The other shoe just dropped in the Matt Barnes – DeMarcus Cousins NYC club fight story

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Photo NY Daily News

If you are old enough to remember the movie “All the President’s Men” which chronicled the infamous break-in of the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate office complex, the key informant – “Deep Throat” – told the two young investigative reporters “to follow the money”. When unusual events happen to famous people or organizations, Deep Throat’s advice is usually a very solid approach to uncovering the truth – “follow the money”.

According to TMZ Sports, two of the people involved in the melee at The Avenue nightclub in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City early on Monday morning have filed lawsuits against Sacramento Kings players Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was known to have been present during the incident but had not been the subject of the alleged violence that took place inside the club. Only Barnes had been mentioned as a possible suspect in the fight.

TMZ is reporting that Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell have filed suit against Barnes and Cousins claiming they were “brutalized” by the players.

The lawsuit reportedly breaks the events down as follows:

  • Besiso and Powell claim they were just “hanging out” when Barnes came up to Besiso and started to choke her
  • Powell says he then tried to intervene to stop the attack and that is when Cousins became involved and punched him in the face
  • After Powell was struck, Barnes supposedly released Besiso and elbowed her in the face, knocking her unconscious
  • Myrone says he taken to the ground and Barnes and Cousins kicked and punched him in the head and body
  • NYPD was called and responded but Barnes and Cousins were gone by the time the authorities arrived
Photo: NY Daily News

The “victims” rep says it was a serious situation

  • The alleged victims representative called the incident a “vicious and unprovoked attack” according to TMZ
  • The same spokesperson called Cousins’ first involvement a “blindside punch”
  • The rep also stated the two persons who are suing were taken to hospital by ambulance and treated for what they called serious injuries – which were not specified

The defendants also had something to say

  • A representative for Matt Barnes had stated earlier that Barnes and his party were attacked after he accidentally bumped a person in the club’s VIP section
  • Barnes himself has encouraged everyone to understand there are two sides to every story
  • Cousins or any of his representatives have yet to make a statement concerning the incident

No charges have been filed in NYC

  • Initial reports had the NYPD ready to charge Barnes as the assailant based on video it had obtained – presumably from security cameras inside the club
  • That informantion was given to TMZ Sports by a person who was “not authorized” to speak about the situation
  • There have also been unconfirmed reports that Barnes was in communication with NYPD before leaving the city for Dallas
  • The fact that no charges have been filed yet does not mean none will be filed – it is truly a wait and see situation while the incident is investigated
  • Obviously, a lawsuit would be enhanced if criminal charges were brought forward and a some type of a guilty verdict or plea resulted from those charges


The Kings have still issued just one statement related to this event

“We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”

How long will the NBA remain silent?

  • Do not mistake silence for complacency – you can take it to the bank that NBA security is actively investigating this situation as you read this article
  • Naturally the NBA wants to give the NYPD room to do its criminal investigation and is hoping that no legal charges will be filed as a result of this incident
  • Even if no criminal charges are brought forward that does not mean Barnes and Cousins are out of the woods with “the Association”
  • The NBA standards of acceptable behavior may well be above what is acceptable by the laws of the State of New York – this entire event may well have negative results for Barnes, Cousins and the Kings even criminal charges and civil lawsuits are avoided

Post incident video

TMZ has posted video that it says was taken outside the club just after the events transpired. You can view the video at 

Matt Barnes wanted by NYC Police for assault in night club

by Charlie O. Mallonee

TMZ Sports was the first to release news that Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes was involved in an incident in a New York City area night club early Monday morning.


Barnes was in the club with teammate DeMarcus Cousins. According to the story, Barnes became involved in some sort of altercation with a woman in the club and the woman was choked by Barnes. Another man and woman tried to intervene and were reportedly punched by Barnes.

Per the TMZ story, video they obtained that shows Barnes and Cousins after the fight has the Kings center talking about hitting one of the people involved in the altercation.

In USA Today’s report on the altercation, they state the video obtained by investigators shows Barnes as being the assailant in the assault of the women and the man. The statement on the video content came from a source not authorized to release information on the contents of the evidence.

Barnes made a statement via Instagram that “there are two sides to every story.”

“We continue to cooperate fully with authorities,” said Barnes’ attorney Alex Spiro.

The Sacramento Kings issued the following statement on Monday:

“We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”

The Kings have a game in Dallas on Wednesday night with the Mavericks. Will Matt Barnes be with the team? That is open to question at this time.

What is not open to question is this is exactly the kind of situation the Kings did not at this time based on what is happening with the franchise on the floor.



