Draymond Green’s summer gets worse

by Michael Martinez

Not too long ago, everything looked up for Draymond Green. The Warriors were so close to repeating as champions, but an ill tempered mistake by the All Star seemed to change the series as the Cavs went on to win three in a row.

And after the tough loss, Green found himself in headlines for all the wrong reasons. Green was arrested, but did reach a plea agreement to pay a small fine. Green got out of that situation fine, but now he’s back in the news for yet another mistake.

As Green traveled with team USA, who appear to be having a lot of fun, the Warriors forward put out a NSFW picture on his Snapchat story. At first, Green claimed he had been hacked. However, the 2016 Olympian confessed that he had accidentally shared the photo publicly, while it had been meant to be sent privately.

“It was a situation where it was meant to be a private message,” Green said. “I kinda hit the wrong button and it sucks. It was meant to be private. We’re all one click away from placing something in the wrong place, and I suffered from that this morning.”

Green’s teammates for this summer’s Olympics have given him a lot of grief for the incident. The Warriors sure hope Green can turn it around, but it seems this is more of an embarrassment for Green than anything. But as a professional athlete, he has to be extremely careful especially with social media.

For Green’s sanity, he’ll hope that everyone’s expectations are met as team USA should dominate in international play. Maybe a gold medal will make Green’s summer a little better. Then again, Green is just thankful for where he is.

“To say I can’t catch a break I think that’s disrespectful for everybody,” he said. “How many people get to live their dreams? I’m not going to sit here and throw myself a pity party and say I can’t catch a break. I’m fine. I get to joke around with these guys all day and get to do what I love for my country. I’m fine. I’m fine.”

Warriors second half struggles lead to Game 6 loss

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

At the half, the score was tied at 61. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James each had a tremendous first half, but Klay Thompson kept the Warriors right in it.

Out of the half, James and Irving continued playing great on the offensive end of the court while the Warriors began to struggle. The Cavs shot over 60 percent from the field in the third quarter while the Warriors shot 29 percent.

And then in the fourth quarter, Cleveland only shot 42.1 percent but Golden State shot an abysmal 23.8 percent. After things had been close and both teams played tough, James and Irving kept playing like great players do in elimination games.

As Draymond Green was suspended from game 5, it seems as if James took advantage of facing anyone else but Green. Andrew Bogut also came out early in the third quarter with a knee injury, which effected the Warriors defensive presence.

In place of Green, Andre Iguodala had a solid game finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Thompson finished with a team high of 37 points as the forward was 11 for 20 from the field with six threes. Thompson was nine of nine from the charity stripe.

MVP Steph Curry scored 25, but the James and Irving were simply too much.

James and Irving became the first pair of teammates to score 40 or more points in a Finals game. With Kevin Love playing poorly, the duo was the reason Cleveland is sending the series to a game 6.

James and Irving scored 41 points apiece. James grabbed 16 rebounds and tallied seven assists shooting 16-30 from the field. James’ jumper looked smooth and the Warriors had no answer on the defensive end.

Irving also had six assists and incredibly knocked down  17 of 24 shots from the field.

As the final horn sounded, the Cavs defeated Golden State 112-97. Cleveland shot 53 percent from the field for the game and the Warriors just shot over 36 percent.

Tonight, the Warriors struggled to find their shot from beyond the arc, which is usually how they take the lead and maintain it.

Heading back to Cleveland, the Warriors should be excited to get after it in hopes of grabbing their second championship in as many years. Golden State will have Green back and more news is to come regarding Bogut.

The Warriors are going to need to find an answer to stop either James or Irving because if both play as well as they did it’s going to make difficult to finish off the series.

Tune in to ABC on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT and be prepared to watch a game full of offensive flurry. Golden State will look to try and finish off their historic season with the greatest prize the NBA has to offer.

Historic season not over yet, Dubs back in the NBA Finals

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Down in the Western Conference Finals three games to one, the Golden State Warriors looked lost, worn out and defeated. While the Oklahoma City Thunder seemed unstoppable and their path to the NBA Finals appeared clear.

But did people forget that this Warriors team won a record setting 73 games? If anybody could come back down three games for just the tenth time in league history, it would be these guys. And the Warriors showed their resiliency and in game seven their fearless leader, Steph Curry showed that his second MVP selection, an unanimous decision, was no fluke.

The best player on the planet and his team defeated the Thunder, 96-88, in a tough game 7.

