The Kings play defense and beat the Bulls 98-81 on Friday in Chicago

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

The long national nightmare is over for “Sacramento Proud” as their team’s six-game losing streak has come to an end in Chicago. The Kings (16-29) downed the Bulls 98-81 on Friday night at the United Center.

The last time the Kings won a basketball game was on January 7th in Phoenix. Those 16 days between wins seemed like an eternity for Sacramento fans.

A major change to the starting lineup

Sometimes a coach must shake things up to in order to get his team’s attention. In this case, Kings head coach – Luke Walton – made a change to his starting lineup. Guard Buddy Hield has been in a shooting slump, so Walton took Hield out of the starting rotation and replaced him with Bogdan Bogdanovic who has been the Kings sixth man all season.

Moving a starter to the bench is always dangerous because a coach never knows how the player will react. In this case, the lineup moves worked.

Hield took the change in stride

In reality, Hield did more than take things in stride – he thrived. Hield led the Kings in scoring by putting up 21 points in the game. He shot 7-for-12 overall and hit 5 of 9 from behind the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed eight rebounds.

After the game, Kings head coach Luke Walton was full of praise for Hield for his play and his reaction to his change in the rotation.

The key to the win was defense

This was the second game this season that the Kings held their opponent to under 90 points. The Kings are 2-0 in those games.

Sacramento held Chicago to just 39.2% (31-for-79) shooting overall and the Bulls hit only 8 of 37 (21.6%) from 3-point range.

The Kings caused the Bulls (17-30) to turn the ball over 21 times which resulted in 16 Sacramento points.

The Bulls largest lead of the game was three points.

Top performers

Leading scorers

  • Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 21 points
  • Zach LaVine led the Bulls scoring attack with 21 points

The Glass cleaners

  • Cristiano Felicio of the Bulls was the game’s leading rebounder with nine
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings with eight rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • De’Aaron Fox was the game’s assist leader with seven dimes
  • Kris Dunn led the Bulls with six assists

Up next

The Kings travel to the Twin Cities where they will play the Timberwolves on Monday night.

The Bulls will play in Cleveland on Saturday night.




Kings crush the Bulls 129-102 on St. Patty’s Day

Bagley shoots over Lopez Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings broke up a three-game losing streak on Sunday by devouring the hapless Chicago Bulls 129-102 before a delighted sellout crowd at the Golden 1 Center. After returning home from a very disappointing four-game road trip that saw the team pick up just one victory, the young Kings were in need of something to put a smile back on their faces. There were plenty of smiles after the game on St. Patrick’s Day.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger said, “… they do work so hard, it’s fun to see them get the result that does make them feel good.”

The teams played a tough first quarter that saw seven lead changes and four ties. It appeared that the Bulls had arrived ready to put up a fight on Sunday.

Sacramento was trailing 23-21 with 6.7-seconds to go in the first quarter. Bogdan Bogdanovic brought the ball up the court while watching the clock, took a step back behind the 3-point line, and sank a 26-foot shot to give the Kings a 24-23 lead at the end of the first period.

The Kings would never trail in the game again.

The bigs crash the boards Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Why did the Kings win?

  1. Sacramento was ready for a win, and they came out willing to work for it. Dave Joerger revealed after the game that their plan was to work the for a shot in the paint early in the possession (four to six seconds) then start looking for open shots outside if layups were not available. The Kings outscored the Bulls 80-56 in the paint.
  2. The Kings shot the basketball very well in the contest. They shot 52.4-percent (54/103) overall and 34.8-percent (8/23) from 3-point land. They also converted 13-of-16 (81.2%) or their free throw attempts. Poor free throw shooting had hurt them on the road trip.
  3. The Kings also banged on the boards. Sacramento out-rebounded Chicago 48-39. They also outdid their opponent on the offensive glass 15-10. The Kings scored 23 2nd chance points to 15 for the Bulls.
  4. Sacramento continued to take very good care of the basketball as they turned it over just 12 times (13 CHI points) while the Bulls turned it over 20 times (25 SAC points).

Top Performances

Bogi challenges Lopez Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee


  • Marvin Bagley III played an amazing 21-minutes of basketball (we believe the minutes restriction from his knee injury is still in place). He scored a game-high 21-points by shooting 9-for-14 from the field and going a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. MB35 also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out two assists.
  • The other young big – Harry Giles III – also played 21-minutes. H20 scored 16 points while shooting 8-for-14 in the contest. He also hauled in six rebounds, added three assists and blocked three shots.
  • And those other guys: De’Aaron Fox scored 17 points, Buddy Hield, 16, Harrison Barnes 15, Willey Cauley-Stein 9, Bjelica 8, and Bogdanovic 8.
  • All 13 players on the active roster saw playing in the game on Sunday.


