It was an ugly win, but it was a win: Kings beat Grizzlies 102-99 Friday night

GrizSac Title
Graphic@SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings held the lead over the Memphis Grizzlies just twice in their game on Friday night at the Golden 1 Center. SAC took the first lead of the game 2-0 and would not lead again until there was just 1:17 remaining to play in the game when they would retake the lead over the Grizzlies 98-97.

The Kings (17-15) would hold on to win the game 103-99 to hand the Grizzlies (16-16) their fifth consecutive loss. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak by Sacramento.

Memphis brought their “Grind House D” to SAC

GrizSac Team win
Photo@SacramentoKings

The Grizzlies love to slow the game down and get physical with their opponents under the bucket. The “new” Kings want to get out and run the floor in order to drive the opposition into exhaustion.

On Friday night, the Grizzlies controlled the pace. Memphis set the pace and forced the Kings to play the Grizzlies style of basketball until the fourth quarter. In the final 12-minutes, Sacramento changed the dynamic.

Memphis held the Kings to a field goal percentage of just 37.5% (33/88). It is incredibly rare for an NBA to walk away with a victory when they shoot under 40% in a game.

Sacramento turned in a respectable performance from behind the 3-point line. They hit 15-of-41 attempts from downtown (36.6%). The Kings also had a decent night at the charity stripe, converting 21-of-29 free throw attempts (72.4%).

The Grizzlies outscored the Kings in the paint 34-32. Sacramento won the battle of second chance points 10-8. To no one’s surprise, the Kings won the battle for fastbreak points 21-13.

Memphis outrebounded the Kings 44-42.

Key stats that tell a big story

GrizSac FlyingFox
Flying Fox @SacramentoKings

The Kings committed just 10 turnovers in the contest and those miscues resulted in 16 points for the Grizzlies.

Memphis recorded 18 turnovers that resulted in 27 points for Sacramento. The Griz will look at the turnovers and cringe for some time to come because they may well have cost them the game.

The Kings also won the battle of steals. SAC made 10 thefts in the game while MEM was able to steal the ball just seven times.

Key Performers

GrizSac Guards
Photo@SacramentoKings

Kings

  • Buddy Hield was the game’s leading scorer posting 28 points for the game. He shot just 9-for-24 from the field, but hit 6-of-13 from 3-point land. Hield also added eight rebounds.
  • De’Aaron Fox recorded 14 points and eight assists for Sacramento in the victory. Fox also made five steals in the game. His defense in the final period was a real difference maker.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic also scored 14 points in the contest but shot just 3-for-9 from the floor. However, all three of his baskets were 3-point buckets. Bogdanovic also went 5-for-8 from the free throw line.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein recorded a double-double in Kings victory. He scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds versus the Grizzlies. He also dished out four assists.
  • Iman Shumpert and Nemanja Bjelica each scored 11 points in the game.

Grizzlies

  • Mike Conley was the Grizzlies leading scorer with 23 points. Conley hit a career-high seven 3-point baskets in the game.
  • Former King Garrett Temple added 17 points for Memphis.
  • Marc Gasol put 12 points and eight rebounds in the book.
  • All five of the Memphis starters scored in double figures.

Up Next

The Kings will wrap up their 3-game homestand on Sunday afternoon when they will host Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies travel to Los Angeles and will face the Lakers on Sunday.

Kings bounce back on Sunday night, beating the Mavs 120-113

Dallas Kings final
Photo@NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The road can be a harsh mistress in the National Basketball Association. Road teams — even strong, veteran squads — suffer humiliating upsets as the visitors in NBA arenas every season.

Sacramento experienced a heartbreaking loss on Friday night as the Golden State Warriors went on a late 17-2 run to defeat the Kings 130-125 on their home court. The Sactown team would have no time to pout about the loss as they had to head out on the road for a tough back-to-back set in Dallas and Minnesota.