The first quarter was all Thunder as their defense was relentless and made Golden State take tough shots. The Warriors only scored 19 points, while Kevin Durant looked to be locked in. Oklahoma City showed up in the first and gave the impression that they had forgotten about the past two games.

However, the second quarter was different and the Warriors went back to what they do best, shooting the three ball. Klay Thompson got off to a rough 0 for 7 start, but knocked down four triples in the second to help his team cut the Thunder’s lead, who looked poised to take a big lead.

At the half, OKC led Golden State, 48-42 and out of the half, the MVP reigned supreme.

Curry made three big triples in the third and the Warriors played tremendous defense. The defending champs outscored the Thunder, 29-12, in the third quarter. The third quarter was the turning point and the home team never looked back.

While Curry had a solid third quarter, his clutch performance in the fourth proved why he is currently the best player in the NBA. Curry went 5-6 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc for 15 fourth quarter points. Curry absolutely went off and made the big shots when the Thunder tried to make a come back of their own late in the game.

The Warriors lived by the three in tonight’s game, shooting 45.9 percent from behind the three point line. Their defense also did a great job of not allowing Durant the ball and holding their opponents to a shooting percentage of 38.2 percent.

Durant did finish with 27 points on 10 of 19 from the field for a team high and Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. But Westbrook had difficulty shooting as he went 7 of 21 on the night.

Curry finished with a game high 36 points, hitting 13 fields goals on 24 tries with seven of those field goals coming from three point range. The Warriors win was definitely a collective effort as the team had to come together strong to make this incredible series come back. Thompson ended the game with 21 points of his own as the Splash Brothers once again guided their team to one of the franchise’s most important victories.

The Warriors spent a ton of energy on winning this series and that could be a factor as their next task begins on Thursday. But, the Warriors are headed to back to back finals. They have a player who won back to back MVP trophies. And now, repeating as champions is in plain sight.

The Cavs and LeBron James look better than the team the Warriors saw last year, but again do not count out the Western Conference Champions. History is unfolding right in front of our eyes, can the Warriors be historical once again?

Tune in to ABC on June 2 at 6 p.m, where Golden State and Curry will take on James and company at Oracle Arena in front of a rambunctious Oakland crowd.


Thunder roll past Warriors in game 3

by Michael Martinez

After the Warriors 27 point blow out win in game 2, the momentum seemed to be in there in Golden State’s favor.

But the Oklahoma City Thunder made it seem like that game was in the very far past.

While the first quarter was close, OKC broke things open in the second quarter thanks  to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The big key for the Thunder in the game was that they were able to get to the free throw line and get easy points. In the second quarter alone, the Thunder went 17 of 18 from the charity stripe.

As everything went right for the Thunder, everything went abysmal for the Warriors who shot 22.6% from the field in the second quarter. Golden State also only made two three pointers in the quarter.

At the half, the Thunder led 72-45 and the third quarter was no different. Golden State showed a little more offensive life, but were still outscored by their opponent. The Thunder took their biggest lead in the game in the third quarter, going up by 41 points at one point in the game.

Golden State scored more than OKC in the fourth quarter, but it was a very lost cause. Oklahoma City blew out the defending world champs in dominate fashion. Durant and Westbrook both had huge games and the Thunder shot 50% from the field for the game.

Westbrook neared a triple double with 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Durant scored a game high 33 points and eight assists while going 10-15 from the field. The two All Stars played really well and collectively as a whole the Thunder played well.

Steph Curry had a team high for the Warriors with 24 points and Klay Thompson added 18. The Warriors just looked flat and were completely outplayed.

Draymond Green was not a factor in the game at all, which played a role in why the Warriors did poorly. Green also picked up a flagrant one foul after kicking Steven Adams in the groin, which he claims was inadvertent.

Whether it was or not, my guess is that Green will not pick up a suspension for the foul. In the end, the Thunder defeated Golden State, 133-105. OKC’s blowout victory was a point more than the Warriors game two win. After everybody thought the Warriors would have the momentum, Oklahoma City struck right back.

Can Durant and Westbrook continue their incredible play? With the Warriors down two games to one in the series, they will look to try to even the series on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on TNT.

