Too much Aldridge, Gasol and Ginobili ends the Kings two-game win streak: Spurs win 108-99 on Saturday night

More Hield SAS
Buddy Hield drives to the hoop for two of his 24 points Photo: USA Today Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – The Kings stayed with the Spurs stride for stride in the opening quarter and played them to a 33-33 tie at the end of 12-minutes. The energy was high in the Golden 1 Center. Kawahi Leonard was declared unavailable due to injury management, so Sacramento fans felt their team was on a more even playing field talent wise.

They were wrong.

The Spurs outscored the Kings 29-16 in the second quarter as they shot 50-percent (11-for-22) from the field, hit 3-of-5 three-point attempts and converted 4-of-5 free throw attempts. San Antonio began a scoring drive at the 10:10 mark of the quarter and built up a 13 point lead by the time the horn sounded for halftime.

The Spurs went to the locker room at the half with a 62-49 lead over the Kings.

Sacramento came out in the third quarter knowing they had to make a run at the Spurs immediately. The Kings kept chipping away at the San Antonio lead and cut it to six-points twice. When the third period ended, SAC trailed by just eight points, 84-76.

Buddy Hield scored 10-points shooting 4-for-6 (including two 3-pointers) to lead the Kings 27-point scoring attack. Willie Cauley-Stein added eight-points.

The Kings needed to put together a run and cut the Spurs lead to five-points or less with two-minutes to go in the game to have a chance to win. That did not happen.

Former King Rudy Gay – who had previously not scored in the game – sank two jump shots and 25-foot 3-pointer in the opening 2:18 of the final quarter to help the Spurs rebuild a 14-point lead. The San Antonio lead would reach 15-points twice in the period which was too much for the Kings to overcome.

San Antonio won the game 108-99.

Top Performers

Spurs (22-11)

Gasol SAS
Pau Gasol recorded a triple-double versus the Kings on Saturday night Photo: USA Today Sports
  • Star of the Game: Paul Gasol – the Spurs 37-year old, 17-year NBA veteran – recorded a triple-double on Saturday night. Gasol scored 14-points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in just over 30-minutes on the floor. After the game Gasol said, “I have to give credit to my teammates. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to get the assists, so it’s a team accomplishment. Just happy it turned out that way tonight. It’s been a couple of years since my last triple-double.” (February 27, 2016 as a member of the Chicago Bulls)
  • Co-star: LaMarcus Aldridge only gets a co-star billing for the game because he recorded just a double-double putting up a game-high 29-points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also played a game-high 38-minutes and 33-seconds.
  • Ginobili to hoop
    The ageless Ginobili goes to the rack versus the Kings Photo: USA Today Sports
  • Co-star: The final co-star for the Spurs is man who should probably be playing “wheelchair basketball” if you listen to “the experts” who say he should retire at the end of every season he plays. 40-year old Manu Ginobili evidently does not know he is too old to play in the NBA. On Saturday night, he scored 15-points in just over 21-minutes of playing time coming off the bench.

Kings (11-21)

  • Star of the Game: Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 24 points versus the Spurs on Saturday night. He played almost 32-minutes shooting 9-for-17 overall and 4-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc. Hield also hauled in eight rebounds in the contest. In what was also a major improvement, he committed no turnovers.
  • WCS vs SAS
    Willie Cauley-Stein posted a double-double on Saturday night Photo: USA Today Sports
  • Co-star: Willie Cauley-Stein posted his fifth double-double of the season as he scored 22 points and recorded 11 rebounds. Cauley-Stein shot 10-for-18 for the game and added three assists.
  • Co-star: Bogdan Bogdanovic had a perfect shooting night as he was 6-for-6 overall and 3-for-3 from 3-point land. Bogdanovic played 28-plus minutes against the Spurs.

