Kings lose to Suns 117-115 for second straight loss

Photo credit: @NBA

By: Ana Kieu

PHOENIX — The Sacramento Kings dropped a 117-115 decision to the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena Monday night.

The Suns fired their head coach Earl Watson after the team’s 0-3 start so far this season. Watson left the position with a 33-85 record. Shortly after, they promoted Jay Triano as an interim head coach.

The Kings, on the other hand, got blown out by the Denver Nuggets 96-79 last Saturday. So they were obviously hungry for a win.

The Suns were off to a fast start in the first quarter. They were also on fire from the three-point line. They led the Kings 36-17 after the first. Marquese Chrisse had 10 points and two rebounds.

The Kings had a rough first half. The Suns continued to bring their offense as Alex Len’s dunk was nice, but the pass from Tyler Ulis was even better. After a Kings delay of violation, TJ Warren blocked George Hill’s five-foot driving layup and then Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a 22-foot jumper.

The Kings mounted a large comeback with 34 points in the second quarter, but trailed the Suns 59-51 at the end of the first half. Despite missing an extended jumper, Bogdanovic had 13 points in 12 minutes in the second.

Troy Daniels’ three-pointer put the Suns up by nine with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Skal Labisserie made a dunk with 1:09 left in the third. However, Labisserie missed a shot as the clock winded down and the Suns held a 87-76 lead over the Kings after the third.

The Suns reached the 100-point mark when Dragan Bender made the first of two free throws with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter. Bender did end up making both free throws after Tyson Chandler entered the game to take Len’s place.

Not much luck for the Kings as Willie Cauley-Stein drew a shooting foul with 6:13 left in the third. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel as soon as Garrett Temple made a 26-foot three-pointer to pull the Kings within 10 with 5:54 left. Labisserie then entered the game for Kosta Koufos, which prompted the Suns to take a timeout.

The score reverted back to single digits (102-94) after Bogdanovic found Cauley-Stein for the dunk with 5:17 remaining. The Kings were behind the Suns until De’Aaron Fox made an eight-foot driving floating jump shot, tying the game at 112 apiece with 58 seconds left in regulation.

Though, a shot by Mike Jones put the Suns ahead 114-112 with only 14 seconds left to go. Both teams called timeouts and Devin Booker made two free throws to extend the Suns’ lead to 116-113. Yet, the Kings weren’t ready to back down as Hill responded with two of his own.

Troy Daniels added a down-to-the-wire free throw to expand the Suns’ lead to 117-115. The Suns held on for their first win of the season, a 117-115 victory, and handed the Kings their second straight loss.

Notes
Bogdan Bogdanovic made his debut with the Kings.

Here’s a throwback from the Kings’ last game against the Suns in Phoenix. Skal Labissiere dropped a career-high and game-high 32 points that day.

Up Next
The Kings return to action Thursday night as they host the New Orleans Pelicans at Golden 1 Center at 7:30 p.m. PST.

Kings open the Las Vegas Summer League on Friday with a 89-85 loss to Suns

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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Summer League is about development

The Las Vegas Summer League is about player development and not about wins and losses. Yes, the players and coaches like to win. The fans love wins, but again the goal is the development of young players.

Teams this season are also looking for players to fill roster slots 16 and 17. These are also known as the “two-way” roster players. These players will make one rate when playing in the G-League (officially the NBA Gatorade League) and the NBA minimum rate when playing for their NBA team.

As of today, the number 16 and 17 roster spots for the Kings are empty.

Players are also looking for roster spots on G-League teams. The Kings G-League franchise is the Reno Bighorns. The NBA is in the process of turning the G-League into a true minor league system to feed players to “the association”.

The bottom line is there are many story lines to watch in Las Vegas over the next 11 days.

The Game

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The game itself was entertaining. It was a close contest that featured some very talented basketball plays and some very ugly, “we are still learning” plays. There were a few “dust ups” and even some technical fouls.

The were 17 lead changes and the game was tied 14 times. Sacramento’s biggest lead was 6-points while Phoenix held an 8-point advantage at one point. The Suns out-rebounded the Kings 41-39.

The Kings posted 11 assists and turned the ball over 14 times. The Suns turned it over 17 times and had 12 assists. Each team had eight steal.

