Kings miss 40 wins by just five points!

Photo/graphic: @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings went to Portland on Wednesday night with the opportunity win their 40th game of the 2018-19 season which would have been the first time a Kings team had recorded 40 wins since 2005-06. Much to the chagrin of the multitude of Kings fans, the 40th win did not happen.

Portland decided to rest all of their starters and most of their key second team players. That gave the Kings a significant advantage in their quest to reach 40 wins.

A Record-Setting First Half

Buddy Hield hits his 600th 3-pointer in 3 seasons @ NBCS

The Kings started the game on fire. They scored a franchise record 87 points in the first half falling just three points short of tying the NBA record for the most points scored in the opening 24 minutes of an NBA game. They shot an incredible 66.7-percent (32/48) from the field. They hit 13-of-20 (65%) of their 3-point shots.

De’Aaron Fox scored 17 points. Rookie Marvin Bagley III scored 16 points in just over 14-minutes on the floor. Harrison Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic all scored 10 points each in the first half.

The Kings went to the locker room at halftime with an 87-62 lead. It appeared that everything was going Sacramento’s way and that win number 40 was only 24 minutes away.

Coach Joerger’s Big Decision

Maybe that wasn’t a good idea Photo: @NBCS

Head coach Dave Joerger decided that all of his starters would not play in the second half of the game on Wednesday night. That in part may have been a tribute to the job well done by the starters and giving a well-deserved opportunity to the second team and reserves. The problem is the plan did not work.

The Trail Blazers outscored the Kings 36-26 in the third quarter and cut the Kings lead to 15 points. As the Kings went to the fourth period, you might have expected Joerger to have reinserted Hield and Fox to reenergize his team’s scoring attack. He did not do that.

Joerger chose to stay with his reserves and that decision did not go well for the team.

The Final Quarter

Portland scored 38 points in the fourth quarter while the Kings only managed to put 18 points in the book. Anfernee Simons led the Trail Blazers scoring attack with 12 points. Frank Mason scored 10 for the Kings.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Trail Blazers had defeated the Kings 136-131.

Top Performers


  • Anfernee Simons led all scorers with 37 points.
  • Former Kings player Skal Labissiere put up 27 points against his old mates. Skal made it a double-double by grabbing 15 rebounds.
  • Jake Layman, Meyers Leonard, and Gary Trent, Jr. all scored 19 points each in the contest.


  • The Kings leading scorer was Marvin Bagley III with 20 points and nine rebounds. The rookie has had an incredible season.
  • De’Aaron Fox and Yogi Ferrell scored 17 points each.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic and Frank Mason III both scored 15 points in the game.

One Big Question to Ask

In his exit interview, this reporter thinks that head coach Dave Joerger needs to be asked why he did not do more to get win number 40 on Wednesday night. The psychological lift for the team and fans of crossing over into the 40 win plateau would have been huge. Joerger needs to be held accountable for letting that opportunity get away.

In the meantime, the NBA Draft is 72 days away.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Can Kings get the taste of Minnesota out and put a stop to OKC Wednesday night? photo: The Sacramento Kings Skal Labissiere (7) asks “what gives” as teammate Harry Giles III (20) looks on in the Kings’ 30-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night at the Target Center.

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The Minnesota Timberwolves had just too much fire power on Monday night for the Sacramento Kings. The Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 17 and the Kings’ Bobby Hield topped scorers with 21 points.

#2 Kings head coach Dave Joerger had 13 players even players who have not played in a long while come off the bench and get minutes. Was this because the Wolves were piling on or because he thought he could right the ship with a rotating lineup?

#3 Skal Labissiere–it was his ninth time playing and he got some minutes. While Labissiere was happy to get in the game. he hasn’t seen much action at this season.

#4 The Kings were in over their heads at the Target Center against the Wolves in the 30-point loss. With Wiggins, the top scorer with 17, is it an indicator that all the players in this one were all shooting the lights out no matter who they were? Did they find a weakness in the Kings’ game plan?

#5 The Kings host the OKC Thunder on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. Will the Kings need to put their shoulder into this one much like the game in Minnesota? How does Charlie see this one?