Key Team Stats

San Antonio

  • Field Goal Shooting: 44-for-88 (50-percent) It’s tough to beat a team that is sinking half of its shots
  • 3-point Shooting: the Spurs made 11-of-23 (47.8-percent) 3-point attempts. Six different players made 3-point baskets
  • Free throw shooting: the Spurs went to the line only 11 times but the made nine free throws (81.8-percent) which helped them to win this game
  • The Spurs also had a fantastic assists to turnover ratio. They dished out 29 assists and turned the ball over just eight times. That is very close to a 4 to 1 ratio with a 2 to 1 ratio being the goal

Sacramento

  • Field Goal Shooting: 46.5-percent (49-for-86) which is respectable until you look and see your opponent shot 50-percent from the field
  • 3-point Shooting: The Kings actually out-shot the Spurs from behind the 3-point line. They hit 12-of-22 3-point attempts (54.5-percent). Four Kings did all of their 3-point scoring – Randolph, Temple, Hield and Bogdanovic.
  • Free throw shooting: the Kings went to the line just 11 times and converted just seven of those shots. They still need to get more attempts per game
  • Assists to turnover ratio – The Kings finished with 20 assists and 10 turnovers or the magic 2 to 1 formula. It just was not enough in this case.

Up Next

Sacramento

The Kings are done until after Christmas. Sacramento will return to action on Tuesday, December 26 when the team will travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers at the Staples Center.

San Antonio

The Spurs headed home after the game and will have Christmas Day off. San Antonio will host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

 

Kings fall short in loss to Bulls

by Michael Martinez

Photo credit (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO- A Chicago Bulls team without All Star Jimmy Butler gives opponents a much better chance at winning, or at least competiting. Butler sat out Wednesday night’s ball game with left knee tendinitis. The Kings did do a good job of sticking around with the Bulls, but allowed E’Twaun Moore to tear up the defense as if he was Butler.

Sacramento once again allowed a player who never really impacts games to get a career high in points. The Kings had a lot of sloppy play and their defense was not consistently strong enough to ever allow them to over come the Bulls. Missed free throws cost the Kings as well especially when it counted. Even with another monster game from DeMarcus Cousins, who was honored as an All Star prior to the game, Sacramento could not overcome the Bulls. The Kings (21-27) lost to the Bulls (27-21), 107-102, in a tightly contested match up in Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings lacked urgency to start the game. Sacramento looked slow and the Bulls took advantage, especially Moore. Moore scored ten of Chicago’s first 13 points causing Sacramento to take a timeout at the 7:02 mark. Moore would finish the quarter with 13 points, a point shy of his career high.

Marco Belinelli’s shot started to look better, scoring six points in the quarter, as he got another start. The Kings were able to hang around in the quarter in big part to DeMarcus Cousins, who scored eight points in a row later in the quarter causing the Bulls to call a timeout with Chicago up by eight. The Kings’ defense caused five turnovers, but could not find a way to stop the Bulls from scoring as Chicago shot 57.1% from the field. The Bulls did an excellent job behind the three-point line, going six for eight.

The Bulls took advantage of the Kings’ four turnovers with nine points off those turnovers. Allowing the Bulls to shoot at a high percentage had the Kings down, 35-24, after one quarter of play. For the fifth straight game, the Kings allowed their opponent to score 30 or more points in the first quarter.

“It’s a nightmare,” said Coach George Karl.  “I’ve never had this many games on your home court come out flat.”

Coming off of a sluggish first quarter, Darren Collison helped pick up the pace for Sacramento. Off the bench, Collison finished the half with 13 points, eight of those from the second quarter. The Kings’ defense did a better job against the Bulls’ offense and found some of their own as well.

With 4:35 left in the second quarter, Omri Casspi and Bobby Portis received a technical foul each after the pair were yapping at one another over a prior play.

Down by four, Sacramento looked to keep the game close but the Bulls went on a 6-0 run to go up by ten as Chicago continued their good ball movement with a little under three minutes to play in the half.

