picture credit: NBAE– Minnesota Timberwolves Karl Anthony Towns (32) goes up on the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night
SACRAMENTO- The Kings had to play without DeMarcus Cousins after he injured his right knee in Monday’s contest in Chicago. As the Kings headed into tonight’s game, the team has struggled all season when he hasn’t suited up. Without the All Star center in the lineup, the Timberwolves looked to capitalize on that with their rookie center Karl Anthony Towns.
Towns had a huge game as DMC watched from the sidelines. The missing presence of Cousins in the middle allowed Minnesota to score a total of 64 points in the paint.
Sacramento was able to stay in the game for most of the game thanks to Rajon Rondo. Rondo totaled 14 points in the first quarter alone for his highest total in a quarter all season. The point guard kept the Kings in a good position all through the first half, as the T-Wolves led 50-48.
Minnesota broke it open in the third quarter as the the T-Wolves shot 70% from the field in the quarter. Sacramento was unable to play tough defense and allowed their opponent to out score them by ten in the quarter. Minnesota would lead 84-72 to end the the third.
The Kings did however try to make a come back to start the fourth. They were able to go on a 15-5 run and get the score to within two points at 89-87. But Minnesota was able to hit A 6-0 run and open their lead back up. After getting back ahead, the T-Wolves never looked back and won by nine, 113-104.
The Kings turned the ball over 17 times, which led to 22 points for Minnesota. Towns totaled 26 points and 11 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine both added 23 more as the T-Wolves shot 56.3%. The Kings turnovers cost them the gave as they did get some good production out of other players. Kosta Koufus scored 15 points and grabbed 15 boards for a double double as he started in place of Cousins . Rondo finished with a team high 25 points and added 8 rebounds and 12 assists.
The three young Minnesota players dominated the Kings offensively and Sacramento missed DMC’s presence. With the season winding down, it could be interesting to see if the Kings can win a couple ball games for pride maybe just want to get a better lottery pick.
The Kings will head back to Sacramento after their 4 game road trip. They’ve struggled at home in the past month, but hopefully the team can pull out a couple more wins as the arena’s days come to an end. The Kings take on the Suns at home on Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m.
Sacramento – Here are words you have not heard often this season – the Sacramento Kings waltzed their way to a win on Saturday afternoon destroying the Phoenix Suns 142-119.
The win ended a 3-game losing streak for the Kings. It was the eighth consecutive loss for the Suns (12-24) who have to play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Kings (13-20) led by as many as 17 points in the first half but the Suns would not go down for the count. Phoenix outscored the Kings 35-28 in the second quarter and looked like they were ready to make a game of it.
At the half, the Kings led the Suns 59-53.
Sacramento came out in the third quarter looking like a team that was ready to put away their opponent. The Suns kept fighting and took the lead with 8:16 to go in the period. The Kings took the lead back off a Rudy Gay dunk with an assist from Casspi and they never looked back.
By the end of the third quarter, the Kings led the Suns 103-87 and every one in the building knew the fourth quarter would be a formality.
The Kings kept the hammer down in the fourth quarter outscoring the Suns 39-32. There was even a Willie Cauley-Stein sighting late in the game. Cauley-Stein played for the first time in almost a month due to a dislocated finger. The big rookie scored the first time he had the ball in his hands.
On Saturday, the Kings did what they should have done to Philadelphia on Wednesday night. They beat an inferior team and protected their home court. Sacramento is now 9-9 at home this season.
George Karl pointed to the play of Darren Collison as one of the main reasons the Kings beat the Suns. Collison came of the bench and scored 21 points hitting on 7-of-10 shooting attempts (2-for-4 3-pointers). He dished out six assists and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in his 28 minutes of playing time.
DeMarcus Cousins had a positive outing scoring 32 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The big man shot 11-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Cousins spent a great deal of time in the paint and it payed off for the Kings as the Suns could not stop him.
Rajon Rondo posted another double-double game. He scored 15 points and distributed 15 assists in just 30 minutes on the floor. Rondo continues to amaze with his rebounding ability. He had six rebounds in the game with many coming at crucial moments for the Kings.
Marco Belinelli followed up his 28-point performance against the Sixers with 19 points versus the Suns. Belinelli shot 7-for-11 from the floor (2-for-5 long range) and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the foul line.
Omri Casspi had another solid game as a starter for Sacramento. He put up 13 points and hauled in seven rebounds in his 29 minutes on the floor. It is hard to see Casspi not staying in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.
As a team, the Kings shot 60.9-percent from the field. They hit on 9-of-23 3-point attempts (39.1-percent). Sacramento outscored the Suns 60-32 in the paint.
