Kings play “D” in NYC; beat Knicks 88-80

knicks 3-20=16NBA – Getty Images

by Charlie O. Mallonee

“It (the game) had a lot of ugly to it, but it’s a win,” said Kings head coach George Karl after his team beat the New York Knicks 88-80 in Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

In full disclosure, the Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony who was sidelined with a migraine that he experienced during the game in Washington on Saturday. The Knicks are 0-8 this season when “Melo” is not in the line up. Much like the Kings without Cousins, NYK is not the same team when their All-Star player is not on the floor.

The Kings used defense to win this game. This may have the best defensive effort by Sacramento all season. The Kings held the Knicks under 20 points in first, third and fourth quarters. Sacramento did have a major defensive lapse in the second quarter when New York scored 35 points, but unlike other games this season, the Kings were able to regain their defensive footing.

The 88 point effort was the Kings lowest scoring total of the season.

Sacramento did an excellent job defending the 3-point arc allowing NYK to hit on just 4-of-19 3-point attempts. The Kings also limited their own turnovers to just 12 that resulted in just nine points for the Knicks.

The stars on offense were the two starting centers. DeMarcus Cousins and Robin Lopez had 20/20, double-double games. Cousins scored 24 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to go with four assists and two blocked shots. Robin Lopez put up 23 points and hauled in 20 rebounds for New York.

For Cousins, this was his 10th 20/20 game of his career.

The Kings are now 27-42 on the season. The loss drops the Knicks record to 28-43.

Kings

Rudy Gay turned in a 17-point performance versus the Knicks. Gay did not have a spectacular night shooting going 8-for-21 from the floor and just 1-for-6 from 3-point land.

Darren Collison had an interesting game. Collison scored 13 points. All of those points came in the first half. He played a game-high 40 minutes and dished out six assists.

Rajon Rondo had a very quiet game scoring just two points and distributing six assists. Rondo did not play with his signature headband on in this game.

Omri Casspi led the scoring off the bench for Sacramento. Casspi scored 15 points hitting on 5-of-9 shots from the field.

As a team, the Kings shot just 39.8-percent (35-for-88) for the game. They converted 7-of-25 3-point attempts. Sacramento was out-rebounded 55-49. The Kings allowed New York to grab 19 offensive rebounds.

Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis – the Knicks rookie sensation – scored 13 points but struggled shooting from the floor. Porzingis hit on just 6-of-17 shooting and was 0-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Knicks had two strong performances off their bench as Jerian Grant scored 14 points and former King Derrick Williams added 11 points. The New York bench outscored the Kings second unit 35-29.

NYK shot just 35.2-percent (32-for-91) from the field. The Knicks turned the ball over 15 times resulting in 22 points for the Kings.

Up next

The Chicago Bulls will play a major role for both teams this week.

The Kings traveled to Chicago after the game and will play the Bulls on Monday night.

The Knicks are off until Wednesday when they will play the Bulls in the Windy City.

 

Splash Brothers Will Slumping Warriors to Rally Past Portland Late in 113-112 Thriller

By Matthew Harrington

Whatever message the Warriors discussed in a team meeting following their second-straight loss Friday night, one that saw a 15-point Golden State lead swing into a loss against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, certainly stuck with the Splash Brothers. It just took some time in Sunday evening’s 113-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center for the backcourt tandem of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry to take over. The emerging faces of the franchise rallied Golden State (42-26) 18-point deficit in the third quarter to cap a wild comeback while avoiding a three-game losing skid for the first time since November 20-23 of this season.

Thompson, absent from Friday’s 103-94 loss to attend his grandfather’s funeral in the Bahamas, and Curry chipped in 15 points apiece in the fourth quarter, scoring 30 of 36 Warrior points in the pivotal period. The guards combined for 64 points, including 28 second-half points for Curry and 23 for Thompson to push the Dubs to their 15th triumph in 21 tries away from the friendly confines of Oracle Arena. The dominant road run is the first of its kind in franchise history.

After Curry’s 37 points and Thompson’s 27, including the eventual game-winner, David Lee finished third on the team with 16 points in only 24 minutes of play. Warriors forward Draymond Green had a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out. Damian Lillard led Portland (43-24) with 26 points while Nicolas Batum added 23 of his own to accompany a game-best 14 rebounds. Blazers center Robin Lopez converted a double-double as well, collecting 10 rebounds and 14 points. LaMarcus Aldridge sat out his second-consecutive game with a lower back contusion suffered in a 103-90 Blazers loss at San Antonio Wednesday.

Golden State opened the game again struggling to address the woes that sparked Friday’s closed-doors discussion. The Warriors found themselves trailing the team directly above them in the standings 55-44 at the half Sunday night. Portland, entering play with a 3.5 games ahead of the Warriors for fifth in the Western Conference, built on its first half success in the third. The Blazers took their largest cushion of the night, an 18-point separation, after Nicolas Batum hit a three to make it 70-52 Blazers 4:11 into the quarter. The Dubs chipped away with a 25-15 run over the final four-plus minute stretch to cut the deficit to 85-77, setting up the thrilling fourth-quarter momentum shift.

12 minutes away from only what would be only the second three-game losing streak all season, Golden State rallied to tie the game at 96-all with just over half a quarter. The Warriors evened the score courtesy of string of play where the Dubs limited Portland to 11 points while scoring 19 of their own over the first half of the final period of play. After Curry hit the free throw on Portland coach Terry Stotts’ technical foul, Thompson connected on only the second of two attempts from the charity stripe to give the Warriors their first lead since the first quarter now standing six minutes from the final whistle.

The lead changed hands five times over the next 5:49 of game time before Thompson,who arrived in the States late Saturday night, buried a three with just 11 seconds remaining on the clock to swing the scoreboard in  the Warriors’ favor 113-111. Golden State’s Andre Iguodala fouled Batum on a bid to even the game with five ticks left on the clock but the Blazers forward missed the potential tying shot after getting the first free throw to fall. Batum followed his miss and came up with the rebound, but his three-pointer from far out fell a few feet short of the basket as the buzzer sounded for Portland’s fifth loss in six games.

Warriors Center Andrew Bogut departed the game with 6:22 to play after suffering an apparent ankle injury on a layup attempt. Warriors coach Mark Jackson dismissed any concerns about the Aussie’s health, saying that Bogut asked to be subbed back in. Barring any setbacks, he should be on the Oracle Arena floor Tuesday night when the Warriors take on the Orlando Magic.