Three takeaways from the Kings’ preseason loss to the Jazz

Photo credit: Sports Radio Service

By: Ana Kieu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings returned to familiar territory at Golden 1 Center, where they hosted a preseason game versus the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Did the Kings bounce back? Nope. The Kings barely won their first preseason game 106-102 over the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena and then lost their next three preseason games, including their most recent loss–a 132-93 blowout to the Utah Jazz, who went undefeated in the preseason.

Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ loss to the Jazz:

The Kings’ rookie factor
The Kings were the home team in this preseason game, but that didn’t mean the team–and the Golden 1 Center–left a lasting impression on their fanbase.

But if you could look past the low attendance numbers and lack of community spirit, you’ll find a few bright spots like rookie power forward Marvin Bagley III, whom the Kings selected with the second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Bagley III posted 17 points, eight assists and one assist in 21 minutes of play. Moreover, Bagley III led all Kings in scoring, which was a great sight to see.

The Kings made a slightly controversial move when they initially selected Bagley III, a Duke product, when there was a franchise-changing young man in Deandre Ayton, who was preferred by the Phoenix Suns, but CBS Sports has reported that the Suns should’ve spent a little bit more time looking at him.

Of course, every rookie in NBA history likely has thought that he was the best player in the draft, but Bagley III has told CBS Sports that he’d embark on a long and fruitful NBA career. While it’s too early to predict Bagley III’s future, we can reassure you that he has been making headlines for the right reasons.

The Kings fall flat
Even if you didn’t watch the game, the final score should scream that the Kings fell flat and the Jazz had the upper hand.

Sacramento suffered from a complete lack of defense along with missed field goals, lay-ups and other point-blank attempts. Utah, on the other hand, excelled when it came to field goals. The Jazz converted 60 percent of their field goals, including 14 of their 30 three-point shots. The Jazz jumped out to a 39-10 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

The Kings should take notes on the Jazz, who are an up-and-coming team with rookie shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, who’s arguably the future of the Jazz. Also, Utah’s leading scorer–Ruby Gobert–finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes of play, so keep an eye out for him. In addition, Utah big men Alec Burks, Grayson Allen, Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder deserve parts of your attention for their hard work.

Buddy Buckets
Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield recorded seven points, seven assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes of play. Obviously, those aren’t above average numbers, but Hield proved that he deserves the nickname “Buddy Buckets.”

Hield’s steal and slam in the second half was a noteworthy moment for the Kings, who qualified for a positive moment following the awful first half. Hield’s game has shown marginal improvements over time and Hield will likely become a regular starter again. Hield’s one of the Kings’ best players. Hield may not be the definite cure for the Kings’ issues, but it’s a start.

The Kings have nowhere to go, but up.

Jazz refuse to quit with 132-93 pounding of Kings

Photo credit: sacbee.com

By Jeremy Harness

SACRAMENTO — The Golden 1 Center was half-empty on Thursday, and the brave souls who showed up probably wished they had not.

The Sacramento Kings sure didn’t. They were smacked around in every way imaginable right from the opening tip-off in a 132-93 drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz, the team’s first home preseason game against an NBA opponent.

Let’s put it this way: The Kiss-Cam got more applause than the Kings did.

The boo birds, as well as the occasional shout of “you suck” started midway through the second quarter. It only intensified after a Rudy Gobert fast-break dunk gave the Jazz a 62-29 lead. The booing did cease, however, in the second half, possibly due to either a strong sense of resignation or a general lack of interest.

The majority of Utah’s field-goal attempts were uncontested, which explains why the Jazz converted 60 percent of them (51 of 85), including 14 of their 30 3-point shots. The Kings, meanwhile, were flat broke the entire game, starting with DeAaron Fox’s jumper from the free-throw line clanking off the base of the rim.

What followed were missed layups and other point-blank attempts as well as a complete lack of defense. Utah used the first 12 minutes of the game to get out to a 39-10 lead.

