New Year’s Eve Nightmare as Kings lose to the Grizzlies 114-96

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Skal Labissiere takes it to the hoop against the Grizzlies Photo: Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com

by Charlie O. Mallonee with Jordan Chapin

On New Year’s Eve at the Golden 1 Center, something happened that has not really been heard in the new building. In the third quarter, fans began booing their hometown Kings. They were frustrated with their play and the fact that the Kings were trailing the Grizzlies 90-63.

When the third quarter ended, a large number of fans headed for their cars in order to beat crowds coming into downtown and to get to their New Year’s parties early. Those who left had no hope that their Kings would mount a comeback in the final period. They were right.

Sacramento held the lead only twice in the contest. They took the first lead of the game on a Bogdan Bogdanovic 26-foot three-point basket for the first score of the game. After the Grizzlies tied the game on a Tyreke Evans 3-pointer – the Kings took a 5-3 lead when George Hill scored on a fast break. That would be the last time the home team would hold the lead in the game.

The Grizzlies lead was 14-points at the end of the first quarter and 18 at the half. Memphis built their lead to as many as 32-points in the third period and to a game-high 33-points in the fourth quarter.

After losing to the Warriors 141-128 on Saturday night, the Grizzlies should have been tired and ripe for the pickings in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road. Instead, they seemed pumped up by their performance and used that energy against the Kings for the entire 48-minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger Postgame Comment

Top Performers

Grizzlies

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Tyreke Evans scored a game-high 26 points versus the Kings Photo: Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com
  • Star of the Game: Former King Tyreke Evans came back to Sacramento and showed off his skills in front of the fans who once cheered for him when he wore purple and white. Evans – who has stepped up to really help a team that has been beset by injury and the loss of free agents – scored a game-high 26 points. He hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the 3-point line. Evans also grabbed seven rebounds and five assists. His +/- rating was an impressive plus-23.
  • Co-Star: Jarell Martin -third-year player out of LSU. The 6-10 forward put up 11-points in 24-minutes off the bench. He went 5-for-8 from the field and 1-for-1 from 3-point land.
  • Co-Star: Deyonta Davis came off the bench to score 10-points and pull down nine rebounds in just over 23-minutes of playing time. The Grizzlies bench scored 64-points in the game.
  • Supporting Player Kings fans know: Ben McLemore is now a member of the Grizzlies and he played the entire fourth quarter. Ben Mac scored eight-points making two 3-point baskets and sinking two free throws.

Kings

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Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer with 21-points Photo: Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com
  • Star of the Game: Willie Cauley-Stein takes the honors for the Kings on Sunday night. He posted 21-points shooting 8-for-14 from the floor and going 5-for-9 from the free throw line. Cauley-Stein also grabbed eight rebounds and made to two steals in his almost 29-minutes on the court.
  • Co-Star: Buddy Hield worked hard in his 30-minutes of playing time off the bench. Hield scored 15-points shooting 5-for-14 for the game and hit 3-of-7 from downtown. He also dished out two assists as well.

Team Stats

Memphis (12-25)

  • The Grizzlies shot an impressive 53.9-percent (41-for-76) for the game. They hit 14-of-30 (46.7-percent) tries from behind the 3-point line.
  • Memphis took advantage of the free throw line converting 18-of-24 opportunities (75-percent).
  • The Grizzlies recorded 11 steals in the contest – five more than the Kings
  • Blocked shots: Memphis posted eight in the game. Veteran Marc Gasol had four of those blocks in the first quarter of the game.

Sacramento (12-24)

  • The Kings shot 43-percent for the game but only because the shot almost 58-percent in “garbage time” in the fourth quarter when the outcome of the game had already been decided.
  • Sacramento did not help themselves at the free throw line. The Kings went to the line 25 times but hit only 13 of those shots (52-percent). They are called free throws for a reason. A team must take advantage of those opportunities.
  • The Kings did do a better job working the boards on Sunday. They grabbed 42 rebounds while Memphis recorded 44 rebounds. That was a real improvement over the Phoenix game.