Sacramento out-rebounded Phoenix 46-25. The Kings scored 14 second chance points to just nine for the Suns.
The Kings also took good care of the basketball. They turned the ball over 15 times while recording 30 assists for the desired 2-to-1 ratio.
No statistic of the game may be more important than the eighth consecutive loss for the Suns. If the Suns lose to the Lakers on Sunday, it is very conceivable that Jeff Hornacek will not be the Phoenix coach on Monday. The Suns have already replaced two of their assistant coaches.
Brandon Knight led the Suns scoring attack with 23 points. Rookie Devin Booker had an impressive game putting up 21 points for Phoenix.
The Suns had six players score in double figures.
Phoenix just could not match the Kings play in the paint and it cost them the game.
The win over the Suns gave Kings head coach George Karl his 1115th NBA regular season victory. That ties him for fifth all-time with Phil Jackson.
When asked how it felt to tie Jackson on the all-time wins list Karl said, “Its a good, fun thing with my family. My son, my daughter, my son-in-law and my staff, we joke about it all the time. As I said to you before, he’s a great coach, he’s maybe the best. I don’t know what our record is against him, but I’m pretty sure it not very good. I know its not very good in the playoffs, but it might be decent in the regular season.”
What they said after the game
“One thing I just said after the game was we had two really good days of practice,” said Karl. “The effort in the second half, DC (Darren Collison) was incredible. It was effort. I’m not sure it was pretty. I’m not sure it was conceptually excellent. It was just effort. I’m just an old school guy that believes that effort magnifies talent.”
‘Oh it’s huge, it’s huge,” said Darren Collison on the victory. “We were embarrassed by the losses we had previously. We were able to get a win. It always feels good to get a win especially when you (have to) go on the road.”
Rajon Rondo made it clear that only the press is making his return to Dallas a big deal. He said it is just another road game.
He’s been coaching a long, long time,” said Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek about George Karl. “I played against him so he’s been there a long time. He’s always done a great job with his teams. They’ve always been high-scoring, high-flying teams and with the talent they have on the this team, they got them playing that way tonight. He’s one of those great coaches of all time with the amount of wins he’s racked up.”
The Kings will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday and the Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday.
The Suns play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Sacramento Kings committed four turnovers in their first seven possessions on Sunday night versus the Portland Trail Blazers. By the end of the game, the Kings had turned the ball over 23 times.
The Kings lack of value for the ball clearly frustrated their coach and he said so after the game.
“The first four turnovers were crazy. The beginning of the game was crazy,” said George Karl in his postgame press conference. “We’re trying to throw Aaron Rodgers passes in the window from 30 feet. It’s basketball! You’re supposed to throw a pass that has a 95 – maybe 98-percent chance of getting completed.”
Karl was brutally honest about his team’s performance. “We’ve got to value possessions. I don’t think we’re a talented enough basketball team not to put more value on every possession we play on both ends of the floor.”
Karl ended the press conference by standing and saying, “I’m done. I’m frustrated.” Then, the Kings head man walked back to his office.
The situation does not get easier for the Kings who have to travel to Oakland for a Monday night game with the Golden State Warriors. The Kings need to show a concerted effort versus the Warriors or there will be hell to pay from Karl.
The Kings have two home games following the Golden State contest. Philadelphia comes in on Wednesday and Phoenix visits Sacramento on Sunday. Those two games are really must wins for the Kings. The Sixers and Suns are the type of teams the Kings have to beat if the playoffs are even a remote possibility.
Returning to action for the first time since their winning streak came to an abrupt end, the Golden State Warriors resumed their winning ways with a dominating 128-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.
With three days of rest under their belt, the Warriors had to shake off some first quarter rust, shooting under 40 percent from the field while playing in to the Suns’ strategy of making the contest more of a derby race than a basketball game. The result was a first quarter marathon that saw 50 total shots hoisted up between the two teams, with the Suns assuming a two-point advantage over the Warriors at the end of the first.
But the Warriors would not stay down for long, cleaning up their play on both sides of the ball while dictating the flow of the game in the second quarter to take a 13-point lead heading into the locker room. It would be the last time the Suns were even in contention.
The Warriors started the second half with a scorching offensive display, led by Klay Thompson, who scored 27 of his game-high 43 points in the third quarter. Steph Curry backed up his teammate with a mini-clinic of his own, putting through 13 points of his own to further the Warriors lead. The two Splash Brothers combined for 40 of the Warriors 46 third quarter points, effectively shutting the door on the Suns before the final frame even commenced.