The Kings had one glaring advantage and it was in blocked shots. Sacramento blocked 9 Phoenix shots while the Suns blocked 4 Kings field goal attempts.

Kings

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  • De’Aaron Fox — It was the “D-Fox” show a number of times in the game, but he is the number one draft pick and isn’t that what you want to see? There was a beautiful Kentucky to Kentucky assist to Labbissiere that led to a nice layup. A cross-court pass to Hield let him glide in for an easy two. Fox finished with 4 assists, 5 steals and let’s not forget his 18 points (7-16 shooting). He also demonstrated his breakaway speed multiple times.
  • Justin Jackson — The number 15 overall draft selection did not start the game but he made the most of his 26 minutes coming off the bench. He shot 7-for-11 from the floor (2-4 from 3PT range) for a total of 18 points. Jackson does not demand the ball but puts himself in the right spots to score if the ball comes his way.
  • Buddy Hield — The second-year guard is joining his new teammates in Vegas to tune up for the new season. Hield scored 16 points in 24 minutes of playing time. He shot 6-for-16 but was 0-for-6 from long range. Hield did have two very impressive drives to the bucket which could be a very nice addition to his game.
  • Skal Labissiere — The big forward appears ready to pick up where he left off in April for the Kings. He scored 10 points in 28 minutes. Labissiere was 4-for-9 shooting while adding two blocked shots and one steal.
  • Malachi Richardson — The shooting guard who missed the last part of the season due to injury started the game. He was able to play 24 minutes. Richardson posted 8 points shooting 2-for-7 including a 3-point basket. He looked a little rusty but it will not take him long to get back up to speed.
  • Georgios Papagiannis — The big center got the start and played 28 minutes. His stats speak to the dichotomy that is “Papa G”. He scored no points (0-3 shooting). It is so frustrating watching him not being able to put-back close shots off rebounds. He led all rebounders with 11 and had 2 blocked shots. Papagiannis uses his size so well in those areas. He also added 2 assists and 1 steal. The key is to remember he is still young and under development.

LV Jackson

Suns

  • Marquese Chriss — The Sacramento area native made it hard to watch him because it is obvious that he is developing into the player his was projected to be when he was drafted by and then traded by the Kings. With a bulked up body, he scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 33 minutes on the floor. Chriss was 5-for-17 shooting but he made his way to the free throw line 13 times where converted 9 shots. He just bulls his way to the basket. When you watch him, keep saying Labissiere, Richardson, Papagiannis, Bogdanovic over and over again because that is who the Kings received in that trade.
  • Josh Jackson — The number 4-overall draft pick had a very nice first game for the Suns as he scored 18 points. The forward from Kansas shot 6-for-17 (0-2 3PT) grabbed 8 rebounds and had 2 assists in 34 minutes of playing time. He even showed that he can make the midrange jumper that the experts say he needs to add to his game.

Up next

The Kings will be back in action on Sunday night when they will play the Memphis Grizzlies. Game time is 7:00 p.m. PDT and can be seen on NBA TV. Memphis is 1-0 after beating the Wizards in their first game.

Images from NBA.com and ESPN

Kings eclipse the Suns 129-104 in season home finale

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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Buddy Hield drives to the hoop in Kings win over the Suns Photo NBAE

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings played their 41st and final home game of the 2016-17 NBA season Tuesday night at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings sent the sellout crowd of 17,608 home happy by soundly defeating the Phoenix Suns (24-58) 129-104.

Here’s your 2:20 Game Wrap

The season is now over for Phoenix. They finish with a record of 24-58 in 15th and last place in the Western Conference of the NBA. The Suns currently hold the number two pick in the NBA Draft Lottery before the pull of the ping-pong balls. That means Phoenix has a 19.9-percent chance of winding up with number one overall selection in this years’ draft.

As of now, that would mean the Suns would probably be the winners of the Lonzo Ball sweepstakes. Tighten those seatbelts – it could be a wild ride from here.

The Kings (32-49) are now in a tie for 12th place in the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks. If the season were over today, the Kings would own the number nine and 10 picks in the NBA Draft Lottery.