Kings lose a battle in Boston 97-92

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Cousins and Horford battle under the basket Photo NBAE

The Kings and Celtics went to war on the basketball court on Friday night in Boston. The game featured 23 lead changes and 12 ties. As those stats would imply, both teams had the opportunity to win the game. In the end, Boston led by Al Horford was able to put the “W” in the books because of their tough play late in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics won their 11th game of the season as they downed the Kings 97-92. Sacramento now drops to 7-12 on the season and 1-2 on what is now a five-game road trip.

The Kings started slow and finished sluggish

Sacramento went with the “the big” starting lineup in this game – Koufos, Cousins, Gay, Afflalo and Collison. Boston began running away from this starting five immediately. By the 4:26 mark in the first quarter, the Celtics held a 13-point lead 24-11. Dave Joerger pulled all of his starters except Cousins and the second unit erased the deficit tying the game at 29-29 at the end of the first period.

That set up a real battle between the teams that played out in second, third and part of the fourth quarters.

With 7:54 to go in the game, Al Horford hit a hook shot that tied the game and the Celtics eventually went on a 10-0 run that created a major uphill battle for the Kings. Sacramento led by Cousins tried to fight their way back into the game and did cut the Celtics lead to three points with 39 seconds remaining in the game. The Kings were unable to score again in those final seconds and lost the game.

The Kings lost Cousins for medical treatment late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarters

Late in the third quarter, Ty Lawson and DeMarcus Cousins were both going for a defensive rebound when Lawson’s left elbow hit Cousins above the left eye. The blow opened up a cut above Cousins’ left eye. He was taken to the locker room where they glued the cut shut and he returned to the game with under eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Was that the turning point in the game? No, it was not. Read the next section and you will understand why it was not the key to the loss.

Missed shots in the paint – poor shot selection – turnovers all haunt the Kings

“We just shot ourselves in the foot. We turned the damned thing (the ball) over like I’ve never seen.We take bad shots sometimes and it just ticks me off. At bad times … stuff we know we have to get better at. We’re not a bunch of rookies. We can get better. We’ll keep plugging away and keep getting better, but we shot 47 shots in the paint and missed how many layups? Turnovers killed us. Shots come and go – we didn’t make shots,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger after the game.

Sacramento outscored Boston 42-34 in the paint but went 21-for-47 in the high percentage shooting area. The Kings shot just 37.9-percent (33-for-87) for the game. It is almost impossible to win a game in the NBA and shoot under 40-percent. Sacramento turned the ball over 15 times and those TOVs created 21 points for Boston.

Cousins was the Kings scoring leader but it was not his best night – Barnes was big

  • DeMarcus Cousins was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points but he had to take 26 shots to tally those points. He was 2-for-7 from long range. Cousins had nine rebounds so he did not record a double-double
  • Matt Barnes did have a double-double for the Kings on Friday night. He scored 12 points, grabbed 16 rebounds (game-high) and added five assists. Barnes also provided some much needed energy on defense several times in the game
  • Rudy Gay and Darren Collison each scored 12 points for Sacramento. Gay had eight rebounds but went 1-for-7 from 3-point range. Collison had three assists
  • Omri Casspi played almost 27 minutes off the bench and scored seven points. Casspi brought some much needed energy late in the first quarter
  • Willie Cauley-Stein had some strong minutes of playing time in the first half and scored six points in the game
Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Matt Barnes moves with the ball in Boston Photo NBAE

Al Horford was the star for Boston in the game

Horford had a complete game for the Celtics on Friday night against the Kings. The Boston center played 35-minutes scoring 26 points, recorded eight rebounds, dished out three assists, had two steals and six -yes you are reading correctly – six blocked shots. He shot 10-for-18 from the floor and 4-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was even more impressed with Horford’s defense. Stevens talked about how his center is always at the ready on defense. Horford did make a key defensive play on Cousins in the final seconds of the game to deny the Kings big man a 3-point shot opportunity.

Other Celtic contributors

  • Former Kings player Isaiah Thomas put up 20 points and handed out seven assists on a night when he did not shoot his best. Thomas shot 6-for-21 from the floor and 0-for-5 from 3-point land
  • Jae Crowder added 16 points and Avery Bradley scored 15 for Boston
  • One of the big weaknesses for the Celtics is the lack of bench scoring. The Celtics reserves scored just 12 points in the contest. The Kings bench scored 33 points in the game
Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Isaiah Thomas goes to the basket against his old team on Friday night Photo NBAE

Up next on the schedule

The Kings have the day off in New York City on Saturday and then will face the New York Knicks in “the Garden” on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. PST in game four of the five-game road trip.

The Celtics kick off a road trip on Saturday night in Philadelphia with the Sixers assuming the floor is dry enough for play. The NBA will make sure the floor is game-ready for the Celtics and Sixers … take that to the bank.