Up Next

Kings

The Kings first game of the new year will be versus the Charlotte Hornets at the Golden 1 Center on Tuesday, January 2. The Hornets are coming in off a 106-98 New Year’s Eve loss to the Clippers. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

Grizzlies

The Grizzlies will wrap up their West Coast swing with a game in Los Angeles versus the Clippers on Tuesday at Staples Center.

 

Nuggets down Kings 105-92; here’s your 2:20 game wrap

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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Buddy Hield scores 2 of his 17 points Photo NBAE

The Sacramento Kings have lost eight consecutive games – head coach Dave Joerger has an interesting reaction and response

This was the final game of the year between the Nuggets and Kings. The season series ends 2-2. Each team won a game on its homecourt and lost a game on the road.

Where the teams stand after the game

  • Denver’s record improves to 31-35
  • The Nuggets have won two games in a row
  • Denver remains in eighth place in the Western Conference two games ahead of ninth place Portland and five games behind seventh place Memphis
  • Sacramento’s season record drops to 25-41
  • The Kings have dropped into 13th place in the Western Conference one game behind 12th place New Orleans and six games behind Denver in the final playoff slot
  • The Kings are three games ahead of 14th place Phoenix
  • Sacramento has 16 games remaining in the regular season

Miss seeing the game? Highlights are here

Click here to see video highlights from Saturday’s game between the Nuggets and the Kings

Top performers

Nuggets

  • Former Michigan State star Gary Harris scored a game-high 24 points shooting 10-for-15 from the field
  • Center Nikoia Jokic recorded a double-double putting up 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds
  • Forward Danilo Gallinari added 15 points

Kings

  • Rookie Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 17 points. He shot 6-for-8 from the floor including three 3-point buckets. Hield also had three assists
  • Tyreke Evans made an impact coming off the bench adding 15 points
  • Willie Cauley-Stein added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for Sacramento. Head coach Dave Joerger wants to see Cauley-Stein have more assist opportunities
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Tyreke Evans was a force off the bench Photo NBAE

Weird stat of the night

The Nuggets committed nine turnovers in the game but the Kings were able to score just four points off those turnovers. Compare that to the Kings who committed 13 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for Denver.

Up next on the schedule

The Kings will be back on their homecourt on Monday night when they host the Orlando Magic. The Magic are also a budding “Draft Lottery” team.

The Nuggets will also be back in action on Monday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in the Mile High City.

 

Multiple reports: The “Boogie” era is over in Sacramento

by Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–The DeMarcus Cousins era in Sacramento has apparently come to an end. Multiple reports have Cousins going to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for shooting guard Buddy – “the Nutcracker”- Hield, guard (and former King) Tyreke Evans, shooting guard Langston Galloway plus a future first-round and second-round draft pick.

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Buddy Hield goes to the hoop

“The Woj” of The Vertical was the first to send the rumors of the possible trade up the wires earlier on Sunday. Most of the reaction to the rumor was negative based on Vlade Divac’s statements to ESPN last week on the Kings intentions to sign Cousins to a long-term extension and the fact that Sacramento is still in contention for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

As the day progressed and the All-Star Game got underway, the rumors of a Cousins trade continued to heat up. Where it had just been New Orleans as a possible destination, there then became rumors that other teams were vying for Cousins. As time passed, the story began “to grow legs”.

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Tyreke Evans is coming back to Sacramento

Adding fuel to the fire was the limited amount of playing time that Cousins saw in the All-Star Game. Cousins played just two minutes and scored three points.

It would appear that the Kings have moved into a rebuilding mode. If they hold unto the number 10 or better lottery draft pick, the Kings will retain that selection rather than having to send that pick to the Chicago Bulls. The upcoming draft has been deemed one of the most star-studded in years. The trade would indicate that the Kings want to participate in the draft process.

Do not forget that Sacramento hedged their bets by sending Marquese Chriss to Phoenix for the rights to shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic who is currently playing in Turkey. He is seen as a potential impact player in the NBA.

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Bogdan Bogdanovic will be a King next season

This certainly marks a major change in philosophy for the Kings. Up until now, it has been “all Boogie – all the time”. Now, it’s a clean slate. What kind of team do the Kings want to build? Vivek Ranadive was a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors and loves their style of play. Who doesn’t love the Warriors style?