Dave Joerger seemed caught up in the victory celebration after the game

Major performances on offense

Kings

  • Buddy Hield leads all scorers in the game with a career-high 30 points
  • Ty Lawson posts his first career triple-double with 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds
  • Sacramento uses nine players in the game and eight of them score in double figures
  • Kings shoot 51.8-percent (43-for-83) from the floor for the game
  • SAC uses the 3-ball hitting 9-for-19 (47.4-percent) from downtown
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Ty Lawson posted his career triple-double vs the Suns Photo NBAE

Suns

  • Tyler Ulis led Phoenix in scoring with 27 points hitting 10-for-25 from the field
  • Sacramento native Marquese Chriss put up 22 points before a large crowd of family and friends
  • The Suns attempted 109 shots in the game connecting on just 41 (37.6-percent) of those attempts
  • PHX went just 14-for-24 (58.3-percent) from the charity stripe
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Dave Joerger draws up a play vs PHX on Tuesday Photo NBAE

Up next

The Kings will be in Los Angeles on Wednesday to face the Clippers in the final game of the 2016-17 regular season. This game will help to determine who will finish fourth or fifth in the Western Conference. It is really a battle for home-court advantage.

For the Suns, the season is over. Up next for them, the NBA Draft Lottery.

Intern Jordan Chapin was our videographer for the coverage on Tuesday evening

Kentucky Wildcats players dominate the Kings-Suns game – SAC wins 107-101

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Suns
Chriss and Labissiere go at it in Kings-Suns game Photo NBAE

An NBA game was played on Wednesday night in Phoenix and a Kentucky men’s basketball scrimmage broke out. The Kings featured their Wildcats – Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. The Suns put the spotlight on their former Kentucky players Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. Phoenix gave former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe the night off even though he dressed for the game.

The future of these two franchises has been tied together since draft night in June of 2016. Phoenix and Sacramento agreed to a draft night trade that may effect the direction of the two organizations for years to come.

The Kings used their lottery pick to select Marquese Chriss out of the University of Washington and then sent him to Phoenix. In exchange, the Suns sent the Kings two first-round picks and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic.

With those draft picks, the Kings selected center Georgios Papagiannis out of Greece and forward Skal Labissiere out of Kentucky. Sacramento knew that Papagiannis was going to be a development project and figured Labissiere would be as well. “Papa G” is developing while Skal is growing by leaps and bounds in every game he plays in for the Kings.

The Suns have also been pleased with the growth of Chriss. He has looked like a 19-year old rookie at times, but Chriss has also had moments of brilliance during the season. Phoenix has every reason to be excited about having him on their roster.

On Wednesday, the game belonged to the Kings and their young big men. Sacramento downed the Suns 107-101 in the “Valley of the Sun” winning their second consecutive game. The Kings were led by the incredible play of rookie forward Skal Labissiere who scored a game-high 32 points and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. He shot a very respectable 11-for-15 from the floor including a 3-point basket.

Fellow Kentucky alum Willie Cauley-Stein came up big again for the Kings versus the Suns as well. He posted a double-double game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. WCS also had five assists, four steals and four blocks.

Rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield had a quiet night as he spent much of his playing time playing defense against the very tough Devin Booker. Booker scored 19 points but he had to take 26 shots to make those points. Hield and Garrett Temple defended Booker well in the game.

Other Kings who contributed: Afflalo 14 points, Koufos 13 points/six rebounds, Ty Lawson 11 points/six assists, Garrett Temple eight points and Langston Galloway played again putting up eight points.

TJ Warren led the Suns scoring attack with 24 points. Booker had 19. Chriss had a big night putting up 17 which is just over twice his season average. Alan Williams had a double-double game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Ulis also had a double-double with 13 points and 13 assists.

The Kings are off until Saturday when they will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

Kings: Let the games begin -the Bogdan Bogdanovic negotiations are on!

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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“We have (Bogdan) Bogdanovic coming over next season as another asset.” Sacramento Bee February 25, 2017

If you thought Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic was going to finish his season in Turkey and fly to Sacramento ready to put on a Kings jersey ready to play, you would be wrong. The Kings obtained the rights to Bogdanovic as part of a draft-night trade with Phoenix that sent Marquese Chriss to the Suns.

Bogdanovic was drafted in the first-round (27th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. The shooting guard decided to remain in Europe to play for Fenerbahçe of the Turkish Super League in part to avoid the NBA Rookie pay scale.