It got no better during the course of Thursday’s game. In fact, it got painfully worse. The Kings were a woeful 34 percent (32 of 93) from the floor.

Sacramento was losing it on the court, and it seemed to trickle down to the head coach, and that didn’t take very long. After calling a timeout upon Sacramento going down 32-7 late in the opening quarter, Dave Joerger waited exactly seven seconds–about the time it took for Sacramento to get the ball across half-court–to call another one.

The second quarter was simply an extension of the first. While going down 45-10 in the first two minutes of the quarter, Buddy Hield missed a wide-open fast-break layup and watched as the putback attempt got wedged in between the basket and the backboard. Meanwhile, the Jazz built up a 36-point halftime lead and led at one point by 44 points.

The Jazz were led by Rudy Gobert, who caught numerous alley-oops for dunks and put in a few more uncontested attempts on his way to 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Rookie Marvin Bagley III, whom the Kings selected with the second pick of this year’s draft, scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Willie Cauley-Stein had 16 points, but he was manhandled by Utah big man Rudy Gobert in the process. Harry Giles III and Justin Jackson each scored 12 points for Sacramento.

NOTES: It’s probably not a good sign when Skal Labissiere–who was a first-round pick just two years ago–doesn’t see his first action of the game until the start of the fourth quarter, after the Kings had been trailing by at least 20 since the opening minutes of the game.

Ben McLemore, who was part of the trade that sent guard–and proven leader–Garrett Temple to the Memphis Grizzlies, did not get into the game until the fourth quarter as well.

UP NEXT: The Kings head up north to the Moda Center to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in their final preseason game Friday night at 7:00 pm PT on NSNW.

Warriors end season with 119-79 blowout loss to the Jazz

Photo credit: @warriors

By: Eric He

If these are the Warriors we see when the playoffs begin in a few days, then they won’t make it very far.

The Golden State Warriors wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday night at the Vivint Smart Home Arena with a 119-79 loss to the Utah Jazz and will head into the postseason looking to rekindle the magic that they had through most of their 58-24 season.

They will do so without Stephen Curry for a bit, and they have missed him these past few games while their offense has looked average and their defense poor. Against the Jazz, the Warriors allowed 33 points in the first quarter and 62 in the first half. They trailed by 17 at the end of one and by 21 at halftime, by which the game had essentially been decided.

The Warriors have no doubled coasted into the postseason, locked into the second seed with no hope of catching the Rockets. But their recent struggles have opened up vulnerabilities as they await their first round opponent, which will be known by the end of Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Jazz ended the season on an absolute tear, winning 29 of their final 34 games. Donovan Mitchell finished with 22 points as he looked to put an exclamation mark on his campaign for the Rookie of the Year award.

Perhaps the one saving grace of the blowout loss was that there is no way the Warriors will face the Jazz in the first round. Utah could have slipped to the seventh spot with a loss — but now they will be among the top four. And that is a huge blessing in disguise.

Report: Warriors and Quinn Cook agree on multi-year NBA deal

Photo credit: @AthleticDesires

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — One night after the Warriors waved veteran forward Omri Casspi, the team has reportedly agreed with two-way point guard Quinn Cook on a multi-year NBA deal, according to multiple reports.

News of the deal was first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports on Sunday, with Cook expected to sign the deal on Tuesday. Golden State plans to wait until their final regular-season game to sign Cook to a two-year deal.

While not official, the second year of the deal is not guaranteed according to league sources the report added.

Cook was signed before the start of the season and has had added much needed depth to Golden State’s roster, especially with starting point guard Stephan Curry missing the last few weeks with an MCL sprain.

In 31 games this season, Cook has averaged 9.4 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, including 44.8 from 3-point range. Cook has made 16 starts this season for Golden State.

With Curry expected to miss at least the first round of the playoffs, Cook will have even more pressure placed upon him (depending on the Warriors’ first-round opponent) to help navigate the defending NBA Champions through the series.