Warriors send Rockets packing in dominating fashion

by Michael Martinez

picture credit CBS 46 Atlanta

Well, Steph Curry did not play and yet the Warriors showed why they made history for the best record in NBA history. Normally, a team without their star player has a lot to worry about. The Warriors showed no problems minus the reigning MVP and proved why they are the team to beat besides the fact their last year’s champs. Golden State annihilated the Houston Rockets in a 114-81 victory at Oracle Arena.

Let’s be honest, there’s not much to say about this game. The game went exactly as most would have figured given that the Warriors routed Houston in game four and not to mention they’re the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors played great, the Rockets played atrociously, which is a recipe for disaster. The Warriors played with great togetherness and to nobody’s surprise, they shot out of this world. Golden State made it look easy as they finished with a 54.9 shooting percentage while Houston could not find a way to score with a 32.6 shooting percentage. Golden State played solid defense as they forced 18 turnovers for 25 points.

James Harden was the only Rockets’ player to show any offensive life finishing with 35 points. Besides Harden, Michael Beasley was the only other Houston player to finish the game in double figures.

Klay Thompson did his best to fill Curry’s shoes and finished with 27 points. Thompson knocked down seven buckets from behind the arc on 11 shots and finished 10 of 14 from the field overall. Draymond Green was tremendous overall as usual and totaled 15 points, grabbed nine boards and dropped eight dimes.

Shaun Livingston had a good game on offense as well and scored 16 points on seven of eight shooting. The Warriors looked just as good as they always are and bounced the Rockets out of the playoffs.

Throughout the game, Curry showed incredible excitement from the bench and supported his teammates like no other. And this is why the Warriors are so dangerous, they have some of the greatest team chemistry I have witnessed in my lifetime.

The Warriors won the series and only allowed the Rockets to win one game, which came down to the wire.

Golden State will either face the Los Angeles Clippers who are without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or the Portland Trailblazers. Portland won game five in their series to go up 3-2 and it appears like they will be Golden State’s semifinal opponent.

Whoever the Warriors play, fans are hopeful that Curry can make his way back into the playoffs. But, with the way Golden State played tonight, let Curry take as much time as he needs to get ready for the Western Conference Finals. I am knocking on wood though, so the whole Bay Area doesn’t freak out on me and say I jinxed them.


Sacramento Kings Friday night game wrap: Kings second half come back falls short

by Michael Martinez

picture credit USA Today

SACRAMENTO- The Kings had a horrendous defensive first half, giving up 39 first quarter points and 66 in the half. 66 points for the Heat in the first half was their season high and Sacramento looked doomed. The game looked very out of reach for the Kings when they were down by 24 points a little over halfway through the third quarter.

But the Kings found their stride and played tough defense in the second half. The Kings turned things on, especially in the fourth quarter with big offensive production from Darren Collison who had 11 fourth quarter points. Seth Curry was big as well with nine points in the quarter.

Sacramento was able to cut the lead to one with a minute and a half remaining as the crowd got louder. A surprising turn of events made a blow out into an incredible come back. As the Kings played tough defense and worked on double teaming and trapping Heat players, they left Luol Deng wide open for a corner three. Deng sunk the three with 45 second left to go and put the Heat up by six. Ultimately, the three would be the dagger as the Kings were unable to complete their valiant effort of trying to win their third straight at home.

Once again, the Kings lose a game with DeMarcus Cousins not playing in the game as he was suspended by the NBA for his 16 technical of the season. The Kings first half mishap cost them the game as they gave up 20 first half points to Gerald Green who started in place of Dwayne Wade. Green finished the game with a game high 30 points.

Collison scored 26 points for the Kings as he played while Rajon Rondo sat out for most of the second half. Curry matched his career high with 21 points as he continues to play well for Sacramento. The Kings defense forced ten second half turnovers, but the Heat’s first half was too much.

The Kings will head to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets tomorrow. Sacramento will be without Cousins in tomorrow night’s game as he will not play in road games for the rest of the season. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

Golden State Warriors Wednesday post game wrap: The Warriors continue to win at home, defeat the Utah Jazz

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors continued to win at home Wednesday night. They beat the Utah Jazz by a score of 115-94. It was the Warriors 28th straight win at home this season and 46th in a row. The  Warriors leader and best player, Steph Curry, scored just twelve points in the game. He did make three three-point shots and one he made at the first half was the turning point in the game. The Jazz’ only hope to win the game was to slow down the pace of play and they were successful at it for most of the first half.  The Dubs led by two 23-21  at the end of the first period. The Dubs just couldn’t get their game going until late in the second period. Steph made two threes to put Golden State in the lead by eleven at the end of the half 52-41. Steph made a three-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer to send the Dubs into the locker room to ignite the crowd and the team.

