No brotherly love in Philly: Sixers beat the Kings 123-114 on Friday night

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Photo/Graphic: @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The road to the NBA Playoffs just became a long, uphill battle for the Sacramento Kings after they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 123-114 on Friday night to wrap up a four-game road trip. The Kings will return home having won just one of those four games. At a bare minimum, Sacramento needed to go 2-2 on the trip.

Sacramento is now two games under .500 with a record of 33-35. The team is 3-7 over their last 10 and has lost three consecutive games. The Kings are mired in ninth-place in the Western Conference 6.0 games behind the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz who are tied for seventh-place. With just 14 games remaining in the season, time is running out for the Kings unless they can go on an incredible multiple game winning streak.

The Kings played better basketball on Friday than they did on Thursday night in Boston. They improved their performances from the free throw line and from behind the 3-point line. Sacramento took care of the ball turning it over just nine times.

It is not often that a team improves its play in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road.

Why did the Kings lose?

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Photo: @NBCS
  1. They played a better team. The Philadelphia 76ers are a talented team that should go deep into the Eastern Conference Playoffs. All five of the Sixers starters scored in double figures with Ben Simmons being the low scorer with 18 points.
  2. The Sixers shot 50.5-percent from the field. It is very difficult to win when your opponent shoots over 50-percent for the contest.
  3. Philadelphia won the battle at the free throw line converting 24-of-27 (88.9%) opportunities. It does need to be noted that the Kings dramatically improved their free throw shooting performance over Thursday night by sinking 19-of-24 (79.2%) of their chances from the charity stripe.

Kings top performers

  • Marvin Bagley III was not the Kings leading scorer, but he did score 15 points in just over 20 minutes of playing time. His playing time is being limited after missing five games from suffering a knee sprain. Dave Joerger said after the game that he hated to take him out, but he knows there is no reason to risk rushing MB35 back into longer minutes.
  • Harrison Barnes continues to show why the Kings would like him to exercise his player option on his 2019-20 contract or request to talk to management about long-term options. Barnes recorded 16 points, six rebounds and three assists versus the Sixers.
  • Harry Giles III put up 12 points in just over 18 minutes on the floor. H20 shot 6-for-9 from the field and pulled down four rebounds. He also dished out four assists.
  • Other contributors: De’Aaron Fox 16 points, Buddy Hield 14, Willie Cauley-Stein 13 points and seven rebounds.

Philadelphia performers

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Photo: @NBCS
  • Jimmy Butler was the leading scorer in the game with 22 points. He also added seven assists and six rebounds.
  • Joel Embiid put a double-double in the book scoring 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. He is just a force on the defensive glass.
  • Tobias Harris continues to show why the Sixers made a trade to get him as he scored 19, made seven rebounds and distributed four assists.
  • JJ Redick put 19 up on the board. Redick went 4-for-9 from downtown.

Up next

The Kings traveled back to Sacramento after the game and will have Saturday off. Sacramento returns to action on Sunday at 3:00 PM when they will host the Chicago Bulls at the Golden 1 Center.

The Sixers head out on the road and will have to face the “Greek Freak” and company in Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.

 

Clippers lead the game wire-to-wire, down the Kings 122-108 on Sunday

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Photo @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Have you ever had one of those days at the office when you show up and you feel that your rhythm is just a half a beat off? For you “old schoolers,” everyone in the workplace is moving at 45 rpm while you are dragging at 33 1/3 rpm. The was the kind of day the Kings had on Sunday in Los Angeles versus the Clippers as they lost 122-108 to close out their six-game road trip.

Sacramento never held a lead in the game on Sunday. The Clippers largest lead of the game was 25 points. LAC held a 16 point advantage — 67 to 51 — at the half.

The Kings came out in the third quarter playing with improved energy and appeared to ready to make a game of it. In the fourth quarter, Sacramento twice closed within five points of the lead, but the Clippers were able to go a scoring barrage that would allow them to open a lead as large 19 points in the final period to end Kings hopes of a comeback victory.

The victory upped the Clippers’ record to 28-22 for the season while the loss drops the Kings back to .500 on the year at 25-25. The loss dropped the Kings’ record on the road trip to 2-4.

Early Start
The Kings did have to battle an early start in the “City of Angels” on Sunday. Because the Lakers also have a home game scheduled on Sunday at the Staples Center, the Clippers always have to play the early game. That game has to tip-off by 12:30 so the second game can begin by 6:00 PM.

