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The Sacramento Kings got off to a red-hot start against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, but awful defense and some poor execution in the fourth quarter led to a 118-110 defeat. The Kings are now tied for the third-most losses in the NBA (44), while the Thunder improved to 47-18.
DeMarcus Cousins was great as usual, scoring 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting. The young big man also grabbed seven rebounds. Travis Outlaw played his best game with the Kings going for 20 points and seven rebounds. Tyreke Evans, who saw his name mentioned among trade rumors earlier in the week, scored 18 and had four assists and rebounds.
Kevin Durant made his push for the NBA scoring title, going for 32 points. He also brought down nine boards. Russell Westbrook had a pedestrian night with just 13 points in 27 minutes, although he did dish out six assists and bring down eight rebounds.
The Kings have just one game left against the Lakers on Thursday night.
For more on the team, check out Sactown Royalty.
Tyreke Evans and the Sacramento Kings could be spending their final days together unless they can come to an agreement on a contract extension.
The Sacramento Kings routed the Charlotte Bobcats in a pretty meek affair, taking an early double digit lead at 31-19 through one quarter before steadily increasing the lead period-by-period. The Kings shot 55.2% from the field, forced Charlotte to shoot 43.8%, forced 19 Charlotte turnovers while managing a 23 assist eight turnover game.
Sacramento was led by DeMarcus Cousins who piled up 29 points and 10 assists, Tyreke Evans put up 22 points on 10 of 11 shooting, Jason Thompson added 14 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five steals, Jimmer Fredette put in 11 points, and Isaiah Thomas added 10.
Cousins did receive a technical foul, which put him over the league limit for the season. Cousins will have to serve a one-game suspension against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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The Sacramento Kings have struggled mightily since the All-Star Break, and the loss of leading scorer Marcus Thornton has done nothing but cause problems for the team. The game on Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder was going to be difficult all by itself, but not having Thornton in the lineup seemingly makes this game un-winnable for Sacramento.
This late in the season and with the NBA Lottery coming up, I'll let you be the judge of whether or not that is a good thing.
Thornton is on the active roster,but again, not expected to play.— James Ham (@James_Ham) April 21, 2012
The Kings will now rely heavily on the trio of Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins for a bulk of the scoring. Look for Jimmer Fredette -- yes, he's still alive -- to get a few extra minutes this evening at the shooting guard spot.
For more on the Kings, be sure to check out Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings played things close to the vest with the San Antonio Spurs for one half, but they couldn't keep it up for a whole game. The Spurs outscored the Kings 69-45 in the second half and turned a close game into a blowout.
The Kings gave up double-digit scoring from seven Spurs, as San Antonio shot nearly 59% from the field, hit eight threes and swished 25 free throws in all. Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal each had 17 points, Tony Parker put in 15, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson each had 13 points, and Danny Green put in 11.
Sacramento got good performances from Isaiah Thomas (21 points and eight assists), DeMarcus Cousins (18 points and nine rebounds) and Marcus Thornton (20 points on 9-16 shooting), but they were thoroughly outclassed by one of the best teams in the West.
The Sacramento Kings are playing their worst basketball of the season right now. Entering a game against one of the league's best teams in the Oklahoma City Thunder, even a close score would be considered a victory for Sacramento. That was not the case on Friday night as the team fell by a score of 115-89.
The Kings held tough in the first quarter and trailed by just two at the conclusion of the first 12 minutes, but it went all downhill from there. The Thunder outscored them 35-18 in the second quarter, and they coasted in the second half to one of their biggest victories of the year.
Isaiah Thomas continued to play well and had 21 points, three assists and no turnovers. Tyreke Evans played just 14 minutes and had two points, while DeMarcus Cousins was held in check for nine and 12 rebounds.
Even without James Harden in the lineup, the Thunder had no trouble picking apart the Kings on defense. Kevin Durant had 29, Russell Westbrook added 22 and Derek Fisher provided 14 points off the bench.
Just keep on tanking for a higher draft pick, Kings.
Next up: the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon.