The story of the second half and the game was the impressive performance of the bench as well as starter Draymond Green. Green , who had been a shooting funk, knocked down seventeen points to go with five assists, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots. The other half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, led the Dubs with twenty-three. Mo Speights, Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao all were terrific off the bench. Speights had sixteen points, four assists, and five rebounds. Barbosa pitched in with thirteen and Varejao added nine. The bench accounted for fifty-three points in the win.

Notes- Steph had ten assists and the Dubs recorded thirty-six assists in total for the game. Leading scorers for Utah were Trey Burke with eighteen off the bench and Rudy Gobert had fifteen rebounds.

The Warriors improved to 57-6 for the season and are looking forward to meeting the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night at the Oracle Arena.

Kings clip Hawks wings to win fourth straight

by Michael Martinez

Photo by Steve Yeater/ AP Photo

SACRAMENTO – No Rudy Gay tonight, no problem. The Kings found a way to close out a game, even though they were up by 17 at one point. The team played well together, at least the starters did. The team shot poorly, but showed toughness and tenacity. With a half game lead over the Utah Jazz, the Kings looked to win a fourth straight over the Atlanta Hawks at Sleep Train Arena.

The first quarter was a back and forth contest but once again the Kings dominated the paint, helping them maintain a lead for most of the quarter. DeMarcus Cousins got off to a great start as he totaled 11 points and crashed the glass hard with eight rebounds. The Kings passed the ball well throughout the quarter by using the extra pass to find the best shot. Every starter scored in the quarter.

The Kings finished the quarter with nine assists, five of those assists coming from the smooth hands of Rajon Rondo. The team played much better defense as well causing four turnovers, but left Kyle Korver open on a couple occasions for two three point field goals. Willie Cauley-Stein’s presence was felt as he limited Paul Millsap to two points. Cauley-Stein’s tremendous athleticism has improved the team’s overall defense quite a bit. Sacramento totaled 16 boards to Atlanta’s six and finished the quarter ahead of the Hawks, 27-20.

In the second quarter, the Kings struggled mightily, shooting the ball at 30.4% and got off to a slow start. Luckily, the Hawks did not shoot that well either as both teams had very little offense. Cauley-Stein scored six in the quarter and finished with eight points in the quarter adding seven rebounds. Cousins finished the quarter with a double double, 13 points and 10 boards.

The Kings offense was disappointing in the quarter due to little ball movement. After doing a great job in the first, the ball stopped moving and the Kings players seemed to play a little too much one on one. As the Kings hit the glass hard, their dominance on the boards gave them nine second chance points in the first half. Boogie had a game high of 13 points in the half but nine turnovers helped the Hawks cut down the Kings lead to 3 at the half. Heading into the locker room, Sacramento led Atlanta 47-44. Millsap had a team high for the Hawks with nine points.

Out of the break, the Kings struck first but the Hawks answered quickly going up 50-49. The Kings then got some fire under their belts, going on a 18-0 run. The run started with a free throw by Boogie to tie up the game and the team kept going from there. Sacramento ran the court extremely well with nine fast break points.

The crowd went nuts when Ben McLemore hit a three pointer and took a bump, completing a four point play and putting up a 9-0 run. Casspi then hit a three pointer, followed by a Rondo lay up. The Hawks tried to end the run when Dennis Schröder had a fast break lay up, but DMC blocked him. The run was capped off with an awesome alley-oop pass from Rondo to McLemore that caused a thunderous roar throughout the arena.

The Hawks called a timeout and the Kings momentum dwindled. The Hawks ended the quarter on a 13-5 run after the time out, giving the Kings a 72-63 lead. The Kings ball movement was once again terrific, totaling seven team assists. Both teams still did not shoot well, the Hawks shot a miserable 35% in the quarter and the Kings defense helped them break out. The team caused seven turnovers for 14 of their 25 quarter points.

Up by nine to start the fourth quarter, the Kings needed a gritty, gutsy performance to hold on to the eight seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento did show guts, but the second unit allowed the Hawks to hang around and make the game really close. The second unit had little ball movement and the team shot an awful 25% for the quarter. The Hawks were able to kick off the quarter with a 10-2 run and Cousins stopped the bleeding with a lay up.

