Reno Bighorns win their first game of the season downing Texas 110-108

Charlie O. Mallonee


The Reno Bighorns finally broke into the win column on Tuesday night when they edged the Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks)  110-108. Malachi Richardson hit a jumper with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to break the tie and give the win to the Bighorns (1-4).

The Bighorns held a four-point lead at the end of three quarters. The Reno lead fluctuated between two to six points as the Legends tried to retake the lead. With 7:58 to go in the game, Texas grabbed that lead and built it up to five points only to have the Bighorns comeback and tie things up with 4:31 to go.

The teams tied the game up three times in the final four minutes. The final tie coming with 16.7-seconds to play when the Legends Bryson Fonville banked in a three-foot jump shot to make it a 108-108 game.

Reno’s Lamar Patterson made a bad pass that was stolen by Fonville. Isaiah Cousins was able to steal the ball back for the Bighorns who called a timeout with 3.8-seconds left in the game and Reno trailing by two points.

The inbound pass went to Malachi Richardson who immediately put up a 21-foot jump shot that went through the hoop with 1-tenth of second remaining in the game which did not leave enough time for the Legends to make a basket.

The Bighorns won the game 110-108.

Bighorn scoring

  • Guard Lamar Patterson was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points. He went 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Patterson also had five steals.
  • Malachi Richardson not only hit the game winning shot – he put up 26 points and was also productive at the charity stripe hitting on 9-of-11 opportunities.
  • Skal Labissiere had a big game at center scoring 21 points in 28 minutes on the floor. He shot 9-for-16 in the game and grabbed eight rebounds.
  • Isaiah Cousins posted a double-double scoring 16 points and pulling in 10 rebounds.
  • Big Georgios Papagiannis – who was sent back to Reno from the Kings – also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.


Reno’s team numbers

  • Shooting 36-for-81 (44.4-percent)
  • 3-pointers 6-for-18 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws 32-for-38 (84.2-percent)
  • 47 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals, 3 blocked shots
  • 18 turnovers that resulted in 23 Texas points

Texas numbers


  • Shooting 39-for-87 (44.8-percent)
  • 3-pointers 8-for-24 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws 22-for-28 (78.6-percent)
  • 41 rebounds, 22 assists, 10 steals, five blocked shots
  • 20 turnovers that turned into 16 Reno points

Up next

Everyone in the NBA D-League has Thanksgiving off.

The Bighorns return to play on Friday night in Prescott Valley, Arizona when they visit the Northern Arizona Suns.

The Legends head back to Texas where they will host the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday night.

The three players on Kings roster are recalled to Sacramento


Malachi Richardson-the fourth highest scorer in the D-League, Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis will enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner in Sacramento. All three players have been recalled by the Kings.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger told reporters last Friday in his pregame press conference to expect the players to go back and forth from Reno to Sacramento frequently. He also said that only two of the roster players will be in Reno a majority of the time in order to increase the number of shot opportunities for the players who are with the Bighorns. The Kings also feel it is good for the rookies to be around and practice with the veterans.

There are no option rules in the NBA like in Major League Baseball so players can move between a NBA roster and a NBA D-League roster whenever the parent club wants them to and as many times as the organization feels is appropriate for the players.

Who’s hot in the D-League?

Two of the Top 25 players who are rated most likely to make it to the NBA are on the Reno Bighorns:

  • #7 is Lamar Patterson is averaging 20.6 points and 4.4 assists per game
  • #20 is Isaiah Cousins is averaging 12.6 ppg and 3.6 assists per game
Isaiah Cousins in the NBA Summer League

Both men are a “Affiliate Players” of the Sacramento Kings assigned to Reno. That means the Kings were able to send Patterson and Cousins to Reno without sending them through the D-League Draft so they can continue to learn the Sacramento style of play. However, both players remain free agents who can sign with any team in the NBA that offers them a contract.

  • Former Kings player Ray McCallum is currently ranked as the number two player most likely to be called up to “the Association”. He is playing for the Pistons D-League entry – the Grand Rapids Drive and is averaging 18.0 points to go with 9.3 assists per game.

