Playoff Team? Warriors’ Home Opener vs. Clippers at Chase Center Thursday Night

Photo credit:

By Amaury Pi-González

In the NBA Western Conference, where the focus is here in the Bay Area, even the most optimistic would be pressed to pick the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA title this season. Many are asking “Is this Warriors team a playoff team?” And I said maybe, but in the fringe, maybe a #7 seat at the end and another trip to the playoffs. They are not better than the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LeBron’s groin injury doomed the Lakers last season and he must be healthy for the length of this season, or the “other LA team,” the Clippers, could be the ones to beat. Incidentally, the Lakers open the season on October 22 at the Clippers, that other team that could also win the whole enchilada this 2019-20.

I believe the Warriors’ Stephen Curry has a chip on his shoulder, and now without Kevin Durant, he wants to be “the hombre” for this version of the Warriors at their brand new Chase Center in San Francisco. The great Michael Jordan recently said: “Stephen is not a Hall of Famer, yet.” All this — in my opinion — is motivating Curry, But, one thing is certain — for the first time in six years we are not looking at the Warriors and the Cavaliers will be towards the end.

There is no clear favorite to win the NBA title this season. I do not dismiss the Warriors,they still have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, while head coach Steve Kerr says Clay Thompson is unlikely to play this season as he is recovering from the knee injury he suffered during the NBA finals. So a lot of things have to go right for the Warriors to win this year, but they are a longer shot this season.

The franchise originally began in Philadelphia in 1946 and relocated to San Francisco in 1962 where they were named the San Francisco Warriors. In 1971, they moved to the Oakland Arena, where they changed their name to the Golden State Warriors. They played there until the end of the 2018-2019 NBA season.

The Warriors’ opener this 2019-2020 season will be at the Chase Arena Thursday, October 24 against the Los Angeles Clippers at 7:30 PM.

Chase Arena
Capacity 18,064
Multi-purpose arena
$1 billion investment
Parking:  950 spaces

Amaury Pi-González was the Spanish play by play radio announcer for the Golden State Warriors for most of the 1990’s. Amaury was also the play by play announcer for the LA Clippers on FOX Sports Deportes television in Los Angeles for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 NBA seasons.

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

Warriors send Rockets packing in dominating fashion

by Michael Martinez

picture credit CBS 46 Atlanta

Well, Steph Curry did not play and yet the Warriors showed why they made history for the best record in NBA history. Normally, a team without their star player has a lot to worry about. The Warriors showed no problems minus the reigning MVP and proved why they are the team to beat besides the fact their last year’s champs. Golden State annihilated the Houston Rockets in a 114-81 victory at Oracle Arena.

Let’s be honest, there’s not much to say about this game. The game went exactly as most would have figured given that the Warriors routed Houston in game four and not to mention they’re the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors played great, the Rockets played atrociously, which is a recipe for disaster. The Warriors played with great togetherness and to nobody’s surprise, they shot out of this world. Golden State made it look easy as they finished with a 54.9 shooting percentage while Houston could not find a way to score with a 32.6 shooting percentage. Golden State played solid defense as they forced 18 turnovers for 25 points.

James Harden was the only Rockets’ player to show any offensive life finishing with 35 points. Besides Harden, Michael Beasley was the only other Houston player to finish the game in double figures.

Klay Thompson did his best to fill Curry’s shoes and finished with 27 points. Thompson knocked down seven buckets from behind the arc on 11 shots and finished 10 of 14 from the field overall. Draymond Green was tremendous overall as usual and totaled 15 points, grabbed nine boards and dropped eight dimes.

Shaun Livingston had a good game on offense as well and scored 16 points on seven of eight shooting. The Warriors looked just as good as they always are and bounced the Rockets out of the playoffs.

Throughout the game, Curry showed incredible excitement from the bench and supported his teammates like no other. And this is why the Warriors are so dangerous, they have some of the greatest team chemistry I have witnessed in my lifetime.

The Warriors won the series and only allowed the Rockets to win one game, which came down to the wire.

Golden State will either face the Los Angeles Clippers who are without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or the Portland Trailblazers. Portland won game five in their series to go up 3-2 and it appears like they will be Golden State’s semifinal opponent.