As the quarter moved along, Kent Bazemore tied the game up at 80 with a little under six minutes remaining, but Omri Casspi answered with a three pointer. The Kings ball movement faded once again. Korver hit a three pointer to take the lead down to 1, 86-85. With 41.3 seconds remaining, Cauley-Stein was fouled and made two big free throws to go up 88-85.

“Y’all’s guess is as good [as] mine” Cauley-Stein said when asked about the last time he made back to back free throws.

After the free throws, the Hawks got down the court and Schröder made a big shot beyond the arc to tie the game up at 88 with 28.5 seconds left. The Kings took a time out and it appeared that Coach George Karl drew up the perfect play. Rondo pushed the ball inside to Cous, who dumped it off and set a pick to give Rondo a wide open lay up for a 90-88 lead with 12.9 seconds to go. Out of Atlanta’s time out, Millsap lost the ball straight into Casspi’s hands who called a time out with 3.3 left.

Darren Collison got the ball in the back court from Rondo and was fouled with 1.9 left. Collison missed the first free throw, but made the second. Atlanta took another time out and on the in bound pass it appeared Cauley-Stein tipped the ball to cause another turn over to end the game. Cauley-Stein’s length and defense helped end the game and all those turn overs caught up to the Hawks. The Kings won, 91-88, and heard loud cheers from the fans who brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The crowd played a huge role in helping the Kings pull through and close out an important game.

19 turnovers and a 35.4 shooting percentage should have resulted in a loss for the Kings, but they showed heart and found a way to pull through. Cauley-Stein finished with his second consecutive and career double double, 12 points and 11 boards. Cousins totaled 24 points and 15 rebounds for a ninth game in a row.

“Just playing hard,” Cauley-Stein said when asked about his second double double.

WCS also preached about playing for his teammates giving him the motivation to play at such a high level and with such intensity.

Rondo notched his fifth triple double on the season with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Rondo tied Chris Webber for the most triple doubles in a season by a Kings player in the Sacramento era and we are not even at the All Star break.

“Man, he got the triple double because of me,” Cousins said with a laugh.

“The impact he has on games is incredible, I’m glad I can go to war with him” Boogie said.

Without one of their big three, Rondo and Cousins pulled out all the stops and meshed well together. Cauley-Stein was also a huge factor and McLemore stepped up to finish with 14 points. The Kings hit the glass hard and played big over a small Atlanta team with 56 rebounds to Atlanta’s 42. The Hawks only led by two at the beginning of the game and Sacramento proved why they deserve to be in the playoff hunt. The Kings now hold a game lead over the Jazz for the eighth seed and are two back of the Houston Rockets for the seventh spot.

This Saturday, the Kings will take on the Indiana Pacers and All Star starter Paul George at home to go for a fifth straight win.

Santa comes early: Kings hold on to defeat Pacers, 108-106.

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Google Images

After breaking down in the 4th quarter against the Washington Wizards this past Monday, the Kings looked to go .500 on their 4 game road trip. The Kings looked solid in the first half, but a dismal 3rd quarter performance by the team pushed momentum into the Indiana Pacers favor. The 4th quarter turned out to be a doozy and the Kings were able to close out the game, proving they are slowly figuring out how to finish albeit in ugly fashion. Although the Kings were a bit careless with the ball, the Kings picked up the win over the Pacers, 108-106. The Kings passed the ball well, out rebounded the Pacers and scored in the paint at will to pick up the victory.

With the 1st quarter underway, The Kings started the scoring with Rajon Rondo getting the ball inside to DeMarcus Cousins for a nice catch and finish. The team was a bit sloppy early on and that led to the Pacers going on a 10-4 run to start the game. The Kings regained the momentum, coming out of the time out and Rondo had a terrific quarter passing the ball. Rondo totaled 8 assists in the quarter and scored 9 points on 4-6 shooting. Rondo highlighted the quarter as he through a smooth bounce pass between 3 Pacers defenders to Ben McLemore for a lay up.  There was a scary moment in the quarter when Cousins fell on top of McLemore on the defensive end after contesting a shot, but both players continued to play. Rondo also had a sweet assist to Collison on a fast break opportunity. Rondo was the high scorer for the team who went 14-25 from the field, shooting 56%. The high percentage came off of 28 points in the paint to the Pacers 6. The Pacers stayed in the game thanks to George Hill who shot 4-6 from the field, 3-4 from 3 point range and totaled 11 points for the quarter high. The Kings did outscored the Pacers, 30-27, in the first quarter with Rondo filling up the stat sheet early on.