For more on the team, head over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings are playing their worst basketball of the season right now, and that trend of poor play continued on Tuesday night as they fell to the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 110-100. The Kings have now last five in a row and 10 of their last 12.
Hey, at least they're improving their odds of landing the No. 1 draft pick next summer.
DeMarcus Cousins continued to play incredibly well against a tough Dallas front court, scoring 25 points and bringing down 18 rebounds. The young center now ranks second-best in franchise history with double-doubles in a season, just behind Chris Webber. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas all scored 16 points (and they all did so making seven shots from the field). Jimmer Fredette came off the bench to score 13.
The Mavericks had six players score in double figures against an apathetic defensive effort from Sacramento. Dirk Nowitzki had 15 despite a poor shooting night, Jason Terry went for 13 off the bench and Shawn Marion recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Kings will take on the Hornets in New Orleans on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. PT.
For more on the team, head over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings are sinking during the dog days of the regular season and they struggled mightily against the Suns on Tuesday night without Marcus Thornton and John Salmons healthy enough to play. As Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers make their way to Sacramento on Thursday night, the Kings will be without both of their starters once again.
Here is the latest from the Sacramento Bee:
Thornton is still recovering from a bruised left calf sustained Monday night against the Timberwolves that kept him out of the Kings' loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Smart said Thornton is "walking much better but still not ready to get on the floor and play yet."
John Salmons, meanwhile, is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game with a sore right hip.
Smart said Salmons was at the Kings' practice facility getting treatment on the Kings' off-day yesterday and is "doing everything he can to possibly get back on the floor," but is not ready to return.
The Kings were clearly lost without their leading scorer in Thornton earlier in the week, and their little depth at the small forward position is exposed even more whenever Salmons is unable to play. The Clippers are coming off a tough loss last night so there is a chance Sacramento catches them on an off night, but it's tough to see the team winning without these two starters in the lineup.
For more on the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings were without leading scorer Marcus Thornton on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns and it was apparent from tipoff that the team had very little flow without No. 23 on the court. The offense became stagnant far too often and players who probably shouldn't be taking shots were forced to play big minutes down the stretch.
The story of the night in Sacramento was DeMarcus Cousins. Despite the loss, the second year big man played the best game of his career thus far, going for 41 points and 12 rebounds against a tough Suns front court of Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez. His demeanor on the court remains a work in progress for head coach Keith Smart, but Cousins is quickly turning into one of the elite centers in all of basketball at the age of 22.
The Suns had six players score 12 points of more on Tuesday night, led by Gortat and his 20 points and 10 rebounds. Steve Nash added 18 and recorded 12 assists.
For more on the club, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings are coming off a decent win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they might have lost their primary shooting guard Marcus Thornton. Thornton was injured in yesterday's contest, and it's unknown how long he'll be out of action.
Marcus Thornton listed as out for tonight's game against Phoenix. #nbakings— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) April 3, 2012
Thornton has been on a tear for the Kings. He's been averaging 20 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 2.1 assists per game, all while shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.4% from the three point line. That included eight 20 point games and two 30 point games.
With Thornton out, Tyreke Evans probably moves over to the shooting guard spot, and Terrence Williams becomes the starter at small forward. Jimmer Fredette probably becomes the primary guard for the Kings off the bench.
The Sacramento Kings held on to beat off rally after rally to edge out the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Kings led comfortably for most of the game, but had to deal with a few Minnesota rallies before cruising to victory.
Sacramento shot 50% from the field, hit seven of 23 threes, and nailed 23 of 28 free throws, also outrebounding Minnesota 46 to 35. Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, DeMarcus Cousins put up 20 points, nine rebounds (seven offensive), Jimmer Fredette added 19 points, Isaiah Thomas added 17 points and five assists, then Terrence Williams put up 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Kevin Love put up 23 points and seven boards to lead Minnesota, Nikola Pekovic added 17, and Luke Ridnour put up 13 points and six assists before leaving the game with a foot injury. The bigger issue could be Marcus Thornton, who had to leave the game after a tough-looking injury early in the contest.