Golden State (57-23) plays at Phoenix (20-60) Sunday after losing 126-120 to the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night in Golden State’s home finale. The loss cost the Warriors a chance at their fourth consecutive 60-win season, which hasn’t been accomplished in the NBA since the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, who did it from ’84-’88.

Cook finished with 21 points and seven assists on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor to go along with 5-of-7 from 3-point range against the Pelicans.

The Warriors play the Utah Jazz (47-33) Tuesday in Salt Lake City to close out the regular-season.

The Jazz clinched their second straight postseason trip Sunday with a 112-97 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers (42-38) at Vivint Smart Home Arena behind potential Rookie of the Year winner Donovan Mitchell’s near triple-double performance, finishing with 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Short-Handed Warriors Lack Firepower, Lose to Jazz 110-91

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

It is amazing how injuries to several key players can send a season spiraling south. The Warriors were without the four All-Star players Sunday night, and they were slammed by a very young, hungry, and torrid Utah Jazz squad as they fell 110-91. The Jazz are now 23-4 in their last 27 games.

The Warriors were the first NBA team to have four starters named as All-Stars, and it appears that they may also be the first team to have all four All-Stars injured and unable to play at the same time.

The Warriors’ two-time NBA MVP, Steph Curry, injured his medial collateral ligament in his left knee in last Friday’s game against Atlanta. He will be reevaluated by the team’s doctors in three weeks on April 14th. It does not mean he will return to action in the first playoff series as the injury normally takes four to six weeks to heal.

The Warriors need Klay Thompson (broken thumb), Kevin Durant (injured rib cartilage), and Draymond Green (bruised groin and the flu) to return as soon as possible. The Warriors may be facing Utah in the first round, and they will need every able-bodied player to be at full strength to be able to handle Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and company.

The Warriors, coached by Steve Kerr, and the Jazz, coached by Quin Snyder, played a fairly low-scoring first period. The Warriors started five players that had never played together as a unit. All five players had been relegated to the bench during the season.

Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney, and Quinn Cook took the floor for Steve Kerr’s club. They played excellent defense and held the Jazz to just 18 points, while scoring 22 in the first 12 minutes of action.

The Jazz–behind Gobert, Mitchell, and Ingles–outscored the Warriors 35-25 in the second quarter and finished the half leading 53-47. Andre Iguodala led the Warrior offense with nine points. Andre mad all three-point shots he attempted in the first half. Quinn Cook and JaVale McGee each had eight.

The Jazz increased the lead to 23 at the end of the third quarter. They scored 36, and their defense held the Warriors to just 18 points. The Warriors took the fourth quarter, 26-21, but they could not come back from a 23-point deficit.

Game Notes and Stats: The Warriors had just two players that scored double-digit points. Cook led the Warriors with 17 and Iguodala finished with 12. Nick Young and David West had nine apiece while JaVale McGee and Patrick McCaw had eight.

The Jazz had a balanced attack as they had seven players in double figures. Donovan Mitchell had 21, Rudy Gobert 17, Jae Crowder 14, Joe Ingles 14, Dante Exum 13, Ricky Rubio 11, and Derrick Favors 10. The Jazz shot 48.3% from the floor and made 12 3-point shots. The Warriors were held to 41.8% from the floor, and they made six treys in 20 attempts.

Up Next: The Warriors need one more win or one Portland loss to sew up the second seed in the NBA Western Conference. They play the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night and the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento Saturday night.

Kings give maximum effort on the road but come up short to Jazz 103-97

MASON vs Jazz
Frank Mason III takes it to the hoop vs Jazz Photo @SacramentoKings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings ended a nightmare five games in seven nights stretch with a “Battle Royale” versus the playoff bound Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Saturday night. The Kings played a very competitive game for a full 48-minutes but came up just short losing to the Jazz 103-97.

