No Kawhi–no problem! Raptors beat Kings 120-105 Tuesday night

raptors kings 2

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Toronto Raptors handed the Kings their second consecutive loss in two days as they downed Sacramento 120-105 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. This was the second game of a back-to-back set that began in Brooklyn on Monday. The Nets beat the Kings 123-94 on MLK Day.

Battle of the Tiers

The Raptors are a Tier One team. They know that they will be playing deep into the month of May and could be playing in the month of June for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Their 36 wins are the most in the NBA to date.

The Kings are a Tier Three team that is working very hard to become a Tier Two team. Becoming a Tier Two team does not mean that they would make the playoffs this season, but it would mean they would have very few ping pong balls in the barrel for the NBA Draft Lottery.

The Kings are just four wins away from matching their win total of the 2017-18 season, and they still have 34 games to play in the regular season. Sacramento is just 1.5 games out playoff contention, even after losing on Tuesday night.

Both teams played shorthanded

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Up North Starting Five @Raptors

The Raptors played without Kawhi Leonard, who has been on an eight-day break. Leonard has now sat out 13 games this season and the Raptors are 11-2 without him in the lineup. That is what you call depth.

Toronto plays the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night, and it is believed that the Raptors felt it was more important to have Kawhi available for that game than to play against the Kings at home on Tuesday night.

The official reason for Leonard’s absence was “Rest-Load Management”. Some observers are beginning to ask if Leonard would be worth a long-term contract investment since he has needed to be rested 13 times in 49 games to date this season.

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Kings Starting Five @SacramentoKings

The Kings also held out three key players on Tuesday night. De’Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica did not dress and did not play. That was listed as a coach’s decision. Iman Shumpert was also held out of the game for “Rest-Load Management”.

Coach Dave Joerger mentioned in his postgame comments that two of those players went through therapy on Tuesday without giving any details. It would be fair to project that Fox was one of those players since he has needed on-going attention for a shoulder he injured approximately one month ago.

The Raptors did not miss a beat without Kawhi

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Siakam jams it home Photo: @Raptors

Six Raptors scored in double figures in the win over the Kings on Tuesday night (four were starters):

  • Fred VanVleet put up 19 points to go with seven assists and seven rebounds. VanVleet has been the “designated started” when Leonard has been unavailable.
  • Kyle Lowry also scored 19 points and dished out nine dimes in 34-minutes on the floor.
  • Pascal Siakam put 18 points up on the board, shooting 8-for-14 from the floor.
  • Serge Ibaka had a double-double night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
  • CJ Miles came off the bench to score 15 points in just over 15-minutes in the game. Miles hit 4-of-5 3-point attempts.
  • Norman Powell was the last of the double-figure scorers with 11 points.

Toronto refused to let the Kings build a lead in this game. The biggest lead for SAC on the night was five points. There were seven lead changes and six ties. The Raptors’ largest lead of the game was 19 points.

The Kings had seven players score in double figures

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Graphic @SacramentoKings

Sacramento has some strong individual performances, but they could not put together the runs they needed to stay with the Raptors. Much like game on Monday in Brooklyn, the Kings kept things close in the first half then the game started slipping away in the third quarter. By the time the clock started in the fourth quarter, the game became a runaway for the home team.

Important Kings performers:

  • Marvin Bagley III made his first start of the season and he did not disappoint. MBIIIV scored a game-high 22 points and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. It will not be his last start of the season.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic put 16 points in the book to go along with nine assists and eight rebounds. “Bogi” also had three steals in the contest.
  • Buddy Hield scored a “quiet” 15 points in the game. He shot 5-for-14 overall and hit just two 3-point baskets. Hield did dish out five assists, but one has to wonder if fatigue was not a bit of a factor for “Buddy Buckets” in the game.
  • Harry Giles III had a very productive 22-plus minutes off the bench for the Kings on Tuesday night. He scored 11 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the floor.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein, Yogi Ferrell and Ben McLemore each scored 10 points in the game.

Key Numbers

  • The Kings outscored the Raptors 50-46 in the paint
  • Toronto scored 24 Second Chance Points to 12 for Sacramento
  • The Raptors scored 26 Fast Break Points to 16 for the Kings

Up Next

The Kings (24-24) will travel to Memphis on Wednesday to prepare for their game with the Grizzlies (19-28) on Friday night.

The Raptors (36-13) will face the Pacers (31-15) in Indy on Wednesday night.

Rise of the Bench Mob: Reserves push Kings past road-weary Blazers, 115-107

By: Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO — Yogi, Bogie and Bags sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon, but the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t laughing on Monday night.

The Kings got a big night from their bench, who outscored the Sacramento starting five 58-57. All those different contributors signaled doom for the Blazers, who appeared sluggish less than 24 hours after they dropped a close game to the Nuggets in Denver.

“We’re defending, making extra efforts,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “We’re a team where everybody needs to contribute.”

The Kings didn’t get their first lead until early in the second quarter on Bogdan Bogdanovic’s jumper that put them up 30-29. Zach Collins made one of two free throws to tie it, but Bogdanovic answered with a 3-pointer to give the Kings a lead they never relinquished. That against a Portland team that’s 26-0 when leading after three quarters, but fell to 0-19 when they trail after three on Monday.

The Blazers were lead by Damian Lilliard, who scored 35 points. But no other Blazer scored more than Evan Turner’s 14. Second-leading C.J. McCollum finished with six, missing 12 of his 14 shots from the floor. Even more than their 14 turnovers, the Blazers’ poor shooting left them at a disadvantage against the high-octane Kings.

