OAKLAND — In a move that was expected, the Warriors waived veteran forward Omri Casspi Saturday night.
With Casspi’s release, the move creates a roster spot for backup point guard Quinn Cook, who has stepped in nicely for Golden State as the team’s starting point guard while Stephan Curry has been sidelined with a MCL sprain in his left knee.
The Warriors signed Casspi to a one-year deal last July, but has dealt with injuries for most of the season. Casspi has fallen out of the rotation in recent weeks, and has not played since sustaining a sprained right ankle on March 14.
In 53 games this season, with seven starts, Casspi has averaged 5.7 points, 3.8 rebounds in 14 minutes per game coming off the bench.
Earlier Saturday night, Golden State (57-23) lost to the New Orleans Pelicans (46-34) 126-120 at Oracle Arena. The aforementioned Cook finished with 21 points and seven assists on 8-of-14 shooting.
Cook, who is still under contract as a two-way player, is expected to sign a standard NBA contract within 48 hours, after which he becomes eligible for the playoffs.
The Sacramento Kings won in Oakland for the second time this season as they defeated the World Champion Golden State Warriors 98-93 on Friday night. Yes, the Warriors were shorthanded as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were all on the bench in street clothes due to injury but that is exactly when a team must take advantage of an opponent. “Kick ’em when they’re down” is the motto of successful teams.
The Golden State bench is also better than many of the starting lineups for non-playoff teams in the NBA. A team does not win a championship without having a very strong second unit and bench. The Warriors certainly meet those requirements.
Two Kings players who did not have terrific performances early in the contest came up big late in the game. De’Aaron Fox scored four of his six points in the final two minutes and forty-seconds of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein took a charge and then blocked a 3-point attempt by Nick Young that led to a game punctuating slam dunk that would seal the win for Sacramento.
Buddy Hield not only led the Kings in scoring with 22 points but he provided a scoring punch that kept his team in the game when Warriors threatened to runaway with the contest. Hield not only led his team in scoring but he pulled down seven rebounds and distributed seven assists in just over 30 minutes of playing time.
Skal Labissiere returned to the floor after being out with a bruised hip that he suffered in a hard fall under the basket. The second-year power forward put up 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists. Labisissiere hit 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point land. He played just over 25 minutes in his return to action.
Kosta Koufos continued to be an impact player for the Kings as he scored five points and more importantly hauled in game-high 12 rebounds. Five of his rebounds came on offense which led to second chance scoring opportunities.
Other Kings scorers: Bogdanovic 11 points, Cauley-Stein 9, Mason 9, Jackson 8, Temple 8, Fox 6 and Randolph 5.
Two-way player, point guard Quinn Cook made a real case that he should be playing in the NBA full-time next season by leading the Warriors with 25 points versus the Kings. Cook shot 10-for-13 overall and hit 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
Nick “Swaggy P” Young recorded 16 points but shot just 5-for-15 from the field and 3-for-8 from downtown.
Draymond Green recorded a double-double scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also led GSW with seven assists.
Andre Iguodala added 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Former King Omri Casspi started the game strong with six points but had to leave the floor after playing just over six-minutes when came down on the foot of teammate’s foot and twisted his ankle.
By the Numbers
The Kings shot 43.4-percent (36-for-43) from the floor. They converted 14-of-31 (45.2-percent) from 3-point range.
SAC went to the free throw line 17 times and hit 12 of those opportunities (70.6-percent).
Sacramento out-rebounded the Warriors 47-40 in the game. They grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and 36 rebounds on defense. The scored 16 second chance points (7-for-15) in the game.
The Kings recorded 25 assists and 14 turnovers. The TOVs resulted in 17 GSW points.
Golden State (52-17)
This loss dropped the Warriors two and one-half games behind the Western Conference leading Houston Rockets. If the season ended tonight, Golden State’s first round playoff opponent would be the Utah Jazz.
GSW shot 42-percent (34-for-81) for the game. They hit 12-of-26 (46.2-percent) 3-point shots.
They converted 13-of-18 (72.2-percent) chances from the free throw line.
The Warriors had 21 assists and committed 12 turnovers which became 17 Sacramento points.