First meeting with Dallas of the season

Dallas Doncic
Graphic @DallasMavs

The game on Sunday was the first of three games between the Mavs and Kings in 2018-19. The next game will be played March 21 in Sacramento and the final game will take place on March 26 in the DFW Metroplex.

It was the first time the Kings would face the rookie they passed on to draft Marvin Bagley III — Luka Doncic. Early on, draft experts were convinced that Doncic was going to a King because of his European pedigree. They were wrong.

Even now, NBA reporters are criticizing the Kings for not selecting Doncic. The fact that he is averaging 17.8 points per game along with 6.8 rpg and 4.5 apg may have something to do with that criticism. His 13 20-plus point games may also contribute to that chatter.

The Kings had to play shorthanded

Marvin Bagley III was injured in the Warriors game on Friday night. The Kings rookie star suffered a deep bruise on his left knee and is out for an indefinite period of time. The last word on his condition has him being re-evaluated in 10-14 days.

Iman Shumpert injured his hip in that same game on Friday night and his availability versus the Mavericks was considered a game-time decision. The decision was Shumpert would not be available to play in Dallas.

The first half was a draw

Dallas Hield
Photo@SacramentoKings

As the teams hit the locker rooms at halftime, the Kings held a 61-58 lead over the Mavericks. The half featured seven lead changes and the game was tied six times. The Kings biggest was nine points while the Mavs’ largest lead was seven points.

Dallas won the battle in the paint 30-28. Sacramento outscored the Mavericks 19-9 on Fast Break Points.

The Kings shot 46.9% (23/49) in the half while Dallas hit 22-of-52 (42.3%) of their shots. Each team connected on four 3-point baskets in first 24-minutes.

Buddy Hield paced the Kings scoring with 17 points while De’Aaron Fox added 14 on his own.

The Mavericks scoring attack was led by Luka Doncic who put up 13 points. Dirk Nowitzki added three points. The significance of those points is they came in his first appearance before the fans in Dallas this season.

SAC increases its lead in the third period

The Kings outscored the Mavericks 32-25 in the third quarter. Sacramento shot 13-for-24 (54.2%) from the field in the third while Dallas hit 8-of-22 (36.4%) from the floor. Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with nine points while Luka Doncic led the Mavs with six points.

With 36 minutes in the book, Sacramento held a 93-83 lead over the team from DFW.

The Mavs kept it close in the fourth

Doncic scored nine points and Jalen Brunson added eight as the Mavericks outscored the Kings 30-27 in the final period. De’Aaron Fox scored eight points for the Kings who added 27 to their total in the last quarter.

When the final the buzzer sounded, the Kings had won the game 120-113.

The Sactown backcourt duo combined for 56 points

Dallas Kings 5
Photo@SacramentoKings

Kings guards Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox each scored 28 points in the game (season-high for Hield). Hield shot 12-for-23 for the game while going 3-for-9 from long distance. He also grabbed four rebounds and added two assists.

Fox went hit 11-of-19 attempts while going 0-for-3 from behind the 3-point line. He hit 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Fox dished out five assists and made three steals.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica each posted 15 points for the Kings. “Byelly” made it “double-double” by hauling in 10 rebounds.

Mavs scoring

Luka Doncic (remember that name) was the Mavericks leading scorer with 28 points. He also had nine assists. Former Warrior Harrison Barnes recorded 15 points.

The “Monster of the Boards” DeAndre Jordan hauled in 23 rebounds (10 on offense) and scored eight points. The 23 rebounds is a season-high for Jordan.

The standings

The Kings (16-13) are now tied for sixth place in the Western Conference with Memphis and Portland.

Dallas (15-13) is in sole possession of ninth place in the West.

Up next

The Kings will be back in action on Monday night in Minnesota versus a team that just lost four games in a row on the road. The T-Wolves are going to be hungry to get back into the win column so they will be a very dangerous opponent for Sacramento.

The Mavericks will head out on the road and will face the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday night.