After beating the Utah Jazz on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings were thoroughly dismantled Saturday night against the New Jersey Nets after a 35 point first quarter. The Kings trailed by double digits for most of the second half and bowing out meekly .The Kings couldn't handle Anthony Morrow coming off the bench, as Morrow nailed six three pointers to really put New Jersey ahead to stay. Sacramento missed 14 of 17 three pointers and turned the basketball over 18 times (compared to 17 assists).
Deron Williams controlled the game for New Jersey, piling up 15 assists and 19 points. Kris Humphries put up 18 points and 12 rebounds, Gerald Wallace added 18 and Johan Petro put up 12. Tyreke Evans put up 23 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins scored 14 points and nine rebounds, but they all came in the first half. Marcus Thornton put up 13, Isaiah Thomas 11, and Jason Thompson got 10 and 10.
The Sacramento Kings took a risk when they signed much-maligned guard/forward Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract earlier this month, and it has paid off to this point. According to Williams, he has already completed the paperwork to remain with the Kings for the rest for the 2012 season.
He has done a bit of everything with Sacramento thus far in limited playing time, averaging nearly 8 points, four rebounds and two assists. He played a season-high 22 minutes on Friday evening against the Jazz, a game the Kings won by a point.
Sactown Royalty, our tremendous Kings blog, weighed in on the move:
"If the Kings were interested in signing Williams to a multi-year, they could use their cap space this season to frontload a deal, but it's unlikely there will be a huge market for the wing in the summer, so there's probably little reason to play with what should be a small cap figure."
The Kings have very little to lose by keeping Williams in town for the next month or so. I would probably avoid hanging out any multi-year deals, but he might have earned himself a deal for next season.
The Sacramento Kings and the Utah Jazz engaged in a pretty epic tilt on Friday night in Salt Lake City. But DeMarcus Cousins nailed the winning free throw with a few seconds left and the Kings held on to win when the potential game-winner by Utah was tipped in after the buzzer.
Cousins led the Kings with 27 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and assists and two blocks. Marcus Thornton gave Sacramento 26 points and six rebounds, Isaiah Thomas 19 points and six assists, and Donte Greene put in ten points off the bench. Al Jefferson led Utah with 27 points and 16 boards, and Gordon Hayward put in 19 points in support.
The Jazz shot a remarkable 52 free throws, hitting 38 of them, but they only shot 35% from the field compared to 43% for Sacramento. Utah outrebounded Sacramento 62-48, but it wasn’t enough to win the game.
The Sacramento Kings (a miserable team away from home) looked like they were going to notch a big road win on Monday night, but they sputtered down the stretch and eventually fell to the Houston Rockets in overtime.
Sacramento received one of the best performances on the season from DeMarcus Cousins, who put up 38 points and 14 rebounds on 15-26 shooting, but Cousins didn’t touch the ball much in the final period. Sacramento relied on Marcus Thornton down the stretch (he put up 27 points on 9-22 shooting and hit a few big shots), but the rest of the team shot 17-48 and could provide very little support down the stretch. Sacramento shot 42.7% from the field and 27.8% on their three pointers; Houston wasn’t much better, but they did hit 48.3% from the field and 85.2% from the line.
The Kings let Patrick Patterson go off, as he had a career high 24 points and drained the game-tying basket to send the contest into overtime. Luis Scola added 18 points and 14 rebounds and Goran Dragic put in 14 points and 10 assists in solid support. Courtney Lee, Chandler Parsons, Chase Budinger and Earl Boykins all ended up with double-digit point totals. The Kings got 12 points from Tyreke Evans and 10 points from Terrence Williams.
The Golden State Warriors didn't play so well against the Sacramento Kings, but it was enough to earn them the victory. After a terrible final minute of basketball, Golden State managed to eek out a victory that they probably didn't deserve, but earned anyway.
Sacramento shot 1 of 15 from behind the three point line, dooming themselves to defeat. Despite being outrebounded 47-39, Golden State managed to nail seven threes, which made all the difference. Meanwhile, Golden State had 30 assists to 12 turnovers; Sacramento had 23 assists to 15 turnovers.
