Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Will US exchange Griner for Russia’s Merchant of Death? Plus NBA Conference Final predictions

WNBA and Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner is led away in handcuffs by Russian authorities as seen here Fri May 13th is up for prisoner exchange for The Merchant of Death Viktor Bout. The deal is up for consideration between the Russian and US governments. (photo from the Toronto Globe and Mail)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony R:

#1 Tony, could you talk about the chances that you see in a prisoner swap Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner for Russia’s The Merchant of Death Viktor Bout?

#2 Griner no doubt is the face of basketball was stopped at the Moscow Airport for alleged drug possession of vape cartridges that contained hashish oil. Griner has been detained in Russia since February. Talk a little about her mental state and how she’s holding up through this process?

#3 Tony NBA playoffs Western Conference Finals are about to tip off starting on Wednesday night at Golden State with the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors. All the talk has been about the Mavericks Luka Doncic. Will he be and the Mavericks be enough to get by Golden State in this third round?

#4 The Mavericks had a rather close series against the Phoenix Suns who had the best record in the NBA regular season and overcame adversity with a 4-3 series win. How much of a force would you say Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jalen Brunson have been for the Dallas offense?

#5 Turning to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals the Boston Celtics are coming off a best of seven series win over the Milwaukee Bucks and tip off against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in game 1 tonight in Miami.

Join Tony for Headline Sports each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings Beat No.1 Team in NBA 116-109; Positive result to end 2021-22 Sacramento season

Sacramento Kings forward Justin Holiday throws down in front of Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) in first half action at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on Sun Apr 10, 2022

Kings Beat No.1 Team in NBA 116-109; Positive result to end 2021-22 Sacramento season

By Barbara Mason

It has been a long long season for the Sacramento Kings (30-52). They have fought through the loss of a Head Coach (Luke Walton) and injury and lots of frustration. With all that they have endured throughout the season, they have to finish it playing the best team in the NBA the Phoenix Suns (64-18).

It was a bit of a surprise to see the Kings leading after the first quarter 33-24. What was even more surprising was the fact that they extended their lead to 67-51 at the half. Of course the Suns were not playing Devon Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton not risking injury to their starters and keeping them fresh for their post-season run.

On the other hand the Kings De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis were out with injury so missing their top scorer Fox and newest acquisition Sabonis.

A win for the Suns makes no difference in the standings. A win for Sacramento would give them their 30th win of the season and a little something to hang their hat on after the disappointment they have gone through all year. The Kings shocked picking up a win at Footprint Center in Phoenix over the first place Kings 116-109.

The Suns made up a little ground in the third quarter but the Kings stubbornly held on with some great play from Justin Holiday and Davion Mitchell. They continued to hold a double digit lead mid-way through the third.

The Kings saw their 16 point lead start to shrink as the quarter came to an end. After three quarters Sacramento held a 86-77 lead. They would have to dig deep to finished the season with a win.

The Kings maintained a double digit lead until the final three minutes of this game. With 2:38 left on the clock the Suns were trailing by eight points. The Suns would make if really interesting trailing by three points with 8.6 left on the clock. The Kings refused to go down in this game and finished off the Suns.

Sacramento had some great work from Damian Jones, Mitchell and Donte Divincenzo all with 19 points. So now we bid a brief farewell to the Kings as they head into the off-season. With a healthy De’Aaron Fox, Sabonis, Damian Jones, Mitchell Divincenzo and Harrison Barnes there is some optimism going forward for the Kings.

Our thanks to our Sacramento Kings beat writer staff for the 2021-22 season, Jeremiah Salmonson, Charlie O, Morris Phillips, Barbara Mason, Jessica Kwong, Daniel Dullum and Marko Ukalovic

Kings win fourth in five games defeat Rockets 122-117

The Sacramento Kings Harrison Barnes (40) goes high above the Houston Rockets Kevin Porter Jr (3) but is grabbed by Porter on the arm for a foul in first half action at the Toyota Center in Houston on Fri Apr 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Sacramento Kings (29-49) continue to roll with their second straight win over the Houston Rockets (20-58) completing the two game series at the Toyota Center on Friday night 122-117. The Kings also defeated the Rockets on Wednesday night by four points 121-118. The loss on Friday was the Rockets third straight defeat and the Kings have now won four of their last five games.