Not to be outdone by their backcourt mates, Golden State’s big-men also got the job done for the Warriors in their dominating third quarter outburst. C Andrew Bogut continued to gobble up boards en-route to his 12-rebound night, while Draymond Green produced his fourth triple-double of the season by the sound of the whistle. He would finish the night with 16 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds.
With no answer for the Warriors dominance on both ends of the court, the Suns were outscored 79-37 during the middle portion of the night’s contest, paving way for what was essentially a victory lap of a fourth quarter.
The Suns would come out shooting, putting up a game-high 38 points in the final quarter, but it would be too little, too late, as the Warriors would put the cap on the beginning of a possible new win-streak.
In a game between the league’s number one -the Warriors- and number three- the Suns- three point shooting teams, it was Golden State who used the deep ball to their advantage, scoring 45 of their points from behind the arc on 15 of 32 shooting. The Suns were uncharacteristically bad from downtown, putting through just 5 of their 22 attempts while trying to play catch up.
With the win, the Warriors were able to keep alive at least one winning streak, as they’ve now won 29 straight games at Oracle Arena. Ominously enough, the Milwaukee Bucks- who were responsible for snapping the Warriors 24 game streak on Saturday- will come to Oracle Arena on Friday to face Golden State for the second time in under a week.
With both a balanced scoring attack and, perhaps more importantly, a solid defensive outing, the Sacramento Kings earned their fourth straight victory on Wednesday night as they beat the Phoenix Suns 108-99 at US AirwaysCenter.
Sacramento had seven players score in double figures, including all five starters, while leading the Suns throughout the entire game. DeMarcus Cousins led the charge for Sacramento with a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds with an efficient 11-of-19 shooting from the field.
But while the Kings balanced scoring efficiency is sure to excite some fans, tonight’s battle was won on the other side of the ball, as Sacramento held the usually hot-shooting Suns to under 100 points. Sacramento, who holds the second worst defensive ranking in the NBA by allowing 105.1 points per game, held Phoenix to just 43.7 percent shooting on the night, including a measly 24 percent from beyond the arc.
The game wasn’t a cake-walk for Sacramento though, as a late Phoenix surge brought the Suns to within striking range in the fourth quarter after pulling to within five points with just under five minutes left in the game. But shooting guard Ben McLemore scored six of his 12 points on two consecutive three pointers to extend the cushion for Sacramento heading into the final minutes.
Although the fourth quarter would be the only time that Phoenix would outscore the Kings, the comeback attempt was too little and too late, as Sacramento would hold on for their fourth straight win while advancing their road record to 10-24.
Not only does Wednesday night’s victory improve an abysmal road victory, but it gives the Kings a semi-respectable 8-11 record since George Karl took command of the club. The victory also secured their first season series win over Phoenix since the 2010-11 season.
The Suns will look to continue their hot-streak against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
OAKLAND — Stephen Curry finished with 25 points and Klay Thompson scored 22 points to help the Golden State Warriors stop a two-game losing streak with a 106-87 win over the Phoenix Suns Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
“We got back to our style of basketball,” said Curry, who combined with Thompson shot 19-for-30 from the floor. “We we’re slumping a little bit and wasn’t playing well, so this was big for us.”
Harrison Barnes added 13 points and eight rebounds, Leandro Barbosa scored 14, and Andre Iguodala finished with 12 points for Golden State (37-8), who shook off a sluggish start where the missed their first 10 shots of the game.
Daymond Green fell one point short of a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing 11 rebounds. During one timeout, Green was heard telling teammates, “we got to get our focus back and play better.”
Phoenix jumped out to a 40-28 lead midway through the second quarter, but rallied to close out the frame to take a 52-51 lead into halftime and never looked back.
After finding themselves down by 12 to Phoenix, Golden State outscored the Suns 78-47 the rest of the way that proved to be difference.
Golden State’s 15-2 run midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the difference for the Warriors, who got back into the win column.
“Great effort by our guys tonight,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “The defensive effort in the second half was tremendous. We closed out on the shooters, got into passing lanes, got back on track.”
Golden State shot 46 percent from the floor (40-for-87), while holding one of the NBA’s best scoring teams to well under their 100 points per game average and 36 percent shooting (33-for-91).
The Warriors had seven players with two or more assists led by Curry’s seven.
Phoenix did get the best of Golden State on the glass, outrebounding the Warriors 52-44.
“We have great passers on our team,” said Barbosa. “It helped the team and we were able to get the ball moving and played better tonight.”