Kings win game one on the road beating Brooklyn 122-105

By Charlie O. Mallonee

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets
Photo USA Today Sports

The road is a harsh place in the NBA

The chances of a road team winning a game in the NBA stand at approximately 40-percent. That means the odds are against you before you ever start the game.

The Sacramento Kings kicked off a six-game road trip in Brooklyn on Sunday night against the Nets. The Nets came into the game having lost six consecutive games and were desperate for a win. Sacramento knew this was a team they could beat and needed to defeat to make it a successful start to the road trip.

The Kings (7-10) met their goal by soundly defeating the Nets 122-105 to start the long road trip on a positive note.

The Nets opened the game with fast and furious play

Brooklyn plays fast as team normally, but they opened this game with a sense of urgency wanting to end their losing streak and feeling like the Kings were a team they could beat on their home court.

The Nets decided to use the Rockets philosophy and started shooting as many 3-pointers as possible against the Kings. The concept worked momentarily as Brooklyn opened up a nine point lead shooting 5-for-10 from long range, but the Kings got organized on offense scoring with high percentage shots in the paint. At the end of the first quarter, the Kings had cut the Nets lead to four points – 35 to 31.

The Sacramento second unit slowed the Nets down in the second quarter

The Kings second unit led by Matt Barnes and Garrett Temple slowed the Nets down by increasing the defensive pressure and continued to cut into the Brooklyn lead using high percentage shots in the paint. Sacramento tied the game up with 8:52 to in the first half, and then they took the lead.

The Nets took the lead back before the end of the half, but they were not able to reestablish the fiery pace of the first quarter. Also, the Kings continued to score. DeMarcus Cousins hit a 25-foot bank shot for 3-points near the end of period. At the end of the 12-minutes, Sacramento had won the quarter 27-24. Brooklyn went to halftime with a 59-58 lead over the Kings.

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
Photo NBAE

In the third quarter the Sacramento Express rolled into Brooklyn

The Kings have been a strong second-half team in general this season. On Sunday night in Brooklyn, they found a whole new running gear thanks to their star center. Cousins took charge of the game scoring 18 points in the quarter, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor including hitting 2-of-2 from 3-point range. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals in the period. Cousins did in 12-minutes what a majority of players would love to do in an entire game.

Rudy Gay added five points and two assists. Darren Collison scored five points and had one assist. Matt Barnes put up three points and dished out three assists in just 5:30 on the floor.

By the end of the quarter, the Kings had outscored the Nets 34-18 in the period and had a 92-77 lead in the game.

The one negative of the quarter was that DeMarcus Cousins picked up a technical foul for hitting Luis Scola in the face under basket while trying to make a layup. Cousins then went to the line to shoot two free throws because Scola fouled him in the act of shooting. It is Cousins fourth technical of the season.

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
Photo NBAE

The fourth quarter should have been an easy one for Sacramento but is wasn’t

Everything started off the Kings in fourth quarter just the way they wanted things to go. It looked like it would be a forgettable 12-minutes and Sacramento could move on to Washington, D.C. for the game on Monday night.

Then at the 9:35 mark of the fourth quarter, Sean Kilpatrick of the Nets drove to the basket for a layup. Matt Barnes of the Kings ran in from the angle to cut him off and there was heavy contact. Replay revealed that Barnes’ left arm made contact with Kilpatrick’s face. The officials went to review the video and everyone knew Barnes was going to be issued a flagrant one foul. Instead, the referees called it a flagrant two foul and Barnes was ejected from the game. (Let me just say that Barnes previous reputation as a tough guy may have come into play in the call – imho).

The ejection changed the momentum of the game and the Nets promptly went on a 16-2 run and cut the Kings lead down to 99-93.

Rudy Gay hit a 19-foot jumper with 6:29 to go in the game which kicked off a 14-0 run by the Kings. That run killed any hope the Nets had of coming back in the game.

Sacramento won the game by the final score of 122-105.