Charlie O does the Sacramento Kings podcast each Tuesday night at

Kings’ winning streak comes to an end in “Brew City”: Bucks beat the Kings 144-109

Bucks Kings 5

By Charlie O. Mallonee

There are three tiers of teams in the NBA. Tier One is comprised of teams that are shoo-ins for the playoffs and one of those teams will eventually be the NBA Champion. Tier Two is made up teams that will make slots 6-8 in the playoffs and teams that will “just miss the playoffs by a game or two.” Tier Three is populated by teams that will participate in next year’s Draft Lottery without a doubt.

On Sunday in Milwaukee, the Kings faced an Eastern Conference Tier One team in the Bucks. The Kings are trying to become a Western Conference Tier Two team and are off to a good start having won five games in a row.

The Bucks did not take the Kings lightly
The Kings jumped out to an early 14-7 lead, but the Bucks were not going to have it. With 6:03 remaining in the first quarter, Milwaukee took a 17-15 lead and they would never trail again in the contest.

At the end of the first quarter, Milwaukee held a 39-30 lead. The Kings would not win a quarter in the game.

The Kings simply ran into a team with more talent than they have on Sunday. That is going often this season. This edition of the Sacramento Kings (6-4) is more talented than they have been in many seasons. They are fast, enthusiastic and positive. All indications are that this will be a very enjoyable season, but the Kings are still a Tier Three team that is trying to make the jump into Tier Two.

Kings have a surprise leading scorer
Justin Jackson came off the bench to score 22 points in just under 25 minutes of playing time on Sunday. Jackson who has been having trouble shooting from the floor shot 9-for-12 overall for the game. He made 4-of-7 from 3-point land. The Kings have been struggling at small forward and Jackson’s performance versus the Bucks had to make coach Dave Joerger very happy.


Top SAC performers

  • Buddy Hield: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 8-for-15 shooting (2/5 3-pointers)
  • De’Aaron Fox: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 6-for-14 shooting
  • Two-way player Troy Williams: 11 points in 15-plus minutes on the floor
  • Marvin Bagley III: 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 blocked shot
  • Also seen on the floor for Sacramento: Harry Giles III (4 points) and Skal Labissiere (2 points)

Kings Team Numbers

  • Field Goal Shooting: 44.2% (42/95)
  • 3-pt Shooting: 38.9% (14/36)
  • Free Throw Shooting: 50.0% (11/22)
  • Rebounds: 44 (8 offense)
  • Assists: 24
  • Turnovers: 15 (21 points)
  • Steals: 6
  • Blocked Shots: 4

Key Milwaukee (8-1) Performances

  • “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo: Triple-double: 26 pts/15 reb/11 ast
  • Eric Bledsoe: 17 points, 6 rebounds
  • Ersan IIyasova: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Nine players in double-figures
  • 56 team rebounds
  • 30 assists
  • 7 blocked shots
  • 6 steals

It’s back home for the Kings
The Kings returned to Sacramento after the game and will be off until Wednesday night when they will host the powerful Toronto Raptors (8-1) at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings next four games will be played on their home court.

Kings Press Row Podcast for NBA Week 2

press row podcast

hosts Jordan “Chape” Chapin & Charlie O

  • What has happened to Buddy Hield?

  • Is De’Aaron Fox continuing to be a star for the Kings?

  • Is Willie Cauley-Stein playing for more than a big check?

  • What is Bjelica bringing to the table?

  • Is Harry Giles III ready for Prime Time?

  • Is MBIIIV living up to the hype?

  • Who is more important to the team: Kosta or Z-Bo?

  • Where does Skal fit in with the team at this point?

  • When will Bogie be ready to play?

The answers to these questions and more on this edition of the Kings Press Row Podcast.

Kings get crushed by the Warriors in Seattle 122-94

Hield moves the ball while KD can only watch Photo: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

There are many things that can be said about the Kings’ 122-94 loss to the Warriors on Friday night in Seattle. It was the second game of a back-to-back schedule on the road. Sacramento went from playing “King James” and the Lakers on Thursday to having to face the World Champion Golden State Warriors on Friday night. The team didn’t even get to check into the hotel in Seattle until 3:00 AM on Friday morning.