Now that three years have passed, Bogdanovic can negotiate a contract that pays him up to the maximum of a free agent with 0-6 years of experience in the NBA. A max deal at that contract level is projected to be $26-million dollars per year under the new CBA. Bogdanovic is not going get 26-mil but he is throwing down the gauntlet that he is not going to settle for $3 to 5-mil per year. This guy and his agents are looking for a major payday.

After researching his value, I still have no real idea where to place the “Euro” shooting guard on the salary chart. My guess (this is a pure “WAG”) is that Bogdanovic’s agent will be looking for a 3-year, $30-million deal with a one-year player option. This player and his agent have played hardball for three years, this will not be an easy negotiation.

Bogdanovic is having a very nice EuroLeague season. He is averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting a 55.2-percentage for 2-point shots and 38-percent from 3-point range. He scored a season-high 27 points against  Olympiacos Piraeus on February 23rd. By all accounts, he is a talented and still developing player with a tremendous upside.

Here is the downside. If Bogdanovic joins the NBA next season, he will be 25-years old. That is almost ancient by today’s NBA standards where first-round draft picks are 19-years old. A team will be asked to make a veteran level dollar investment in a player who will have a shorter career in “the Association” and has never played a minute in the NBA.

Bogdanovic might come into the NBA and have an instant impact while becoming an All-Star. The more likely scenario is that he will come into the league as rookie with a big learning curve and struggle like most rookies do while he adjusts to playing basketball at the highest level in the world.

Bogdanovic at the advice of his advisers has already played a very dangerous game with the NBA in order to up his contract value. If he spurs the Kings for next season, he takes an even more calculated chance that teams will want to invest big money in a 26-year old rookie. The “Euro” star needs to remember the big, new CBA money will not stay uncommitted for long.

For the Kings, this is a time to be prudent. They now have two first-round picks in a star-studded draft. They really like Bogdanovic’s game or they would not have included him in the Phoenix deal, but they need to cautious. Before backing up the “money dump truck”, the Kings must remember Bogdanovic has played zero minutes in the NBA where it is a brand-new game.

Buzzer beating bank shot gives the Suns a 105-103 win over the Kings

Phoenix Suns v Sacramento Kings
Booker shoots the game winner versus the Kings on Friday night Photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

NBA fans used to live for the final two minutes of a game. They were rough, tumble and full of exciting action. Now with all of the stoppages for replay reviews, the excitement of the final 120 seconds has been all but lost.

On Friday night at the Golden 1 Center, the sellout crowd (17,608) were treated to an “old fashion” nail biting two minute finish in the game between the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings.

The excitement began with 2:32 remaining in the game when DeMarcus Cousins broke a 98-all tie with a step-back 3-point basket from the right corner off an assist from Matt Barnes. The Suns missed a jump on their possession. The Kings grabbed the rebound and called a timeout with 2:09 to go.

Cousins missed a jumper coming out of the timeout that was rebounded by Bledsoe of the Suns. T.J. Warren sank a jump shot at the 1:34 mark to bring Phoenix within one point of the lead at 101-100.

Each team missed a field goal opportunity then Cousins missed a layup that Lawson rebounded and then he was fouled by the Suns Tyson Chandler. The Kings maintained possession and Cousins attempted a 3-point shot that missed and Chandler rebounded.

The Suns Warren hit a 3-pointer (assist Booker) with 21.6-seconds on the clock to give his team a 103-101 lead. The Kings immediately called a timeout.

The Kings ran their play out of the timeout and with 8.2-seconds to go Darren Collison sank a 15-foot jump shot (assist Cousins) to tie the game at 103-103. It was the Suns turn to call a timeout.

Phoenix inbounded the ball at midcourt and to no one’s surprise the ball wound up in the hands of second-year guard Devin Booker. Booker put up a 20-foot fade away bank shot that  went in the hoop as the final buzzer sounded. The Suns had won the game 105-103 to the stunned amazement of the big crowd.