Onto Friday, the Kings Harrison Barnes led with 25 points. It’s rare to have on the schedule but the two teams met for the second time in three days in Houston. The Kings Damion Jones had himself a good game with 17 points, 17 rebounds, and six blocks, Donte DiVincenzo played 30 minutes got 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.

The Kings  Chimezie Metu scored 18 in 27 minutes, but it was Barnes who had the hot hand with ten out of 16 shooting from the field and hitting four three pointers. All around Kings head coach Alvin Gentry was satisfied with the Kings play, “I thought everybody contributed, and when we needed a stop or a basket, different guys did it for us,” Gentry said. “We had guys stepping up, and I think that’s the main thing. It was a really good team win.”

The Kings will try to keep it going at the Golden One Center in Sacramento when they return to play the Golden State Warriors (48-29) on Sunday for a 6:00 pm PDT tip. Like the Miami Heat who were in a slump when the Kings came into Miami the Kings got trounced 123-100 on Mon Mar 28th.

The Warriors are not in the best of moods and have lost four straight games before defeating the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. The Warriors had lost to the powerful Phoenix Suns 107-103 last Wednesday. The Suns Mikal Bridges and Devon Booker both led with 22 points. The Warriors also have lost their star player Stephen Curry for the next five games meaning the rest of the regular season and have shown they’ve been badly handicapped by his absence.

Suns edge Warriors in a Shootout 107-103; Fourth loss in a row for Golden State

Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson driving to the basket gets the ball knocked out of his hands by the Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (1) at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Thu Mar 30, 2022 (AP News photo)

Suns Edge Warriors In a Shootout – 107-103

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday night the Golden State Warriors (48-29) took on the best team in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns (62-14).

With Stephen Curry still on the sidelines the Suns were highly favored. The way this game started in the opening quarter all signs pointed toward another Sun road win. They jumped out to a quick 12-2 start. The starting roster for the Suns is a litany of stars. Chris Paul, Devon Booker, Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton. A formidable starting lineup. There was no stopping the number one team in the NBA as the Suns won in a close game 107-103 at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Thursday night.

After trailing for much of the first quarter the Warriors started to heat up and after the opening quarter the Suns held a slim 32-29 lead.

Both teams would trade the lead in the second quarter. The Suns continued to lead at the half 50-48. Despite having 14 turnovers in the first half the Warriors were hanging in this game holding the Suns to 36% shooting and only 19% shooting three’s. They had to maintain that defense in the second half.

Much of the Warriors success was due to the shooting of Jordan Poole who had 20 points in the first half. Andrew Wiggins had ten points and Golden State was waiting on Klay Thompson to come to the party. He finished the half with six points and no rebounds with one assist.

The third quarter was a wild wild west shootout with the Warriors taking a seven point lead that quickly dissolved. The Suns had a slim 77-75 lead after three. The Warriors had continued the great defense that they played with in the first half.

The fourth quarter saw a series of ties in the early minutes. The Warriors had 20 turnovers and too many empty possessions. Despite that Golden State refused to go away. With 7:30 left in the game the score was again tied at 86.

The Suns would take a 96-93 lead with 2:59 on the clock. With the great defense that Golden State had played with in this game, they needed their offense to really step up in the final minutes. Draymond Green had key play after key play in this game and was a big reason that the Warriors were still hanging around with every chance to take this game. At two minutes what else, a tie game.

The Suns had a two point lead at the half, a two point lead after three quarters and this game was up for grabs. The Warriors led 101-100 with 39.8 seconds left in this game. The Warriors needed a stop and a little offense and this game could be a wrap.

Golden State came up just short losing by four points. Empty possessions and 20 turnovers spelled disaster for the Warriors. The Warriors did so many great things in this game and it was a tough loss for them.

Poole finished the game with 38 points and this game was a great improvement over their last road trip. This was a great effort for the Warriors and they really looked like contenders in the upcoming playoffs.

The Warriors will have a few days to rest up before taking on the Utah Jazz Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

Golden State Warriors podcast with David Zizmor: Warriors host one of the NBA’s hottest teams the Suns tonight at Chase

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers forward Danny Green at the Footprint Arena in Phoenix on Sun Mar 27, 2022. The Golden State Warriors host the Suns tonight at the Chase Center in San Francisco (AP News photo)

On the Warriors podcast with David:

#1 Dave, the Golden State Warriors (48-28) have lost six of their last seven games and have lost three in a row. Its seems that when Stephen Curry is present in the line up this team is on it’s A game without him they either are in close games or as you see in their last seven games struggle to win.