Belinelli scored six more points in the second quarter. Belinelli hit two three-pointers for a total of 12 points in the half. Belinelli’s threes helped keep the Kings within reach with one of those threes coming from a Cousins’ screen and put the score at 60-57. Belinelli’s three would be the last field goal of the half with the Bulls leading the Kings, 60-57 after one half of play.

Omri Casspi and Bobby Portis  received a double technical after the pair were yapping at one another over a prior play.

Moore eclipsed his prior career high of 14 points with 15 in the first half for a halftime high. Cousins scored 14 points for a team high. Chicago had ten second chance points in the first half, as they out rebounded the Kings, 26-18. Chicago crashed the boards much harder than the Kings, but with 28 points in the paint Sacramento kept it close.

The Kings started the third quarter off with a 5-0 run, giving them their first lead since early in the first quarter. But the Bulls followed it up with a 5-0 run of their own. The Kings got to 66 points, which was later changed to 64 as a Rudy Gay field goal was changed to a shot clock violation. After that point, Sacramento turned the ball over on five straight possessions, but luckily the Bulls did not do so well either. Throughout the quarter, Sacramento inched closer and closer, but the eight third quarter turnovers never gave them a chance to regain the lead.

Both teams did very little offensively, with Chicago scoring 20 and Sacramento scoring 18. The Kings did a much better job of rebounding the ball with four offensive boards and 14 total in the quarter. Gay scored six points on 3-6 shooting for a total of ten, looking much better in the third quarter after foul trouble in the first half.

Moore continued to play well out of the break with seven points in the third. Cousins also had a big quarter with eight points, as him and Moore tied for a game high with 22 points. After a lot of careless basketball, the Bulls still maintained their lead, 80-75 through three.

The fourth quarter came down to the wire although the Bulls started out the quarter on a 6-0 run. Again, the Kings were able to stay in the game and went up by as many as ten in the quarter. With a little over three and a half minutes to play, Chicago was up 99-90 over the Kings. But Belinelli’s improved shooting came in clutch for Sacramento as they got the lead down to four, 105-101, after he hit a three pointer while getting fouled.

Belinelli missed the free throw, but Cousins grabbed the board and was fouled. Cousins only made one free throw to cut Chicago’s lead to three with 45 seconds in the game. Sacramento kept getting stops and had possession down three with 17.9 seconds.

Out of a timeout, the Kings drew up a play to get Cousins the ball inside for a quick two, but Boogie could not convert on two separate tries. The Kings fouled Moore with 10.4 seconds left and the game seemed basically over. However, Moore missed both free throws and Sacramento got the rebound with nine seconds remaining. Cousins got fouled and missed the first free throw, letting out great frustration afterwards. Boogie missed the second shot on purpose and got called for a lane violation.

Pau Gasol, who finished with 16 points and 13 boards, made two free throws to close out the game and give the Bulls the victory, 107-102. Rudy Gay fouled out by fouling Gasol.

Derrick Rose had a solid fourth quarter with eight points, totaling 21 points and adding nine assists with six boards. Moore finished with a career high 24 points as he filled the shoes of Butler tonight.

Cousins added another double double on the season, 30 points and 11 rebounds, finishing with a game high. Cousins admitted to being banged up after a very physical game, but is still ready to go. Belinelli scored 18 points for Sacramento, 7-14 from the field.

Off the bench, Collison scored 19 points but did not see much playing time in the second half. Rajon Rondo added nine assists for the Kings, who continue to score well in the paint, but have lacked good starts in games.

The defense got better, but Chicago shot 52.4% from the behind the arc, which was a  big difference maker as well as their 19 fast break points. Both teams finished with 17 turnovers in a very sloppy game.

“Starts. Turnovers hurt us tonight, transition defense hurt us tonight,” Cousins said.

The Kings have now lost five of their last six games and are looking for answers with four games left before the All Star break.

“I would probably say our only pattern is our effort coming out early on in games. We’ve got to find a way to improve that,” Cousins said when asked about characteristics in their losses.