Indiana sets the pace and downs the Kings 107-97 on Saturday night

Kings at Pacers scoreboard
Graphic: @Pacers

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings knew going into Indianapolis they faced an uphill battle with the Indiana Pacers. The upstart Kings handed the Pacers a 111-110 loss in Sacramento last Saturday night and the Indiana team was ready to revenge that loss.

The Pacers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and they win by controlling the pace of the game. Indiana had no intention of allowing the Kings to run and gun like they did in Cleveland on Friday night.

Indiana did slow the Kings down and the Pacers won the game 107-97.

Back-to-backs
This was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road for the Kings. Some statisticians place the chances of the visiting team winning the second game of a back-to-back schedule on the road at under 33 percent. That means the Kings were at a great disadvantage before the opening tipoff of the game in Indiana on Saturday night.

Battle of the Tiers

Pacers flag

This was a battle of two teams that are in different NBA tiers. The Pacers are a solid Tier Two team (a consistent playoff team) that may be ready to jump into to the lower end of Tier One in the Eastern Conference. The Kings are a Tier Three team (Draft Lottery participants) who are trying to become a lower Tier Two team that battles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

The fact that the Kings split the season series (1-1) with an accomplished team like the Pacers shows the kind of improvement they are experiencing this season.

The Pacers “D” suppressed the Kings’ offense

sac sac

After posting big team numbers versus the Cavaliers, the Kings team stats dropped dramatically against the defensive-minded Pacers:

  • Field Goal Shooting: 38-for-90 (42.2%)
  • 3P Field Goal Shooting: 28.1% (9-for-32)
  • Points in the Paint: IND 56 SAC 46
  • Second Chance Points: SAC 24 IND 19
  • Fast Break Points: SAC 22 IND 18
  • The Pacers outrebounded the Kings 52-43

A Check of the Book

Kings at Pacers starters
Photo: @SacramentoKings

The Kings played the game without Iman Shumpert who was inactive due to an injury that was categorized as “load management”. Joel Embiid has been kept out games for the same reason a number of times.

  • Buddy Hield was the Kings top scorer with 20 points shooting 8-for-20 from the field
  • De’Aaron Fox started slow but stepped up in the second half to put 18 points in the scorebook along with six assists
  • Willie-Cauley Stein put up 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin Jackson each scored 11 points in the game
  • Nemanja Bjelica scored six points and hauled in 12 rebounds for SAC

The Pacers were still without their star guard Victor Oladipo (sore right knee). Indiana still has no definite date for his return to active status.

Kings at Pacers Collison
Photo: @Pacers
  • Thaddeus Young led the Pacers scoring attack with 20 points
  • Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points converting 7-of-7 from the free throw line
  • Former King Darren Collison scored 14 points and dished out six assists
  • Miles Turner put nine points in the book and grabbed 13 rebounds

With the loss, the Kings record drops to 13-12 for the season and they fall to ninth in the Western Conference. The Pacers improve to 16-10 on the year and are now in sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Up Next
The Kings will wrap up this four-game road trip on Tuesday night in Chicago versus the Bulls. A win would give Sacramento a record of 3-1 on the trip which they would be very happy to finish with for a December road tour of the East.

The Pacers will host the Wizards on Monday.

Kings fall to Jazz 133-112 on Sunday night in SAC

Jazz final score

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings faced a major uphill battle on Sunday night at the Golden 1 Center. They had played their butts off in Oakland on Saturday night only to lose to the Golden State Warriors 117-116 with less than one second remaining in the game.

The team then had to travel home and get ready for a 5 PM game on Sunday against the Utah Jazz. Let’s change that to the very angry Utah Jazz.

Sacramento had played the Jazz in Salt Lake City last Wednesday and embarrassed the Utah squad in front of their home fans by handing them a 119-110 loss. You must remember that the Jazz were a playoff team last season and to be beaten at home by a bunch of upstarts like the Kings is something that is not supposed to happen in the NBA.