All change is crisis. So, the Kings are in the middle of another major crisis. They have to justify to their long-suffering fans why they did an about-face and dropped out of the playoff race while jettisoning their only legitimate All-Star player.

I would not want to be an account representative having to call season ticket holders for renewal orders on Monday. When those current season ticket holders ask what are the Kings plans for the future, the answer at this point is probably an honest … I’m not sure.

There is one constant that has not changed. The Sacramento Kings are never boring. They are never easy to understand, but they are never, never boring.

Curry’s 19 points drives Dubs to 11th straight win

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Western Conference Player of the Month for November Stephen Curry continued his steady play into December, scoring 19 points and handing out a season-high 11 assists leading the Golden State Warriors to their 11th consecutive victory with a 112-85 win over the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday night in front of 19,596 fans at Oracle Arena.

“We are off to a great start,” Curry said. “We have a laser focus and we never get too head of ourselves.”

Golden State’s 11-game win streak matches their longest in franchise history, dating back to the 1971-72 season. Their NBA-best 16-2 mark this season is also their best start in the team history, while improving to 7-1 at home.

After starting 1-of-8 shooting, Klay Thompson finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 from the floor.

Harrison Barnes added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Draymond Green had 14 points and matched his career-high with 14 rebounds.

Marreese Speights continues to provide scoring off the bench for the Warriors, finishing with 12 points. In his last five games, Speights is averaging 14.6 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and shooting 42 percent from the field.

Golden State destroyed New Orleans in points in the paint (62-48), rebounds (56-47), and held the Pelicans to just 41.6 percent shooting from the floor (3-0f-15 from 3-point range).

After trailing 30-22 early in the second quarter, Golden State went on a 20-4 run to close out the first half. Golden State led as much as 22 points over a New Orleans team that couldn’t get it going tonight after coming off a 112-104 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night.

Anthony Davis scored 30 points and 15 rebounds, Jrue Holiday finished with 12 points and eight assists, and Tyreke Evans chipped in 11 points for New Orleans, who fall to 8-9 this season.

Omer Asik finished with nine points, and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans, who also committed 17 turnovers compared to nine by the Warriors.

Golden State looks to set a new franchise mark Saturday when the team heads to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls.

Extra dribbles:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he hoped power forward David Lee (hamstring strain) would return to action next week while ruling Lee out for the Bulls game.
  • Warriors guard Justin Holiday got into the game for the final two minutes and had a dunk, marking the first time he played in a game with his brother, Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, on the opposing team.
  • Sarunas Marciulionis bobbleheads did not arrive at Oracle Arena in time for them to be distributed because of labor issues at the Los Angeles and Long Beach waterfront, so fans were given vouchers instead for the giveaways to be shipped to their homes.

 

Curry, Lee carry Warriors past Pelicans

By Joe Hawkes

NEW ORLEANS — Stephen Curry had 28 points and eight assists, while David Lee added 22 points and eight rebounds helping the Golden State Warriors rebound from their loss in Oklahoma City Friday night, with a 97-87 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night at New Orleans Arena.

Curry shot 10-for-22 from the field, but 2-for-9 from 3-point range. Andrew Bogut scored 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in 34 minutes, and Jordan Crawford added 10 points off the bench for Golden State (26-16), who picked up their seventh straight victory over New Orleans.

Klay Thompson had a tough night from the field, scoring eight points on 3-for-14 shooting, 2-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, his seventh straight game with at least 20-plus points.

Tyreke Evans finished with 14 points, after missing the previous three games with a left ankle sprain for the Pelicans (15-24), who have lost seven straight games. Al-Farouq Aminu scored 12 points, but New Orleans finished shooting 38.6 percent (32 of 83), including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. The Warriors shot 44 percent (37 of 84), hitting 6 of 22 from deep.

Golden State needed this victory in the worse way, as they host the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers Monday at Oracle Arena and didn’t want to face a tough Pacers team on a three-game losing streak.