That is a rough schedule. Welcome to the NBA, men. None of that is an excuse for losing–let alone for getting blown out and having the game’s outcome be decided by the end of the first half.

Klay Thompson was the slayer of the Kings in the game. Thompson put up 19 points on Sacramento in the first quarter. He connected on 5-of-8 shots from behind the arc. He  would finish with 30 points for the game.

Preseason games are never known for their defense but giving up 74 points in the first half is unacceptable no matter when it happens. The Warriors shot 51.6-percent (47/91) for the game. The Warriors’ 3-point shooting did slow down and they finished with a 35.5-shooting percentage.

The Kings next practice will no doubt emphasize the defensive elements of the game.

How did they perform?

  • Harry Giles III lead the Kings in scoring with 17 points in just over 20 minutes of playing time. He also pulled down five rebounds.
  • Skal Labissiere had a better game on Friday night. He scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added two assists in his 26-plus minutes on the floor.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein also dropped in 10 points and cleaned seven rebounds off the glass.
  • Frank Mason scored 10 points and added seven assists in his 19 minutes of action.
  • Justin Jackson had a better night on offense as he recorded eight points. Marvin Bagley III also added eight points plus nine rebounds.
  • Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Ben McLemore scored seven points apiece.
  • The Kings shot 34.7-percent (34/98) from the field for the game. They did shoot a very decent 45.8-percent (11/24) from 3-point range. Sacramento went to the free throw line 21 times and converted 15 of those opportunities.

Up Next

The Kings will return to action on Monday night in Sacramento when they will play their annual preseason game with Maccabi Haifa. That game is scheduled for a 7:00 PM tipoff.

Key Arena will be gutted and completely remodeled Photo: @SacramentoKings

Kings will move G League Team from Reno to Stockton for 2018-19 season

G League (3)

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings announced on Monday their intention to move their G League franchise  – the Reno Bighorns – to Stockton for the 2018-19 season. This move would have their development team just 45 minutes away from Kings offices, coaches, training and medical staff. This also follows the pattern of the majority of teams in the NBA which have relocated their developmental league teams to within an hour driving distance of their organization’s main facilities.

“Our NBA G League team has been an incredible asset to help prepare players for NBA action and bringing the team closer to Sacramento will allow us to continue to build on that success and increase efficiency to this valuable development tool,” said Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “Kings fans in Stockton will now have an opportunity to see the next-generation of NBA players each week.”

Skal Labissiere

The Kings have taken full advantage using players from the Reno team over the past two seasons. In 2017-18, the team sent several of its rookies to play with the Bighorns to gain some experience which they put to good use at the NBA level. Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson (now with the Toronto Raptors) both benefited greatly from their time with the Bighorns.

This season has seen the addition of the “two-way” players who can be on the NBA roster of their parent team and then must spend the remainder of their time playing in the G League. JaKarr Sampson and Jack Cooley have both made substantial contributions to the Kings during the regular season. Sacramento also signed Nigel Hayes from the Westchester Knicks to a two-year contract.

sac sampson
Kings “two-way” player JaKarr Sampson

The Bighorns sent three players to three other NBA teams this season. David Stockton – who has also played for the Kings – was signed Utah Jazz. Reggie Hearn went to Detroit and Aaron Harrison was signed by the Mavericks.

Stockton is a very interesting choice because of its tremendous growth potential. With Bay Area housing prices soaring, people are willing to endure longer commutes in order to be able to buy a home. Stockton is projected to a desirable locale because of its freeway access and rail service to the Silicon Valley. That means potential fans for the G League team that could be cultivated into Sacramento Kings fans.

Stockton already has a very strong track record of supporting minor league sports teams. The Stockton Ports have played baseball in California League since its beginning in 1941 and are currently an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Stockton is also the home of the Heat of the American Hockey League who are affiliated with the Calgary Flames. The Heat and the G League team will share the same arena.