Sacramento leaders

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets
Photo USA Today Sports
  • DeMarcus Cousins was the leading scorer in the game with 37 points and made it a double-double with 11 rebounds
  • Rudy Gay had a big game with 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds
  • Darren Collison scored 18 points
  • Ty Lawson scored 13 points coming off the bench for the Kings
  • Omri Casspi played again for the Kings putting up eight point and grabbing five rebounds. He was 2-for-2 from 3-point range.
  • Everyone on the Sacramento bench except Anthony Tolliver – that includes Ben McLemore and Willie Cauley-Stein- played in the game

Brooklyn’s top producers

  • Guard Sean Kilpatrick was the Nets leading scorer with 22 points. He went 8-for-13 shooting including three 3-point baskets
  • Brook Lopez put up 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds while battling with DeMarcus Cousins all night
  • Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points for Brooklyn
  • Justin Hamilton was the Nets rebounding leader with 10

Key stat of the game

Points in the paint: Kings 50 Nets 36 – this is where the game was won

Up next on the schedule

The Nets game was the first game of a back-to-back set on the road for the Kings. Sacramento will play on Monday night in Washington, D.C. The Wizards are 5-10 on the season and are coming off a loss to San Antonio. The Kings did play the Wizards in the preseason at Rupp Arena on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

The Nets will try to end their seven-game losing streak on Tuesday night when they host the 14-4 Los Angeles Clippers.

Kings-Raptors postgame notes page 2

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay jams home the final Kings points of the game on Sunday night Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

NBA Crew Chief Mike Callahan answers questions on the last 2.4-seconds of the Kings vs Raptors game

Dave Joerger said no small lineup and then said yes

In his pregame press conference, Kings head coach Dave Joerger said he was not sure that a “small ball” lineup was going to happen against the Raptors. Joerger indicated he was really upset after the game on Friday and may have spoken to quickly.

Then … we were waiting for the starting lineups to be announced. They are usually brought to the press tables approximately 20 minutes before the start of the game. We were still waiting for the lineups when the National Anthem was performed.

Just before the player introductions, we received the official starters sheet. Coach Joerger decided to go small. Cousins slid into the number five slot while Gay and Matt Barnes took over the forward positions. Joerger went with twin point guards – Ty Lawson and Darren Collison to start the contest.

The small lineup played fast but was not able to overcome the four to five point lead the Raptors had established. At the 6:23 mark, Joerger switched things up and inserted center Kosta Koufos for Lawson.

The Kings responded to the new configuration and tied the score. Then, the “2 bigs” unit started establishing a lead that grew as large as 10 points. At the end of the first period, Sacramento was up 36-28.

The Kings had a tough second quarter without Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins picked up two personal fouls in the first quarter which was obviously part of the Raptors plan to neutralize the Kings star center. With 8:54 to go in the second, Joerger felt like he had to get Cousins back on the floor. At 8:34 on the clock, Cousins was headed back to the bench having picked up his third personal foul.

Willie Cauley-Stein came into the game for Cousins and the second-year center went to school. He had the task of trying to defend Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas. At seven feet and a solid 265 pounds, the very experienced Valanciunas was just too much for Cauley-Stein to handle by himself.The Toronto center scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot during Cauley-Stein’s time on the floor.

Kosta Koufos reentered the game and was able to slow down Valanciunas while Rudy Gay and Arron Afflalo went to work scoring points. The Kings were able to cut the Toronto lead to five – 63 to 58 – at the half.

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings
Jonas Valanciunas Photo Rocky Widner NBAE

Kings got small again in the third quarter

Dave Joerger returned to his “small” starting lineup to start the third period. The small Kings kept the game with five points but were unable to cut into the Raptors lead.

At 7:17, the Kings returned to the “2 bigs” lineup when Koufous subbed back into the game. The presence of Cousins and Koufos made Toronto’s Valanciunas much less effective.

Sacramento – led by a quick five points from Matt Barnes – began to score points. First, they tied the score. Then, Cousins converted a layup and the Kings took the lead. Sacramento scored the final four points of the quarter. At the end of three quarters, the Kings held the lead 86-81.

The fourth quarter lacked execution

Both teams shot just 25-percent from the floor in the final period. Toronto scored 18 points and the Kings 16 points in the quarter. Rudy Gay had the hot hand for the Kings shooting 3-for-5 and scoring seven points including the crucial final two points of the game for Sacramento.

Kyle Lowry tried to will the Raptors back into the game single handedly. He scored nine points, hauled in five defensive rebounds and dished out two assists in the final 12-minutes.

Toronto committed seven turnovers that created seven points for the Kings while Sacramento turned the ball over just three times which yielded three points for the Raptors.

Each team had four starters with 30 or more minutes of playing time in the game.

Joerger went deep into the bench

After having played a shorter rotation in several games, the Kings  used 11 players against the Raptors. Only Omri Casspi and Gerorgios Papagiannis did not play. Coach Joerger was very proud of his team and their effort.

A little rest and some practice time

The Kings will get some time to rest and get in some practice as they will not play again until Wednesday night when they will host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set after facing the Lakers on Tuesday night in LA.