The Kings, now 21-28, will need to practice what they preach heading into the last four games to gain momentum as they near the break. On Friday, Sacramento will take on the Brooklyn Nets on the road as they look to get the roller coaster season back in their favor with some much needed road wins.

“We’ve got to get three, we have to,” Cousins said.

Warriors Romp Lame Lakers, Crush Short-handed Los Angeles 102-83:

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 21: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a layup against Robert Sacre #50 of the Los Angeles Lakers on December 21, 2013 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 21: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a layup against Robert Sacre #50 of the Los Angeles Lakers on December 21, 2013 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Matthew Harrington

In man-handling the Los Angeles Lakers 102-83 at Oracle Arena Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors reversed their fortunes against teams without their usual star power. On Thursday the Spurs, who were short Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker, slipped past Golden State 104-102. With a chance to rectify Thursday’s loss against a gutted foe, the Warriors (15-13) punished the punchless Lakers (13-14) who were missing injured stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and new addition to the infirmed Pau Gasol (out Saturday with a upper respiratory infection).

Laker forward Nick Young had a game-high 20 points coming off the bench, while David Lee led Golden State with 19 and 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Andrew Bogut joined Lee registering double-digits in points (12) and rebounds (20).
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had five field goals apiece for the home side, good for 18 and 17 points respectively. Laker center Chris Kaman’s 17 rebounds in the contest were second only to Bogut’s total.

Andre Iguodala again struggled, collecting only three points on one shot made in six attempts in 24 minutes of action in his third game back from injury. Iguodala stood as the lone Warrior starter to not crack double figures in scoring.

The Warriors held a slim one-point lead after the first quarter before adding a slight four-point gap at the half leading 46-42. The Dubs did most of the damage in the third, outscoring the Lakers 26-15 in the pivotal frame. Thompson had eight points in the third, including a pair of threes to stake the hosts to a 72-57 lead. The Warriors wrapped up the blowout by outscoring their Rivals from the south 30-26, sealing the victory.

With the win, the Warriors managed to hold the Lakers from gaining ground in the standings. Golden State stands one place out of playoff position with the Lakers a game and a half behind them. With the Warriors heading to the Mile-high City to face the eighth-place Nuggets Monday night, a Dubs victory would move them over Denver into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The tip-off is at 6:00 p.m.

Kings Fold in the Fourth; Lose to Lakers 106-100

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Photo Credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings lost at home on Friday night to the Los Angeles Lakers 106-100. It was game they did not have to lose. It was a game the Kings should have won.

After the game, Kings Head Coach Michael Malone said one word was on his mind, “discipline. And, we had none in this game tonight.”

Turnovers and lack of defense in the fourth quarter led to the Kings defeat. The Kings turned to ball over five times in the final period. The Lakers outscored the Kings 25-13 in fourth. That lack of discipline cost Sacramento the 87-81 lead they had after three periods of play.

The game started slow for the Kings. It looked like they might fall back into their habit of falling seriously behind and then having to play catch up later in the game. With 3:19 to play in the first, Isaiah Thomas came into the game for Vasquez and the Kings’ tempo changed dramatically. They went from trailing the Lakers by seven to leading the game by two points (30-28) by the end of the quarter. The crowd knew their team could win the game if they continued to play at that level.

In the second quarter, Thomas continued to lead the way. He played the entire 12 minutes, scored 10 points and dished out three assists. The problem for the Kings became their shot selection and shooting percentage. Sacramento’s field goal shooting dropped to 36.0% (9/25) while the Lakers shot 50.0%. The Kings managed to outscore the Lakers 25-24 in the quarter and took a 55-52 lead with them to locker room at the half.

The Kings came out in the third quarter ready to do battle. They established an eight point lead (68-60) by the 7:39 mark in the period. Then with 6:39 to play, DeMarcus Cousins picked up his fourth personal foul which would ultimately have a dramatic impact on the game as he had to sit on the bench. The rest of the Kings went to work picking up the slack. When Ben McLemore hit back-to-back 3-pointers, it looked like the Kings were poised to beat the Lakers. When the quarter ended, the score was the Kings 87 and the Lakers 81.