“It is my honor to welcome the Kings organization to Stockton and I look forward to watching NBA G League action at the Stockton Arena,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “The Kings have been known for their tremendous impact in the community and we’re excited to have their support as we continue to reinvent Stockton.”

A four-time All-America City winner, with honors as recently as 2017, Stockton is California’s thirteenth largest city. Stockton Arena is located in the heart of the city’s downtown waterfront and entertainment center. The venue opened in 2005 and includes 24 luxury suites, seating for up to 12,000.

The Kings G League basketball operations will be headquartered at Kings former practice facility in Natomas next to the old arena. The business operations for the new team will be housed at the arena in Stockton.

Kings beat the Warriors at Oracle 98-93

GSW 2 vs Kings
Kings sweep both game in Oakland this season Photo @warriors

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won in Oakland for the second time this season as they defeated the World Champion Golden State Warriors 98-93 on Friday night. Yes, the Warriors were shorthanded as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were all on the bench in street clothes due to injury but that is exactly when a team must take advantage of an opponent. “Kick ’em when they’re down” is the motto of successful teams.

The Golden State bench is also better than many of the starting lineups for non-playoff teams in the NBA. A team does not win a championship without having a very strong second unit and bench. The Warriors certainly meet those requirements.

Two Kings players who did not have terrific performances early in the contest came up big late in the game. De’Aaron Fox scored four of his six points in the final two minutes and forty-seconds of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein took a charge and then blocked a 3-point attempt by Nick Young that led to a game punctuating slam dunk that would seal the win for Sacramento.

Top Performances


GSW Kings starting 5
Kings starting versus the Warriors Photo @SacramentoKings
  • Buddy Hield not only led the Kings in scoring with 22 points but he provided a scoring punch that kept his team in the game when Warriors threatened to runaway with the contest. Hield not only led his team in scoring but he pulled down seven rebounds and distributed seven assists in just over 30 minutes of playing time.
  • Skal Labissiere returned to the floor after being out with a bruised hip that he suffered in a hard fall under the basket. The second-year power forward put up 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists. Labisissiere hit 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point land. He played just over 25 minutes in his return to action.
  • Kosta Koufos continued to be an impact player for the Kings as he scored five points and more importantly hauled in game-high 12 rebounds. Five of his rebounds came on offense which led to second chance scoring opportunities.
  • Other Kings scorers: Bogdanovic 11 points, Cauley-Stein 9, Mason 9, Jackson 8, Temple 8, Fox 6 and Randolph 5.


gsw starting 5
Warriors starting five vs Kings Photo @warriors
  • Two-way player, point guard Quinn Cook made a real case that he should be playing in the NBA full-time next season by leading the Warriors with 25 points versus the Kings. Cook shot 10-for-13 overall and hit 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
  • Nick “Swaggy P” Young recorded 16 points but shot just 5-for-15 from the field and 3-for-8 from downtown.
  • Draymond Green recorded a double-double scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also led GSW with seven assists.
  • Andre Iguodala added 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
  • Former King Omri Casspi started the game strong with six points but had to leave the floor after playing just over six-minutes when came down on the foot of teammate’s foot and twisted his ankle.

By the Numbers

Sacramento (23-47)

  • The Kings shot 43.4-percent (36-for-43) from the floor. They converted 14-of-31 (45.2-percent) from 3-point range.
  • SAC went to the free throw line 17 times and hit 12 of those opportunities (70.6-percent).
  • Sacramento out-rebounded the Warriors 47-40 in the game. They grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and 36 rebounds on defense. The scored 16 second chance points (7-for-15) in the game.
  • The Kings recorded 25 assists and 14 turnovers. The TOVs resulted in 17 GSW points.

Golden State (52-17)

  • This loss dropped the Warriors two and one-half games behind the Western Conference leading Houston Rockets. If the season ended tonight, Golden State’s first round playoff opponent would be the Utah Jazz.
  • GSW shot 42-percent (34-for-81) for the game. They hit 12-of-26 (46.2-percent) 3-point shots.
  • They converted 13-of-18 (72.2-percent) chances from the free throw line.
  • The Warriors had 21 assists and committed 12 turnovers which became 17 Sacramento points.