Kings put up a fight but the Clippers win 121-115

by Charlie O. Mallonee

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
J.J. Redick fires away Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

The Clippers are now 6-0 on the road but they almost blew this win

The Los Angeles Clippers improved their record to 11-2 on the season with a 121-115 win over the Kings in Sacramento on Friday night. At one point in the first half, Los Angeles had a 26-point lead. They held a 19-point lead after three quarters were in the books.

The Kings outscored the Clippers 30-17 in fourth quarter led by Matt Barnes and his 10 points that came from his perfect 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. DeMarcus Cousins added seven points, Ty Lawson put up five, Garrett Temple four, Anthony Tolliver three and Rudy Gay one point.

Sacramento cut the Clippers lead to two points with 2:04 to go in the game, but that was as close as they would come to retaking the lead. Los Angeles scored the final four points of the game on a dunk by DeAndre Jordan and two free throws from Chris Paul.

The Kings changed the the lineup in the third quarter which changed the game

Dave Joerger went “small” to start the second half moving Cousins to center, keeping Gay at forward and starting three guards – Lawson, Afflalo and Collison. Joerger felt the lineup change had a profound affect on his team’s pick and roll execution. He also felt the defense improved.

The Kings team shooting percentage improved to 52.9-percent (9-for-17) in the third period as they scored 31 points.

The Clippers scored 31 points as well but their shooting percentage fell to 42.9-percent as the Kings tightened up their defense.

Los Angeles still had a 19 point lead – 104 to 85 – at the end of three quarters.

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
Ty Lawson Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

The Clippers started the game on fire

Los Angeles started the game aggressively with Blake Griffin scoring 15 points and J.J. Redick adding 14 of his own. Griffin went to the free throw line eight times and converted seven times. Redick was a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point land. The Clippers shot 70-percent as a team in the first quarter.

The Clippers put up 33 points in the second quarter paced by the 20 points scored by the second unit coming off the bench. Paul Pierce – who has been used sparingly – even made an appearance scoring six points. As a team, they shot 70.6-percent from the floor and 85.7-percent (6-for-7) from 3-point range.

The Kings improved their lot in the second period by scoring 30 points. DeMarcus Cousins scored 15 points in seven minutes on the floor to keep the game relatively close.

The Clippers held a 19 point lead – 73 to 54 – over the Kings at the half.

To no one’s surprise Cousins had another monster game

The Kings superstar scored 38 points in 36 minutes of playing time on Friday night. He also posted another double-double as he pulled down 13 rebounds in the game. The amazing big man also had seven assists and three steals.

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

Lawson, Collison and Barnes also came up big

Ty Lawson played 36-minutes against the Clippers and scored 18 points, dished out eight assists and hauled in seven rebounds. His point guard counterpart – Darren Collison – played 32-minutes putting up 16 points shooting 7-for-11 (one 3-pointer) from the floor.

Matt Barnes came off the bench and played 30-minutes for the Kings scoring 15 points and recording seven rebounds. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Coach Dave Joerger on the Kings performance

“I was proud of our guys. We came out and battled and got after it and we competed. I thought we had a lot of open shots – didn’t knock some down that could’ve really put it over the edge there late in the third quarter and then into the fourth quarter. But we didn’t put out heads down. We competed and I’m really proud of guys tonight.”

The Kings are going to go small

“I’m going to play small,” declared Kings head coach Dave Joerger after the game. “DeMarcus (Cousins) is going to play center. I don’t know who else is going to play with him. It just gives us more zip, more life, more experience. That’s not any detriment to anyone else for what they’ve done. Of course in four or five games, I’ll probably go back.”

It was the usual suspects doing the job for the Clippers on Friday night

Blake Griffin was the Clippers leading scorer with 29 points. He shot 7-for-15 from floor and was an impressive 15-of-16 from the free throw line.

J.J. Redick made rain like usual. 18 of his 26 points came off 3-point baskets. He was 6-for-8 from long range.

DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double scoring 16 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. His free throw shooting did not come into play as the big man did not go to the foul line once in the game.

Chris Paul also had a double-double for the Clippers. The star point guard put up 11 points and handed out 12 assists.

Austin Rivers was the key man off the bench for LAC adding 12 points and four assists.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on how the Kings got back into the game

“Us! I thought that was more us. I give them credit. Coach (Joerger) went small and they got more patient in the game. They scored every time down it felt like and then we stopped offensively. We (started) going in North Carolina four corner stall, I felt like. You’re always happy to win the game, but we want to be better that … First half was beautiful basketball. It was a clinic; you couldn’t have played any better. Defensively is where it started and then in the second half we decided we were going to trade baskets with them.”

LA Clippers v Sacramento Kings
DeAndre Jordan dunks the ball Photo: Rocky Widner NBAE

What’s coming up

The Clippers flew back to Los Angeles where they will host the Chicago Bulls (8-4) on Saturday night at the Staples Center.