SAC will be back in action tomorrow night in Salt Lake City as they face the Utah Jazz in back end of of back-to-back road set. Ricky Rubio will not play after being injured in the Suns game on Thursday. They will have to face former King and Reno Big Horn David Stockton who has been signed by the Jazz to a 10-day contract.
GSW will also complete a back-to-back set on Saturday night in Phoenix versus the Suns. The Warriors are hoping that their game will not be as physical as the Suns versus the Jazz game was on Thursday night.
The Sacramento Kings went into Memphis seeking a win in a city where they had not recorded a victory since 2009 but have posted 12 straight losses. The Kings were also taking their new head coach Dave Joerger back to the city where he was the head man for three years and an assistant coach for six years before they went their separate ways after last season.
If that was not enough motivation, the Kings also needed to bounce back the demoralizing loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night 132-98.
The Kings did respond to all of those motivating factors and beat the Grizzlies on the road 96-92. It was not a pretty win. Both teams played very physical basketball and packed the paint rather than depending on the 3-point shot to win as the Rockets did in Houston. Ironically in a game that was not about 3-pointers, the Grizzlies Troy Daniels made it a 3-point game with 55.3-seconds remaining in the game with a “trey” from 26-feet away from the basket.
The Kings were able to hold on following Ty Lawson hitting 1-of-2 free throws to win the game 96-92.
Kings coach Dave Joerger sounded a bit conflicted after the game
“Kind of a crazy game. A lot of fouls – a lot of free throws, but from a personal stand point a very difficult day for me. You know … to come in here having spent as much of my love and time and family in this community and we love it. It was not an enjoyable game to coach from that aspect. But, now I’m here and these are my guys now. I’m really proud of them. I congratulated them. We’ve had some great efforts … or performances I should say. Kosta Koufos was fantastic tonight. I thought Garrett Temple had a nice game. I thought Darren (Collison) got us in and out of stuff,” said Joerger after the win.
Koufos and Temple step up big for Sacramento in the win
The Kings were without two key players on Friday as Rudy Gay – a former Grizzly – did not dress due to a right hip flexor strain and Omri Casspi sat out due to illness
Garrett Temple started at shooting guard and responded by scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebound, adding four assists and two steals in 37-minutes of playing time. Temple shot 4-for-11 but went 3-for-6 from long range was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He may be playing himself into the role of starting shooting guard
Kosta Koufos – another former Grizzly – may have played his best game of the year to date. He scored a season-high 16 points and made it a double-double by hauling in 13 rebounds. Seven of his rebounds were offensive boards that kept possessions alive. Koufos got his running baby hook shot going the way he likes for the first time this season in the game as well. The downside in his night was he hit just 2-of-6 from the foul line
DeMarcus Cousins had some struggles with the physical play of the Grizzlies particularly in the first half. He shot just 2-for-10 and scored only nine points in the first 24 minutes. In the second half, the big man shot 5-for-10 and scored 13 points to bring his total points to a game-high 22. Cousins did get into foul trouble picking up his fifth personal with 6:02 to go in the game. He fouled out of the game with 1:27 remaining which gave hope to a surging Memphis team
Darren Collison scored 11 points and dished out six assists in 37-minutes at point guard in the victory
Other contributions: Matt Barnes seven points and 10 rebounds; Anthony Tolliver nine points; Ben McLemore – who started at forward – scored eight and Ty Lawson added six points
Kings (10-16) team numbers were not great but were good enough for the win
Shooting: 31-for-80 (38.8- percent) – you do not record a win shooting under 40-percent very often
3-point shooting 7-for-24 (29.2-percent)
Free throw shooting 27-for-37 (73-percent) missed free throws could have cost the Kings this game
45 rebounds including 13 offensive boards
Turnovers 12 which led to nine Memphis points
Points off turnovers – Sacramento score 17 points off 13 Memphis turnovers
18 assists, six blocked shot and five steals
Memphis (18-10) played their typical “grind house” game
The Grizzlies are not a team that is going to outshoot you from 3-point land or overwhelm the opposition with their overall shooting percentage. They are a defense first team that is most comfortable scoring in the paint
Memphis matched the Kings scoring 36 points in the paint
The Grizzlies just edged out the Kings in second chance points 15-13
Memphis out-rebounded Sacramento 47-45
The Grizzlies shot 37.7-percent (29-for-77) from the field and 5-for-20 (20-percent) for 3-pointers and Troy Daniels hit four of those shots.
