Kings Press Row Podcast for December 6, 2017: On the road and a return home for SAC

press row podcast

hosts Charlie O. Mallonee & Jordan “Chapes” Chapin

  • The Kings had a very interesting finish to their time in Northern California with a win in Oakland and a loss at the Golden 1 Center to the Bucks

  • Sac Kings picked up a win in Chicago but it was a very close game that they were very fortunate to come away with the “W” in their column

  • The Kings had to face the “Greek Freak” and company last Saturday night. It was a very strange game that SAC had a chance to win after trailing 14-0 to begin the game

  • SAC came home after the game in Milwaukee on Saturday then flew back out to Cleveland on Tuesday to continue the four-game road trip

  • Now it’s time to face the King James and Boogie before coming home to face the Raptors on Sunday

Kings make a huge comeback in Milwaukee but lose to Bucks 109-104

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Randolph drives on the basket Photo USA Today Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee with Jordan Chapin

If you turned off the Kings – Bucks game after watching for just four-minutes and 15-seconds, you know the score was Milwaukee 14 and Sacramento 0. The Kings entire starting lineup had not scored a point and were sent to the bench after just three-minutes and 10-seconds of playing time. So, to see the final score be Milwaukee 109 to 104 for Sacramento must come as a great shock to you.

Even more shocking to you who turned off the game may be the fact the Kings cut the Bucks lead to just one-point with 1:43 to go in the game. The Kings never held the lead in the contest but they had a legitimate chance to win the game with under two minutes remaining to play.

The Game Summary

The Kings starting five did not score a point in the opening quarter of the game. They scored just 16-points in the first-half which is lowest scoring total for a starting five in the NBA since 2014. Buddy Hield scored 13-points for the second-unit and Zach Randolph put up 12-points to help keep the Kings in the game.  Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 19 points, Eric Bledsoe put 16 in the books and  Khris Middleton scored 14 points to lead the Bucks to a 63 – 52 lead at half-time.

The Kings had to start the third quarter without Willie Cauley-Stein who strained his lower back. The injury was not deemed serious but the team wanted to be cautious and sat him on the bench for the second-half.

The Bucks came out in the third-period and caught fire just like they had at the beginning of the game. They opened up a 20-point lead twice in the quarter with eight-points from “the Freak”, five put up by Middleton and five recorded by Brogdon in just over three-minutes on the floor. At the end of three-quarters, the Bucks held an 88-76 lead.

In the final period, it was all about the second-unit for the Kings once again. The Kings were led by Bogdon Bogdanovic who led the Sacramento scoring with nine-points. “Bogi” showed the world he is not afraid to take charge when the pressure is on. Buddy Hield added six-points while Frank Mason III and Z-Bo each put up four-points.

The Kings outscored the Bucks 28-21 in the final quarter but the opening runs by Milwaukee in the first and third periods proved to be too much and the Bucks won the game 109-104.

The Kings made a great comeback but it was not enough for Coach Joerger

Outstanding performers

Kings

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Mason III played strong for the Kings on Saturday night Photo USA Today Sports
  • Zach Randolph led the Kings scoring attack against the Bucks with 22-points. He went 10-for-15 from the floor.
  • Buddy Hield jumped back in the scorebook in a big way with 19-points. He shot 6-for-12 from the field and hit 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.
  • De’Aaron Fox overcame a poor early start to record 14-points. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor while hauling in six rebounds and distributing three assists.
  • Frank Mason III had another amazing game. The second-round draft pick showed again why many thought he would go late in the first-round. He put up 13-points and added three assists in the effort to overcome the Bucks early onslaught.

Bucks

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“The Freak” put up 33-points for the Bucks vs the Kings Photo USA Today Sports
  • “The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game’s leading scorer with 33-points, 13-rebounds and five assists. The 22-year old is simply amazing.
  • Khris Middleton recorded 25-points hitting 9-of-15 shots from the floor. He went 3-for-5 from 3-point land.
  • Eric Bledsoe – who has found new life in Milwaukee since his trade from Phoenix – scored 19-points while converting 9-of-10 opportunities from the free throw lines.