Kings come up short versus Dallas 93-91


Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Heading into Sunday’s game with the Dallas Mavericks, the Kings had to answer two big questions. First, how would they bounce back after being humiliated by the Warriors 102-69 on Friday night? Second, how would play versus Dallas – a team in a three-way fight for the final two spots in the Western Conference Playoff race?

The Kings did bounce back from Friday night in a big way. Sacramento took Dallas down to the wire but ultimately came up short losing to the Mavericks 93-91.

After the game, Kings Head Coach Michael said, “It’s real simple. We’ve been in a lot of close games this year and we have to find a way to stop beating ourselves.” Malone was frustrated with his team’s rebounding and lack of second-chance points.

The Kings defense held Dallas to just 40.4-percent (36 for 89) shooting for the game but allowed the Mavs to shoot 41.9-percent (13 for 31) from beyond the 3-point line. Dallas hit five of those 3-pointers coming down the stretch in the fourth quarter which propelled them to the win.

The Kings were much improved on the ball handling side. They committed just 13 turnovers and recorded 21 assists. The problem for Sacramento was the 13 turnovers resulted in 21 points for the Mavericks. Dallas scored more than one-half of their points on turnovers and 3-point conversions.

The Kings were led by Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. Gay was the leading scorer in the game with 32 points, and he added eight assists. Cousins recorded his 49th double-double putting up 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Gay and Cousins put the team on their backs and tried to carry them to victory.

Ray McCallum led the Kings on the point for the seventh straight game as Isaiah Thomas was still unavailable on Sunday. McCallum played all but 19-seconds of the game. He scored eight points and added nine assists. McCallum also had four rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. He turned the ball over just three times.

Travis Outlaw was active all game and hit two key 3-point baskets in the final period to keep the Kings in contention for the win.

As a team the Kings shot 47.4-percent (36 for 76) from the field. They shot just 27.8-percent for 3-pointers. Sacramento shot 70.0-percent (14 for 20) from the free throw line. It was a game where literally one 3-point basket or three additional free throw conversions wins the game for the Kings.

The Mavericks were led by former Warrior Monta Ellis. Ellis scored 23 points off 19 shots, hit two 3-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and recorded four assists. Vince Carter had a productive game scoring 17 points in just 24-minutes of play. Carter was four of nine from 3-point land. Dirk Nowitzki put up 15 points on 17 shots in the game. Jose Calderon added 14 points that included four 3-pointers.

The Mavericks turned the ball over 10 times and allowed just eight points off those turnovers. Dallas out-rebounded the Kings 45-40.

The Mavericks record improves to 47-31 with the victory and has them in seventh place in Western Conference Playoff standings. Dallas now has a two game lead over eighth place Phoenix.

Dallas Head Coach Rick Carlisle said after the game,” We knew it was going to be a dog fight but the good thing is that we stayed together.  Dirk Nowitzki came in and made some big free throws at the end, but they came down and got a returned shot at one point. We’re happy with the win but we need to do much better.”

The Kings have five games remaining in the 2013-14 season and three of them are home games. Up next for the Kings is the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday in Sacramento. The Kings will be trying to avoid the season series sweep as the Thunder have won the previous three meetings. Sacramento will then go on the road to take on the Trail Blazers in Portland on Thursday. The Kings are 1-2 on the season versus the Blazers. Sacramento will then head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday before heading home to host the Minnesota Timberwolves next Sunday.

Peja Stojakovic was in the house on Sunday afternoon as the Kings continue to reconnect with the star players from the past.

Mavs squeak past Kings 103-100


Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

After having been beaten by the Thunder on Friday, the Sacramento Kings had the unenviable task of playing the second half of a back-to-back Saturday night in Dallas against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. The Mavs are battling for the final spot in the playoffs in the Western Conference and winning was crucial if they were to stay in the hunt. Dallas did win 103-100, but the Mavs cannot be happy that the game was so close.

