Kings Lose Heartbreaker to Warriors 115-113

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

No matter who won the game, the opening paragraph was going to be the same. For one team it would be a well-deserved, hard fought victory and for the other team it would be a heartbreaking loss.

It was a well-deserved, hard fought 115-113 victory for the Golden State Warriors and a heartbreaking loss for the Sacramento Kings. The game literally came down to the final second on Sunday in Sacramento.

The fact that the game came down to last moment was a testament to the Sacramento Kings bench who did everything they were asked to do and more. With 2:08 left to play in the third quarter, the Kings trailed Golden State 88-72. Kings Head Coach Michael Malone said his team could have lost by 30 or fought back in attempt to win the game. The Kings fought back and Malone seemed very proud of his players.

The fourth quarter began with the Kings down by 10 points (GSW 90-SAC 80). Malone went with Patterson, Salmons, Thomas, Thornton and Hayes to start the period. That group closed the gap to six points. Green hit a 3-Pointer for the Warriors to make it a nine point lead as time was called with 8:13 to go in the game.

Coming out of the timeout, Cousins entered the game for Hayes. Cousins had an immediate impact with an assist and driving dunk that cut the Warrior lead to six.

Following an Isaiah Thomas steal and a Marcus Thornton 25 foot jump shot, the Warrior lead was down to one.

The Kings took the lead on a Thomas 3-Pointer off an assist from Cousins 104-102.

The game continued to see-saw back and forth. With 47.8 seconds to play, the game was tied at 111-111. Draymond Green put the Warriors back on top with a put-back of a Curry missed jumper.

After a 20 second timeout, Cousins hit a five foot jump hook to re-tie the game at 113-113. Salmons fouled Curry who hit both of his free throws to put the Warriors back in front 115-113.

Isaiah Thomas missed a lay-up with 1.8 seconds left to play. Bogut grabbed the rebound and the game was over. Golden State had defeated the Kings 115-113.

After the game Head Coach Michael Malone said, “Our guys have a ‘no quit’ attitude. I challenge them a lot. I never want them to be a team that just rolls over. What I like about our guys is that it could’ve been a 16 point deficit that turned into 30 but it turned into a two point lead and giving ourselves a chance. We were only one defensive rebound away from winning that game. The challenge that we have as a team is to stay together and find ways to close things out. Yes, we play the toughest schedule in the NBA but the reality is that we have another team coming in Tuesday night that’s not going to feel sorry for us. We have to do a better job at taking care of the ball and defending at a much higher level.”

The Kings came into the needing to shoot better on offense and to do a better job of defending the other team especially from beyond the 3-Point line. They accomplished one of those two goals on Sunday.

The Kings took advantage of a Warriors team that does not play great defense. Sacramento shot 52.6% (40/76) from the field and shot an impressive 47.4% (9/19) for 3-Pointers. As a team, they shot 85.7% (24/28) from the Free Throw Line. On offense, the Kings did a great job.

Their defense however let them down. The Kings allowed Golden State to shoot 51.2% (42/82) overall and an incredible 60.0% (15/25) from 3-Point land. Stephen Curry scored 38 points with 15 of those points coming from beyond the arc. Klay Thompson scored 28 points and 24 of his points came off of eight 3-Point goals.

DeMarcus Cousins led all Sacramento scorers with 24 points. Marcus Thornton scored 21 coming off the bench including five 3-Point goals. Patrick Patterson shot 100.0% (8/8) scoring 18 points in his off the bench role. Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points. The Kings bench scored 65 points on Sunday night against the Warriors.

POST GAME NOTES:

The Kings fall to 4-11 overall and 3-7 at home. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Kings.

DeMarcus Cousins 24 point game was his ninth 20 point plus game of the season.

The Warriors are now 10-6 overall and 5-6 on the road.

Golden State has won both games with the Kings this season.

The Warriors and Kings will play again on Wednesday 2/19/14 in Sacramento.

 

Kings get clipped in LA 103-102

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kings eclipse Suns, 107-104

Greivis Vasquez, Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas

By George Devine, Sr.

The Kings improved their record to 3-7 in the Pacific Division with a 107-104 win over the Phoenix Suns at Sacramento.

Leading the charge was DeMarcus Cousins with 27 points ad 19 boards. Ben McLemore had 19 as did Isaiah Thomas. Greivis Vasquez tallied 11 and Patrick Patterson 10.

The Kings led 33-26 after the first quarter but trailed at the half, 63-54. In the third, they barely led, 28-26. But the final period was decisive, 25-16 in favor of the home team which enjoyed a 10-point run toward the end, punctuated by three turnovers by the Suns. The key play before the buzzer took place when Marcus Morris of Phoenix missed a trey from the corner and Cousins got the rebound, subsequently making one of two from the line.

For the visitors, Gerald Green scored 23 and Morris had 19. Channing Frye had 17 with 9 rebounds and Archie Goodwin scored 16.

The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. PST on Wednesday, November 20 in Phoenix, to complete the home-and-home series.