The 2nd quarter got underway with Marco Belinelli hitting a jumper. Darren Collison followed it up with a jumper of his own and Omri Casspi nailed a 3 pointer as the Kings went up by 8 early in the quarter. The Kings started doing a much better job on the defensive end by holding the Pacers to a shooting percentage of 34.8% and Collison had a terrific quarter off the bench. The Kings guard put up 13 points on 6-7 shooting. The guard finished the half with 15 points, 7-9 from the field, adding 2 assists. The Kings continued crashing the boards hard, with 18 rebounds in the quarter and 31 in the half. Big Cous attacked the hoop hard and went 5-6 from the charity strip, 3-6 from the field and had 11 points in the 2nd, 18 for the half with 12 rebounds. Rondo also had a double-double at the half, 11 points and 10 assists. After Cousins was called for a blocking foul which appeared to be a charge, Coach George Karl was visibly frustrated. Karl did not blow his top off until he saw Rudy Gay get sandwiched between two Pacers and not get a foul call. Karl picked up a technical foul but the tech was justifiable. The officiating was poor in the quarter and for most of the game. With great passing and ball movement, 16 assists in the half, the Kings were able to score with ease on the offensive end. With the first half over, the Kings led the Pacers by 15, 64-49.

After an awesome 2nd quarter and good first half, the Kings wanted to keep their offense flowing; however the Pacers seemed to find the Kings juju. The Kings played very poorly and only scored 20 points in the quarter. The Pacers got off to a 7-0 run to start the quarter. The Kings played very sloppy, turning the ball over 7 times and the Pacers took advantage. The Pacers scored 14 points off those turnovers. The team defense was being broken down and the Pacers got plenty of good looks leading to a 16-5 run in less than 4 minutes of play. After scoring in the paint with ease, the Kings lost control of the ball and only scored 12 points in the paint. Their defense suffered from their poor offense and the 3rd was incredibly forgettable for the team, although they shot 50%. The Pacers scored 33 in the quarter on 13-22 shooting. Rudy Gay had a team high in the quarter with 7 points, 15 in all 3. Rondo added 4 assists in the quarter, 13 points and 14 assists in the first 3 quarters but also 7 turnovers. Cousins had 23 points with 14 rebounds and Collison totaled 19. Luckily for the Kings, they out rebounded the Pacers, 40-29, and that helped them hold a 2 point lead to end the quarter. Monte Ellis and Hill helped cut the score in the quarter, with 17 and 18 points respectively through the 3 quarters. After 36 minutes the Kings stayed up, 84-82, over the Pacers after leading by 15 at the half.

After letting the Pacers get back into a game that the Kings thought they could easily win, the 4th quarter would be extremely important. Seth Curry started the quarter for Rondo and he gave a great defensive spark. On one defensive possession, Curry knocked the ball loose but came up short and swiped it away the second time. The steal led to Casspi picking it up, tossing it to Collison up ahead who got it back to Casspi for an alley-oop after Casspi filled the middle lane really well. The Kings started to get a little sloppy with the ball again and their turnovers helped the Pacers keep it close. CJ Miles hit a 3 in the quarter to cut the lead to 1, but Collison answered with a 3 of his own. The Kings left a lot of Pacers players open on defensive possessions including Ellis who hit a 3 pointer to give the Pacers their first lead since the 1st quarter. The Pacers went up by 2 but Gay came down the floor to hit a jumper of his own. Cousins then got to the line to give the Kings a 2 point lead with a minute left. The game really came down to the wire, but Paul George’s struggles helped the Kings close it out. George missed a shot that gave the Kings a chance to go up by 2 possessions, however the team could not capitalize. With 8 seconds left to play, the Pacers drew up a play to get the ball in George’s hands. George got a decent look, contested by Gay, that did not fall. The Kings prevailed over the Pacers, 108-106.  Casspi had a good 4th with 9 points in the quarter and the Kings shot well once again, 55.6%, 10-18 from the field. The team continued assisting the ball and finding a way to crash the boards as well to pull out a much needed victory.