#2 Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was ejected during their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies (53-23) do you see this as just frustration or Kerr really knows this team is not the same winning team they were in the first half of this season.

#3 Things don’t get any easier as the host Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns (64-14) who’ve won eight in row and defeated one of the best teams in the NBA the Philadelphia 76ers (46-29) by ten 114-104 in Phoenix. Do you see the Warriors who host the Suns having their hands full tonight at Chase Center?

Join David Zizmor for the Warriors podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sacramento Kings podcast with Morris Phillips: Kings gave it their all in overtime loss to Suns on Sunday

The Phoenix Suns Landry Shamet takes a three point shot against the Sacramento Kings in the overtime stanza for what would be the game winner at Golden One Arena in Sacramento on Sun Mar 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Sacramento Kings podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris at one time during Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns (58-14) the Sacramento Kings (25-48) had a ten point lead in third period but with a whole fourth period left the Suns came back out scoring the Kings 27-23 to force a tie and go into overtime.

#2 The Suns Devin Booker fouled out of the game and that handicapped the Suns slightly and the Kings who tied things up at the end of the fourth period 124-124 looked as if they might have a shot at beating one of the best teams in the NBA.

#3 With 31 seconds left the Suns Landry Shamet hit a three pointer in the overtime stanza after missing an previous shot above the arc and the three pointer by Shamet proved to be the game winner.

#4 The Kings in their own right were short handed missing their key offensive star point guard De’Aaron Fox as Davion Mitchell started for Fox and scored 28 points and Domantas Sabonis had 18 points great effort tough loss for Sacramento.

#5 The Kings will tip off against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at 4:00 pm PDT. The Pacers have won four of their last six games including a 129-98 win against the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. On the other hand the Kings have now lost six of their last seven games and Sunday’s game against the Suns could actually have been one of their best despite losing.

Join Morris for the Kings podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Suns overtake Kings 127-124 in OT

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is fouled by Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles (41) in the second half at the Golden One Arena Sacramento on Sun Mar 21, 2022 (AP News photo)  

By Daniel Dullum
Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Phoenix Suns continued their winning ways Sunday at Golden 1 Center, squeaking out a 127-124 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento has lost 10 of its last 13 games.

Landry Shamet sank a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left in the extra period to put the league-leading Suns ahead to stay. Moments earlier, Damien Jones converted a put back to give Sacramento a 121-120 lead shortly after the Suns’ Devin Booker fouled out.

It was Shamet’s fifth 3-pointer of the game. He finished with 21 points, followed by Deandre Ayton with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Backup center JaVale contributed 14 points before fouling out in overtime.

After Mikal Bridges sank the second of two free throws, Jones made 1 of 2 from the stripe, Aaron Holiday got the rebound on the second free throw and Torrey Craig’s dunk sealed the game for Phoenix.

Booker’s jump shot put Phoenix ahead 110-108 with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but a layup by Davion Mitchell forced overtime.

Booker scored 19 of his 31 points in the third quarter as the Suns improved to 58-14, nine games ahead of Memphis in the overall NBA standings. There’s been a lot of pressure on Booker to pick up the slack while Chris Paul is sidelined with a broken right thumb, and sixth-man Cam Johnson is sidelined with a right quad contusion.

The Suns were also without backup point guard Cam Payne due to a non-COVID-19 illness, And Jae Crowder left the game with a right foot injury in the third quarter.

Mitchell had 28 points and nine assists for Sacramento while filling in for the injured De’Aaron Fox. Domantas Sabois added 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists before leaving the game with a possible left knee injury.

The Kings travel to Indiana to face the Pacers on Wednesday.

Golden State Warriors podcast with Barbara Mason: Towns carries Timberwolves to finish line to beat Golden State

Minnesota Timberwolves leading scorer center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) takes a shot over Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. (32) at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Sun Jan 16, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Warriors podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara, the Minnesota Timberwolves Karl Anthony-Towns was the key difference in the Timberwolves win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night at the Target Center 119-99 scoring 26 points and getting 11 rebounds.

#2 The Timberwolves Jaylen Nowell (17 pts) and Malik Beasley had (16 pts) both combined for five three pointers in the second half also making a big difference in beating Golden State.