The Kings came into the game with just eleven active players and one of those players – Isaiah Thomas – could not play due a thigh contusion. Undermanned and on the road, the Kings should have been easy prey, but it would not turn out that way for Dallas.

Dallas was led by Nowitzki’s 19 points. He shot 50.0-percent from the field and added seven rebounds plus seven assists. Nowitzki was nine of 10 from the free throw line. Monte Ellis put up 17 points and dished out six assists. Samuel Dalembert scored 15 points going seven for eight from the field. Shawn Marion added 14 points.

The Mavs shot 48.6-percent (34 for 70) from the field. They shot just 30.4-percent (7 for 23) from 3-point range. Dallas really helped themselves from the charity stripe as they hit 28 of 35 (80.0-percent) from the free throw line.

The Mavericks also took advantage of the Kings’ turnovers. Dallas scored 25 points off Sacramento’s 18 turnovers.

The Kings field goal percentage was 51.9 (42 for 81) against Dallas. Sacramento shot just 30.0-percent (3 for 10) from beyond the 3-point line. They out-rebounded the Mavericks 47-35. The Kings outscored Dallas 60-38 in the paint.

Rudy Gay led the Kings in scoring with 30 points in 42 minutes on the floor. DeMarcus Cousins put up 17 points but was limited to just 29 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.

With Isaiah Thomas on the bench, rookie Ray McCallum ran the team from the point for the second consecutive game. McCallum played the entire 48 minutes of the game. He scored 16 points and handed out eight assists. McCallum also had two steals and one blocked shot in the game.

Reggie Evans continues to impress with his 18 rebounds in the contest. He put up six points and had two steals.

The Kings will get a much needed day of rest on Sunday before taking on the Pelicans in New Orleans on Monday. Kings’ head coach Michael Malone indicated that Isaiah Thomas might be available versus the Pelicans.

Kings lose in OKC 94-81


Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings kicked off a three-game road trip in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder on Friday night. The outcome was no surprise as the Thunder defeated the Kings 94-81. The win improved Oklahoma City’s home record to improve to 30-7. Sacramento’s road record dropped to 10-26. The Thunder have won seven of their last 10 games. The Kings have lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Thunder were led by Kevin Durant who scored 29 points in just 29 minutes on the floor. Durant was nine for 11 from the field, a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line while recording six assists, two steals and two block shots. Russell Westbrook put up 18 points and Jeremy Lamb added 13 points.  

The Kings leading scorer was Ben McLemore with 18 points. McLemore hit on five of 16 shots from the field, hit three 3-pointers, distributed three assists and recorded two steals. Ray McCallum started at point guard with Isaiah Thomas out for the second straight game. McCallum put up 13 points while dishing out five assists. Both McLemore and McCallum recorded 45 minutes of playing time in the game.

Travis Outlaw had another big night. Outlaw posted 17 points hitting on five of six 3-point shots. Rudy Gay added just seven points in a limited outing of just 21 minutes of playing time. DeMarcus Cousins battled foul trouble and put just four points in 17 minutes on the floor.

The reduced playing time for Gay and Cousins may have also been pre-planned by Kings Coach Michael Malone. This was not a game that the Kings were expected to win. Sacramento plays Dallas on Saturday and the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. A rested Gay and Cousins could help the Kings pick up a victory in one of those two games.

The Kings shot just 36.5-percent (31 for 85) from the field but shot 50.0-percent (9 for 18) from 3-point range. The Kings shot below average from the free throw line at just 62.5-percent (10 for 16). Sacramento out-rebounded the Thunder 49-38. The Kings recorded 17 assists but turned the ball over 16 times.

The Kings left after the game for Dallas where they will play the Mavericks on Saturday night. The Mavs are 43-30 on the season and are currently in ninth-place in the Western Conference. Dallas is one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Timberwolves down the Kings 108-97



Photo credit: Rocky Widner NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings 108-97 on Saturday night. The Kings lost because they played inconsistent defense and did not take care of the basketball.