Whoever the Warriors play, fans are hopeful that Curry can make his way back into the playoffs. But, with the way Golden State played tonight, let Curry take as much time as he needs to get ready for the Western Conference Finals. I am knocking on wood though, so the whole Bay Area doesn’t freak out on me and say I jinxed them.


DMC and Gay lead Kings to victory, 103-101, over Jazz

by Michael Martinez

Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Image

SACRAMENTO- Heading into Thursday night’s game the Sacramento Kings were 2 games back behind their opponent, the Utah Jazz. Sacramento, 5-12 on the road, looked to come back from a bad loss the night before against the Pelicans. The Kings found a way to hold their opponent to a low shooting percentage, at least for three quarters, with tough perimeter defense while getting the ball inside to DeMarcus Cousins who had a tremendous game. The Kings shot the ball well and were able to just hold on to pick up the win against the Jazz, 103-101, at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

As the game got underway the Kings looked like the better team all the way. The team’s defense was tremendous and Utah could not make any shots. Willie Cauley-Stein got off to a great start putting up six quick points while playing tremendous defense. Cauley-Stein’s quickness as a big man has benefitted the Kings and his hustle does not go unnoticed.

Cousins did not do a ton of scoring in the first quarter, six points, but did a good job of moving the ball around for his teammates while picking up eight early rebounds. The Kings shot the ball well, while holding the Jazz to a 16.7% shooting percentage. The Kings did a great job of continuing their run as Utah went about eight minutes without a field goal. Gordon Hayward bricked a lot of shots and found a couple buckets at the charity stripe. Sacramento held the Jazz to 12 points, the lowest of any Kings’ opponent this season, giving them a 1st quarter lead 26-12.

The Jazz looked to have a better second quarter, but the Kings held them in check again. In full, Utah went nine minutes and 19 seconds without a field goal before Trevor Booker got a put back dunk for a field goal. After struggling all season with perimeter defense, the Kings were much improved in the first half, although there were a lot of fouls, 17 in the first two quarters for the Kings. The quarter consisted of a lot of free throws, 12-18 for Sacramento, and 9-13 for the Jazz.

Boogie came out stronger in the second quarter, totaling 18 points and 13 rebounds in the half, his sixth consecutive double-double. With DMC’s scoring ability the Kings were able to hang on to the lead although the Jazz outscored them 33-30 after shooting the ball much better. Trey Lyles and Raul Neto totaled 10 points for a team high as the Kings held the lead 56-45 heading into the locker room on 54.3% shooting. Utah shot 1/16 from 3 point range, much improved for Sacramento’s perimeter defense. The Kings scored a field goal with 1.6 seconds on the clock as Rajon Rondo passed the ball all the way up court to Darren Collison who missed the lay-up but Boogie cleaned it up with a dunk as the red lights lit up the backboard.

After the half time break, Hayward finally made a field goal after going 0-9. Cousins answered right back with his tremendous scoring ability. Rondo kept showing off his vision and passing ability with a pass on a very tight window to Rudy Gay for an alley-oop. Cousins continued his scoring ability with his first three pointer in the ball game in the third quarter. And Rondo once again got Gay the ball for another alley-oop later in the quarter. Both teams shot well and both Gay and Cousins showed off their scoring abilities. Gay scored eight in the quarter while Cousins scored 10, both shooting 3-5 from the field. The Kings got to the line 10 times and converted eight free throws. Hayward had a much better quarter, scoring nine points on 3-6 shooting.

Cousins produced the game high in three quarters with 28 points and Gay had 16 for the second highest point total. The Kings shot the ball well once again with a 54% percentage through three quarters, which is something they have done well all season. Through three quarters the Kings totaled 42 points in the paint and got the ball inside to Boogie a lot. Boogie has scored 15.7 points in the paint per game in the month of January as the Kings continue to dominate their opponents close to the rim. Their dominance allowed them to hang on to the lead although Hayward hit a buzzer beater heading into the fourth. Sacramento led the Jazz 82-71 with 12 minutes remaining.

To open up the final quarter, Omri Casspi knocked down a three pointer, something he has done well all season. Down 85-71 the Jazz found a rhythm and went on a 9-0 run in a minute and 50 seconds. The run consisted of a Casspi foul and technical, which gave Utah three easy points as Trey Burke connected on the free throw. Cauley-Stein stopped the bleeding with a put back dunk, but Utah kept hanging around. Gay struggled from three but Cousins was able to hit a big 3 pointer of his own to put the Kings back up by 10. Utah maintained a way to stick around with the Kings who could not find a way to put the Jazz out.