Who did what in the game

Kings (19-31)

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Cousins hits two of his 22 versus the Suns Photo: NBAE

 

  • DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings scoring attack with a triple-double: 22 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists(sixth career triple-double). Cousins got into foul trouble and picked up his fifth personal foul with 9:22 to go in the 4th quarter and he did not return until there was just 3:18 left in the game. How much of a difference could the big man have made in that six minutes is now a question to be pondered over beers at the local pub.
  • Darren Collison scored 19 points for the Kings as he shot 8-for-16 from the floor and hit 3-of-4 3-point attempts. Joerger was very happy with Collison’s play after the game.
  • There was a Ben McLemore sighting on Friday night. McLemore made a rare start as the team made adjustments with Temple out due to injury and Arron Afflalo did not dress due to illness. McLemore played 35-minutes and scored 18 points.
  • Ty Lawson made an impact in the game off the bench again for Sacramento on Friday night. The speedy guard put up 18 points hitting on 7-of-10 attempts from the field and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
  • Matt Barnes did not have a big scoring night (6-points) but hauled in 10 rebounds and dished out 4 assists for the Kings.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played only 14-minutes in the contest but came up big especially in the six-minutes that Cousins was sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter with the five fouls. He also scored four points and had four rebounds.
  • As a team the Kings outrebounded the Suns 43-39. They outscored Phoenix in the paint 36-20. Sacramento even scored more fast break points (14-9) than the Suns. The Kings had 23 assists versus 13 turnovers which resulted in 22 Phoenix points.

Suns (16-34)

  • 20-year old guard Devin Booker scored a game-high 33 points for PHX. He scored just seven points in the first half. Booker went 11-for-24 shooting and hit 4-0f-8 from beyond the 3-point line. He also went 7-for-10 from the free throw line.
  • T.J. Warren was the offense for the Suns in the first half. While much of the team seemed less than present, Warren was active and ready for action. He finished with 21 points including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
  • Eric Bledsoe had a 20 point game for the Suns in 33-minutes on the floor. He was just 4-of-12 from the floor but was 3-for-6 from 3-point land.
  • Maybe the disappointment of the night for the crowd was the play of local product Marquese Chriss. Chriss who played his high school basketball in Elk Grove and was drafted by the Kings and then traded to Phoenix played just 15-minutes and scored only two points. Chriss picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter which really limited his playing time. It may well have the combination of playing before a large contingent of family and friends while trying to defend DeMarcus Cousins that keep the young rookie from having a better game.

Joerger’s postgame thoughts

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Collison had a big second half for the Kings Photo: NBAE
  • Heck of a basketball game
  • Both teams started kind of slow (it was 49-49 at the half)
  • I’m really proud of out guys. We held a fast break team to nine-points on the fast break and basically won every statistical category there is.
  • I thought Darren (Collison) really stepped up his game in the second half.
  • It was tremendous that we had great point guard play with Ty (Lawson) and Darren at times playing together.
  • It was great to see Ben McLemore get going a little bit and heck of a basketball game.
  • Very proud of out team

Focusing on 8th place in the Western Conference

The battle for the eighth and final playoff slot in the Western Conference continued on Friday night:

  • Denver now has sole possession of 8th place as they beat the Bucks 121-117
  • Portland is in 9th place 1.5 games back after losing to Dallas 108-104
  • Dallas has jumped into 10th place 2.5 games back of Denver with their win over Portland
  • The Kings are now in 11th place 3.5 games behind Denver after Friday’s loss to Phoenix

Up next on the schedule

The Kings have no time sit and ponder their loss to the Suns. The Golden State Warriors make a return visit to the Golden 1 Center on Saturday night. It is never easy to face “the Splash Brothers” but to have to play them on second night of a back-to-back set is really unfair.

Phoenix returns home on Saturday night to host the Milwaukee Bucks who lost in Denver on Friday.

The Warriors trounce the Phoenix Suns

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The Golden State Warriors defeated the Phoenix Suns 139-108 in front of the 199th consecutive sellout at Oracle Arena Saturday night. The Warriors rebounded from the double-overtime loss to the Houston Rockets Thursday night. The Warriors increased their streak to 106 games without two losses in a row. The last time that happened was April 5-7, 2015.

The young Suns, coached by Earl Watson, were competitive with the Warriors in the first quarter. They took an early lead, fell behind, stayed even with the Warriors but the Dubs offense behind Steph Curry’s nine and JaVale McGee’s seven gave the Warriors a seven-point lead 37-30 after one-quarter. The Warriors went on a 16-0 run to start the second quarter  and led by twenty-one 61-40. They turned the ball over four times late in the period and the Suns behind a 17-5 surge closed the gap to just nine 66-57 at the half.