Up Next


SAC will be back in action tomorrow night in Salt Lake City as they face the Utah Jazz in back end of of back-to-back road set. Ricky Rubio will not play after being injured in the Suns game on Thursday. They will have to face former King and Reno Big Horn David Stockton who has been signed by the Jazz to a 10-day contract.


GSW will also complete a back-to-back set on Saturday night in Phoenix versus the Suns. The Warriors are hoping that their game will not be as physical as the Suns versus the Jazz game was on Thursday night.


Skal Labissiere hits game-winner as the Sac Kings top Knicks 102-99


by Jordan Chapin

SACRAMENTO- The Kings won the second game of a five-game homestand on Sunday night at The Golden 1 Center with a 102-99 victory over the New York Knicks. Sacramento put on quite a show in a game that came down to the final shot. After giving up a big lead with seconds to go, Sacramento’s Skal Labissiere hit the game-winning 3-pointer to seal the game for the Kings.

The Kings were really rolling in this game early. They were led by a stellar night from Bogdan Bogdanovic who ended with 22 points and 7 assists. The Kings led by as many as 19 points in the middle of the fourth quarter. As soon as the Kings started to get comfortable, those pesky Knicks came storming back. In the final nine minutes, the Knicks had completely eliminated the Kings lead and tied the game with just over a minute remaining in the contest.

With just under 30 seconds to go in a tie ballgame, Bogdanovic showed why he’s going to be clutch for years to come. He hit a step back jumper to put the Kings on top 99-97. The Knicks were able to get to the free throw line and make both of their shots to tie the game at 99 all. With 5.3 seconds to go, the Kings in-bounded the ball to Labissiere who faked the hand-off to Bogdanovic, rose-up over Kyle O’Quinn and drained the 3-ball that sealed the game for the Kings.

As the Kings prepare for game four of the homestand, it doesn’t get any easier as they have to face the playoff bound New Orleans Pelicans led by All-Star Anthony Davis on Wednesday night.

Something that should be noted, the young players of Sacramento have shown this season that they can have ice in there veins when it comes down to the big shot. Bogdanovic, Fox, and now Labissiere have all hit game-winning shots this season.

Sacramento Kings

Player of the Game: Bogdan Bogdanovic

Although Skal hit the biggest shot of the night, they would not have been in that position without the play of Bogdanovic. Bogy shot 7-for-11 from the field and finished with 22 points and 7 assists in just 27 minutes of playing time.

Key Stats

  • Six players finished in double figure scoring, including all five starters
  • Labissiere filled the stat sheet with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists
  • The Kings shot 45% from the field and 43% from 3-point land
  • SAC shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line

New York Knicks

Player of the Game: Enes Kanter

Kanter played only 22 minutes, but he made the most of them. Doing work down low, Kanter finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds racking up his 31st double-double of the season. When Enes was in the game, he dominated the paint, fortunately for Kings fans, he didn’t see the floor as much as usual.

Key Stats:

  • Emmanuel Mudiay was the only starter that didn’t score, its safe to say, Kings fans are happy to have Willie Cauley-Stein instead. The Kings could have drafted Mudiay but chose to go with WCS.
  • NYK went on a 24-5 run in the final nine minutes to tie the game
  • The Kincks the game just once, 14-13
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. was the Knicks leading scorer in the game with 24 points
  • New York shot 45% from the field, but only 28% from 3-point land

Up Next


The Kings – who are 2-for-3 on this five-game homestand host the Pelicans on Wednesday night.


The Knicks stay on the West Coast and have to face the very tough Portland Trail Blazers in the Rose City on Tuesday night.

Kings Press Row Podcast: The All-Star Break Edition

press row podcast

hosts Charlie O and Jordan “Chape” Chapin

  • Kings dominate the “Rising Stars Game”

  • Bogi grabs the MVP honors in the game

  • A look at the Kings revamped roster

  • A review of the remaining schedule

  • Total wins projection for the season

  • The role of Iman Shumpert

  • The return of Frank Mason III and Skal Labissiere