The early start may have been a problem, but then again, this is a young team that should be able to handle time diversity easier than older veterans.

Playoff Picture at Game 50
LAC holds the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference with the win on Sunday. They are 7.5 games behind the conference-leading Warriors. The Clippers have won three consecutive games and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Sacramento is in 10th place in the Western Conference 3.0 games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the West. The Kings are now on a one game losing streak and are 5-5 over their last 10 games.

From the Game Book
Kings

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Kings starting five Photo: @SacramentoKings

Team Stats

  • SAC shot 39.8% (37/93) for the game. NBA teams do not win shooting under 40%
  • It was a horrible 3-point shooting night: 8-for-36 (22.2%)
  • 44 rebounds – 8 less than LAC
  • The Kings recorded just 18 assists. That is not their game. They average 25.8 assists per game
  • The team committed 12 turnovers that resulted in 18 points for the Clippers
  • Two positives: 12 steals and six blocked shots

Player Stats

  • De’Aaron Fox was the Kings’ leading scorer with 21 points. He shot 8-for-16 from the field with one 3-pointer
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to put 19 points in the book. He was a monster at the free throw line, converting 8-of-9 opportunities
  • Buddy Hield and Iman Shumpert scored 16 points each in the game. Hield went just 2-for-7 from downtown
  • Marvin Bagley III did not start, but added 14 points, hitting 5-of-10 shots in the game
  • Willie Cauley-Stein flirted with a double-double as he scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds

Clippers
Player Stats

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Graphic @LAClippers
  • Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score a game-high 25 points. He shot an incredible 11-for-13 for the game
  • Tobias Harris scored 18 points, including going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put 17 points up on the board by going 7-for-7 from the free throw line
  • Patrick Beverly tried to post a triple-double by scoring 16 points, hauling in 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists

Team Stats

  • The Clippers shot 47.7% (42/88) overall versus the Kings
  • LAC hit 11-of-29 (37.9%) of their 3-point field goal attempts
  • Los Angeles converted 27-of-29 opportunities from the free throw line (93.1%)
  • They dished out 35 assists and made just 19 turnovers to very close to that magic 2:1 ratio

Up Next
The Kings return to Sacramento and will host the Atlanta Hawks for the only time this season. Hawks guard Jeremy Lin has been rumored to be a trade prospect for the Kings.

The Clippers will host the Hawks on Monday night at Staples Center.

The Warriors and Pistons go at it tooth and nail in Detroit. Golden State hangs on to win

by Jerry Feitelberg

Detroit- The Warriors and Pistons duked it out Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.The game was highly competitive and thrilling from start to finish as the Dubs won their seventh game in a row 119-113 over the Detroit Pistons.

Last year in Detroit, the Pistons beat the Dubs and were hoping to upset the Warriors’ apple cart once again. Didn’t happen as the Warriors were just a little bit better on offense and defense in the last two minutes of the game and were able to record the win. Warrior defensive star, Draymond Green, played just 24 hours after returning to the Bay Area to be with his newborn son on Thursday.

The Warriors led by one 33-32 after the first quarter. The biggest lead was seven, but Detroit went on a 9-0 run and took the lead 24-23. JaVale McGee scored four and Steph Curry had two 3-point shots in the stanza. The Pistons outscored Golden State 27-24 in the second quarter. The Warriors were ahead by four 47-43 when they suddenly couldn’t make a field goal. They went over four minutes in the quarter without a bucket and that allowed the Pistons to regain the lead. The Dubs trailed by four when Steph hit another 3-pointer to trail by one 52-51, but Detroit would come back, and score and the half ended with Detroit in the lead by two points 59-57.

The Warriors, who usually own the third quarter, did not break the game open. They did outscore Detroit by six and led 88-84 at the end of the quarter, but the outcome of the game was still in doubt. JaVale McGee was one of the key players for the Dubs in the quarter. McGee scored nine of his fifteen points in the quarter, and that helped Golden State regain the lead.

The Pistons, at one point in the quarter, fell behind by eight but they would not fold as they came back to trail by four at the close of three. The Pistons and Dubs slugged it out in the final quarter. The Dubs fell behind 91-90 but went ahead by three 102-99. Detroit clawed back and led 104-102. Steph Curry made a layup to tie the game at 104.