The third quarter belonged to Steph Curry. Curry scored twenty points and the Warriors blew open the game. They scored forty-two points in the stanza to lead by twenty-four 108-84. Steph and Draymond Green sat on the bench for the final twelve minutes. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant played about six minutes and the bench finished up the game. The Dubs win 138-109.

Game Notes- The Dubs had five players in double figures. Steph Curry led them with 31. Klay Thompson had twenty-six and Durant finished the night with 20. The Dubs had thirty-seven assists. Durant had 8 and Green finished with 13 in just three-quarters of play. The bench was terrific. David West scored ten and JaVale McGee had 11. Leading scorers for Phoenix were Eric Bledsoe with 27 and Devin Booker had 21.

After the game, Steve Kerr said the team” had some good moments.” He also said ‘the most disappointing moment was the last two to three minutes of the second quarter.” That was when the Suns went on a 17-5 run that not only quieted the crowd but produced a little sweat on Kerr’s brow. Kerr, when talking about Kevin Durant, remarked that Durant “doesn’t care if he shoots.” Durant had taken just five shots in the first three-quarters of play. He finished the night with twenty and took just seven shots in the entire game. Durant had eight assists and blocked three shots.

The Dubs finish the homestand Monday night against the Indiana Pacers at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm. The Dubs then start a six-game road trip in Los Angeles against the Clippers Wednesday night. The Clippers are 16-5 and trail the Dubs by 1 1/2 games in the standings. Golden State’s record improved to 17-3 and the Suns fell to 6-14.

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The Warriors have their hands full with the Suns,prevail in the fourth quarter.

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The Golden State Warriors needed a strong performance by Klay Thompson to down the young and hungry Phoenix Suns 133-120 Sunday night at the Oracle Arena.The Warriors, who had a hard time beating the Suns in Phoenix on October 30th, had another tough time subduing the Suns coached by Earl Watson.

The Suns fell behind early in the first quarter 12-7. They then went on an 11-0 run and led by seven 30-23 with 1:30 left in the period. The Dubs defense played better, and they closed the gap to two, but the Warriors committed a shooting foul with just 1/2 second left on the clock. The Suns made the two free throws and led by four 32-28.

It was more of the same in the second quarter. The Dubs led by three 62-59 at the end of the first half. Phoenix continued to play well, and the Warriors could not put them away. The Warriors did increase the lead to seven at the end of the third period, but the Suns took it to them and led the Dubs 111-106 with 6:15 left to play. The Warriors woke up on offense and defense. Klay Thompson scored eighteen of his thirty points in the quarter and the Warriors defense, led by Draymond Green, was able to keep the Suns under control. The Dubs win 130-122.

The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson, Steph Curry with 30 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Kevin Durant added twenty-nine, and he had five assists and nine boards. Mr. defense, Draymond Green, had a double-double. He scored fourteen points, eleven assists, and seven rebounds. The Suns had six players in double figures. Eric Bledsoe and T.J.Warren each scored twenty. Devin Booker added nineteen; Jared Dudley had fourteen, Brandon Knight pitched in with 10. Former Warrior, and a very popular player when he was here, Leandro Barbosa knocked down eleven. The Warriors honored their former player with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter. The fans gave Barbosa a standing ovation, and he waved back to the crowd.

After the game, coach Steve Kerr said:”We’re trying to win a championship, you don’t do that simply by outscoring people.” “We set a bad tone on defense from the beginning.” “They (the Suns) played a really good game.” “We did not do a good job defensively.Gotta play better.”

The Warriors improve to 8-2, and the Suns fall to 3-8. The Warriors start a four-game eastern trip starting Wednesday in Toronto against the Raptors. Friday night they meet the Boston Celtics then play a back-to-back game Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. If you remembered last year, the Dubs had a very tough victory against the Celtics to keep their winning streak alive. They then went to Milwaukee, and the Bucks beat them snapping their 24-game winning streak. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

 

 

 

 

The Warriors struggle but they still win, defeat the Phoenix Suns

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Eric Bledsoe (2) of the Phoenix Suns gets the throw down on the Golden State Warriors Andre Iguodala (9) in the first half of Sunday night’s game in Phoenix