The Kings had to battle the talent of the Jazz, the fatigue of having played at Golden State on Friday night and playing at altitude – SLC sits 4226 feet above sea level. Sacramento played those five games in five different cities – only the Miami game was played in SAC. They also played in three different time zones. Even under those adverse conditions, the Kings finished this punishing part of their schedule with two wins and three loses.

Despite not arriving in Utah until 2 am, Sacramento showed no fatigue starting the game fast and with high energy. The team continued to play hard in the second quarter and took a 54-50 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Kings 3-point shooting helped to carrying them in the first half as they 8-of-11 (72.7-percent) from behind the arc in the opening 24-minutes. Buddy Hield came off the bench to lead the scoring for Sacramento with 10 points while Rudy Gobert was the top scorer for the Jazz with 13.

The Kings have battled third-quarter let downs all season long but managed to avoid that problem in this game. They did fall behind by 10 points in the period but rebounded late in the quarter and trailed the Jazz by just one – 80 to 79 – after three quarters.

In the final period, the score seesawed back and forth with neither team able to take control of the game. The game was tied at 94-all with 40-seconds remaining. Joe Ingles hit two free throws to give Utah the lead then Ricky Rubio hit two from the charity stripe to give the Jazz a four-point lead 24-seconds to go.

The Kings had to foul to stop the clock and keep the game close. They fouled Gobert who converted two free throws to make it six-point game. Garrett Temple hit a 3-pointer to bring the Kings back within three-points then they had to foul Ingles again. Ingles hit the first free throw but missed the second. Gobert grabbed the rebound slammed the ball home to give the Jazz a 103-97 lead which would be the final score.

Top Performances

Kings

Utah Kings starting 5
Kings starting five vs Utah Photo @SacramentoKings
  • Buddy Hield came off the bench to be the leading scorer for his team with 23-points. “Buddy Buckets” shot 9-for-15 for the game and hit 5-of-8 3-point attempts. Hield also led his team with six assists.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic posted 12 points but had a tough night shooting. He hit just 5-of-17 shots overall and was 2-for-3 from long-range.
  • Fox scored 11-points, grabbed four rebounds, made four steals and handed out two assists but also struggled from the field hitting just 4-of-13 attempts.
  • Garrett Temple had a good game coming off the bench to score 11-points. He shot 4-for-7 and was a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown.
  • Other Sac contributors: Cauley-Stein 9-points, Koufos and Mason III 8 each, Labissiere 7, Sampson 6, Jackson 2.

Jazz

Utah vs Kings 3-17
Photo @utahjazz
  • Rookie of the year candidate Donovan Mitchell was the high-scorer for the game with 28-points. Mitchell shot 11-for-21 from the field but was an awful 1-for-8 from 3-point land. He hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
  • Rudy Gobert recorded a double-double scoring 22 points and hauling in 13 rebounds.
  • Ricky Rubio was expected to miss the game after being injured in the Suns game on Thursday, but he did make the start. The point guard scored 14-points, recorded nine rebounds and dished out five dimes.
  • Joe Ingles posted 14 points, seven rebounds and a game-high nine assists.

By the Numbers

Sacramento (23-48)

  • The Kings bench outscored the Utah reserves 56-15. Dave Joerger would like to have that kind of bench production every game.
  • SAC was hot from behind the arc as they hit 14-of-21 (66.7-percent) from 3-point range versus the Jazz.
  • The team shot an acceptable 43-percent (37-for-86) for the game.
  • The Kings recorded 33 rebounds versus 48 for the Jazz.
  • Sacramento scored 20 points off 16 Utah turnovers.
  • SAC dished out 23 assists versus 14 turnovers.
  • The Kings went to the free throw line just 14 times while Utah went to the stripe 38 times.

Utah (40-30)

  • Second chance points may have been the key to the Jazz win Saturday night. Utah scored eight second chance points to just three for the Kings.
  • Success at the free throw line was also a major contributing factor in Jazz win. They converted 31-of-38 opportunities from line. Sacramento went 9-for-14 shooting free throws.
  • UTA dominated the battle in the paint outscoring SAC 46-30 down low.
  • Utah shot 44.6-percent (33-for-74) for the contest.
  • They did not have a great not from downtown hitting just 6-of-24 (25-percent) from 3-point range.