Klay Thompson nailed four threes and scored 31 points, David Lee added 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, Brandon Rush put in 11 points, and Nate Robinson added 10. DeMarcus Cousins added 28 points and 18 rebounds, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton put in 16 points each, and John Salmons scored 17 points.
The Sacramento Kings seemed to finally show their youth when they couldn't hit any of their shots against the Utah Jazz. Despite outrebounding Utah 55-45 and piling up 26 offensive boards to 11, Sacramento blew this one by missing 63 shots and shooting 40.6% from the field while giving up 47.3% shooting.
Al Jefferson got 26 points and seven rebounds, as he battled the monstrous DeMarcus Cousins (18 rebounds, 10 offensive!), but he did force Cousins to score 28 points on 28 shots. Gordon Hayward put up 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Devin Harris added 14 and Derrick Favors put in 12.
Here are the highlights for Kings vs. Jazz.
Sacramento shot 53.4% from the field and nearly over 60% from the field. Marcus Thornton piled in 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but got ample help from Isaiah Thomas (18 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals), DeMarcus Cousins (23 points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists, two blocks) and Jason Thompson (14 points, 13 boards).
Tyreke Evans came back into action and added a relatively modest 13 points off the bench, but he did have the biggest assist of the night on a Cousins flush.
Travis Outlaw had a nice play as well.
Travis Outlaw Alley-Oop (via kingsflix)
The Kings are now 13-9 at home, and are hoping to keep the momentum going the right way Thursday against Utah.
The long and illustrious tenure of J.J. Hickson with the Sacramento Kings is at an end. After failing to deal him at the NBA trade deadline, Hickson has been let go for essentially nothing. Hickson was supposed to be a restricted free agent this summer, which probably means Sacramento wanted to help out J.J. and let him go so he could find another spot to thrive.
JJ Hickson has completed a buyout with the Kings, league source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 19, 2012
Hickson always struggled with his shooting, but he took it to new levels this season, managing only a 37% FG clip, averaging under five points per game and just over five rebounds per game.
Hickson should draw interest from multiple teams for his occasional flashes of excellence. With the Boston Celtics losing Jermaine O'Neal for the season, Hickson immediately becomes exactly the sort of player they could pick up to try and fill their bench for another playoff run.
Sacramento now has nothing to show for the deal that sent Omri Casspi and a first round draft pick to Cleveland.
To discuss Hickson with Kings fans, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings utilized another dominant second half effort to put away the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sacramento broke a 57-all tie with a 58-42 second half advantage in points, utilizing efficient scoring (46% shooting from the field), but more effectively by moving the basketball (21 assists for the Kings to only 11 turnovers) while playing ball-hawk basketball (Sacramento forced 21 Minnesota turnovers).
Marcus Thornton led the way with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists, Isaiah Thomas added 18 points, John Salmons put in 15 points, Jason Thompson added 13 points and 10 rebounds, Chuck Hayes put in 12 points and eight rebounds, and Donte Greene added 11 points and seven rebounds. Kevin Love had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota, with Derrick Williams chipping in 16 and 9 in support.
Tyler Honeycutt Dunks on Michael Beasley (via kingsflix)
The Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics seemed like they would be locked in combat for most of the game, but the second half proved to be a different story. Sacramento unleashed 41 points in the third quarter to take total control, and cruised to the 4th quarter en route to a 26 point victory.
Marcus Thornton was unleashed, hitting 36 points on 24 shots (including five three-pointers), plus five steals, four points and four assists. Isaiah Thomas dished 10 assists to go along with his 10 points. It was the Kings interior that really made an impact, as DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and seven boards and Jason Thompson put in 21 points and 15 rebounds. The Kings got this monster win without Tyreke Evans.
Ray Allen had 26, Paul Pierce put in 19, and Brandon Bass added 16, but Rajon Rondo struggled and the Celtics were manhandled on the boards 45-28.