Team Stats

Sacramento (7-16)

  • SAC hit 37-of-77 attempts from the floor for 48.1-percent field goal shooting (which would usually mean a win)
  • The Kings went 11-for-24 (45.8-percent) from behind the 3-point line. Again that percentage would normally be associated with a win.
  • The team converted 19-of-21 (90.5-percent) chances from the charity stripe. See the Bucks stats to realize why those numbers are not that impressive.
  • The Kings had 20 assists and 15 turnovers. That is far below the desired 2:1 assists to turnover ratio that is the goal in the NBA.

Milwaukee (12-9)

  • The Bucks shot 49.3-percent from the field (34-for-69). They hit just 6-of-19 (31.6-percent) from behind the 3-point line.
  • The Bucks really helped themselves from the free throw line. They hit 35-of-42 chances from the stripe in the game.
  • The Bucks use the Fast Break to perfection as they outscored the Kings 13-2 on the break in the game.

Up Next

Kings

The team flew home after the game and will head back on the road on Tuesday when they will travel to Cleveland to get ready for a game of Wednesday with the Cavaliers.

Bucks

Milwaukee will return to action on Monday night in Boston versus the Celtics.

One last note

Justin Jackson who is on assignment with the Reno Bighorns of the G-League scored 26-points, grabbed six rebounds and added three assists on Saturday night.

Kings Suffer Hangover From Win Over Warriors As Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Scores 32 In 112-87 Romp

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, left, congratulates teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo after he scored during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Bucks won 112-87. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

by Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings (6-14) came off a great over over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Tonight, the Kings hosted the Milwaukee Bucks (9-9) and looked as if the team bus never arrived from Oakland as they fell embarrassingly 112-87 in front of the Purple and Black faithful.

When the Kings brought in Dave Joerger to coach the team two seasons ago, it was the hope he could bring life into a somewhat experienced group of seasoned NBA players. The squad he has now with Rookies and second year players getting many minutes, he has his hands full. This young squad is capable of a great win against the NBA elite in the Warriors, but also landing on a sour note against a mediocre Bucks squad.

The Kings were outscored 29 to 11 in the second quarter, and the Bucks cruised to an easy road win. It’s the type of loss that’s hard to swallow and forget, but that’s exactly what the Kings need to do as they start a road trip in Chicago on Friday as they take on the Bulls.

The Bucks were led by forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 32 points in just 26 minutes.  He also added five rebounds and assists. The Bucks needed this win as they tried to keep pace in a tough Central Division as they try to move up from fourth place.

The Kings, who are in last place in the Pacific Division, fall father back on what looks to be another very long year for this organization. A bright spot tonight was Garret Temple, who scored 18 points,  Temple has had two back-to-back games with solid production as he chipped in 14 points against the Warriors yesterday.

The Bucks face the Utah Jazz on Thursday before heading home to host the Kings on Saturday as the Kings look for some payback in Milwaukee.

Kings Press Row Podcast: Week 6 in the NBA

press row podcast

hosts Lee Leonard and Charlie O. Mallonee

  • What’s happening in Week 6 in the NBA?

  • The Kings were blown out in Atlanta – how did they respond when they came home to face the Trail Blazers?

  • Sacramento lost to Denver – is that a cause for concern?

  • What’s coming up for the Kings? (hint: the battle of the rookie point guards!)

LonzoLV FOX

Kings blown out by Bucks 117-91

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Photo: Darren Hauck AP Photo

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Kings still without a win on road trip

The Sacramento Kings were never in the game on Saturday night in Milwaukee as the Bucks turned the game into a “laugher” by leading by as many as 31 points in the contest and never allowing Sacramento to have the lead in the game.

The Bucks were led by the play of “the Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo who scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out eight assists, made four steals and added one blocked shot in just 25 minutes on the floor against Sacramento. Antetokounmpo seized control from the beginning of the game and the Kings seemed powerless to stop him.

The other unstoppable Milwaukee player on Saturday night was 3-point shooting specialist Mirza Teletovic who scored 22 points going 7-for-9 from 3-point range. He did not attempt a two-point shot in the game. The Kings seemed unable to find a way to put a body on Teletovic to shut him down from long range.