The Jazz entered the contest with revenge on their minds.

Back-to-back games
NBA teams hate back-to-back games because they often spell disaster for them. The games on Saturday and Sunday were the Kings fifth back-to-back set of the season. They were 4-5 in those games coming in the contest with the Jazz. They had swept one series, split two series and been swept once.

The Kings needed to win on Sunday night to prevent being swept in a back-to-back series for the second time this season. They lost to the Jazz 133-112 and have now been swept twice in a back-to-back series.

Kings could not take advantage of a break
The Kings (10-10) knew before the start of the game that Utah’s star guard Donovan Mitchell would not be in uniform on Sunday. Mitchell who averages 20.6 points per game is usually the “heart and soul” of the Jazz offense. His absence did not guarantee the Kings a win, but it should have given them an advantage to exploit. They were unable to do so.

Coach Dave Joerger even warned the media before the game that Utah had a deep bench that was very capable of making up for Mitchell not being in the lineup. He was correct.

Things started well for SAC
The Kings jumped out to a 7-0 lead but things went downhill from there. Coach Dave Joerger did not mince words about what he saw from his team.

  • The Jazz outscored the Kings in the paint 66-52
  • Utah scored 17 second Chance Points to Sacramento’s 9
  • The Kings did win the battle of fastbreak points 13-12
  • The Jazz shot 53.3% (49/52) for the game while the Kings shot 47.1% (40/85)
  • UTA out-rebounded SAC 49-36
  • The Jazz dished out 30 assists while committing 19 turnovers (23 Kings points)
  • The Kings recorded 20 assists and turned it over 17 times (23 Utah points)

De’Aaron Fox on the loss to the Jazz

  • Kings high scorer was Bogdan Bogdanovic with 20 points in his first start of the season
  • De’Aaron Fox scored 13 points while dishing out 3 assists and adding 3 steals

  • Marvin Bagley III scored 18 points and grabbed 6 rebounds
  • Harry Giles III put up 10 points, hauled in 8 rebounds and added 6 assists in just under 20 minutes of playing time

Utah Jazz leaders

Jazz Rubio

  • Ricky Rubio was the Jazz unlikely leading scorer. The point guard hardly ever shoots yet on Sunday he shot 11-for-16 from the floor and went 2-for-3 from behind the 3-point arc. He scored 27 points while distributing 5 assists and adding 7 rebounds.
  • Rudy Gobert posted a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. This was his 18th double-double of the season
  • Joe Ingles was quiet for much of the game and then suddenly had 18 points

Up next

  • The Jazz (9-11) will be back in action on Monday night when they host the Pacers in Salt Lake City
  • The Kings are off until Thursday night when they will welcome Clippers to the Golden 1 Center
  • The Jazz and Kings will meet one more time this season in SLC on April 5, 2019

Kings Press Row Podcast NBA Week 4: the road trip ends, the homestand begins!

Bogi's back
Bogi is back Photo: @SacramentoKings

Hosts: Jordan “Chape” Chapin and Charlie O

  • Kings go 3-1 on tough four-game Eastern Conference road trip
  • SAC ends road with a tough loss in Milwaukee as the Tier 1 Bucks dominate
  • Toronto welcomes the Kings back to SAC with a 114-105 loss
  • The Raptors are the real deal – they could be the Eastern Conference Champs
  • The key to the Toronto victory was stopping the Kings runs
Bucks Hield
Buddy Hield scored 24 versus Toronto but shot 9-for-23 Photo: @SacramentoKings
  • The Timberwolves are 0-7 on the road – that makes them very dangerous!
  • LeBron and the Lakers circus is coming to town on Saturday, November 10th
  • You can’t relax on this homestand – the Spurs are in Monday, November 12
  • Still to come in November OKC, HOU, GSW, UTA X2 and LAC
  • This and much more on this week’s edition of the King’s Press Row Podcast