Phoenix- The Golden State Warriors defeated the Phoenix Suns 106-100 Sunday night in Phoenix. The Dubs started strong and owned  15-8 lead midway through the first period. After a time-out, the Suns came roaring back and went on a 16-0 run to take a 24-15 lead. The Dubs tried to get even, but they just were not in sync. They trailed by eight points at the end of the first period. Steph Curry scored the Dubs’ first ten points.The rest of the team scored just seven points in the last six minutes of the period. In the second period, the Warriors were not able to close the gap until late in the period. The Dubs trailed 57-55 at halftime. Kevin Durant scored nineteen in the first half to get Golden State back in the game. Steph added eighteen. The Phoenix attack was led by Eric Bledsoe, T.J.Warren and Tyson Chandler. The Dubs turned the ball over thirteen times in the first half, and the Suns were able to capitalize on the Dubs’ sloppy play.

Golden State did not run away with the game in the second half. It was nip and tuck all the way until the final seconds of the contest. The Warriors committed just two turnovers in the final twenty-four minutes of action, and their defense was superb. Draymond Green was terrific, and the Warrior defense allowed just forty-three points as Golden State won its second game of the year.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with thirty-seven points. Steph Curry added twenty-eight. Klay Thompson was cold for most of the game, but he did put in fourteen. Draymond Green was also cold from the floor, but he made up for it with nine assists and thirteen rebounds. Zaza Pachulia also had five points, and he tallied four assists and pulled down ten boards.

The Warriors had a hard time getting in rhythm all night long. They weren’t able to fast break a lot, and the biggest lead was just seven points. They were able to shut down the Suns late in the game, but the outcome was in doubt until Steph sunk two free throws with just 12.9 seconds left to play.

The stats in the game were this. Golden State shot 42.2% from the field. Phoenix shot 41.1% The Dubs were 8 for 29 from three-point range (27.6%). Phoenix was 8 for 23. The Suns grabbed 50 rebounds compared to the Warriors’43. The Dubs led 27-19 in assists. Golden State committed fifteen turnovers.

The Warriors record for the year is now 2-1 while the Suns, under first-year coach Earl Watson, drop to 0-3. The Warriors next game will be in Portland Tuesday night, and they return to the Oracle Arena Thursday night to face Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

 

Curry’s first double double leads to Kings’ win in Phoenix

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Robin Hagy Photography

SACRAMENTO- It all came down to free throws at the end of the game. Fortunately, the end of the game was not constantly fouling the Kings, who gave up a 15 point lead they had early in the fourth quarter.

The Kings even had a seven point lead within a minute to play, but the Suns never quit. Phoenix would cut the lead down to two with 21 seconds left in regulation. Ben McLemore got to the line where he missed both free throws and gave the Suns some hope to tie it up. Luckily, rookie sensation Devin Booker missed a jumper and James Anderson got the rebound and got to the line. Anderson made them both to put the Kings up by four. After a couple of free throws by Quincy Acy to maintain their four point lead with three seconds to go. The Kings picked up win number 33, 105-101.

Without DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo, Seth Curry and Kosta Koufos stepped up in a huge way. Curry got his first career double double in the ball game with 20 points and 15 assists. Curry made some outstanding passes as he drove to the hoop and broke down the defense. On 8-14 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc, Curry continues to be an effective scorer. One of those threes he juked his defender, made a spin move and knocked down the shot. Curry is solidifying himself with his recent play and the Kings’ decision to sign him has paid off. Hopefully he will continue to develop and make an impact for this team who might not retain Rondo after this offseason.

As DMC sat out, the Kings lost his 26.9 points per game but Koufos did a good job on the offensive end with 19 points and eight boards. Gay chipped in 15 points and although McLemore missed two late free throws, he added 14 points of his own.

The Kings turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 27 points for the Suns. Phoenix also out rebounded Sacramento, 51-40. Phoenix grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and they scored 17 second chance points. Their turnovers and a bit lack of size almost cost Sacramento the game, but the Kings shooting 49.3% led to their victory.

Sacramento will finish their season on the road in Houston against the Rockets. Cousins will once again not play, so expect Koufos to get playing time once again. And whether or not Rondo plays, Curry must get more minutes in the season finale to to see his development as he continues to set career highs.