  • Zach LaVine was the leading scorer for the Bulls with 18 points. You may remember that Kings tried to get LaVine in the off-season, but the Bulls matched the Sacramento offer to keep talented guard in Chicago.
  • The real star for the Bulls is “tankathon”. Chicago is 19-52 on the season and their real goal is to finish with the best chance to get the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery in June. Right now, they have the fourth worst record in the league and have a 12.5-percent chance in Zion Williamson sweepstakes. It is tough to be too motivated when you know your team’s goal is to be “the biggest loser”.

Import Milestone

The Kings record improved to 34-35 after the win on Sunday. That is most wins for Sacramento since back in 2007-08 when the team won 38 games. The prognosticators at predict that the Kings will win 39 games this season.

Bjelica hits the corner three Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Up Next

The Kings are off until Tuesday night when they will face the much improved and playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets at the Golden 1 Center.

Chicago traveled to Phoenix after the game and will play the pesky Suns on Monday night.

Kings win third game in a row defeating the Timberwolves 109-105

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Koufos shoots in the paint photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won their third consecutive game on Friday night in Minnesota 109-105 as they downed the young and very talented Timberwolves ending their two game winning streak. Both teams fought hard in the game as the lead changed hands 20 times in the contest.

The win was the Kings second in a row on the road as they also won in Utah on Wednesday night. Sacramento’s road record improved to 6-11 and they are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

Sacramento’s overall record improved to 13-17 and moved them into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference by one-half game over Portland. That means if the season ended today, the Kings would be in the NBA Playoffs.

DeMarcus Cousins leads the way for the Kings

Cousins struggled with the Wolves double-teams in the first half scoring just 11 points. The Timberwolves were unable to hold him down in the second half as he put up 22 points working the paint and shooting from long range.

The Kings forward/center was the team’s assists leader with seven dimes. He was very aware of where his teammates were when the Minnesota defense double-teamed him. Cousins also led the team in steals. It was a Cousins steal from Zach Levine with 36-seconds to go in the game that helped to seal the win for the Kings.

The Kings bench produced big results on Friday night

The Kings bench outscored the Timberwolves bench 45-11. Anthony Tolliver scored 17 points hitting 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range. Tolliver played 30 minutes off the bench for Sacramento.

Ty Lawson has really come into his own in the last few games. He seems to have found how use his speed in the offense. Lawson scored 15 points for the second unit shooting 5-for-11 including two 3-point baskets. He also dished out four assists and had two steals.

The Kings team stats were very impressive

Sacramento shot 42-for-80 (52.5-percent) from the field. They hit 15-of-29 (51.7-percent) from 3-point land. From the free throw line, the Kings went 10-for-14 (71.4-percent).

The Kings assists to turnover ratio was better than the goal of 2:1. They had 27 assists and turned the ball over just 11 times that Minnesota converted into just six points. Sacramento had seven steals in the contest.

The Kings were out-rebounded 42-38.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Barnes handles the ball for the Kings photo: NBAE

Coach Joerger’s views on the game

  • It was a good game, a good win
  • The Kings avoided the “track meet” mentality of trying to run with the young Timberwolves
  • The executed pretty well
  • By winning three in row, the team has earned Christmas Eve and Christmas off

Lavine was a one-man wrecking crew for Minnesota

Guard Zach Lavine tried to win the game single-handedly for the Wolves and he almost succeeded. Lavine scored a career high 40 points. He shot 13-for-21 from the field including seven 3-point buckets. Lavine was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. The third-year shooting guard played 39-minutes in the game.

The other Kentucky center had pretty good game as well

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 points for Minnesota. He made it a double-double game by grabbing 13 rebounds. Towns shot 7-for-15 from the floor. He also had five assists.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Towns works through traffic photo: NBAE

Minnesota has to work on Christmas Day

The Timberwolves travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on December 25th. That is a tough task for a 9-20 team that is trying to find its footing. Minnesota has all the talent it needs to become a real force in the NBA. Now, it’s a matter of developing the maturity.

The Kings return to action on Monday night

Sacramento has a real chance to make it four wins in a row when they host the 7-22 Philadelphia 76ers at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings need to be very careful with the Sixers. It can be very easy to look past a team that is doing so poorly and wind up losing to that squad. That is what happened last season when the Sixers beat the Kings in Sacramento.