Then came the disastrous fourth quarter and the Kings shot just 23.5% (4/17). Isaiah Thomas was 0/4, Cousins was 0/4 and Williams 0/1 from the field. Sacramento turned the ball over five times. They allowed the Lakers to steal the ball five times in the period. The Lakers outscored the Kings 25-13. The Kings ran out of gas, things got ugly and they lost the game 106-100.

“Obviously this isn’t what we worked on, diagrammed or hoped for,” said Michael Malone. “It’s obvious that we have to do a lot more. I thought we had great late-game execution against Golden State. We got whatever we wanted, we scored, and we executed. Tonight, down the stretch, we turned the ball over on almost every possession. It was very disappointing, obviously. We’ll have another chance tomorrow in Utah and we need to regroup to find a way to get a road win.”

DeMarcus Cousins and Ben McLemore led all scorers in the game with 20 points each. Isaiah Thomas tallied 14 points before going cold in the fourth quarter. John Salmons added 13 points; Williams and Thompson had nine points each.

Cousins made it a double-double game with his 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks led the Lakers in scoring with 19 points each. Nick Young scored 14, Wesley Johnson and Steve Blake 13 each and Robert Sacre added 11 points.  Blake posted a double-double by adding 10 assists.

The Kings boarded a plane for Salt Lake City after the game. They will play the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. The Jazz were destroyed by the Trail Blazers on Friday night 130-97. On paper, the Kings should have real chance to defeat the Jazz, but that’s on paper. The reality is the game is on road versus a team that is just as hungry for a win as are the Kings.

A Flawless Win in Season Opener for Dubs

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OAKLAND, Calif. – For the first time in years, the Golden State Warriors enters the 2013-2014 season with high expectations as one of the elite contenders in the Western Conference. Tonight, the Dubs proved that with a statement as they dominated the Los Angeles Lakers to a 125-to-94 blowout win at the Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scores a career-high with 38 points (15-19 FGS) and 5-7 from beyond the arch. From the opening quarter, he did not shy away from shooting the ball scoring 18 points.

David Lee, as well had a great evening coming back from hip surgery during the off-season scoring 24 points with eight rebounds.

Andre Iguodala also made his home debut scoring 7 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Curry contributed with 10 points and 6 dimes.

Despite the high scoring, the Warriors’ defense should be awarded. Their play on the defensive end was very impressive forcing 16 turnovers with 8 steals and keeping the paint dry with a game high of 9 blocks.

Head Coach Mark Jackson utilized the entire squad by giving every player on the active roster playing time. Tonight’s game was definitely a team game tallying up 34 total team assists.

Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks of the Lakers led the team with 12 points and 7 rebounds and 14 points, respectively.

Warriors fall to Lakers in Preseason Opener

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By: Phillip Torres

October 5, 2013

ONTARIO, CA- The Golden State Warriors played the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Lakers outlasted Golden State 104-95 in the preseason exhibition. Xavier Henry lead the way for Los Angeles with 29 points. The veterans for the Lakers rested as they are expected to do for most of this preseason. Nick Young contributed 17 points as well. The Preseason victory was the first for the Lakers in their last 10 preseason games and first since they beat the Warriors on October 22, 2010.

Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant did not play in the preseason opener as they all will be rested throughout the preaseon games. Bryant was not even in the United States as he continued his medical treatment in Europe.

Klay Thompson scored 26 for the Dubs and newly acquired Andre Iguodala scored 15 in his first action with Golden State. He missed just one shot for his new team on the night. Harrison Barnes and David Lee each scored 10 points a piece and Stephen Curry score just five in just 14 minutes of action.

The Warriors will be back on the court on Monday against the Sacramento Kings in Oakland at Oracle Arena.

Phillip Torres covers the Golden Sate Warriors for Sportsradioservice.com