Kings end their road trip with a 121-109 win in Atlanta

Hawks score
Graphic: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

There are three things you need to remember about the Kings victory over the Hawks on Friday night:

  1. Sacramento just finished a three-game road swing to the Eastern time zone and finished with a 2-1 record. That is something this team – that experienced a “stutter-start” to the 2019-20 season – can build on to turn fortunes around quickly.
  2. The Kings reached the 3 wins mark before the Golden State Warriors (2-7).
  3. Harry Giles III returned to action for the first time this season and H20 could play a key role for the Kings while they wait for Marvin Bagley III to heal.

It was a “nail-biter” in the 4th quarter

The Kings dominated the first half. They held a 63-47 lead at halftime, but no one thought that the Hawks would just roll over and play dead in the second half.

Atlanta served notice in the third period that they still thought that they could win the game by outscoring the Kings 36-28. Trae Young led the charge for the Hawks scoring 16 points and dishing out four assists. Young was on fire and the rest of his team followed his lead. Sacramento held a 91-83 lead after 36 minutes of play.

The Hawks continued their assault until they cut the Kings lead down to just one point with 9:03 left to play in the game. Bogdan Bogdanovic turned it around for SAC. “Bogi” hit a 26-foot, 3-point jump shot to give the Kings a 4-point lead and the momentum that had them build up a lead as large as 18 points down the stretch.

The Kings won the 4th quarter 30-26 with Bogdanovic scoring 11 points for Sacramento. The Kings went 7-for-9 from 3-point range and were a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the final period. That is how games are won.

Let’s hear for the SAC bench

The Sacramento starting five scored 70 points on Friday night. The Atlanta starters also scored 70 points. The difference in this game was the scoring of the players off the bench.

The Kings bench outscored the Hawks second unit 51-39. The Kings used five players off their bench:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points hitting 6 of his 9 shots from the floor. Five of his field goals were 3-point baskets.
  • Trevor Ariza was also on fire from behind the arc. He went 5-for-7 from the field and four of his buckets were 3-pointers.
  • Harry Giles III played just over seven minutes, but the important thing is that he played. Giles scored four points, grabbed a rebound and had one block shot. You could see the enthusiasm on his face at being able to be on the court and in the middle of the action.

The Hawks (3-5) are young and dangerous 

The Hawks may well be where the Kings were two years ago. They are amassing talent and preparing to build a team that will be a force for five to seven seasons to come. Their current stars are:

  • Trae Young who scored a game-high 30 points and made it a double-double night by dishing out 12 “dimes”. He is the real deal.
  • Jabari Parker – who is in his first year with the Hawks – scored 25 points and added eight rebounds.
  • Kevin Huerter was the key man off the bench for Atlanta by putting up 17 points in almost 30 minutes on the floor.

Up next

The Kings have a nice break as they will be off until Tuesday night when they will host the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Hawks will hit the road and will face the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday night.

The Warriors win a thriller, beat the Bucks in Milwaukee

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks played a very fast-paced and very entertaining game Saturday night in Milwaukee. The contest was very close, but the Dubs were able to prevail as they won their seventh game in a row downing the Bucks 124-121.

Last year, The Dubs lost to Milwaukee after playing a double overtime win in Boston the previous night.  The Bucks then beat the Warriors the following night to snap the Warriors twenty-four game winning streak. This year, the schedule makers sent the Dubs to Boston on Friday night and then to Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Warriors did not have to go to overtime to beat the Celtics on Friday. However, the Bucks, coached by Jason Kidd, a great high school player at St.Joseph’s in Alameda and at Cal and an All-Star in the NBA, went tooth and nail against the Warriors and nearly came back from an eleven point deficit at the end of three-quarters to beat them. The Dubs defense held the Bucks to just one point in the last two minutes and thirty-three seconds to seal the win.

The first quarter was very close. The bigger Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, went on a 21-5 run at the end of the first quarter to lead by nine 37-28.The Bucks were on fire as they shot 66.7% from the field and made all three three-point shots. The Warriors shot 47.8% and were three for seven from behind the three-point arc. The Bucks led for most of the second quarter, but the Dubs clawed their way back and took the lead late in the period. The finished the first half leading by three 69-66. Kevin Durant was terrific as he led the Dubs with twenty-five points. Steph had eleven and Klay Thompson had just four. Zazu Pachulia played well as did Andre Iguodala, coming off the bench. The Bucks’ shooting percentage dropped to 59.6%, and the Dubs came in at 47.1%. The Warriors made six 3-point shots in the quarter and the Bucks connected on just one.

In the third quarter, Klay Thompson got hot. He made four three-point shots and eighteen points total in the period. JaVale MvGee scored a couple of key buckets as the Dubs increased the lead to eleven. Draymond Green made a great play when he stole the ball and made a slam dunk with 2:57 left. The Dubs had the lead 103-92 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Dubs increased the lead to thirteen, but Milwaukee refused to go down. The Bucks went on a 14-4 run to close the gap to four 114-110. The Warriors, behind a layup by Steph, owned a five-point lead 122-117. Milwaukee narrowed the deficit to two 122-120 with 2:33 left in the game. The Warriors defense, led by Draymond Green, stiffened and allowed Milwaukee just one point in the last two minutes and thirty-three seconds of play. Draymond Green mad the defensive play of the night when he tipped an inbound pass over to Klay Thompson. Thompson was fouled and made both free throws to increase the lead to four with just a few seconds left. The Bucks’ big man, Giannis Antetokounmpo was fouled. The only hope the Bucks had was that he make the first free throw, then miss the second shot and hope the ball would be tipped to another Buck player for a three-point shot. That strategy failed, and the Dubs recorded their seventh win in a row. Warriors win 124-121.

Game Notes- The Warriors are now 11-2 for the season. The Bucks fall to 5-7. The Warriors had thirty assists in the game for the seventh straight game. Kevin Durant led the Warriors with thirty-three points, five assists, and six rebounds. Klay knocked down twenty-nine, nd Steph had twenty. Steph also had five assists and five rebounds. Draymond Green played very well again. He scored ten points, to go along with five assists, two rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. The Dubs recorded a total of eight steals and five blocks in the game. Leading scorers for Milwaukee were Antetokopounmpo with thirty, Jabari Parker added twenty-eight and former Cleveland Cavalier, Matthew Dellavedova, contributed ten.

After the game, Durant, when asked about the play of Draymond Green, had this to say:”he was huge.” He also said this about how close the game was” no matter how you do it it, a win is a win.” Coach Steve Kerr also said this about the win:”any win on the road is a good win.” When asked about the defense, Kerr said we”made some stops down the stretch.” “It was the first close game in a while and it was good for us.” He also said  that “we wre kinda sitting on the lead” in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors finish the four game road trip Monday Night in Indianapolis playing the Indiana Pacers for the first time this season. Game Time will be at 4:00 PM.PT

Game Preview Update: Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks Saturday, Rudy Gay Doubtful to play


by Charlie O. Mallonee

Injury Update

Jason Jones beat writer for the Sacramento Bee is reporting that Rudy Gay is doubtful to play in the game in Milwaukee tonight due to sore ribs. Gay was instrumental in the Kings series sweep of the Bucks last season. Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi would pick up the slack if Gay is unable to go.

Rudy Gay Trade Rumor Update

The most recent trade rumor mill has the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Kings working on a deal that would send Rudy Gay to the Thunder for Cameron Payne. This report comes Headlines and Global News.

The Thunder are looking for someone to take some of the pressure off Russell Westbrook to be “the offense” with the departure of Kevin Durant.

Payne is coming off the injury list with a broken foot. The Kings are said to be looking for a “long term” solution at point guard. The young Payne who backs up Westbrook could possibly fit that role.

With Gay declaring he is opting out of his last year of his contract with the Kings to test the free agent market, his name is going to come up frequently in the rumor mill.

Kings need to a win on this road trip

The Sacramento Kings (2-4) have lost three consecutive games on this first long road trip of the season. After losing in Atlanta, Miami and Orlando, the Kings will be looking for their first win of the road trip in Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Bucks are another tier-three team that is not expected to make the playoffs. In theory, the Bucks are a team the Kings should be able to beat on the road.

Bucks will be trying to keep a winning streak alive

Milwaukee (3-2) won their second consecutive game on Thursday night when they defeated the Indiana Pacers 125-107. The Bucks are now 3-0 when they score 100-plus points in a game this season. That makes one of the goals for the Kings in the game very easy to prioritize … “keep ’em under 100!” Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker scored 27 points each in the win.

Kings dominated the series last season

The Kings won both games of the series with the Bucks last year. Sacramento won 128-118 in Milwaukee and then took the game in Sacramento 111-104. Ironically, the Kings won both of those games without DeMarcus Cousins in the line up for either game. Rudy Gay was the leading scorer for Sacramento in both of those wins over the Bucks.

Casspi takes a bigger role in Orlando

Omri Casspi came off the bench and played 23 minutes against the Magic. He scored 12 points shooting 5-for-13 including two 3-point baskets. Playing time had been hard to come by for Casspi but his involvement in the Orlando game may mark a change in Dave Joerger’s rotation.

Farmar is with the team

Jordan Farmar who signed with the team on Wednesday was the Kings in Orlando on Thursday but did not play. He will be available to play in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Key players in the game

The Kings will be dependent on the big two – Cousins and Gay – as they have been so far in all of their games this season. What they will be looking for is another key player to step up. In Orlando, the Magic shutdown Cousins and Gay in the fourth quarter and the Kings needed another player (or players) to take over the scoring in order to earn the victory. That player has yet to be identified.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are the key players for Bucks. They will look for help from Greg Monroe coming off the bench to lead the attack for the second unit. Milwaukee also added free agent guard Matthew Dellavedova in off-season to upgrade their team.

For entertainment purposes only

The odds-makers are in high agreement so far about this game on Saturday night. They list the Bucks as the favorites minus two points which is the usual home court advantage call. The over-under projection is 204.5 points.