?

#4 Try hard as they may, the San Jose Sharks — who were down just by one goal 2-1 — had a shot at tying the game in the third period with the Nashville Predators, but the Preds scored three times to take a three-goal win 5-2 to beat the Sharks. Is it goaltending or is it the defense up in front giving little or no protection for goalie Martin Jones?

#5 Finally, everyone is talking about the San Francisco 49ers, a team that saw their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throw for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-3 laugher at Levi’s Stadium on Monday Night Football.

London does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Chinese state media cancels all NBA preseason telecasts

photo from sfgate.com: Fans wait outside a hotel to catch a glimpse of players from the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai on Wednesday.

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

CCTV (China Central Television) is China’s state television. They announced they are suspending all preseason games of the NBA in China. At the same time, they said they will immediately investigate all exchanges and co-operation involving the NBA. I’m not certain if the regular season games will also be suspended at this time.

This happened just days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came to the defense of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who tweeted in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests.

DEMONSTRATIONS: Why are people in Hong Kong protesting? They are also called the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill, and residents in Hong Kong were concerned that bill could subject them to extradition to the mainland by the Chinese communist central government. The Chinese government has described the protest as the “‘worst’ crisis in Hong Kong” since the handover in 1999 when the United Kingdom handed the colony of Hong Kong and returned control of that territory to China.

CHINA’S GOVERNMENT: China is ruled by a communist central government, they are among the biggest human rights violators in the world. Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. Demonstrations and free speech is not allowed in China. Obviously, the Chinese government is very concerned with the demonstrations in Hong Kong as demonstrators have been killed, injured and arrested.

HUGE MARKET: As of 2018 the total population of the United States was 327 million people

According to official statistics, about 800 million Chinese watch NBA programming on TV and digital media in China.

Over 300 million people in China play basketball. Online engagement with the NBA is six times more popular in China than the three largest European soccer leagues

BIG BUSINESS: This is big business for the NBA, as no other country is more obsessed with the NBA and basketball than China, the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion people.

DIFFERENCES: While here in the US, we have the rights to free speech, demonstrations against our government and many other freedoms that we have enjoyed for over two centuries — freedom that sometimes we take for granted — that is not allowed communist China.

One example: The environment is very much an issue worldwide. While China is the world’s biggest polluter, you will never see a pro-environment demonstration in that country. They are not allowed.

I do agree with what Mr. Daryl Morey said on his original tweet when he supported the demonstrations by the people in Hong Kong against the Chinese government as well as the recent statement by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Anybody who likes and enjoys freedom definitely agrees with both gentlemen.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and was a Spanish play by play announcer for the Golden State Warriors, and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: China pulled out of NBA over Rockets GM tweet; A’s consider getting rooted in Vegas

file photo from Washingtonpost.com: In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors.

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

China’s mad over tweet by Rockets GM: A political triangle has the NBA’s Houston Rockets apologizing over a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” as soon as that tweet was known China ended its relationship with the Houston Rockets and sponsors pulled out of all radio advertising in China.

The Rockets are the most popular team in China because of its relationship with former NBA player Yao Ming. The Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook quickly tried to go into damage control.

“We apologize, we love China. We love playing there. Both of us, we go there once or twice a year. They show us most support so we appreciate them,” said Harden.

The Chinese response was too late for the Rockets as a Chinese statement read, “Deeply disappointed by the inappropriate remarks.” Hong Kong has been protesting for the last four months about China having the ability to use extradition any Hong Kong citizen if they are wanted for any crime, espionage, or whenever deemed necessary to extradite a Hong Kong citizen when necessary.

Texas representative and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has said that the apology from the Rockets and the NBA is an embarrassment. That the NBA and the Rockets should stand pat on Hong Kong standing up to China and protesting extradition of any Hong Kong citizen and not to cave to China.

The Rockets and the NBA are in panic mode now as the league could face losing millions of dollars in revenue in NBA properties, NBA paraphernalia, and NBA branding not to mention their broadcast rights in China. The NBA and the Rockets have apologized but it may be a little too late as the Hong Kong issue is an extremely sensitive issue to China.

Oakland A’s consider getting rooted in Las Vegas: Sources say that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is getting tired of the situation that’s gone back and forth between the city of Oakland and the A’s  There has been a lot of posturing between the A’s and the city regarding how to get started on working the land at Jack London Square the A’s were in discussion with the City Manager on Tuesday the day before the A’s wild card game with Tampa Bay. 90 minutes after the meeting with the city manager, Kaval found out the city was suing the A’s to stop them from developing at the Coliseum.

When the city handed the A’s a lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the team from developing on the Oakland Coliseum site, it baffled A’s team president David Kaval, who has been very guarded with his statements about the lawsuit. Kaval has been the spearhead of the new stadium for the A’s and for a brief moment it looked like the A’s were going to work something out with the city, but the city council are split on the A’s getting a downtown stadium. To clarify, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and City Council president Rebecca Kaplan are both not on board with suing the A’s.