Memphis tried to take advantage of their free throw opportunities going 29-for-36 (80.6-percent) from the line
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies scoring attack with 20 points. Tony Allen added 16, Troy Daniels put in 13 while Andrew Harrison recorded 11 to go with Zach Randolph’s 10
Coming up on the schedule
The Kings move on to Dallas where they will face the Mavericks on Sunday. The game time has been changed because the Cowboys game has been moved to Sunday Night Football. The game will now tipoff at 1 p.m. PST. The Mavericks lost a heartbreaker to the Jazz in Utah on Friday night 103-100 on a last second 3-point basket.
Speaking of the Jazz, they travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Sunday.
The Sacramento Kings forgot to play by the old adage of “it’s not how you start the game but how you finish the game that counts”. Sacramento started the game in Utah on Saturday night with an 11-0 run. The Kings finished the game scoring just eight points in the fourth quarter versus the Jazz and lost their second consecutive contest 104-84.
Yes, it was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road for Sacramento. Every NBA fan knows that means the deck is stacked against your team in second game of a back-to-back set on the road, but the deck is also stacked against a home team that is without three of its regular starters due to injuries. That is exactly what the Jazz had to deal with on Saturday night. Three of their regular starters are missing due to injury, and they could easily use that as an excuse anytime to explain away a loss. Instead, they played hard and won their 15th game of the season.
The Kings played hard for 36 minutes
Sacramento trailed the Jazz by just two points after three quarters of play were in the book on Saturday night. It appeared that it was anybody’s game as the teams headed into the final 12 minutes of play.
The Kings did not show up on either end of the floor. On offense, Sacramento shot just 13.6-percent (3-for-22) from floor with one 3-point basket in seven attempts. They went just 1-for-4 from the free throw line. The Kings used 12 players in the fourth period and only four scored points for the team.
On defense, the Kings allowed the Jazz to score 26 points in the final quarter while shooting 50-percent (10-for-20) from the floor. Utah hit 4-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line. Trey Lyles led the Jazz with eight points in the fourth quarter and Gordon Hayward added seven points as well.
The Jazz dominated the fourth quarter of the game as they sent the Kings home with their 15th loss of the year.
Utah dominated the numbers in this game
The Jazz topped the Kings in all of the important numbers as a team on Saturday night. Utah shot 48.1-percent (37-for-77) from the floor while Sacramento shot just 37.8-percent for the game. This was the second straight game that Kings shot under 40-percent for the game. You cannot win in the NBA shooting under 40-percent.
Utah hit 13-of-29 shots from beyond the 3-point arc (44.8-percent). A NBA team cannot allow their opponents to shoot above 40-percent from 3-point land and expect to win. The defense has to put a body on those shooters and put pressure on that offense to stop taking those long range shots if they are going to win the game.
The Jazz shot 94.4-percent (17-for-18) from the free throw line. Teams are not going to shoot that well from the stripe on most nights in “the Association”. The biggest problem for Sacramento was the fact they only went to the free throw line 13 times in the entire game. This is a team that usually dominates the paint. To have only 13 opportunities from the charity stripe in a game is totally unacceptable for the Kings.
For the second game in a row, the Kings were dominated on the boards. The Jazz outrebounded the Kings 54-34. Utah pulled down 44 defensive rebounds to Sacramento’s 22 defensive boards. The Knicks also outrebounded the Kings in their win on Friday night.
Gobert had a monster game for the Jazz
Rudy Gobert has been tasked with being the leader of his team on the floor with the other three starters missing in action. Saturday night, Gobert recorded a double-double in the game. He posted 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He also had six – yes you are reading correctly – six blocked shots in the game. Gobert is becoming a force to be dealt with in the NBA.
Four Jazz players scored in double figures
Gordon Hayward was the high-scorer in the game with 26 points for Utah. Hayward hit three 3-point baskets and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
Trey Lyles added 14 points off the bench for the Jazz. Joe Ingles put up 11 points in his 38-minutes of playing time, and Gobert posted his 17 points.