 Up Next

Kings

SAC opens a six-game homestand with the Detroit Pistons on Monday night at the Golden 1 Center. The Pistons made a big trade for Blake Griffin to make a drive for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference but are now six games out of contention for the eighth and final postseason spot.

Jazz

UTA will stay in Salt Lake City and prepare for the “tanking” Atlanta Hawks who will come to town on Tuesday night. The Hawks occupy last place in the NBA East. Atlanta will continue their road trip on Thursday night in Sacramento.

Utah Jazz hit all the high notes as they blow out Warriors 129-99

Photo credit: @warriors

By: Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors had the best road record in the NBA, but ran into a buzzsaw Tuesday night as the Utah Jazz overwhelmed them 129-99 at the Vivant Smart Home Arena.

The Jazz started the scoring and led the entire way. The only time the Warriors came close was when the game was tied at eight apiece early in the first quarter. Utah’s head coach Quin Snyder found the recipe to shut down the Warriors’ vaunted offense. They pressured Steph Curry and hounded him at every turn. Curry was just one-for-seven from beyond the three-point arc. They also pressured Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Their strategy was to let the other Warriors beat them.

Utah’s offense was led by guard Ricky Rubio and forward Joe Ingles. Rubio hounded Curry all night and finished the night with twenty-three points and 11 assists for a double-double. Ingles was on fire. Ingles made six three-point shots in 8 attempts, and the Jazz shot 58.25 from the floor and was 14-for-28 from 3-point range.

In the first quarter, the Jazz raced out to a 35-30 advantage. The Warriors were close, and if they could get their game going, they could take the lead. They didn’t do that. They had a bad night on defense, and they were sloppy handling the ball. The Warriors failed to gain ground and trailed by 13 at the half (69-56).

It was more of the same in the second half. The Jazz did everything right, and the Warriors did not look like a championship team at all. The Jazz increased the lead to 18, and the Warriors rested their stars in the fourth quarter as they could not mount a charge. The Jazz wins 129-99.

Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors drop to 40-11.

The Jazz improved to 22-28.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points.

Kevin Durant had 17 while Steph Curry and JaVale McGee, of all people, tallied 14 each.

The Jazz controlled the boards. They made 16 steals and just 11 turnovers.

The Warriors, on the other hand, committed 19 turnovers. They just didn’t do a good job of handling the basketball Tuesday night. Donovan Mitchell, the high scoring rookie from Louisville, knocked down 20 and Derrick Favors, the other twin tower for Utah, had 18.

Up Next: The Warriors travel to Sacramento to face the Kings Friday night.

They will want to gain a measure of revenge as the Kings beat them the last time they met which was at Oracle Arena.

The Jazz hand Kings their sixth consecutive loss 120-105; rookie Mitchell puts up 34 points for UTA

IMG_2443

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – Wednesday night was game one of the Sacramento Kings “youth movement” where the emphasis would be placed on getting the younger team members more time on the floor. Winning would be the secondary goal.

That sounds like a potentially painful proposition, and it proved to be very painful versus the visiting Utah Jazz.

Both teams entered the contest looking to end losing streaks. The Jazz had lost two consecutive games. The Kings were losers in their previous five match ups. This was Sacramento’s last home game before heading out on their longest road trip of the season to face Memphis, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami, San Antonio and finally Boogie Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.

This game looked winnable and they needed a win.

The Kings – who led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter – lost the lead for the final time with 8:58 remaining in the second period. They would trail by 10 points at the half, by 15 points at the end of three quarters and 15 at the final buzzer.

SAC could not find a “lock-down defense” that could stop rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell who seemed to score at will, and Rodney Hood who may have played his best game of the year for the Jazz.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger analyzed the game in nine words, ” … we need to play with a lot more nasty.”