The Kings will host the Toronto Raptors (8-4) on Sunday night at 6:00 PM at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.


Kings triumph in Toronto 96-91

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors
Photo credit:Tom Szczerbowski USA Today

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Kings victorious in final game of road trip 

The Sacramento Kings bounced back from playing one of their worst games of the season on Saturday in Milwaukee to playing one of their best games of the year on Sunday in Toronto to defeat the Raptors 96-91. Toronto (4-2) had won three consecutive games. The Kings (3-5) had lost four games in a row.

The Kings have played what has been rated the toughest schedule so far this season in the NBA. Five games in seven nights on the road in the Eastern Conference traveling from Miami to Toronto is brutal. It is also the reality of playing in the NBA. Every team has stretches in their schedules like this and to be successful a team has to deal with the difficulties.

The Kings found a way to deal with best team they had to face on this road trip by stepping up their defense and shortening the rotation off the bench. Head coach Dave Joerger used just nine players off his bench on Sunday night and his veteran players came through for him with the extended playing time – especially on defense.

The Kings held the hot shooting Raptors to just 35.7-percent (30-for-84) from the floor. The Toronto guard tandem of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry entered the contest averaging 53 points combined per game. The Sacramento defense held them to just 38 combined points on Sunday night.

DeRozan had scored at least 30 points in each of Toronto’s five games this year. The Kings held him to just 23 points.

The Sacramento Kings won on Sunday because of their defense. It has been awhile since you have read those words.

It’s deja vu all over again

The Kings swept the two -game series with the Raptors last season. The Kings won 107-101 in Sacramento behind DeMarcus Cousins 36 points and 10 rebounds. The Kings downed the Raptors in Toronto 104-94 when they had six players score in double figures.

The Kings will have a chance to complete the sweep this season on Sunday November 20 when the Raptors will visit the Golden 1 Center.

Kings dominate the paint

Toronto was without starting center Jonas Valanciunas who sat out because of a left knee contusion. That meant the Raptors 2016 first-round draft pick Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira who the Raptors have been developing overseas and in the D-League since 2011 had to play the five spot. Poeltl looked like a rookie and eventually fouled out of the game. Nogueria who was seeing his first action of the season after being out because of a sprained ankle looked very good. It is easy to see why Toronto has invested in his development.

The Kings dominated the paint outscoring the Raptors 52-30. Sacramento also out-rebounded Toronto 47-43.

Top performers

Rudy Gay led the Kings scoring attack with 23 points. Gay missed the game in Milwaukee with sore ribs. He played the game in Toronto with his ribs wrapped which did affect his shooting as he went 9-for-19 from the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins posted another double-double game with 22 points and 14 rebounds to go with four assists. Cousins was much more effective from out on the high post than down low under the basket. When he would drive the lane, Cousins was virtually unstoppable.

Ty Lawson was very good on the point dishing out 11 assists and adding five points. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo scored 12 points off just eight shots.

Matt Barnes was a force on defense and scored eight points plus grabbed 10 rebounds. Garrett Temple impacted the game with presence scoring eight points to go with a steal and a blocked shot.

DeRozan led the Raptors in scoring with 23 points but went 7-for-20 shooting. Lowry had 10 assists. Nogueia was the Raptors leading rebounder with five.

Dave Joerger was a happy man after the game

In the postgame press conference Joerger said:

  • He was really proud of his guys and how they responded in a back-to-back game
  • They (the Kings) get after people defensively
  • We had seven guys with two or more rebounds
  • We kept the turnovers down (the Kings had 11 turnovers and gave up just two points off those turnovers)
  • We had seven stops in a row with under 2:30 to play
  • A win like this gives you confidence
  • Rudy (Gay) gave us a big boost

What’s coming up

The Kings have a long flight home and then must get ready to face the New Orleans Pelicans (0-6) on Tuesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento then has the Lakers (3-3) at home on Thursday night before heading back out on the road.

The Raptors hit the road and will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. They then travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Friday night.

Kings squeak past Timberwolves 106-103

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings
Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – The Sacramento Kings won their first game in the new Golden 1 Center on Saturday night by squeaking by the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-103.It was literally a last-second victory as the Timberwolves had the chance to tie the game or take the lead with 02.6-seconds left on the clock.

The Kings record improves to 2-1 on the season with the victory. Head coach Dave Joerger said the win has some meaning as the Kings get ready to start a five-game road trip.

“It just means you go on the road trip 2-1. I think there is a nice difference between being 2-1 and 1-2 and how you feel about yourself, knowing you are going to play your next five in all kinds of different states around the union,” said coach Joerger about the upcoming road trip. “I think that’s a better feeling getting on the plane tomorrow.”