Kings scoring numbers
Rudy Gay led the scoring attack for the Kings on Saturday night. He put up 20 points shooting 7-for-15 from the floor and going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. That is one of his best shooting performances in some time for the Kings.
Point guard Darren Collison added 17 points shooting 50-percent from the field and hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point land.
DeMarcus Cousins posted a double-double putting up 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also had a tough night shooting going just 7-for-22 from the floor. He was just 1-for-6 from 3-point range.
Omri Casspi continues to make the most of every minute of playing time he given. In this game, Casspi played 27-minutes and scored 12 points. He hit 5-of-9 shots from the floor and was 2-for-3 from long distance. Casspi also had two assists and two steals.
Up next on the schedule
The Kings have Sunday off and then return to action on Monday hosting the Los Angeles Lakers at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings lost to the Lakers in November 101-91 in Sacramento. The last thing Sacramento wants to do is to be swept by the Lakers on their home court.
The Jazz are off until Wednesday night when they will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Salt Lake City.
Sacramento – The Kings trailed the New York Knicks 103-100 with 2.6-seconds remaining in the game. New York had to inbound the ball in the frontcourt after calling a timeout. The inbound pass came to Carmelo Anthony who was immediately fouled by Rudy Gay before any time could come off the clock. The only problem with the plan was the fact that Anthony was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line in game up to that point.
Incredibly, Anthony stepped up to the line and promptly missed the first first free throw and the sellout crowd began to buzz. Anthony shot the second free throw and unbelievably missed again.
DeMarcus Cousins grabbed the rebound and ran as close to midcourt as he dared. The giant of a man then heaved a what was estimated to be a 52-foot desperation shot at his basket that hit the rim and then rolled out. For a few micro-seconds the thousands of Kings fans in attendance thought they were going to witness a miracle, then reality hit and the big crowd began to exit the Golden 1 Center knowing their team had lost the game.
Each team was missing a key player in the game
The Kings played the game without Matt Barnes who was held out of the game for what was called “rest”. Barnes of course has been at the center of a controversial story about a fight that allegedly took place in a New York City night club early last Monday morning. Rumors have been swirling that Barnes would be arrested by NYPD for his involvement in the incident. Barnes has also been named in a lawsuit that has been filed by two of the alleged victims of the brawl.
In his postgame press conference, Kings head coach Dave Joerger indicated that he believed Barnes would be available to play against the Jazz in Utah on Saturday night. Barnes was on the bench in street clothes for the game Friday night.
The Knicks were without Derrick Rose who is suffering from lower back pain. Rose had to miss the game on Wednesday night in New York City versus the Cavaliers due to the same problem.
NYK head coach Jeff Hornacek said before the game he was hopeful Rose would be available for the game on Sunday when his team faces the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Sacramento struggles shooting again against the Knicks
The Kings (8-13) shot much better in the first half against the Knicks on Friday night than did last Sunday in the Garden when they shot under 30-percent. However, the Kings shot under 40-percent in both the third and fourth quarters of this game which helped lead to their demise.
Sacramento shot 40.2-percent (35-for-87) from the floor and were a dismal 7-of-28 (25-percent) from 3-point range. The Kings went 23-for-27 (85.2-percent) from the free throw line.
Cousins led the way for the Kings
Cousins scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to post the double-double. He also struggled shooting going 9-for-25 from the field and 0-for-6 for 3-point opportunities. Cousins did dish out six assists in the contest
Darren Collison had a strong game against the Knicks. He scored 14 points shooting 5-for-11 in the game. He also had three assists and two steals
Rudy Gay recorded 15 points, five rebounds and a steal. He also had a tough night shooting going 4-for-15 from the floor and 0-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line
Omri Casspi keeps taking advantage of every playing opportunity he is given by Dave Joerger. Casspi put 12 points up on the board hitting 4-of-5 shots from the floor including one 3-pointer. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe and he had two steals in the game
Ben McLemore started his second consecutive game and scored 10 points. He hit 2-of-2 from long range
Other Kings scorers: Anthony Tolliver 10, Garrett Temple 5, Kosta Koufos 4, Ty Lawson 4
Kings Dave Joerger on problems at the end of quarters in the game
“That was definitely a good basketball game. A couple of things came back and bit us. We gave up eight points at the end of the first, second and third quarter on last possession plays. In a close game, those things add up. We struggled to struggled to score the basketball tonight. We turned them over 17 times and scored 25 points off of that but outside of that we just didn’t make a lot of shots. Especially from the perimeter, we did not gain a lot of shots from the perimeter so it may jam up the paint on us. Good basketball game.”