Kings Press Row Podcast NBA Week 3: The blistering pace continues

Byelly drives
Photo: @SacramentoKings

Hosts: Jordan “Chape” Chapin and Charlie O

  • This four-game road trip could have been a killer

  • The Magic game could have been a “trap”

  • Sacramento will win more than 25 games this season

  • The Fox-Hield backcourt connection is near perfection

  • Free throw opportunities and conversions are up

  • The Kings are becoming an assist machine

  • Tough schedule ahead with Milwaukee, Toronto, Minnesota and the Lakers on the schedule over the next seven days

Kings have won two in a row after beating the Wizards 116-112 Friday night

Wizards 2

By: Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings won their second consecutive game at home downing the Washington Wizards 116-112 on Friday night. It was a wild and crazy game. Charlie O has the wrap-up and interviews for you.

Dave Joerger is always a little tougher on his team after a win.

Marvin Bagley III was happy about the team’s win and his performance

Bjelica is humble and quiet after a great performance in the victory.

Here’s Charlie O’s 2:19 wrap of the Kings’ win

Kings run to their first win of the season beating the Thunder 131-120 in OKC

OKC KINGS W
Photo: @OKCThunder

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The last place a 0-2 NBA team wants to play when trying to get its first win of the season is Oklahoma City. The Thunder had a 9-1 opening night record at home heading into the game versus the Kings on Sunday night. OKC also had won 74.2-percent of their home games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena going the 2018-19 home opener. That is what you call a “real uphill battle.”

The Kings parlayed a two-point first quarter lead into a 12-point halftime lead. Everyone knew the Thunder would not go quietly–especially with Superstar Russell Westbrook back for the first time this season after a knee scope.

The Kings held a 97-90 lead at the end of three quarters and then had to gut it out for the final 12 minutes.

The Kings (1-2) led by Justin Jackson, Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox outscored OKC 34-30 in the fourth period and won their first game of the season 131-120. Beating the Thunder (0-3) on the road is a real motivator for a young team like Sacramento.

Sacramento turned to a vet for a lift

OKC Kings Iman
Iman Shumpert was on fire Photo: @OKCThunder

Kings head coach Dave Joerger inserted NBA veteran Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup on Sunday night. Shumpert gave the team an immediate lift by scoring 16 of their 34 first quarter points. He hit 4-of-6 3-point shots in the opening 12 minutes.

Shumpert finished the game with 26 points shooting 9-for-13 from the floor including four 3-point conversions. He also added four assists, three steals, three rebounds and two blocked shots.

Fans should not expect Shumpert to produce those kinds of numbers on a regular basis but he will be good as a “spark plug” for the team during the season.

Defense
It may seem odd to talk about defense when a team gives up 120 points, but it has to be a discussion for this game. One of the key issues was not allowing long scoring runs. In the game in New Orleans, the Pelicans went on very long scoring runs which were back breakers. Sacramento did not let that happen on Sunday which helped them win the game.

The Kings also held the Thunder to 44.2-percent shooting (46-for-104) overall. In their two losses, the Jazz and Pelicans shot over 50-percent for the game. Scoring is up in the NBA dramatically as teams are pushing the pace, but defense will still be important to winning games.

Rookie watch
Marvin Bagley III came off the bench and played just over 23 minutes. MBIII scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Five of those rebounds were off the offensive glass setting up second-chance opportunities. He attacked the basket often looking like he had jumped off a mini-trampoline. The young man can “raise the roof.”

Harry Giles III played almost 17 minutes and did not foul out. That is significant because he was assigned to slow down Steven Adams, which is no easy task for a veteran, let alone a rookie. HGIII did put a crimp in Adams style and managed to score eight points to go with six rebounds.

The Fox was on the loose
After the game, coach Dave Joerger said he may have played Fox for too many minutes (41:59) in the contest. Not only did the second-year point guard push the pace but he also had to defend against Russell Westbrook for 35 minutes. Fox did look tired during his postgame interview.