With two minutes and 55 seconds left the Kings held a six point lead over the Jazz and Cauley-Stein helped maintain that lead with a big rejection, showing off his athletic ability. But Gay fouled Rodney Hood behind the arc, which led to three shots from the charity stripe. Hood connected on all three cutting the lead to five. The Kings started to struggle and went three minutes and 16 seconds without a make but Cousins then proceeded to score. Rondo fouled Burke, which set up a three point play as the Jazz kept scrapping.

As time wound down, Hood hit a second chance three pointer to cut the lead to five one again. With 33 seconds left, Gay got to the foul line and made one of the two free throws. In just under four seconds, Hayward took the ball down the court, got fouled and made a circus shot to get the and one. Hayward made the bucket and forced the Kings to called a timeout, up 101-98 with 29.2 seconds remaining.

Out of the time out, Rondo took the shot and missed it, as the Jazz gained possession with 8.5 seconds remaining. Utah’s Joe Ingles took the three point shot and made it to tie the game at 101. Sacramento took a 20 second time out with 4.8 seconds remaining and drew up a play for Gay who scored well all night. Gay got the ball and hit a mid-range jumped that was good with 0.6 seconds left. Utah heaved up a miracle shot that had no chance and the Kings picked up a rare victory on back to back games especially on the road. The final score, 103-101, as the Kings just barely pulled out a W.

Amongst rumors of a proposed trade for Pelican’s forward, Ryan Anderson, Gay played an awesome game. Number eight finished the night with 24 points, 9-17 from the field, adding nine rebounds and three steals while knocking down the game winner.

DMC was once again unstoppable, finished with 36 points, 10-21 shooting, and adding 14 free throws on 21 attempts. Boogie also added 17 boards. Cousins has led the NBA in points in the month of January with 32.3 points per game. Cousins showed off his scoring ability once again with his inside dominance as Utah had no big man to cover him with Derrick Favors out. And Rondo continued to dish the ball out adding 13 assists, while adding 6 points and 6 rebounds.

Overall, Sacramento got careless with the ball, 16 turnovers but still shot well. Their defense looked good for three quarters but really let up towards the end although they were much improved. The team also dominated the rebounding category, 54-38. Cauley-Stein was a great spark for the Kings who looked better tonight as they continued to chase the Jazz for the eight seed.

On Saturday, the Kings will take on the Clippers in Los Angeles and will need Cousins to continue his hot start in the new year. The whole Kings crew is going to have to come together as the team is finally healthy and looks to beat a team in their conference and division. The Kings have struggled against really good teams so Saturday night will be a big test.

Kings Lose to Clippers 104-98 in OT



By Charlie O. Mallonee

Round three of the 4-game season series between the Clippers and the Kings was just as exciting as last Saturday’s 103-102 Los Angeles win. This time it took overtime to decide who the victors would be in Sacramento. When the final buzzer sounded, the Clippers had won the game 104-98 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in series.

The Clippers have not lost a game this season in which they have scored at least 100 points. On Friday, they started a new streak of winning a game with Chris Paul on the bench for the entire contest. The league’s best point guard could not play on Friday due to the strained hamstring that he experienced against the Knicks on Wednesday.

Darren Collison started at the point for LA and handled the team very well. He had 15-points, 2 assists and 1 steal in his 40 minutes of playing time. Collison quietly kept the ball moving into the hands of his teammates who did the most with their opportunities.

Jamal Crawford came off the bench for the Clippers and showed us that it is his world and we are just allowed to live in it. Crawford poured in 31-points (12/22 FG, 3/7 3-pt, 4/4 FT) with 11 assists and seven rebounds in 37 minutes of playing time. No matter where you looked, it seemed like Crawford was there. His 31-points led all scorers in the game.

DeMarcus Cousins played tough and at times moved Griffin and Jordan around underneath the basket at will. Cousins played 41 minutes posting 25-points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots. He played with fire and determination which was required especially against DeAndre Jordan who played a take no prisoners’ type of game all night.