The Warriors win their eleventh in a row, down the Minnesota Timberwolves

By Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The Golden State Warriors beat the young and talented Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night at the Oracle Arena by a score of 115-102. The Warriors played the game without Draymond Green and Ian Clark. Green and Clark suffered injuries on the same play Friday night in Los Angeles. Coach Steve Kerr said that when he told Draymond that he would not play, Draymond “did not fight me on it. If someone is banged up, we give him the night off, no matter who he is.” Kerr gave Kevon Looney the first start of his relatively short NBA career. Looney, in a career-high nineteen minutes of play, scored six points, had two assists and three rebounds. Without Green in the lineup, the Dubs had to find a way to defend the Wolves Big Three. Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Rookie-of-the-Year Karl-Anthony Towns are all just twenty-one years old, and these three can play basketball. Those three kept the Wolves in the game, but the Warriors prevailed. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson led the Warriors in scoring. Durant was magnificent on defense as he had ten rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. Steph had eight boards and six assists. Zaza Pachulia, Javon McGee, and David West all made their presence felt in the game.

The Warriors started the game well. They had a 21-13 lead until Minnesota went on a thirteen-three run. The first quarter ended with the Wolves leading 33-30. Karl-Anthony Towns (12), Andrew Wiggins(9), and Zach LaVine(9) scored thirty of the thirty-three Wolves’ points in the quarter. The Wolves were 62.5% from the floor. The Dubs weren’t bad as they shot 60%, but they trailed by three.

The Warriors’ and the Wolves were cold to start the second quarter. The Dubs went four minutes without scoring a point. The Timberwolves weren’t much better. They scored just three to take a 36-30 lead with eight minutes left. The Dubs behind Durant, Curry, Looney, and Pachulia managed to put Golden State in the lead. The Warrior defense shut down the Minnesota offense and the Dubs outscored them 26-25 to take an eight-point lead (56-48) at the half. KD(18), Steph(11), and Klay(11) were the high scorers for Golden State.

The Warriors increased the lead to seventeen at the end of three as Steph continued to make three-point shots. However, Minnesota came to life in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to eight but Steph, Klay, and Durant made clutch baskets when needed and they took down the Timberwolves 115-102.

Game Notes- The Warriors won their eleventh straight game to improve to 15-2. The Wolves fall to 5-11. Steph led the Dubs with 34 to go along with six assists and eight rebounds. Klay Thompson had twenty-three and six boards. Durant had a double-double with 28 points and ten rebounds. Durant had a career-high six blocked shots. The Warriors streak of ten consecutive games with 30 or more assists ended. The Dubs made just twenty-five in the contest. Zach LaVine led the Wolves with 31. Towns had 18 and Wiggins added 18.

The Warriors meet the Atlanta Hawks Monday night at the Oracle Arena at 7:30 pm.

Kings squeak past Timberwolves 106-103

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings
Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – The Sacramento Kings won their first game in the new Golden 1 Center on Saturday night by squeaking by the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-103.It was literally a last-second victory as the Timberwolves had the chance to tie the game or take the lead with 02.6-seconds left on the clock.

The Kings record improves to 2-1 on the season with the victory. Head coach Dave Joerger said the win has some meaning as the Kings get ready to start a five-game road trip.

“It just means you go on the road trip 2-1. I think there is a nice difference between being 2-1 and 1-2 and how you feel about yourself, knowing you are going to play your next five in all kinds of different states around the union,” said coach Joerger about the upcoming road trip. “I think that’s a better feeling getting on the plane tomorrow.”

The loss leaves the Timberwolves winless on the season. Minnesota lost their season opener in Memphis when they let a 14-point lead slip away late in the game. The Timberwolves let an 18-point lead over the Kings evaporate on Saturday night.

New Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau likes his teams talent but feels that something has to happen before they can start winning.

“We have to get a lot tougher. We got to get a lot tougher.”

Minnesota can pass and shoot the ball. The Timberwolves shot 51.4-percent from the floor in the game. They shot over 60-percent in the first quarter. Thibodeau is also correct when he says they are not a very physical team when they need to be.

The Kings started the game slowly shooting under 40-percent for much of the first quarter and allowing Andrew Wiggins to score 13 points. Dave Joerger became so frustrated that he pulled his five starters off the floor with 3:18 to go in the quarter and put in the entire second unit.

The Kings came back to life in the second quarter behind Rudy Gay who scored 12 points and DeMarcus Cousins who put up 11. Matt Barnes came off the bench to make a real difference especially on defense.

The Timberwolves led the Kings 65-54 at halftime.

The third quarter was the difference maker in this game. The Kings came out on fire on both ends of the floor. Sacramento outscored Minnesota 31-12 in the period. The Timberwolves shot only 25-percent from the floor.