The Sacramento Kings were believed to have most of their roster available in the right deal -- just about anyone other than DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas could be had -- but the 2012 trade deadline has come and gone without any moves. Most thought Geoff Petrie was interested in trading J.J. Hickson, Donte Greene or even Tyreke Evans should he like a potential deal, but nothing came across his desk that enticed a move.
Kings source says they have no moves coming down the pike.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 15, 2012
This really should not come as a surprise. It wasn't exactly like teams were lining up to acquire underperforming forwards like Hickson and Greene, and the price for Evans would likely be high given his team-friendly deal and young age.
Sacramento will now try and improve in the final weeks of the season, and they should be armed with yet another high draft pick come June. The team has drafted well in recent years and will have plenty of cap room to make a big deal if they can lure a free agent to town.
For more on the Kings and to talk about their lack of moves today, check out Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings drafted Tyreke Evans with their first round pick in 2009 with the hopes that he'd emerge into an All-Star leading guard. While Evans did earn Rookie of the Year honors his first season and has steadily improved season by season, there's no guarantee that he'll still be in Sacramento much further down the line.
The 2009-10 Rookie of the Year is no longer considered the centerpiece of the Kings' new core, with that distinction clearly belonging to second-year center DeMarcus Cousins. Evans is eligible for an extension this summer but it's looking unlikely to be offered unless he shows major improvement.
Evans, who has one season remaining on his rookie contract and could be a restricted free agent next summer, simply doesn't shine like he did in his debut. And if the Kings are convinced that Evans is likely gone after next season, they might be willing to move him for someone who can help expedite this slowest of rebuilding efforts.
Evans has not progressed to the point where he could be considered a franchise talent for the Kings. He still is too dependent on his outside jump shot, which isn't particularly an efficient spot for him.
Still, it would be shocking to see the Kings let go of Evans, specially since it's unlikely they'll get equal value for him. A more preferable option might be tending a smaller contract than the likely max deal they will probably hand to DeMarcus Cousins down the line.
To talk about Tyreke and the Kings, check out Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings held on for most of the first half, taking a 52-51 lead into halftime, before succumbing in the second half to the same old bad habits of inefficient offensive basketball. Sacramento shot an okay 46%, but again had trouble creating offense on the move, putting in 19 assists as compared to 16 turnovers. The Kings continued to struggle with fatigue and faded down the stretch.
DeMarcus Cousins put in 28 points and 12 rebounds, and got some support from John Salmons who got 14 points, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette put in 12 points, but Thornton, Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas shot 10 for 32 and the Kings couldn't recover from the lack of production from their guards.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 28 points on 13-23 shooting, six rebounds, three assists three steals and three blocks, Joe Johnson put in 21 points, six assists and four steals, Jeff Teague added 16 points and seven assists, and Zaza Pachulia added 10 points and 13 boards.
The Sacramento Kings hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, hoping to add to the defending NBA champions' road game woes. The Mavs entered Friday night's game holding an 8-11 away record in the 2011-12 season. Somewhat surprisingly, the game was lopsided in the Kings' favor throughout and Sacramento picked up the 110-97 win.
The Kings outscored the Mavericks in every quarter, including a big 33-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. Marcus Jason Terry of the Mavs led all scorers in the game with 23 points. Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each had 17 points for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and five assists.
The Kings are now 10-6 when playing at home, although they hold only a 14-26 record overall.
The Sacramento Kings are enjoying an elongated home stand after playing only 13 games at Power Band Pavilion this season so far, but host a duo of difficult squads as the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks come to town on Friday and Sunday respectfully.
The defending NBA champs have been struggling as of late, winning only three of their last ten contests. Nevertheless they have too much talent to keep from giving them your full attention. Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. PT with coverage on NBA TV.