“We turned the ball over and allowed them to get out in transition,” Lilliard said. “They play at the fastest pace in the league, so we made it harder on ourselves than it had to be.”

The Kings improved to 23-21 on the season, and pulled into a tie with the LeBron James-less Lakers for ninth place in the Western Conference. The Utah Jazz hold the final playoff spot at 24-21, a half-game ahead of the Kings and Lakers.

A six-game road trip that starts with Detroit, Charlotte and Brooklyn awaits the Kings, and likely holds the key to the young team’s playoff chances. When asked if the trip–which starts Thursday against the Pistons–marks a pivotal stretch in their 82-game season, Joerger barely flinched, and instead used the moment to give his post-game presser an abrupt Bill Belichick-type ending.

“We have tomorrow off,” Joerger said.

The Kings begin their six-game road trip Thursday against the Charlotte Hornets. Game time set for 4 pm PST.

Close but no cigar: Lakers down the Kings 121-114 Sunday night at Staples

By Charlie O. Mallonee

LAL 12-30 5
Kings starting five @SacramentoKings

The Sacramento Kings goal of winning back-to-back games from the Los Angeles Lakers went up in smoke in the final minutes of the contest on Sunday night when the Lakers went on a 12-0 run. The Lakers, even without LeBron, went on to defeat the Kings 121-114 in the final game of 2018 for Sacramento.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope recorded a season-high 26 points, while Josh Hart added 22 points. Brandon Ingram joined the party by putting in 21 points, including seven points in the final run that decided the game.

The Kings lost for the first time this season when they held the lead going into the fourth quarter.

This was a very entertaining game

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Bogdanovic to the hoop @SacramentoKings

This was the kind of game the NBA would like to have every night:

  • There were 18 lead changes
  • The game was tied 13 times
  • The Kings outscored the Lakers 58-52 in the paint — it was a battle
  • The Lakers won the war of second chance points 20-9
  • The Kings put up 27 fastbreak points to 12 for the Lakers
  • The biggest lead of the game: Kings 11, Lakers 9

The Kings were led by their backcourt in the game

  • De’Aaron Fox tied for high-scorer in the game with 26 points and he dished out seven assists. Fox grabbed four rebounds and made three steals.
  • Buddy Hield scored 21 points in the game, shooting 7-for-17 in the contest. He hit 4-of-11 from behind the arc.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic also put up 21 points by shooting 9-for-18 from the floor (3-for-6 from 3-point land).

Other Kings contributors

  • Willie Cauley-Stein recorded a double-double, scoring 11 points and hauling in 12 rebounds
  • Iman Shumpert scored eight points, but did not have a great shooting night
  • Yogi Ferrell also put up eight points in just over eight minutes of playing time

Team Stats


  • The team shot 48.4-percent (46-for-95) from the field
  • They went 13-for-34 (38.2%) from 3-point land
  • They were outrebounded 50-45
  • Sacramento made 14 turnovers that resulted in 16 Laker points


  • LAL shot 46-for-95 from the floor (48.0-percent)
  • The Lakers hit 15-of-44 3-point shots (34.1%)
  • LA recorded 30 assists versus the Kings
  • Caldwell-Pope’s 26 points were a career-high

Up Next

The Kings (19-17) will host the Portland on New Year’s Day at the Golden 1 Center.

The Lakers (21-16) will welcome the Thunder to the Staples Center on January 2nd.

Kings lose the final preseason game of the year to Portland, 118-115, but not ugly this time

Por vs Sac

By Charlie O. Mallonee

After being blown out 132-93 by the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings needed to bounce back in the second game of a back-to-back in Portland on Friday to prove that they are not a “walk-over team” in the 2018-19 season. The Kings did not win on Friday night, but they did not embarrass themselves either. Sacramento fought to the end but came up short losing to the Trail Blazers 118-115.

Sacramento did not go into the game with positive news. Point guard De’Aaron Fox and head coach Dave Joerger were both pregame scratches because of the stomach flu. That is not the way you want to start a game you need to win–no head coach and down one superstar.

The Kings fell behind 32-20 at the end of the first quarter, and it looked like it might be another ugly loss for Sacramento on the road. The Kings bounced back in the second quarter and outscored the Trail Blazers 35-25.

The Kings kept the game close and had a chance to win the contest right up to the end. With one-tenth of a second remaining, Frank Mason put up a 3-point shot that missed. Had that shot been good–the Kings would have won the game.

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Kings Performances

  • Buddy Hield was the Kings co-high scorer in the game with 19 points. Hield went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. He also had four assists.
  • Yogi Ferrell also scored 19 points in the game. Ferrell shot 7-for-15 from the field. He also added five assists.
  • Marvin Bagley III–MBIII5 scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. He shot 7-for-11 from the field.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Mason each scored 14 points in the game.
  • Nemanja Bjelica put up 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

What the Trail Blazers did

  • CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers scoring attack with 21 points. He also had nine rebounds and six assists.
  • Meyers Leonard added 17 points and nine rebounds.
  • Nik Stauskas (remember him?) recorded 15 points. He hit 4-of-7 from 3-point land.
  • Zach Collins scored 15 points in 31 minutes on the floor. He shot 7-of-12 from the floor.

Por Leonard

Team stats

  • SAC shot 42.2-percent from the floor (38-for-90).
  • The Kings hit 10-of-24 (41.7-percent) from 3-point land.
  • Sacramento went 29-for-33 (87.9-percent) from the free throw line.

Up next

The start of the 2018-19 regular season on Wednesday, October 17 versus the Utah Jazz at 7:00 pm PT inside the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.