Markieff Morris had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Eric Bledsoe finished with 16 points for Phoenix (28-21) just fell apart in the second half.
Goran Dragic scored 10 points and Isaiah Thomas added 13 points. Phoenix shot 35 percent on 3s (9-for-26).
The Warriors improved to 22-2 at Oracle Arena this season. With a 12-3 record in January, it was Golden State’s best January since the 1974-75 season.
Golden State heads up to Sacramento Tuesday to take on the Kings.
OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors went on a 21-2 run (38-17 overall) in the third quarter and held on tight, picking up their fourth straight win 113-107 over the Phoenix Suns Sunday night in front of sold out 19,596 fans at Oracle Arena.
David Lee finished with game-highs of 26 points and nine rebounds on 11 for 18 in 37 minutes, and looked tremendous attacking the basket. Klay Thompson scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Thompson was 9 for 15 from the field, including 4 for 6 on 3s.
Stephen Curry added 18 points and a game-high nine assists on 7 for 16 from the field while dealing with a strained right quad. Golden State shot a blistering 52.9-percent from the field (45 for 85), while the bench outscored Phoenix’s bench, 36-28.
Draymond Green was the high-man for Golden State off the bench with 13 points.
Phoenix had no answer for Golden State inside, allowing the Warriors to hold a 50-36 edge in points in the paint.
Gerald Green had 25 points and six rebounds, while backcourt mate Goran Dragic added 24 and six assists for Phoenix (36-26), who drop into a tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
With the win, Golden State (40-24) improves to 9-2 since the All-Star break, and moves two games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks (38-26) for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.
Golden State hosts Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on Tuesday.
PHOENIX — With the Suns clinging to a 104-102 lead with seven minutes in the fourth quarter, Goran Dragic was relentless Saturday night, scoring 13 of his career-high 34 points in the final frame, steering Phoenix to a 122-109 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors Saturday night.
Phoenix (30-21) moves a half-game ahead of the Warriors (30-21) for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, and dropping Golden State to third in the Pacific Division.
Dragic who many people believed should’ve been voted an All-Star this season, played like one, shooting 10-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Dragic was outstanding from the free throw line, finishing 8-for-10 and dished out 10 assists.
Gerald Green scored 25 points and five rebounds, while P.J. Tucker finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Morris had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, Channing Frye finished with 13 points, and Miles Plumlee 12 points and seven rebounds.
Playing without center Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and power forward David Lee (shoulder/hip), Stephen Curry led Golden State with 28 points and nine assists in 41 minutes of action. Curry shot 10-for-30 from the field, and 3-for-10 from deep.
Harrison Barnes had his best game to date, scoring 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting. It was Barnes’s first 20-point game since Dec. 13.
Klay Thompson had 17 points, Andre Iguodala scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Jermaine O’Neal finished with 11 points.
With both Bogut and Lee sitting out the game, Phoenix out-rebounded Golden State 45-34.
Golden State will look to rebound at home Monday, when they will host the Philadelphia 76ers (15-36).
The Golden State Warriors burned the Phoenix Suns 115-86 Friday night at Oracle Arena, torching the visitors from the desert to their largest margin of defeat this season. Red-hot Warriors point guard Stephen Curry established career-highs in rebounds (13) and assists (16) against Phoenix (17-11) en route to his third career triple-double and Klay Thompson notched a game-high 21 points for Golden State (18-13) on the heels of a 105-103 Christmas Day victory over the Clippers, the Dubs’ fourth consecutive win.
Warriors forward David Lee ended the night with seven baskets on ten attempts for 17 points while Thompson was nine of eleven from the field including a pair of threes for his 21-point contribution. Curry’s 14 points in 33:33 of playing time capped the career night for the guard, who became the seventh player in team history with at least three triple-double performances. His 13 rebounds were also a game-best, with the Warriors winning the battle of the boards 56-41. Suns guard P.J. Tucker’s 11 points and 12 rebounds made him the only player on the visiting side finishing in the double-digits in either scoring or boards. The Suns made a dismal 36% of shots attempted.
The lead changed four times in the game, but every change occurred during the first 3:33 of play. Ultimately, The Warriors ended the first quarter leading 28-22 before outscoring the Suns 31-18 for a 59-40 lead at the half. Golden State coasted to the win by outscoring Phoenix 26-24 in the third and capping off the contest with a 30-22 final frame for the final 115-86 margin.
Golden State seeks to move to a season-high five-straight wins when they travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers Sunday afternoon for a 3:00 pm showdown. It’s the first meeting between these two squads this season.
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.