Minnesota turned the ball over seven times in the period that resulted in 14 Sacramento points. The Kings had just two turnovers the Timberwolves were unable to turn into any points.

“The 3rd quarter was a problem, big problem. We have to take a look the problems and see where the issues are,” said Tom Thibodeau.

The fourth quarter began with the Kings leading 85-77. Sacramento opened up a 10-point lead then the Timberwolves began to chip away at the that lead. Minnesota went on a 9-0 run and tied the game 100-100 with 3:11 to play.

The Kings went back up by five. After Wiggins hit a free throw and cut the lead to four, the unthinkable happened. DeMarcus Cousins picked up his sixth personal foul with 50.9-seconds left in the game. The Kings had to finish the game with their best player on the bench.

Rookie guard Kris Dunn who was fouled by Cousins missed both of his free throws. Gorgui Dieng grabbed the rebound and Zach LaVine missed a 3-point jump shot. Karl-Anthony Towns got the rebound and converted the lay up to make it a two point game, 105-103.

After winning a jump ball, the Timberwolves were unable to hit a basket. Matt Barnes was fouled going for a rebound with 00.2-seconds left. He hit 1-of-2 free throws to end the game.

The Kings won the game 106-103.

Kings (2-1)

  • Cousins was the Kings leading scorer with 29 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Rudy Gay had a big night 28 points, 11-for-20 shooting
  • Matt Barnes – the impact player of the game off the bench – 12 points including three 3-pointers to go with 9 assists
  • Ben McLemore bounced back from his troubles in the Spurs game scoring 13 points and shooting 50-percent from the field
  • The Kings improved their shooting by 6-percent over Thursday by shooting 45.9-percent (39-for-85) in the game.

Timberwolves (0-2)

  • Andrew Wiggins scored 29 points to lead the Timberwolves scoring attack. He is very difficult to stop when he wants to shoot.
  • Guard Zach LaVine had a big night putting up 21 points while shooting 50-percent from the floor
  • Karl-Anthony Towns added 15 points but the battle between him and fellow Kentucky Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins was a non-event. They just did not match up much in the game
  • PG Ricky Rubio experienced a sprained elbow. Rubio was rumored to be a trade target of the Kings but Minnesota was reluctant to part with him until Kris Dunn is ready

Up Next

The Kings begin a five-game road trip on Monday night in Atlanta. Sacramento will play five games in seven nights all in the Eastern time zone except for the Milwaukee game which is in the Central time zone.

Minnesota heads home to open their home season with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves will be looking for redemption after losing to Memphis in their season opener.

Curry’s 25 points carries Warriors past T’Wolves

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry scored a game-high 25 points to go along with six assists helping the Golden State Warriors shake off a two-game losing streak with a comfortable 110-97 victory over the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night in front of 19,596 at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson added 21 points and five rebounds for Golden State, who out-shot Minnesota 46.6 to 44.2 percent from the field. Golden State led as much as 27 points in the fourth quarter, and forced Minnesota into 25 turnovers while committing just 14 turnovers.

Even with sporting the NBA’s best record at 24-5, Golden State has been brought back down to earth recently with back-to-back losses in Los Angeles to the Lakers and Clippers respectively. Warriors first-year head coach Steve Kerr, who is an even-keel guy, has voiced his frustration with his team’s lack of focus and commitment during games, but seemed satisfied after the game.

“I told our guys, `If we want to win in May and June, we have to play every possession,” Kerr said. “You just can’t completely lose focus and throw the ball where nobody is. Or maybe at a guy with a different color jersey. I was dumbfounded with some of the stuff that I saw. But as I said, a lot of great stuff, too.”

Thompson is clearly on board with what Kerr is trying to preach to his team.

“We’re still growing and we’re still getting there. I completely understand where Steve’s coming from,” Thompson said.

“I just think our team has a tendency, at times, to want to put on a show instead of just making the right play,” Kerr said. “What they need to understand is making the right play will provide the show.”

Minnesota (5-24) didn’t look like a team that wanted to be on the court.

Small forward Thaddeus Young scored 17 points, talented rookie Zach LaVine added 12 points and a game-high 14 assists, while Troy Daniels finished 14 points off the bench for Minnesota, who dropped their eighth straight game.

Rookie Andrew Wiggins finished with 10 points. Point guard Ricky Rubio missed his 24th straight game due to a sprained ankle.

Golden State has dominated the Northwest Division this season, improving to 6-0 on the season. With the win over Minnesota, Golden State have won nine straight home games, their longest home winning streak since the 1994 season where they won 10 straight.

The Warriors will have a chance to tie that 10-game home winning streak Tuesday with Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers visiting Oracle Arena.