What the coaches had to say after the game

Stars of the Game

Jazz

  • Rookie Guard Donovan Mitchell was without a doubt the star of the game for Utah. He scored a game-high 34 points in just over 34 minutes of playing time. Whenever a player scores a point per minute played, he has had an outstanding game. Mitchell shot 14 for 19 overall and converted five of seven from the free throw line. He also contributed three assists and made three steals.
  • Rodney Hood – the fourth year player out of Duke – also had an outstanding game scoring 25 points to earn co-star honors. Hood hit nine of 16 field goal shots and made four of nine 3-point attempts. He went a perfect three for three from the charity stripe. Hood grabbed eight rebounds and made two steals.
  • Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors must also receive best supporting performance awards. Ingles put up 14 points going four for seven from 3-point land. Favors also scored 14 and he pulled down 11 rebounds to make it a double-double game.

Kings

  • Willie Cauley-Stein receives the star of the game for the Kings for recording a double-double. WCS scored 26 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in almost 37 minutes on the floor. He shot 11 for 18 from the field. Cauley-Stein was the Kings high-scorer.
  • Sacramento’s co-star has to be Bogdan Bogdanovic who posted 25 points in 39 minutes of playing time. Bogey shot nine for 11 overall and was a perfect six for six from behind the 3-point line. He also grabbed six rebounds.
  • George Hill gets a featured player credit for scoring 20 points in 36 minutes versus his former teammates. He shot six for 10 from the floor and four for five from 3-point land. Hill also recorded three steals. Many still believe that the Kings are showcasing Hill for possible trades before the February 8th trade deadline.

Key Stats

Utah

  • The Jazz shot 56.8-percent (46 for 81) overall for the game. They hit 12 of 29 attempts from behind the 3-point line (41.4-percent).
  • Utah took advantage of the free throw line converting 16 of 20 (80-percent) opportunities.
  • The Jazz dished out 26 steals while committing only 10 turnovers to exceed the desired goal of a 2:1 ratio. The Kings scored 19 points off the 10 Jazz turnovers.
  • Utah made 15 steals in the contest.

Sacramento

  • The Kings shot an impressive 52.8-percent (38 for 72) from the floor. They just did not have enough attempts and conversions to keep pace with the Jazz.
  • SAC shot an impressive 13 for 21 (61.9-percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
  • The Kings had 19 assists and 19 turnovers. A 1 to 1 ratio is not acceptable. The Jazz scored 27 points off those 19 Sacramento turnovers.

Up Next

Sacramento

The Kings will return to action on Friday in Memphis versus the Grizzlies. Sacramento lost to Memphis 114-96 on New Year’s Eve in SAC.

Utah

The Jazz will host the Knicks on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

 

 

Warriors continue homestand with 126-101 blowout win over Jazz

Golden State Warriors forwards Jordan Bell (2), Andre Iguodala (9) and Kevin Durant (35) celebrate during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. The Warriors won 126-101. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By: Ana Kieu

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors continued their long homestand with a 126-101 blowout win over the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Warriors extended their win streak to two games and handed the Jazz their third straight loss.

The Jazz barely outscored the Warriors 24-23 at the end of the first quarter, but Golden State picked up the pace to get past Utah. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant stepped up for Steph Curry (sprained ankle) during the second quarter.

Green sank the three to give the Warriors a 48-47 lead over the Jazz at halftime. During the halftime break, a lucky fan honed his skills to score an autographed basketball, courtesy of MRC Smart Technology Solutions.

The Warriors didn’t waste any time in the second half. Golden State scored an unbelievable 42 points in the third quarter. Thompson, Durant, Green, Shaun Livingston, and Jordan Bell made tonight’s basketball game lit with their dunk shows.

The Warriors led the Jazz 90-69 at the end of the third quarter.

Nick Young made some threes in the fourth quarter. Omri Casspi made an incredible reverse layup. Andre Iguodala then stole the ball and found Casspi, who finished with the layup.