The Kings 3 point shooting was non-existent in the game, 4-23 behind the arc, but the team found a way to win in big part to their passing and attacking of the rim. The team finished with 64 points in the paint, 49 rebounds and 28 assists. Collision was a huge boost off the bench with 24 points and 5 assists as he used his explosiveness to get good looks. Cousins had a tremendous game, 25 points and 16 rebounds as he helped the Kings on the glass. Gay finished with 17 points and Casspi added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Rondo did not score in the 4th, finishing with 13 points but totaled 16 assists. Cousins and Rondo’s double-doubles were both their 14th of the season. The Kings finished with a 51.7% shooting percentage which is pretty impressive given they missed 19 three point attempts. The team closed out a game that should not have been close but the turnovers kept the Pacers in it.

As the night concluded, Rondo was the fastest player in the Sacramento era to reach 300 assists. Cousins is looking more like his early season self as he keeps his season scoring around 24-25 points per game. Big Cous has been dominant in the paint and the Kings are doing a great job of exploiting that on other teams. The Kings have dominated the paint against their opponents all season and Rondo’s elite passing ability has made them a huge offensive threat. The Kings need to take care of the ball more and close out on defenders as they have continuously given wide open shots to their opponents. The Kings gave fans an early Christmas present with the victory, even though they also almost gave everyone a heart attack as well. The Kings are now 12-17 and will take on the 11-20 Portland Trailblazers at home. For Christmas, all Kings fans want is for the team to continue winning and find their way into a playoff spot. Happy Holidays!



The Warriors lose a heartbreaker.

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State warriors suffered a tough loss Monday night in Brooklyn as they lost to the Nets 110-108. The Dubs were playing their fourth game in five days and were finishing a six game road trip. In fact, the Dubs have played ten of their last eleven games away from the Oracle Arena and finish the trip with a win over the Nets.

The Warriors beat Boston in Boston Sunday afternoon and were hoping to get to New York to get a good night’s sleep as they were playing back to back games for the second time on the trip. Unfortunately, they were delayed for five hours due to weather or a mechanical problem and didn’t get to the hotel until 4 am Monday morning. They still, nonetheless, had to face the Nets later and somehow find a way to beat them. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were not on their game at all in the first half of play. Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli played well as did the bench. The Nets were hot. They shot 73% from the floor in the first period and had a ten-point lead 33-23. Brook Lopez, coming off the bench, played extremely well for the Nets. The Warriors played a little better in the second period, but the Nets enjoyed a six-point lead 57-51 at the half. Neither team scored in the last 2 minutes and 30 seconds of play.

Bogut had 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks while Steph and Klay had just 5 points between the two of them. Ezeli had 8 points off the bench. The starters were just 2 fo 17 from the floor. Brooklyn shot 56% opposed to Golden State’s 45%. The Warriors had 18 second chance points while holding Brooklyn to just six.

The third period saw the Warriors attempting to mount a comeback, but Brooklyn rebuffed them every time. The Dubs trailed by 3 with 9:41 left, but Brooklyn extended the lead to nine after Steph and Bogut had to leave the game as they were both charged with 4 fouls. The third period ended with Brooklyn leading by six points 86-80.

The Warriors closed the gap to just one, trailing 91-90 with over 9 minutes left to play but Brooklyn went on a 8-0 run to lead by nine. Steph got his game going and the W’s were making a run trying desperately to find a way to win. Curry made two huge 3-point shots to make it a 108-105 game with 3:27 left. Harrison Barnes made a free throw and Steph scored a deuce to tie it at 108 with a minute five left. The W’s defense kept Brooklyn from scoring. They rebounded and block shots and it looked like Golden State was going to get the win but the Dubs turned the ball over and the former Warrior, Jarrett Jack scored the game-winning shot with just 1.1 seconds left on the clock. Final 11-108 Brooklyn.

With the loss, the Warriors fall to 46-12 while Brooklyn improves to 25-33. Steph Curry led the W’s in scoring with 26 points, 18 coming in the fourth period. Bogut had 16, Ezeli 14, Iguodala 12 and Thompson just 7. Brook Lopez had 26 and teammate Deron Williams added 22 for Brooklyn.

After the game, Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, had this to say ‘ I’m proud of our guys, great effort particularly with all the travel.’ "Festus was fantastic, Boges first half was the most aggressive in a long time. Kerr said he told the players to "keep it close, give them plenty of rest during the game and take our shot in the fourth quarter.’ They did just that but sadly, they came up just a few points short

The Warriors return home to play three at home facing the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night then the Dallas Mavericks on Friday and then the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon.