Doncic and Prozingis lead the Mavs to a 130-111 win over the Kings in “Big D”

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings wanted to close out their short two-game road trip on a high note by handing the Dallas Mavericks (33-22) a loss on their homecourt heading into the All-Star Break. The Kings (21-33) knew they would have a big task on their hands because All-Starter Luka Doncic was going to make his return to the lineup after missing the previous seven games due to an ankle injury.

The Doncic Factor

For the rest of his career, Luka Doncic will always be tied to the Sacramento Kings in a bad way. Almost everyone associated with the NBA expected the Kings to draft Doncic because of his Euro pedigree and the Euro leanings of the Sacramento front office. When that did not happen, most experts and analysts were shocked. Now that Doncic is on the verge of becoming a real superstar, the decision to pass Doncic in the draft has become magnified.

Every Doncic success will be viewed as a Sacramento failure because they could have drafted Luka with their number two pick in 2018. Doncic will start the All-Star game on Sunday and he could have done that as a Sacramento King.

On Tuesday night, Doncic was the leading scorer in the game putting up 33 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Some will say that Doncic will always be in the mood to punish the Kings. Do not believe that rubbish. Doncic does not care about the Kings. He is very happy playing for billionaire Mark Cuban in Dallas who will spend whatever is necessary to put the players around him to win an NBA Championship.

Lack of defense

The Kings allowed the Mavericks to score at least 30 points in all four quarters of the game on Wednesday night. They allowed Dallas to shoot 56.5% from the field in the game. The Mavs hit 17 of 40 (42.5%) of their 3-point attempts.

A team like Dallas cannot be defeated when their opponent fails to show up on defense.

Top Scorers

  • Doncic was the game’s leading scorer while Kristaps Prozingis also had a double-double game with 27 points and 13 rebounds plus he added five assists
  • Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer coming off the bench to put up 22 points to go along with nine assists

The Glass Cleaners

  • Prozingis was the game’s leading rebounder with 13
  • Hield, Barnes and Bjelica all pulled down seven rebounds each for SAC

Dropping Dimes

  • Buddy Hield was the game’s assists leader with his nine dimes
  • Luca Doncic led Dallas with eight

Up next

The Kings will return to play on Thursday, February 20 when they will host the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Mavericks will return to action on February 21 in Orlando.

Carmelo who? Prozingis leads NYK past the Kings 118-91 Saturday night in NYC

by Charlie O. Mallonee

NYK Skal
Labissiere Kings leading scorer

The Sacramento Kings two game winning streak came to a sudden end on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City when the Knicks – led by power forward Kristaps Porzingis – blew by the men in purple and white 118-91.

Early on, it looked like the Kings might make it a competitive game. By halftime, the Knicks (7-5) held a 64-49 lead. New York put together two big runs in the first half to establish the 15-point halftime lead.

The Knicks did not back off in the third quarter as they held the Kings under 20-points and extended their lead. In fact, NYK became so comfortable about their lead they sat Prozingis down in the third quarter and he never reentered the contest.

The Kings (3-9) and Knicks second units made the fourth quarter interesting but Sacramento was unable to cut into the big New York lead. When the final buzzer sounded, the Knicks continued to impress the professional basketball world by playing so well without Carmelo Anthony on the team.

Prozingis continues to be “the man”

NYK Prozingis
Prozingis drives on Cauley-Stein Photo: Newsday

Second-year player – Kristaps Prozingis scored 34 points in just 26:37 minutes of playing time. He went 11-for-21 from the floor while hitting 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. Prozingis converted 8-of-9 opportunities from the free throw line. While accomplishing all of that, he committed zero turnovers.

11 Knicks players contributed to the win over the Kings

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks
Kanter posts a double-double 17 points 13 rebounds

Courtney Lee put up 20 points hitting 5-of-6 from 3-point land. He also added three assists and two rebounds.

Enes Kanter posted a double-double with 17 points and 13 boards. He shot 8-for-13 from the floor.

Damyean Dotson scored 14 points and Michael Beasley added 10 points.

Highly touted rookie point guard Frank Ntilkina scored just two points while posting five assists.

Sacramento had just two player score in double figures

nyk Prozingis again
Sacramento vs. NYK

Skal Labissiere became a force on offense again for the Kings as he recorded 19-points to lead his team in scoring for the game. The Kentucky product shot 5-for-10 from the field while going just 1-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc. Labissiere converted 9-of-10 free throw opportunities. He also grabbed six rebounds.

Buddy Hield came off the bench to score 17-points in 27-minutes of playing time. He went 6-for-13 shooting overall while hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point land. Hield also hauled in seven rebounds and dished out four assists.

No Sacaramento starter scored in double-figures.

Up next

$Wiz Dark

The Kings will play the second game of their three-game road trip on Monday night in Washington, D.C. The Wizards destroyed the Kings 110-83 in Sacramento on October 29th.

The Knicks will also return to actions on Monday when they will welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to Madison Square Garden. That game will have Eastern Conference Playoff implications.

Knicks vs Kings: Round Two tonight in Sacramento

by Charlie O. Mallonee

nyk-kings-pre

The Sacramento Kings (8-13) have the opportunity to take revenge on the New York Knicks (12-10) for the 106-98 beating they took in the Garden last Sunday night. The Kings shot just 32-percent (31-for-97) in the game and still managed come within two points of the lead with 4:34 to go in the contest before falling back and losing by eight points.

DeMarcus Cousins was the Kings leading scorer with 36 points and he made it a double-double by adding in 13 rebounds. The Knicks scoring was led by Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose who each scored 20 points against Sacramento. The New York bench outscored the Kings bench 44-22.

Knicks are not a great road team

New York  is just 3-6 on the road this season. The game tonight with the Kings begins a five-game road trip for the Knicks that will take them to Sac, Los Angeles (Lakers), Phoenix, Golden State and Denver. They have no back-to-back games on the road trip.

Knicks are coming off a big loss at home

New York was run out of the Garden on Wednesday night by the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-94. Kyrie Irving led the Cleveland scoring attack with 28 points while LeBron James added 25 points to go with seven assists. Kevin Love scored 21 for the Cavs.

Brandon Jennings started for the Knicks in place of the injured Derrick Rose (sore lower back) and was the leading scorer for NYK with 16 points and three assists. Courtney Lee added 15 points and Kristaps Porzingis recorded 12 points in the loss.

Interesting side note from the Cavs – NYK game, with that many points scored you expect there to have been at least one double-double posted but there were none achieved in that game.

carmelo-anthony-lebron-james-nba-cleveland-cavaliers-new-york-knicks-520x390

Kings are coming off a road win

Sacramento beat the Mavericks in Dallas 120-89 on Wednesday night in Dallas. The Mavs were without Dirk Nowitzki, Jose Juan Barea, Andrew Bogut and Seth Curry due to injuries. So with that depleted Mavericks lineup, the Kings should have run away with the game.

 

Cousins was once again the man with 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Rudy Gay and Darren Collison scored 19 points each. Garrett Temple put up 17 points on the board going a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range.

Sacramento shot 56-percent (47-for-84) from the field and 45.5-percent (10-for-22) from 3-point land. The Kings were right on target with a perfect 2-to-1 assists-to-turnover ratio of 28 to 14.

The Dallas win allowed the Kings to finish the road trip with a 2-3 record.

beaumont-enterprise
Photo: Beaumont Enterprise

NYK injury status 

Derrick Rose is nursing a sore back. He is listed as questionable for tonight’s game which means there is a 50-percent chance of him playing.

The Kings are reporting no injuries at this time.

Keys to a Kings victory

The main ingredient for a Sacramento victory is a decent shooting percentage. The Kings shot under 40-percent in New York City and still kept the game close. Tonight they must come out and shoot well right from the opening tip-off in order to avoid an embarrassment on their home court.

For entertainment purposes only

FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Kings a 64-percent chance to win tonight’s game with the Knicks. They say take the Kings minus 3.5 points.

FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO system projects the Knicks will finish with a record of 39-43 and in the much weaker Eastern Conference that gives NYC a 55-percent chance of making the playoffs.

The “desert-dwellers” are making the Kings the favorites minus 2.5 – 4.5 points and all are setting the over/under at 210.

The Kings shoot poorly and lose to the Knicks 106-98

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks
Cousins drives on Noah at the Garden photo: NBAE

“48” – that is the most import number the Sacramento Kings have to drill into their minds right now. They need to learn that a NBA basketball last for 48 minutes and that means as a team the Kings need to play hard for 48 minutes.

The Kings did not play hard for all 48 minutes in the game at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday night and Sacramento lost to the Knicks 106-98. This was an unusual game in the sense it was lost in the first half and almost redeemed in the second half, but that is exactly how so many games in the NBA are lost.

Shots would not fall for the Kings in the first half

The Kings shot just 28.6-percent (14-49) in the first half. The term is often used that “the basket had a lid on it”. Well in the first of the game on Sunday for Sacramento, the basket had a lid on it. The Kings were not taking bad shots . The Knicks were not playing great defense. Literally, the ball would not fall through the hoop. The Kings went 9-for-26 in the paint.

The Knicks did not shoot the lights out of the Garden. They shot 42.3-percent (22-for-52) in the first half of the game. New York shot just 36.7-percent in the first quarter.

As the teams headed to the locker rooms at the half, the Kings were lucky to trailing by just 14 points, 55-41.

The Kings came alive in the third quarter

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay photo: NBAE

The third quarter began like the second quarter ended. The Knicks kept pouring it on behind the scoring of Porzingis and Anthony and opened up a 20-point lead with 7:59 left to play in the period. At that point, the Kings began to turn the game around.

Starting with a  Rudy Gay 25-foot 3-point basket at the 7:02 mark, the Kings began to cut into the Knicks lead. Led by Cousins’ 11 points and Gay’s 10 points the Kings cut the New York lead to one point with 48-seconds remaining in the quarter. At the end of three quarters, New York led the game 81-77.

The Kings came close in the fourth quarter but could not close the deal

The Knicks behind the play of Prozingis opened the lead back up to eight points. Cousins kept the Kings close and Sacramento cut the New York lead down to two points with help of strong play from Gay, Collison and Cauley-Stein.

Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Jennings took over from there adding to the Knicks lead and the Kings were unable to respond. Sacramento had spent so much energy working their way back into the game – they did not have enough left in the tank to fight back overcome the Knicks lead.

The Knicks won the game 106-98.

Cousins was the star of the game again for Sacramento (7-13)

  • The big center recorded his 10th double-double with 36 points and 12 rebounds. He also had four assists and three blocked shots. Cousins was 9-for-30 shooting from the field
  • Rudy Gay scored 22 points shooting 7-for-18 and grabbing nine rebounds
  • Darren Collison put up 13 points and dished out six assists
  • Kosta Koufos scored only two points but he pulled down 11 rebounds that included five offensive rebounds
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played 23 minutes scoring nine points and hauling in four rebounds. Coach Dave Joerger said Cauley-Stein’s length on defense matched up well against Prozingis
  • The Kings shot just 32.3-percent (31-96) as team for the game
Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks
Willie Cauley-Stein at the Garden photo: NBAE

The usual suspects came through for the Knicks (11-9)

  • The Knicks had four players score in double figures while shooting 44.3-percent (39-for-88) from the floor. NYK also shot 37.9-percent (11-for-29) from 3-point range
  • Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose each scored 20 points in the game. Rose continues to look more like the Rose of old all the time
  • Brandon Jennings put up 19 points with 4-of-5 his scores being 3-point baskets. He was also a perfect  7-for-7 from the free throw line
  • Kristaps Porzingis started the game slowly but finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds

Up next on the schedule

The Kings wrap up their five game road trip on Wednesday night in Dallas with what has become a must win game over the terrible Mavericks. A win would let the Kings finish the road trip 2-3.

The Knicks also hit the road and visit South Beach to take on the Heat on Tuesday night.