The loss leaves the Timberwolves winless on the season. Minnesota lost their season opener in Memphis when they let a 14-point lead slip away late in the game. The Timberwolves let an 18-point lead over the Kings evaporate on Saturday night.

New Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau likes his teams talent but feels that something has to happen before they can start winning.

“We have to get a lot tougher. We got to get a lot tougher.”

Minnesota can pass and shoot the ball. The Timberwolves shot 51.4-percent from the floor in the game. They shot over 60-percent in the first quarter. Thibodeau is also correct when he says they are not a very physical team when they need to be.

The Kings started the game slowly shooting under 40-percent for much of the first quarter and allowing Andrew Wiggins to score 13 points. Dave Joerger became so frustrated that he pulled his five starters off the floor with 3:18 to go in the quarter and put in the entire second unit.

The Kings came back to life in the second quarter behind Rudy Gay who scored 12 points and DeMarcus Cousins who put up 11. Matt Barnes came off the bench to make a real difference especially on defense.

The Timberwolves led the Kings 65-54 at halftime.

The third quarter was the difference maker in this game. The Kings came out on fire on both ends of the floor. Sacramento outscored Minnesota 31-12 in the period. The Timberwolves shot only 25-percent from the floor.

Minnesota turned the ball over seven times in the period that resulted in 14 Sacramento points. The Kings had just two turnovers the Timberwolves were unable to turn into any points.

“The 3rd quarter was a problem, big problem. We have to take a look the problems and see where the issues are,” said Tom Thibodeau.

The fourth quarter began with the Kings leading 85-77. Sacramento opened up a 10-point lead then the Timberwolves began to chip away at the that lead. Minnesota went on a 9-0 run and tied the game 100-100 with 3:11 to play.

The Kings went back up by five. After Wiggins hit a free throw and cut the lead to four, the unthinkable happened. DeMarcus Cousins picked up his sixth personal foul with 50.9-seconds left in the game. The Kings had to finish the game with their best player on the bench.

Rookie guard Kris Dunn who was fouled by Cousins missed both of his free throws. Gorgui Dieng grabbed the rebound and Zach LaVine missed a 3-point jump shot. Karl-Anthony Towns got the rebound and converted the lay up to make it a two point game, 105-103.

After winning a jump ball, the Timberwolves were unable to hit a basket. Matt Barnes was fouled going for a rebound with 00.2-seconds left. He hit 1-of-2 free throws to end the game.

The Kings won the game 106-103.

Kings (2-1)

  • Cousins was the Kings leading scorer with 29 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Rudy Gay had a big night 28 points, 11-for-20 shooting
  • Matt Barnes – the impact player of the game off the bench – 12 points including three 3-pointers to go with 9 assists
  • Ben McLemore bounced back from his troubles in the Spurs game scoring 13 points and shooting 50-percent from the field
  • The Kings improved their shooting by 6-percent over Thursday by shooting 45.9-percent (39-for-85) in the game.

Timberwolves (0-2)

  • Andrew Wiggins scored 29 points to lead the Timberwolves scoring attack. He is very difficult to stop when he wants to shoot.
  • Guard Zach LaVine had a big night putting up 21 points while shooting 50-percent from the floor
  • Karl-Anthony Towns added 15 points but the battle between him and fellow Kentucky Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins was a non-event. They just did not match up much in the game
  • PG Ricky Rubio experienced a sprained elbow. Rubio was rumored to be a trade target of the Kings but Minnesota was reluctant to part with him until Kris Dunn is ready

Up Next

The Kings begin a five-game road trip on Monday night in Atlanta. Sacramento will play five games in seven nights all in the Eastern time zone except for the Milwaukee game which is in the Central time zone.

Minnesota heads home to open their home season with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves will be looking for redemption after losing to Memphis in their season opener.

Kings waive two and set the opening night roster


by Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–Monday was the deadline for all teams in the NBA to trim their rosters down to 15 players in preparation for the start of the regular season this week. The Kings still had 17 men on the team as the day began so two players had to be released.

Sacramento vice president of basketball operations and general manager Vlade Divac announced Monday afternoon that guards Jordan Farmar and Isaiah Cousins had been waived by the Kings.

Farmar is a nine-year veteran of the NBA who played his college basketball at UCLA. Farmar spent the 2015-16 season playing for Kings head coach Dave Joerger in Memphis. He averaged 6.5 points in four preseason games for Sacramento.

Isaiah Cousins was drafted by the Kings in the second round (59th overall) out of Oklahoma in the 2016 NBA Draft. Cousins appeared in two preseason games playing a total of 12 minutes.