Garrett Temple was the Kings leading scorer coming off the bench to put up 19 points in 28 minutes on the floor. He went 7-for-10 from the floor including going 5-for-6 from 3-point range to lead the Kings attack.

Milwaukee shoots 50-percent from the floor

It is almost impossible to win a NBA game when you let your opponent shoot 50-percent from the field. The Kings allowed the Bucks to shoot 50-percent (41-for-82) from the floor on Saturday night. The Bucks were able to connect on 14-of-33 (42.4-percent) 3-point shots. There is no way to sugarcoat the analysis of those results. The Kings played very poor defense on Saturday night.

The Bucks played aggressive defense and the Kings shot poorly. Sacramento shot just 39.3-percent (33-for-84) in the game. A NBA team is not going to win a game shooting under 40-percent in a contest. The one bright spot for the Kings shooting game was their 3-point shooting percentage which was 35.7 (10-for-28). They would take that 3-point percentage as an average every night if they could.

Fast break points killed the Kings

The Milwaukee Bucks scored 26 points off the fast break on Saturday night. The Kings scored one point off the fast break. No that is not a typographical error. Sacramento only scored one point off the fast break in the game. That is a concern because that is a symptom of a team that is giving up.

Young Kings get a chance to play in garbage time

Rookie forward Skal Labissiere out of Kentucky got the opportunity play his first minutes in a NBA regular season game on Saturday night. He played 15 minutes and scored eight points and hauled three rebounds in his NBA debut.

Rookie guard Malachi Richardso also made his NBA debut on Saturday night. He played six minutes and scored three points shooting 1-for-3 from the floor.

Not to be outdone, the Kings had their own Greek professional player make an appearance on Saturday night. Georgios Papgiannis made his NBA debut playing six minutes, scoring two points and picking up three personal fouls.

For all three young men, they are minutes in their lives that will never be forgotten.

What Joerger had to say after the game

Kings head coach Dave Joerger looked tired and frustrated after the game. He talked about:

  • the need to stay positive
  • the team has to stay together
  • the team knows they are better than this
  • it’s a tough time that they just have to work through
  • the players cannot put their heads down
  • using the rookies was nothing more than giving a rest to the vets in a blowout game

It does not get easier on Sunday

The Kings left Milwaukee after the game for Toronto where they will play the Raptors on Sunday at 3:00 PM PST/6:00 PM EST in Toronto. The Raptors are 4-1 on the season and are led by the red hot guard DeMar Rozan who has scored 30 or more points in each of his team’s first five games.

Toronto has won three consecutive games. The Kings have lost four games in a row and are 0-4 on their five-game road trip which ends in Ontario on Sunday.

The Kings were without forward Rudy Gay on Saturday in Milwaukee due to a rib cartilage strain. There is no word on his status for Sunday in Toronto. Forward Antony Tolliver also missed the Bucks game due to a knee problem.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com projects the Kings have a 13-percent chance to win the game on Sunday. They say take the Raptors minus 11.5 points.

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

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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.

Warriors hang tough, rally past Bucks to move to 26-1

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Klay Thompson scored a game-high 27 points and Stephen Curry added 26 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists to help the Golden State Warriors avenge their only loss of the season with a 121-112 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night in front of a sellout Oracle Arena crowd.

Thompson shot 8 of 16 from the floor (2 of 9) on 3s, while Curry shot 7 of 14 including 2 of 6 on 3s.

Curry extended his streak to 100 games with at least one 3-pointer made.

The Bucks ended the Warriors 28-game winning streak dating back to last season in Milwaukee last weekend. Milwaukee came within an eyelash of  joining the Chicago Bulls as the last team to beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

With the win,  Golden State has now won 30 straight games at home.

Golden State (26-1) yielded a season-high 70 points in the first half, but turned on the defense in the second half by limiting Milwaukee to just 42 points the rest of the way. The Warriors found themselves down by as much 15 points in the third, and trailing by 11 points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Draymond Green nailed a huge 3-pointer from straight away to pull the Warriors within three at 100-97 and after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, Curry sunk three free throws to tie the game midway in the fourth quarter.