Surprising stat of the night
The Kings are not a team that is outrebounded by their opponents on a regular basis. If the other team does record more rebounds, the difference is usually not dramatic.
On Friday night, the Knicks outrebounded the Kings 54-39. Kings head Dave Joerger felt their length and the fact the Kings played “small” much of the game is what allowed New York to establish such a margin.
NYK did not have a great shooting night but lived in “Melo’s” world
The Knicks shot just 42.9-percent (36-for-84) on Friday against the Kings. They shot slightly better from long range hitting on 10-of-29 (34.5-percent) of their 3-point shots.
New York (13-10) rode the hot hand of Carmelo Anthony in the first half and then relied on efforts of Kristaps Porzingis and their bench in the second half.
Melo put 33 points in the book on Friday night. He shot 9-for-22 from field, 3-for-10 from long distance and was an impressive 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Anthony scored 23 points in the first half
Porzingis scored 17 after shooting a pitiful 1-for-9 in the first half. He did wind up with a double-double by hauling in 10 rebounds
Brandon Jennings did a nice job filling in for Rose on the point scoring 13 points and distributing seven assists
Kyle O’Quinn had a nice game off the bench for the Knicks scoring eight points, pulling down 11 rebounds, dishing five assists and blocking two shots in 20-minutes of playing time
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had nothing but praise but praise for Carmelo
“He had a great game. When he’s scoring, he’s getting the ball in a good position from our guys where he can drive it. We put him in some trouble later on in the game, giving him the with like four seconds to go, not a good thing to do. We talked about having to get to the offense a little bit quicker. Late in the game, we kind of walked to our spots. Carmelo, when we go to him, he can pump fake, he can drive, he’s making passes. He’s playing an all-around game, like a star does.”
Up next for the teams
The Kings go right back into action on Saturday night as they play the back end of a back-to-back set on the road in Utah against the Jazz.
The Knicks are off until Sunday when they will play game two of their five-game road trip in Los Angeles versus the Lakers.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SACRAMENTO- –The Kings closed out a five-game homestand on Friday with a loss to the Houston Rockets 117-104. Looking at the final score you might assume that it was a boring, blowout of a game. You would be wrong.
The game started off very one-sided and then Sacramento realized what was happening. The Kings began to put forth a complete effort as a team and fought their way back into contention.
Late in the fourth quarter, the outcome of this game was really in doubt.
The hole the Kings dug early was just too deep
“Tough battle for tonight. We didn’t come out with enough force early. They’re a good team after a loss.Them coming off a loss – they were very focused … We (Kings) came in too slow,” said Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger after the game.
The Rockets grabbed the lead when Clint Capela sank a six-foot hook shot for the first score of the game. Houston would never trail in the game. In fact, the Rockets would build a 19-point lead after the first 12-minutes of play. When the first quarter was in the score book, Houston held a 38-19 lead over the Kings.
Trevor Ariza scored 12 points in the period hitting four 3-point shots
The Rockets made eight 3-point baskets in the quarter off 17 attempts
Houston shot 52.0-percent (13-for-25) from the floor
They outrebounded the Kings 18-6
The only downside for the Rockets was the fact that James Harden shot 0-for-5 from the field in the quarter and was held to three points – all from the free throw line
The Kings could have easily backed off and mailed it in for the rest of the game. They did not take that option.
The Kings came to life in the second quarter
The Rockets (10-6) stayed hot in second quarter. They shot 55.6-percent 10-for-18) from the floor and 6-for-11 (54.5-percent) from beyond the 3-point line. As a team, Houston scored 30 points in the period.
Sacramento shot 61.1-percent (11-for-18) from the field and 2-for-6 (33.3-percent) from 3-point land. They also went 7-of-8 (87.5-percent) from the free throw line. The Kings outscored the Rockets 31-30 in the quarter.