Patrick McCaw joined the party of threes towards the end of the game. JaVale McGee also finished at the rim.

The Warriors overcame a rather sluggish start and blew out the Jazz 126-101 for their second straight win–both at home.

Notes
Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob was named SF Business Times’ 2017 Executive of the Year.

Up Next
The Warriors host the Hornets on Friday, December 29 at 7:30 pm PT.

The Jazz return home to host the Cavs on Saturday, December 30 at 6 pm MT.

Kings get their veteran PG in George Hill and add grit up front in Zach Randolph

by Charlie O. Mallonee

SAC Icon

The Sacramento Kings appeared to be in neutral on the free agent market while waiting to see if the Washington Wizards would match their offer sheet for Otto Porter Jr. In reality, they were working on deals in a stealth mode that caught most observers by total surprise.

Kings get experience at point guardGreorge Hill

Sacramento is very happy with the talent they drafted at point guard in De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III. The only problem is that neither player has one minute of playing time in the NBA. That is not an acceptable situation.

The Kings point guards from last season were both free agents. Darren Collison just signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. There were reports that Sacramento was in discussions with Ty Lawson about returning to the team, but he certainly would be looking for a guaranteed contract with multiple years or options. Lawson played last season on a one-year non-guaranteed contract.

Enter George Hill. Hill had been rumored to be heading to Los Angeles to play with the Lakers and to be a mentor to Lonzo Ball. Reports are circling the Lakers were only willing to offer a one-year deal. Not the kind of security a 31-year old, nine-year NBA veteran in a salary market gone mad is looking for this year.

It has been reported the Jazz tried to sign Hill to an extension during the season valued at $88-million but he and his representatives thought he would do better on the open market in the offseason. The free agent market did not fall Hill’s direction.

According to the Vertical who broke the story, the deal is for three years and worth $57-million. David Aldridge of NBA.com is reporting the third year is only partially guaranteed.

Hill will almost certainly be the starter in Sacramento. Head coach Dave Joerger makes no bones about not being thrilled about throwing rookies into starting roles. Last season, first-year players sat at the end of the bench and then were summoned into the game for limited minutes. Depending on their performance, more or less playing time was awarded to the young players.

Hill will be expected to mentor the young point guards. He can also play along side them as an off-guard. Joerger also liked using an offense that incorporated two point guards on the floor in a “small ball” lineup.

Hill averaged 16.9 points per game in 49 games last season. His overall shooting percentage was 47.7. He shot 40.3-percent from 3-point range. Hill averaged 4.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1 steal and 1.7 turnovers per game.

The injury that caused Hill to miss so many games last season was a sprained big toe. He said it was a freak injury and it proved to be a nagging injury that did not heal well under the pressure of playing. The toe did not require any surgery in the offseason.

He’s big — he’s bad — he’s Z-Bo and now he is a King

zach Randolph

The other player the Kings reportedly signed on Tuesday brings a dimension of toughness to the team that they lost when DeMarcus Cousins was traded away. The difference is that Zach Randolph knows how to keep things under control while banging under the basket.

“Z-Bo” as he is known has reportedly signed a two-year, $24-million contract with Sacramento. The signing was first reported by the “the Woj” of ESPN. Randolph’s signing also reunites him with his old coach Dave Joerger who was the head man in Memphis for three seasons.

Last season in Memphis, Randolph worked as a sixth man for the Grizzlies. He averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 29.5 minutes playing time per game. Will Randolph be a sixth man in Sac? Dave Joerger likes to vary starting lineups based on matchups and on who is hot at the moment. The one thing you can count on is the Randolph was not signed to come sit on the Kings bench.

Randolph — who will turn 36 later this month — has been in “the association” since 2001. He has made stops in Portland, New York, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Memphis. Randolph played his college basketball at Michigan State for Tom Izzo and helped lead the Spartans to the NCAA Final Four in 2001.