Green finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, but Andre Iguodala’s 3-pointer from the corner pushed Golden State’s lead to seven cementing the Warriors’ victory.

The made 3-pointer by Iguodala was his only points of the game.

Festus Ezeli who played the majority of the game in place of starting center Andrew Bogut, finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Bogut left the game in the first quarter with a back injury and never returned.

Michael Carter-Williams led the Bucks with 24 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in 20 points for Milwaukee (10-18), who have dropped five of their last six games but have provided Golden State with its stiffest competition so far this season.

Greg Monroe had 10 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists for the Bucks, who were out-rebounded 46-41 but shot a blistering 62 percent from the floor in the first half.

Khris Middleton added 16 points and Jabari Parker scored 14 points.

So much trash talk was voiced between both squads leading up to their rematch tonight and even after the final whistle, the trash talk couldn’t be stopped.

Green and O.J. Mayo had some heated words when exiting the court, prompting security and fellow players having to come in between the two before heading into the locker room.

Mayo scored just 12 points off the bench after scoring 18 points as a starter in the previous meeting in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee head to Phoenix Sunday, while Golden State doesn’t play until Wednesday when the Utah Jazz visit Oracle Arena.

 

Kings End First Half On A Sour Note, Drop To The Bucks.

By Shawn Whelchel

The All-Star break couldn’t have come sooner for the struggling Sacramento Kings, who ended the first half of the season by dropping 13 of their last 15 games after suffering a 111-103 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

The 13-game skid sends coach Tyrone Corbin out on a poor note, as the team reportedly agreed to terms with George Karl to become the new head coach of the team when the second half of the season resumes on February 20th against the Boston Celtics.

Milwaukee was led by guard Brandon Knight, who is arguably having an All-Star caliber season despite being left off of the East’s roster. Knight led the Bucks with 20 points, 6 rebounds and five assists on the night. O.J Mayo provided some pop off the bench for Milwaukee by dumping in 21 points in 25 minutes as well.

The Kings received a strong effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who will be making an appearance in New York’s All-Star game, as the big man posted an impressive stat line 28 points and 19 rebounds in the losing effort. Cousins was followed by Rudy Gay, who had 17 points and 8 rebounds on the night.

The Kings will hope that Karl’s veteran coaching presence will be able to revive the struggling team, who currently sit 13th in the Western division, ahead of only the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves with an 18-34 record.

Karl is currently the sixth most winning coach in NBA history. CSN Bay Area reported that the deal is rumored to be anywhere between $4 million and $5 million dollars per year.

Kings beat up on Bucks 124-107

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Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings had the unenviable task of going from playing the best team in “the Association”- the Spurs – to having to face the worst team in the league – the Milwaukee Bucks – on Sunday at home. The Kings could have easily come out flat, but they came out ready to play looking for a victory. Sacramento beat Milwaukee 124-107.

The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins who posted a double-double scoring 32 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while playing just 29 minutes in the game. Cousins spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench. Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points on just 15 shots that included going three for four from “3-point land”. Thomas also dished out eight assists. Rudy Gay put up 24 points while pulling down eight rebounds and serving up four assists. Ben McLemore scored 15 points including three 3-pointers.

Sacramento shot 51.2-percent from the field and shot 35.0-percent (7 for 20) from beyond the 3-point line. As a team, the Kings recorded 19 assists against just 12 turnovers. The Kings outrebounded the Bucks 44-40.

With a big win and numbers like they posted, you would think Kings Head Coach Michael Malone would have been very happy after the game. You would only be partially right. Coach stated that he is happy with any win in the NBA, but he was unhappy with the 63 points his team gave up in the second half. Up by 40 at one point, Malone was not pleased that he had to consider putting Cousins back in the game if things had continued to get out of hand.

The Kings came out in the first half ready to dominate the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. The Kings took a 70-44 lead into the locker room after 24-minutes of play. DeMarcus Cousins put up 21 points; Rudy Gay added 17 while Ben McLemore posted 11 going four for eight from the field.