The other amazing thing happening in the quarter was the return of Omri Casspi to the floor for the Kings. The Kings forward had become the forgotten man at the end of the bench. Casspi played the entire 12-minutes scoring 4 points, grabbing two rebounds and dishing out two assists. Casspi would have more to contribute later in the game.
“It (playing Casspi) gave us an ability to play similar size guys. It’s a quicker game where we wanted to make them pay. I thought we were very poor in the first seven-eight minutes of playing to the second side of the court – getting some movement, getting some cutting and I think that’s definitely his game. He’s done his work. He’s stayed healthy. I think it’s going to work out for him,” said Kings coach Dave Joerger.
At the half, the Rockets led the Kings 68-50.
The third quarter was not a thing of beauty
Both teams struggled coming out of halftime. The Rockets shot a horrible 33.3-percent (7-for-21) from the field and a very poor 27.3-percent (3-of-11) from beyond the 3-point arc. The one bright spot was forward Ryan Anderson came alive hitting two 3-point buckets and two free throws to be his team’s leading scorer in the quarter with eight points.
The Kings overall shooting percentage was better at 45.5-percent (10-for-22) but their 3-point production was a terrible 1-for-11 (11.1-percent). Sacramento did manage to outscore Houston 24-22 in the third. After three quarters, Houston led the game 90-74.
The biggest problem for the Kings in the third quarter was the fact DeMarcus Cousins picked up two personal fouls and was working with a total of four personals in the game. That meant he had to go to the bench and spend the last 5:21 of the period on “the pine”.
The fourth and deciding quarter was both exciting and painful
The Rockets quickly made it a 16 lead as the quarter began and things began to look very dim for the Kings especially with Cousins on the bench. However, Sacramento was able to cut the Rockets lead down to 10 points with 7:45 left in the game but Houston quickly built it back to a 13 point cushion.
With 7:19 remaining, DeMarcus Cousins and his four personal fouls reentered the game. The problem was Harden had suddenly come to life for Houston and they pushed the lead back up to 16 points.
Cousins tried to single-handedly take over the game and will the Kings back into contention. He hit four 3-points baskets over a two-minute period and cut the Houston lead to just eight points, but that was as close as the Kings would come to the lead.
Houston scored the final five points of the game and came away the victory 117-104 over the Kings (6-10).
Some NBA and career records were set in this game
Houston set a NBA record for 3-point field goal attempts with 50 tries from behind the arc in the contest
The Rockets connected on 21 of those 3-point attempts which was a season-high for them
DeMarcus Cousins went 5-for-9 from 3-point range which set a career high for him for 3 point field goals made
Other important numbers you need to know
DeMarcus Cousins was the leading scorer in the game with 32 points
The Rockets James Harden recorded a triple-double: 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists
Houston’s Trevor Ariza scored 18 points all coming from his six 3-point baskets
El Dorado Hills product Ryan Anderson scored 13 points and dished out four assists before family and friends at the arena
Matt Barnes and Ty Lawson each score 12 points for the Kings
Garrett Temple scored 10 points for Sacramento coming off the bench and shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor
Omri Casspi scored seven points, had five assists and hauled in four rebounds in his 28-minutes playing time in a triumphal return to the rotation for the Kings
The Kings had five players score in double-figures while the Rockets had seven players score in double-digits
Sacramento finished its five-game homestand 2-3
Houston kicked off its five-game road trip 1-0
One happy King despite the loss even though he would have liked to have won the game
“It was good,” said Omri Casspi.”Coaches kind kind of got me going and being involved in different plays. It felt great. I’ve missed being out there playing in front of the fans. Unfortunately, the result came up short but (it was) good to be out there.”
James Harden on breaking the 3-point field goal attempt record
“I didn’t know until just now. (We were) efficient though, right? 21-out-of-50,” asked Harden. “That’s pretty good – that’s pretty good.”
Local guy Ryan Anderson on the Kings new arena
“There has be a lot of news talking about this new arena coming into being,” said Anderson originally from El Dorado Hills. “Just to be here now is pretty awesome. Beautiful place.”
Coming up next
The Kings kick off a six-game road on Sunday in Brooklyn with the Nets. The game starts at 3:00 PST local time.
The Rockets continue their five-game road trip with game number two in Portland on Sunday night.
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.
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.