#3 The Warriors allowed the Timberwolves to score 40-19 against them in the closing 16 minutes of the game and the defense simply looked out of place compared to other games where the Warriors had success.

#4 The Warriors who were without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green really depended on Jordan Poole (20 pts) and Jonathan Kuminga (19 pts) the Warriors dropped their fifth game out seven on Sunday.

#5 The Warriors trail the Phoenix Suns by 2 1/2 games in the Western Conference, Klay Thompson had 13 points on Sunday how much will the Warriors be leaning on Thompson on night when Curry and Green are out of the line up like they were Sunday?

Join Barbara Mason for the Warrior podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Golden State Warriors podcast with Barbara Mason: Green, Poole, Lee and Wiggins all out on Covid protocols

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) and Phoenix Suns Devon Booker (1) battled on Wed Dec 25, 2021 for the NBA Christmas Day special at Footprint Arena in Phoenix (AP News photo)

On the Warriors podcast with Barbara:

#1 The Golden State Warriors Draymond Green is out for Covid 19 protocols as announced by the team today with Green out of the line up how do you see that impacting the team as they prepare for the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at Chase Center. Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee, and Jordan Poole all out for Covid 19 protocols with Green.

#2 The Golden State Warriors (27-6) got a Christmas Day 116-107 win over the Phoenix Suns (26-6) at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on Wednesday. This is the second time the Warriors have defeated the Suns this season.

#3 The win puts the Warriors on top of the Suns for the NBA lead by a game with the Warriors having one more win than the Suns in the win column.

#4 Warriors leading scorer Stephen Curry had 33 points against the Suns coming after he scored 46 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. The Warriors battling one of the best teams in the NBA needed all the help that Curry and the offense could provide in beating the Sun by nine points.

#5 Otto Porter Jr scored seven crucial points in the last few moments of the game he got a hot hand and it was the difference in his 19 point game to help Golden State win it.

#6 The Denver Nuggets (15-15) who are playing .500 ball winning five of their last ten games before their game Sunday in Los Angeles against the Clippers will tip off against the Warriors on Tuesday at Chase Center, Barbara tell us how you see that match up?

Join Barbara for the Warrior podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Battle of the Titans Favors Golden State over Phoenix 116-107

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gets between Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and guard Cameron Payne to take a shot at Footprint Center in Phoenix on Sat Dec 25, 2021 (AP News photo)

Battle of the Titans Favors Golden State 116-107

By Barbara Mason

Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II took the court in the absence of Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole to spur their team on to a 116-107 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Once again the Golden State Warriors (27-6) took the court on Christmas Day against the Phoenix Suns (26-56). It is the second year that they have played on the holiday and Head Coach Steve Kerr is not pleased with this schedule. He is confident however that this will not be the case next year but it is not at all fair. With the two top dogs in the league matching up it is all about the ratings.

Again the Warriors will be short-handed with Andrew Wiggins, Damian Lee and Jordan Poole still on covid protocol giving the Suns a definite defensive advantage.

The Warriors took the lead after the first quarter 33-27 but were outplayed in the second quarter by quite a margin, ten points. Golden State trailed at the half 62-58.

After two quarters the Suns had four of their starters in double digits but not a lot from their bench with only six points but it was enough to hold a narrow lead.

Guard Stephen Curry led the Warriors with double digits but it was the bench that kept the team in this game. Mid-way through the third quarter they had scored 20 points. The third quarter was a crazy physical affair and the Warriors began to build a slight lead with 4:36 left in the quarter 77-71. The Suns came roaring back and as the third quarter came to an end the score was tied at 84.

As the fourth quarter got underway one thing was certain, this game would have a wild finish. It was fast and physical as the Golden State bench continued to shine with 34 points after six minutes into the final quarter. The depth on this team is amazing and in the absence of Wiggins, Poole, Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II took care of business.

The Warriors won the game 116-107. Curry finished with 33 points, five from downtown. Otto Porter Jr. finished with a season high 19 points and Payton II with 14 points. Draymond Green was rock solid with seven rebounds, ten assists and eight points. Again we saw a great game from rookie Jonathan Kuminga with 12 points.

The Suns fought hard to the end with Chris Paul scoring 21 points. This was an elite matchup between two elite teams. The fact that the Warriors were short-handed was testament to the depth on Golden State right now.

Next Tuesday the Warriors will be home at Chase Center to take on the Denver Nuggets. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.