DeMarcus Cousins returned to the Kings’ lineup after serving his one game suspension on Friday night. Cousins posted his 35th double-double of the season scoring 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Cousins’ outstanding performance was not enough to make up for the lack of defense.

Rudy Gay had two entirely different basketball games. In the first half, Gay scored 22 points to help give his team a 56-53 halftime lead. In the second half, he scored only two points. That lack of scoring by Gay did not help the Kings who struggled especially in the third quarter.

Isaiah Thomas put up 22 points and dished out eight assists. Down the stretch, Thomas played in the backcourt with Ray McCallum (nine points) running the point. The two guards worked well together.

“The big three” (Cousins, Gay and Thomas) were the only Kings to score in double figures.

Kevin Martin was the scoring leader for the Timberwolves with 26 points. Martin’s night was similar to Gay’s as he scored 19 in the first half and just seven points in the second half.

Kevin Love posted 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Love 12 for 14 from the free throw line.

Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Corey Brewer scored 13 points.

Turnovers killed the Kings on Saturday night. Sacramento turned the ball over 19 times and that resulted in Minnesota scoring 27 points off those turnovers.

The other area that helped the Kings to lose was the lack of scoring in the third quarter. Sacramento was outscored 31-14 in the third period. A team cannot win in the NBA scoring 14 points in a quarter.

Despite the horrible third quarter, the Kings cut the Timberwolves lead to just two points with less than three minutes to play. Turnovers and poor fastbreak decisions allowed the Timberwolves to open up the eventual nine point lead.

After the game when asked why his team lost, Kings Head Coach Michael Malone said, “Turnovers – (we) continue to beat ourselves.” Malone cited inconsistent defense as another major contributor to his team’s loss.

With the win, Minnesota’s record improved to 29-29. The loss dropped the Kings record to 20-39 for the 2013-14 season. Sacramento has now lost three games in a row.

The Kings will have Sunday off and will host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

Kings vs Clippers Preview


By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings have not played a game since their loss last Sunday to the LA Lakers 100-86. The team looked tired in the second half of the Lakers game after losing a heartbreaker to the Cippers 103-102 on Saturday night.

The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80 on Wednesday night even with Chris Paul having to leave the game with a strained hamstring.

After the Knicks game, the Clippers seemed very pleased with their defense that held NYK to just 80 points. The Clippers have primarily been defeating teams with their offense. They have not lost a game this season when the team has scored 100 points or more in the contest.

The Kings will need to concentrate on controlling the defensive boards tonight. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can dominate the rebounding situation and kill a team with easy put back shots off the rebound. The Kings will need more than just Cousins to battle under the bucket to keep the Clippers from having multiple opportunities on offense.

The Kings must also play better defense on Friday. The Clippers are shooting 47.9% as a team. The Kings need to bring that percentage down into the low 40’s in order to post a victory.

The Kings will also need to show improved shooting versus the Clippers. Sacramento is averaging just 42.7% shooting from the field. That shooting percentage will not get it done against the Clippers.

The Clippers must contain DeMarcus Cousins if they are to win. Cousins scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds versus LAC last Saturday. Cousins may have some help on the front line tonight with Derrick Williams starting at small forward. This will be Williams’ first game as a King.

The Clippers have two players with health issues coming into the game. Paul’s hamstring is questionable, but he has said he will be ready to play Friday night. Blake Griffin is nursing a tender elbow that had to have fluid drained off it earlier this week.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PST. The game can be seen on CSNCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.

 Ray McCallum Returns from Reno

 The Kings have recalled rookie guard Ray McCallum from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. McCallum joined the Bighorns on November 21.

McCallum averaged a team high 22 points (45.5 FG%, 30.8 3pt%, 66.7 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.33 steals and a team high 38.0 minutes of playing time in three games with Reno.

McCallum should probably buy some tire chains as he may well be making the trip between Sacramento and Reno several times this season. The Kings want him to get playing time. If the PT does not come in Sacramento, he will be sent to Reno to get some game experience.