The Kings may have had their best first quarter of basketball of the season. They played a high energy type of game on both offense and defense. The Kings were 11/20 (55.0%) from the field and held the Clippers to just a 38.1 (8/21) field goal percentage. The Kings led 24-23 after one quarter.

The game settled down in the second quarter and Jamal Crawford began his domination of the game. Crawford scored nine-points and had five assists in period. The pace of the game was also affected by the referees calling offensive and loose ball fouls. It was like the league office called and ordered them to call more of those type of fouls. That did not continue in the second half. The Clippers outscored the Kings 27-21 in the quarter and led at half-time 50-45.

The third quarter saw a change in the style of play. Rather than running the fast break or taking outside shots, both teams began playing tough under the basket and looking for high percentage shots which was reflected in the shooting stats. The Clippers shot 7/12 (58.3%) while the Kings shot 11/21 (52.4%) from the field. The Kings outscored LA 27-23 and trailed the Clippers 73-72 at the end of three quarters.

The fourth quarter was tough and gritty. Points came hard for both teams. The crowd became more involved as the teams battled for supremacy. The Kings won the quarter 22-21 and after 48 minutes of play the game was tied at 94-all.

In the overtime period, the depth of the Clippers came to bear on the Kings. The Clippers outscored the Kings 10-4 in the extra five minutes. Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin led LA with four-points each. Patrick Patterson scored all four of the Kings overtime points. When the buzzer sounded, the final score was Los Angeles 104 – Sacramento 98.

After the game, Kings Head Coach Michael Malone said, “It was another tough loss against a team that we’ve played against three times already. We can’t get over the hump. I loved how hard our guys played tonight and there were a lot of great things that came out of the game. We don’t play them again until the last week of the season and maybe by then we’ll figure out a way to get a win against them.”

One of the major stories of the night for the Kings was the play of their newest acquisition Derrick Williams. Williams was traded to the Kings from Minnesota earlier in the week. He played 32 minutes, scored 12-points, had four assists and pulled down 6 rebounds.

Per Coach Malone, “I thought he was terrific. Right away I said that he’s a guy that brings great athleticism and versatility. We had great plays and transitions, we got out and ran. We had some plays at the rim and he was a big part of that. He’s only going to get better as he gets his feet set and gets more comfortable.”

UP NEXT: The Golden State Warriors will be the next opponents for the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at 3:00 PM in Sleep Train Arena. It will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. GSW won the first game on November 2 in Oakland 98-87. The game will be the second contest in a four-game home stand that includes the OKC Thunder next Tuesday and the LA Lakers on Friday December 6. Per Kobe Bryant, Friday could be his first game of the 2013-14 season.

GAME NOTES: The Kings and Clippers next and last meeting of the season will be on April 12, 2014 at the Staples Center. It will be game 80 of the season for the Kings. The schedule was designed to create some early excitement for the new season, but four months between games in the division is bit much. There must be a better way to make divisional play more exciting spread out over the entire season.

Kings vs Clippers Preview


By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings have not played a game since their loss last Sunday to the LA Lakers 100-86. The team looked tired in the second half of the Lakers game after losing a heartbreaker to the Cippers 103-102 on Saturday night.

The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80 on Wednesday night even with Chris Paul having to leave the game with a strained hamstring.

After the Knicks game, the Clippers seemed very pleased with their defense that held NYK to just 80 points. The Clippers have primarily been defeating teams with their offense. They have not lost a game this season when the team has scored 100 points or more in the contest.

The Kings will need to concentrate on controlling the defensive boards tonight. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can dominate the rebounding situation and kill a team with easy put back shots off the rebound. The Kings will need more than just Cousins to battle under the bucket to keep the Clippers from having multiple opportunities on offense.

The Kings must also play better defense on Friday. The Clippers are shooting 47.9% as a team. The Kings need to bring that percentage down into the low 40’s in order to post a victory.

The Kings will also need to show improved shooting versus the Clippers. Sacramento is averaging just 42.7% shooting from the field. That shooting percentage will not get it done against the Clippers.

The Clippers must contain DeMarcus Cousins if they are to win. Cousins scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds versus LAC last Saturday. Cousins may have some help on the front line tonight with Derrick Williams starting at small forward. This will be Williams’ first game as a King.

The Clippers have two players with health issues coming into the game. Paul’s hamstring is questionable, but he has said he will be ready to play Friday night. Blake Griffin is nursing a tender elbow that had to have fluid drained off it earlier this week.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PST. The game can be seen on CSNCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.

 Ray McCallum Returns from Reno

 The Kings have recalled rookie guard Ray McCallum from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. McCallum joined the Bighorns on November 21.

McCallum averaged a team high 22 points (45.5 FG%, 30.8 3pt%, 66.7 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.33 steals and a team high 38.0 minutes of playing time in three games with Reno.

McCallum should probably buy some tire chains as he may well be making the trip between Sacramento and Reno several times this season. The Kings want him to get playing time. If the PT does not come in Sacramento, he will be sent to Reno to get some game experience.

Kings get clipped in LA 103-102


By Charlie O. Mallonee

The fourth quarter of the Kings-Clippers game was more like the 15th round of a heavyweight fight. It was physical, emotional and exciting. The game was literally won in the final seconds of the game. When the final buzzer sounded, the Clippers had defeated the Kings 103-102.

In the first-half of the game, no one in the stands or watching at home would have guessed that the game would come down to the last second. The Clippers led the Kings 26-19 after the first period of play. By the 9:51 mark in the second quarter, LA led Sacramento by 20 points. It appeared the Kings were about to take a beating by the number two team in Los Angeles.

What happened? Chuck Hayes made a layup with 8:55 to go in the half and ignited the Kings offense. Sacramento would go on to outscore the Clippers 35-28 in the second quarter. At the half, Los Angeles led the Kings 57-48.

In the third period, the battle continued. DeMarcus Cousins decided to put the team on his back and led the charge. Patrick Patterson came alive after having a miserable first-half, and Luc Mbah a Moute provided the defense under the basket that disrupted the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin connection. The Kings won the quarter 21-18 and trailed the Clippers 75-69 after three quarters.

The Clippers may be an offensive machine, but their defense is still lacking. That lack of defense allowed the Kings to scratch and claw their way back into the game. The Kings were led by Patterson, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins on offense. On defense, Mbah a Moute played tough down low.

The lead see-sawed back and forth until the Kings built a five point lead with 3:19 left to play in the game. The Clippers were not about to surrender. Chris Paul made a 3-pointer and the game was tied at 98-98 with 1:29 left in the game.

LA went back into the lead at 1:04 when Chris Paul made a driving layup. Even more devastating was the foul that was called on Mbah a Moute – his sixth. Watching the replay, the foul should have been charged to Cousins which would have been his sixth. The referees conferred but held firm on their call. Paul missed the free throw, but the loss of Mbah a Moute would lead to the Clippers win.

With the game tied at 100-100, Paul and Griffin pulled off the perfect pick and roll play with no Mbah a Moute to provide the underneath defense.

The game was tied at 102-102 with 0:02 to play. Patterson fouled Chris Paul who hit one of two free throws. Cousins grabbed the rebound and the Kings called a timeout. With 1.9-seconds to go, the Kings got the ball to Cousins who took a desperation shot that missed as time ran out. The Clippers won the game 103-102.

The Kings shot just 42.0% (37-88) from the field just below their season average of 42.6%. They hit just five of 17 shots (29.4%) from beyond the 3-point arc. Sacramento out rebounded the Clippers 46-39. The Kings committed just 10 turnovers.

DeMarcus Cousins led all scorers with 23 points. He also had 19 rebounds and seven assists. Isaiah Thomas added 22 points and five assists. Patrick Patterson scored 21 points in 31 minutes of playing time. Expect to see more of Patterson on Sunday versus the Lakers.

The Clippers finished with their five starters all in double figures. Chris Paul was the leading scorer with 22 points and nine assists. That ended Paul’s streak of the 13 straight games posting a double-double.

The Kings will have no time to recover from their “battle royal” with the Clippers. They have an appointment Sunday night with the Lakers back at the Staples Center.

Notes: The Kings D-League entry – the Reno Bighorns – dropped both games of their season opening back-to-back series in Sioux Falls. Ray McCallum who just joined the Bighorns from the Kings scored 28 points on Friday night and 16 points in Saturday’s game.