Because of the lawsuit, Kaval and the A’s are regrouping and considering something they never thought they would and that’s moving the A’s out of town to Las Vegas. Fighting the city of Oakland is not on the A’s radar and it will be a sad day when the A’s make the official announcement that it’s over in Oakland. The A’s triple-A team, Las Vegas Aviators, are playing near the Vegas strip.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and on http://www.sportsradioservice.com for News and Commentary.

Kevin Durant signs four-year $164 million deal to play with the Brooklyn Nets

file photo from sfgate.com: Former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant #35 gets help off the floor in his last hurrah for Golden State with the injured Achilles tendon in the first half of game 5 against the Toronto Raptors.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Golden State Warriors lost a key player to free agency on Sunday. Superstar forward Kevin Durant decided to leave the Warriors, a team that he won two championships with, to play for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were active Sunday signing point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan. They will have to wait a year for Durant to play for them as he will be recovering from an Achilles tendon injury that will sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season.

The big question is, why did Durant decide to leave the Warriors. Golden State offered him a five-year deal worth $ 221 Million. The answer has to be that he was unhappy here with the Warriors. He had a massive dustup with Draymond Green early in the season. The two players didn’t speak for a while, and that may have been a factor even though Green apologized to Durant. Another factor may have been the injury that he sustained in Game Five of the NBA Finals with Toronto. Durant had suffered a calf injury in the series with the Houston Rockets. The team may have asked him to return to action before that injury was healed. No one knows what the Warriors’ doctors told him about the possibility that he might make it worse if he played.

The Warriors did agree to terms with a five -year $190 million contract with Klay Thompson. Klay will be out for at least nine months as he recovers from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his left knee. The Warriors want to re-sign Kevon Looney.  Looney is being courted by the Houston Rockets. Looney proved his worth as he played inspired basketball in the Finals after suffering an injury to his collarbone. The Warriors may try to get DeMarcus Cousins back. The most the can offer Cousins is about 6.3 million. Cousins could help fill the gap left by Durant’s departure. Cousins may stay to get a better deal a year from now. Shaun Livingston may retire, and that is another hole that the W’s will have to fill.

The Warriors should be competitive next year with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala still on the roster. Players such as Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Alonzo McKinnie, and Quinn Cook will have to step up if the Warriors are to be successful next season. The fans are hoping the GM Bob Myers might have something rolled up in his sleeves to help make the team better. It will be a very different season for the Warriors as they start to play next year at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Durant and Leonard could be signed with a new team by next week; Baseball epidemic, nets needed to protect fans; plus more

Photo credit: @NBCSBoston

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard are going free agency to see if they can get the maximum for their buck.

#2 Some of the teams that most likely will show interest in Durant and Leonard are the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. It’s very likely everyone should learn either by Sunday night or Monday morning where they’ll be going.

#3 The Houston Rockets are shopping center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon, and forward PJ Tucker in their bid to get Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler. The Rockets are to trying to solidify themselves after failing to make the NBA Finals in the last two seasons.

#4 In the game of baseball, fans come many sit as close to the action as they can. After some serious injuries to fans last season, the MLB thought they got it covered with all the netting they possibly muster up to protect the fans. Last Sunday, a young girl was hit in the eye with a bullet hit by the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, and on May 29th, a two-year-old girl was hit by a foul ball hit by the Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. that fractured her skull at Houston’s Minute Maid Park leaving her with injuries that she will have to battle with for years to come. The Dodgers, Nationals, and White Sox have said during the All-Star Break, they’ll be netting their entire stadiums from foul pole to foul pole.

#5 The San Francisco Giants’ lineup has been noted for having the worst offense in baseball and possibly the worst in their franchise history. The Giants do not have a batter hitting over .300 in their lineup and have lost nine of their last 12 games.

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

Warriors find a way to eliminate the Rockets in Game 6

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, playing without two of their stars, DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant, found a way the defeat the Houston Rockets 118-113 Friday night in Houston. Most of the pundits, excluding this writer, picked the Rockets to win Game 6 and force a deciding Game 7 on Mother’s day in Oakland. The “experts” felt that the Warriors could not win with Kevin Durant. Durant was averaging a smidge over 36 points a game and how were the Warriors going to pick up the slack. The Warriors bench had not produced much in the playoffs this year. Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr knew that he could not let his starters play all 48 minutes. He needed the bench to come through and did they ever. The Warriors motto is “Strength in Numbers,” and the bench led by Kevon Looney, Shaun Livingstone, Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell, and Jonas Jerebko all contributed to the Warriors victory and they did it in a hostile environment.