Fox recorded a double-double putting up 22 points and dishing out 10 assists in the victory. He hit 7-of 12 shots from the field and converted 7-of-9 opportunities from the charity stripe.

Seven Kings scored in double-figures

OKC KINGS 5

  • Buddy Hield enjoyed his time in his adopted state of Oklahoma, scoring 17 points while shooting 6-for-11. He hit 2-of-4 3-point tries and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein was particularly effective down the stretch in the fourth quarter when the Thunder threatened to get back into the game. Cauley-Stein finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds (four on offense) and two assists.
  • Justin Jackson was also very active in the final period. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds. He hit 4-of-6 shots from the field. His play in the fourth quarter helped to deliver the win.
  • Nemanja Bjelica scored 12 points spread over the first three quarters. He played just over 30 minutes in the game. Bjelica pulled down five rebounds, had four assists, made three steals and had one blocked shot. He made 5-of-6 shots from the floor including two 3-pointers.
  • Yogi Ferrell added nine points and four rebounds.

Kings team numbers were impressive as well

  • Field Goals 50-for-91 54.9-percent
  • 45.5 3-point percentage (10-for-22)
  • Free throws 21-for-28 (75.0-percent)
  • 46 rebounds (12 offensive)
  • 28 assists versus 20 turnovers that resulted in 26 OKC points
  • 11 steals
  • 7 blocked shots

Up Next
The Kings wrap up this three-game road trip on Tuesday night in Denver against a very tough Nuggets team. The Nuggets are currently 3-0 after squeaking out a 100-98 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Kings lose the final preseason game of the year to Portland, 118-115, but not ugly this time

Por vs Sac

By Charlie O. Mallonee

After being blown out 132-93 by the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings needed to bounce back in the second game of a back-to-back in Portland on Friday to prove that they are not a “walk-over team” in the 2018-19 season. The Kings did not win on Friday night, but they did not embarrass themselves either. Sacramento fought to the end but came up short losing to the Trail Blazers 118-115.

Sacramento did not go into the game with positive news. Point guard De’Aaron Fox and head coach Dave Joerger were both pregame scratches because of the stomach flu. That is not the way you want to start a game you need to win–no head coach and down one superstar.

The Kings fell behind 32-20 at the end of the first quarter, and it looked like it might be another ugly loss for Sacramento on the road. The Kings bounced back in the second quarter and outscored the Trail Blazers 35-25.

The Kings kept the game close and had a chance to win the contest right up to the end. With one-tenth of a second remaining, Frank Mason put up a 3-point shot that missed. Had that shot been good–the Kings would have won the game.

Por vs Sac2

Kings Performances

  • Buddy Hield was the Kings co-high scorer in the game with 19 points. Hield went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. He also had four assists.
  • Yogi Ferrell also scored 19 points in the game. Ferrell shot 7-for-15 from the field. He also added five assists.
  • Marvin Bagley III–MBIII5 scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. He shot 7-for-11 from the field.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Mason each scored 14 points in the game.
  • Nemanja Bjelica put up 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

What the Trail Blazers did

  • CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers scoring attack with 21 points. He also had nine rebounds and six assists.
  • Meyers Leonard added 17 points and nine rebounds.
  • Nik Stauskas (remember him?) recorded 15 points. He hit 4-of-7 from 3-point land.
  • Zach Collins scored 15 points in 31 minutes on the floor. He shot 7-of-12 from the floor.

Por Leonard

Team stats

  • SAC shot 42.2-percent from the floor (38-for-90).
  • The Kings hit 10-of-24 (41.7-percent) from 3-point land.
  • Sacramento went 29-for-33 (87.9-percent) from the free throw line.

Up next

The start of the 2018-19 regular season on Wednesday, October 17 versus the Utah Jazz at 7:00 pm PT inside the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.