The Kings opening night roster will feature three rookies. Center George Papagiannis, Forward Skal Labissiere and Guard Malachi Richardson were all added to the team via the draft in June. Expect to see the three rookies log some time in Reno playing with Kings D-League team to go along with working out with the big club in Sacramento.

Ty Lawson will be a point guard for the Kings when they open the season in Phoenix on Wednesday night. After a turbulent 2015-16 season, Lawson ran into controversy with the Kings over being late to a workout and missing a flight in Las Vegas after a preseason game in “Sin City”. Lawson met with team officials and was kept on the roster. With Darren Collison lost to suspension for the first eight games of the season, Lawson will probably be the starting point guard versus the Suns in the season opener.

Sacramento native Matt Barnes will be a key member of the Kings as they open the 2016-17 campaign.  The 6-foot-7 forward/guard will be counted on to bring some much needed floor toughness with offensive aggressiveness that will add fire to the Sacramento game. Barnes played for Dave Joerger in Memphis last season so he is already familiar with his system and coaching style.

Three additional NBA journeymen will be new to the Kings roster this season. Guard Arron Afflalo, guard Garrett Temple and forward Anthony Tolliver all bring solid experience to the Kings. It appears that the Kings will really depend on Tolliver to be a spark plug off the bench with the second unit early in the season.

Also back are the usual suspects. Cousins, Gay, Collison, Casspi, Cauley-Stein, Koufos and McLemore are all names that Kings fans know well from previous seasons. There have been rumors flying that Rudy Gay and Darren Collison could be on the move to Miami or Minnesota, but for now, they are just rumors. McLemore has also been mentioned as a possible trade piece.

The Kings open the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night in Phoenix against the Suns. The team returns to Sacramento on Thursday evening to open the home season versus the San Antonio Spurs in the new Golden 1 Center.

Kings continue to add players including Matt Barnes


matt barnes grizzliesBy Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings continued to be busy this weekend filling needs for player personnel that were not addressed in the NBA Draft. The moves being engineered by Vlade Divac and the front office appear to be focused on bringing in experienced players that will allow the rookies to be worked into coach Dave Joerger’s system slowly and deliberately.

Looks like you can come home again

One of biggest moves of the weekend may be the signing of a hometown product Matt Barnes to a reported two-year contact with the second year being a player option. Barnes was a prep star at Del Campo High School in Sacramento and played part one season with the Kings. Barnes played in Memphis for Dave Joerger last season.

Barnes averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.8 minutes per game for the Grizzlies last year. He is known as being a tough, hardnosed, no nonsense type of player who can be volatile on the floor. Barnes will immediately take some of the pressure off of DeMarcus Cousins because he will be happy to take on the role of enforcer, defender and tough guy on the court.

Barnes is a 13 year NBA veteran who 36 years old.

Kings add some flexibility to the roster


Multiple reports have the Kings signing former Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple to a reported three-year, $24-million contract. This will actually be Temple’s second stint with the Kings. He was with the Kings for five games in 2009-10 season.

Temple has spent the last four seasons in Washington. He has played mostly small forward for the Wizards, but Temple can play also play at shooting guard and point guard. That versatility will make Temple a very valuable option in the upcoming season. Look for him to be used at point guard at least until Darren Collison returns.

The 6-foot-6 Temple averaged 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes of playing time. He made 43 starts for Washington last year.

Temple has six years of NBA experience. He entered the league undrafted after playing his college ball at LSU.

More help on the front line


The Kings have reportedly signed 6-foot-8, 240-pound power/small forward Anthony Tolliver to a two-year contract worth $16 million with $2 million guaranteed for the second season. The reports have second year of the contract being a team option.

This is not a sexy starting five signing. Tolliver is a solid second unit player who can play the three or the four spots and will give you 15-20 minutes per night off the bench.

Tolliver played for the Pistons last year averaging 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game. Tolliver attempts an average of 4.6 field goals per game and 3.8 of those attempts will be from 3-point land.

Tolliver has eight years of experience in the association. He has been well traveled as he has played for eight different teams.

Curry to be an unrestricted free agent

Reports have the Kings rescinding their qualifying offer to restricted free agent guard Seth Curry. With the depth at guard the Kings have added over the weekend the need for Curry has diminished.

Reports also have Curry’s agent asking the Kings to rescind the offer to speed the process up for his client to find a new team. With the qualifying offer in place, the Kings would have had the opportunity to match the offer delaying the process.

So long Rondo

According to reports, Rajon Rondo has signed a 2-year, $28-million contract with the Chicago Bulls. If the reports are true, the Kings had cooled on trying to re-sign Rondo.