The Rockets, for the past year, were hoping to avenge last year’s demise in the Western Conference Finals against the W’s. Their star point guard, Chris Paul, injured his hamstring and did not play in the last two games. Paul was healthy, and they felt they had the advantage as Durant was not able to play for Golden State. What the Rockets didn’t count on was the fact that the Warriors know how to win. They won a championship in 2015 without Kevin Durant. They almost repeated in 2016 and did not have Durant. The W’s won the last two championships with KD, and, hopefully, they will win their third in a row with Durant as a teammate. The Warriors knew they had to find a way to stop the Rockets offense. They had to play strong defense, rebound, make steals, block shots, and not turnover the ball. They did everything right except they were a bit sloppy as they turned the ball over 17 times.

The Warriors and Rockets played a very competitive first half. The Rockets won the first quarter by one-point to lead 28-27. The Warriors offense in the first quarter was driven by Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, and Draymond Green. The Warriors won the second period by a point, and the game was tied at 57 at the of two-quarters of action. Steph Curry did not score a single point in the first half. He committed three fouls and spent a lot of time on the bench. Klay Thompson led the W’s with 21. Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Kevon Looney each had 8. Shaun Livingston had 6. The Rockets’ attack was led by James Harden’s 19. Chris Paul added 11. Hot-shooting Eric Gordon was held to 4. The Warriors knocked  down7 threes while Houston made 8. The Rockets shot 10 more free three than the Warriors to keep them in the game.

The Warriors were hoping to get Steph going in the third quarter. The Rockets planned to double team both Steph and Klay and force the other Warriors to make the shots. The lead changed hands several times in the period. The Rockets increased the lead to six 74-68, but the W’s met the challenge and tied it at 77. The Rockets led by one 83-82 when they went on a 4-0 run to finish the period leading 87-82.

It all came down to the last 12 minutes of play. The Rockets led by five and had the crowd roaring their support. Would it be possible for The W’s to catch the Rockets? Could they put enough points on the board to win? Would Steph Curry lead them to the win? All those questions were answered. The Warriors refused to fold. The Rockets could not put Golden State away. The W’s tied the game at 97 when Steph made a two-point bucket. The took the lead for good when Kevon Looney made a huge bucket. Steph followed with a three, and the Dubs led 102-97. The Rockets’ James Harden hit a three, and it was a two-point contest 102-100. Curry was a one-man wrecking crew at this point. Steph made a duce and a trey and the Warriors were up 110-104 with 36.1 seconds left to play. Kevon Looney blocked a shot, and the ball went Golden State. The Rockets fouled Steph, and he made both free throws. Harden countered with a three. The Rockets kept fouling Steph, and he kept making free throws. The Warriors held off Harden and Paul to win 118-113, and they again ended the Rockets’ season.

Game Notes and stats- The Warriors outscored the Rockets 36-26 in the fourth quarter to overcome the five-point deficit at the end of three. Steph Curry scored 16 points in the final five minutes of the game. He scored 23 points in the fourth quarter and 33 points in the second half.

The Warriors resume play Tuesday night at Oracle Arena when they face the winner of the Denver Nuggets- Portnad Trailblazers series.

Steph led the W’s with 33. He made four threes in 11 tries. Klay had 27, and he made 7 three. Draymond Green had 8 points, 10 boards, and 7 assists. Andre Iguodala played well on offense as well as defense. He had 17 points, and he made five threes. Kevon Looney had 15, Shaun Livingston 11. The rest of the bench added 8. The W’s shot 49.4% from the floor. The had 35 boards and 10 offensive rebounds.

James Harden led the Rockets with 35. Chris Paul 27, P.J.Tucker 15, Clint Capela 10 points and 10 boards, Eric Gordon 9. Austin Rivers also had 9. The key to the win was not letting Eric Gordon, and Austin Rivers knock down threes.

The Warriors again showed the world that they are champions. They refused to fold. They could have, and nobody would have criticized them as they were without two All-Stars. They made the shots when they had to. They played defense in the fourth quarter. They did what they had to do to win.

 

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Warriors hang with Rockets to take series lead; Sharks’ Pavelski a big influence that inspires; plus more

Photo credit: @warriors

On the Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 The Golden State Warriors kept in step with the Houston Rockets with a 104-99 win. A game that went right down to the wire, which shows the Rockets dropped the first two of this series and came back to even it up, but the Warriors won Game 5 on the home floor.

#2 The San Jose Sharks advance to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 was a squeaker in a 3-2 win. The Sharks had to be inspired after their team captain Joe Pavelski came out of the IL after suffering a concussion in round one, Game 7 and went out in Game 7 of the second round against the Avalanche and scored a goal.

#3 The Oakland A’s, who had a game delay because of lighting issues on Tuesday night; then on Wednesday night, the game with the Cincinnati Reds went extra innings. Either way you look at it there were no short games in this series.

#4 There are four quarterbacks who could replace quarterback Derek Carr for 2020. What are the reasons why he would be leaving and what do you think of the four quarterbacks who could replace him?

#5 The San Francisco 49ers signed offensive lineman Wesley Johnson, Johnson spent time with five teams and signed with the 49ers for a one-year deal. Johnson played with the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins for 10 games last season.

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