The Kings were able to dominate due to their play in the paint. Sacramento scored 28 points down low while allowing the Bucks just 16 in the paint. The Kings also ruled the boards outrebounding Milwaukee 27-20.

The Kings were looking to run the fastbreak in the first half. They added nine points off the break while the Sacramento defense gave up no fastbreak points to the Bucks. The Kings defense held the Bucks to just 34.9-percent (15 for 42) shooting. Sacramento shot 58.1-percent (24 for 43) from the field. The Kings shot 40.0-percent (4 for 10) from beyond the 3-point arc.

Coach Malone was also able to give some extended rest to Cousins, Gay and Thomas. That also meant valuable playing time for Ray McCallum and Travis Outlaw.

The first half also featured two flagrant fouls committed by the Bucks.

Milwaukee started off the third quarter with an 8-0 run. That caused Malone to take a quick timeout. The Bucks started working the paint and scoring on the Kings. The Kings appeared to be flat and distracted. Cousins then scored on a coast to coast bucket and Thomas hit two 3-pointers allowing the Kings to maintain the lead. The Kings hit the century mark with 2:17 left to play in the third quarter. The quarter ended with the Kings leading the Bucks 104-70.

The fourth quarter should have been pure garbage time for the Kings. Instead the Bucks were able to begin to make Malone and the crowd a bit nervous. Sacramento suffered a series of defensive breakdowns that caused Malone to call timeouts to preach defense to his team.

The Kings allowed Milwaukee to shoot 75.0-percent (15 for 20) from the field in the fourth quarter. The Bucks scored 14 of those points in the paint and 10 points on fastbreaks. Milwaukee outscored the Kings 37-20 in the final period. Garbage time or not, that cannot happen when you start the quarter with a 34-point lead. It is part of the process of having to learn how to handle a large lead.

The Kings are off until Wednesday when they will host the New York Knicks in the final game of the four-game home-stand. Sacramento will then head out on a three-game road trip to Oklahoma City, Dallas and New Orleans.

Splash Brothers lead Warriors to 111-107 victory over Bucks

By Gabe Schapiro

They didn’t make it look easy, but the Golden State Warriors (44-26) scratched out a win against the Milwaukee Bucks (13-56), 111-107, Thursday night, at Oracle Arena. Coming into the contest, the Bucks had the worst record in the NBA. However, you wouldn’t have known it from watching the game. The Warriors played far from their best, but you have to give credit where credit is due, and Milwaukee played hard. Despite a big disadvantage in free throw attempts, and an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from beyond the arc, Golden State found a way to hold on.

The game was close throughout. Every time the Warriors made a small run and made people think they were about to run away with it, as they probably should have against an inferior opponent, the Bucks swung back and played tough. Heading into the locker room Golden State grasped a slight 53-51 lead.

After briefly trailing towards the end of the third quarter, the Warriors would lead the rest of the way, but never managed to convincingly put Milwaukee away until the final buzzer rang.

For Golden State, it was their talented backcourt that led the way. Stephen Curry had a game-high 31 points and 11 assists. He was one of the few Warriors to have some success from three-point range, hitting three-of-five. Klay Thompson wasn’t nearly as efficient, but added another 29 points.

Andrew Bogut had a strong game going up against his former club. He finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. David Lee contributed his nearly customary double-double, posting 22 points and 12 boards.

On the negative side, Harrison Barnes struggled mightily starting in place of the still out Andre Iguodala. He failed to score a point on seven field goal attempts, to go along with two turnovers. The bench also had a pretty quiet night, outside of a solid 12 points from Jordan Crawford in just 12 minutes of play.

For the Bucks it was a true team effort that made the Warriors sweat it out. A whopping seven players finished in double figures, four of whom did it from the bench. Brandon Knight was the standout, producing a team-high 27 points and six assists.

Golden State will rarely be able to turn in this kind of performance and still eek out a win, but thankfully they timed it against a bad team at home. They’ll need to clean up their mistakes for their next matchup against the best in the West, the San Antonio Spurs. The game is this Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 PM, at Oracle Arena.