Steph made a three to make it 107-14, but Detroit scored the next four points and led 108-107. Kevin Durant hit a three to regain the lead 110-108. Detroit came back and tied the game at 110 with just one minute and forty seconds left to play. The Dubs took the lead for good when Draymond Green made a slam as he was all alone on the weak side and was able to walk in uncontested.

Klay Thompson made a bucket to put the Dubs up 114-110 with 53.2 seconds left in the contest. Detroit scored a deuce, but Klay hit a three and the Warriors led by five 117-112 with 22.1 seconds left. The Warriors could have iced the game then and there but they turned the ball over on an inbound pass the bounced off Kevin Durant’s hands. The Dubs fouled Andre Drummond, and he made just one free throw. The Pistons fouled Steph, and he iced the game with two free throws with just 2 seconds to play. Dubs win 119-113

Game Notes- The Warriors played a very sloppy game as they committed twenty-three turnovers that nearly cost them the game. Detroit scored thirty-three points off the turnovers. The Dubs, however, did play well on defense. They had 41 rebounds, nine steals, and two blocked shots. They also moved the ball well as they had another game with over 30 assists(35 to be exact).

Kevin Durant led the Dubs in scoring with 32 points in 31 minutes of action. Durant had three assists and 8 boards. Draymond Green had another double-double. Green had 12 assists, ten rebounds, 1 blocked shot and just five points in Friday’s game. Steph had 25 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds. Klay Thompson had seventeen, but he had two key buckets in the fourth quarter.

JaVale McGee, continuing to improve, had a season-high 15 points. Zaza Pachulia, who had a season-high 15 points against Brooklyn, scored seven and had 7 boards. Ian Clark, David West had six each while Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala each had 4. Golden State shot a blistering 55.8% from the floor. The Pistons shot well, too, as they shot 50.6% Leading scoring for Detroit was Tobias Harris, coming off the bench, with 26. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 25. Reggie Jackson knocked down 17, and big Andre Drummond added 15. The Warriors are now 27-4 for the year and Detroit drops to 14-18.

After the game, Steve Kerr had this to say about the team’s performance:”I think there were some good things at the end.” He was not pleased about the “23 turnovers and a lot of careless defense.” He thought the Warriors performance at the end of the game “was a good way to finish but not a good performance overall.”

The Warriors are on their way to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers for the first time since game 7 of the NBA Finals last June. The Cavaliers will be without J.R.Smith who injured his wrist and will be out for a while. Nonetheless, the Warriors will have to still contend with LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and company.  The game will be played on Christmas Day at 11:30 am.

Warriors End 2013 With Sixth-Straight Win, Longest Streak in Six Years

By Matthew Harrington

The Golden State Warriors gave fans one last victory in 2013, beating the Magic 94-81 Tuesday night at the Amway Center in Orlando for their sixth-straight win. David Lee had a game-high 22 points, coming a rebound shy of a double-double and the Warriors defense limited the Magic (10-21) to an abysmal 38.2 shooting percentage. Golden State (20-13) also dominated the battle of the boards 56-37 to keep their longest winning streak since December of 2007 alive into the new year.

Lee’s 22 points on 11 of 15 from the field came in 27:49 of play, with a large Warriors lead throughout the game allowing the stars some rest to end the year. Klay Thompson had 15 points, while Mareese Speights (10) and Kent Bazemore (12) broke double-digit scoring off the bench. Magic guard Arron Aflalo led his team with 15 points on seven baskets while Tobias Harris topped the hosts in rebounds with nine. Andrew Bogut’s 11 boards were a game-best.

The lead only changed hands once, and it came early. The Warriors pulled even at 8-8 then Thompson hoisted a three-pointer to move Golden State ahead 11-8 3:50 in. The Warriors continued outscored the Magic 15-7 to wrap up the opening 12 minutes for a 26-15 lead. The Magic once again found themselves on the wrong end of the scoring differential, being outscored 32-20 in the second quarter for a 56-35 Warriors halftime edge. Orlando outscored the Warriors 46-36 in the second half, but a hefty first-half lead proved enough for the Warriors to win it comfortably with the star players on the bench.

The Warriors will take off January 1st before putting their winning ways on the line against the defending NBA champions. Golden State travels to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat Thursday for their third of seven-straight road games.