As for the Hawks, they just had a three game winning streak halted by the Miami Heat, and have a meeting in Detroit with the Pistons in Friday before heading out west for Sunday's matchup in Sacramento. Tip off is set for 6:00 p.m. PT.
|Dallas||Fri 03/09||7:00 PM PST|
|Atlanta||Sun 03/11||6:00 PM PDT|
|Golden State||Tue 03/13||7:00 PM PDT|
|Detroit||Wed 03/14||7:00 PM PDT|
|Boston||Fri 03/16||7:00 PM PDT|
|New Orleans||Wed 03/07||W 99 - 98|
|@ Denver||Mon 03/05||L 116 - 119|
|@ Phoenix||Sun 03/04||L 88 - 96|
|@ Los Angeles Lakers||Fri 03/02||L 107 - 115|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Thu 03/01||L 100 - 108|
For more in depth discussion and analysis of the Sacramento Kings, make sure you head over to Sactown Royalty to get in on the action and show off your fanhood.
Thomas chased Marco Belinelli into the backcourt, and when the pass was errant, Thomas managed to haul in the steal and find John Salmons cutting to the basket.
Thomas's steal helped left Sacramento to New Orleans to a 99-98 victory.
The Kings managed to pull this one out with DeMarcus Cousins out due to food poisoning. Thomas had 12 points on 4-5 FGs, plus three assists and two steals. Marcus Thornton led the way for most of the game with 25 points, four rebounds, and four steals, Tyreke Evans added 13 points, John Salmons and Jason Thompson put in 12 points, and Jimmer Fredette added 11 points.
With no Cousins, the Kings got pounded on the boards (29 to 41 for New Orleans), although they did force 20 turnovers (including the crucial one at the end). Jarrett Jack caused the most trouble with 25 points, and Chris Kaman was a wrecker inside with 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Trevor Ariza added 20 points, six assists and four steals.
Hey, Sacramento Kings fans, you might be wondering what this team needs, and your first thought probably goes to "Oh, we definitely need another spot-up, pull-up shooter who demands the basketball and stalls the offense. That's what we need to get back in the right direction." And your second thought would be, "Am I insane? Why would I think that?"
Apparently Kings management is a little loony these days, because they're expressing interest in the one player they shouldn't be expressing any interest in at all. HoopsWorld has the story.
One Blazer who is garnering a lot of interest in particular is shooting guard Jamal Crawford.
Sources confirm to HOOPSWORLD that Crawford, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent this offseason to be retired shooting guard Brandon Roy’s replacement, is on several team’s radar. The Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves are pursuing him the strongest, but the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks have also expressed interest.
The Kings don't really need a player like Crawford when they have plenty of players capable of creating their own shot. It's more important for Sacramento to accrue players who have a strong acumen for working within the offense. Unless of course they're planning on trading one of their shooters for a shooter, this isn't a trade that makes too much sense for the Kings.
Kings coach Keith Smart will return next season, according to Sacramento co-owner Joe Maloof.
In a wide-ranging interview with SI.com on Thursday night, Maloof -- whose family appears to be on the verge of remaining in Sacramento after reaching a tentative arena agreement with city officials on Monday -- said it's a formality that the Kings will exercise Smart's team option for 2012-13. The former Golden State coach was promoted from Kings assistant in early January when Paul Westphal was fired after a 2-5 start. Sources had said previously that the team was leaving its options open to possibly land a bigger-name coach this summer.
It might seem premature to a lot of people that Keith Smart is getting extended another year through this contract. The Kings haven't been all that good this season, and Smart has obviously not been too much of an improvement over Paul Westphal record-wise.
That being said, there have been several multiple improvements.
Smart has gotten through to DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins isn't always happy while he's playing and still struggles through bouts of inconsistency, Cousins doesn't play quite as out of control and doesn't quite isolate the ball as much as he used to. There are still bouts of immaturity to deal with, but Smart seems to be managing him better.
Smart inserted Isaiah Thomas as the starting point guard. Smart quickly jettisoned the Jimmer Experiment and put Thomas into the lineup, recognizing the team needed someone to run the offense and Tyreke Evans worked better off the ball. Sacramento's offense has improved in multiple facets since Thomas took over running things.
Smart has the Kings moving the basketball a lot better. It's not just Thomas, but the entire Kings team that seems to do a better job of distributing the basketball. Ever since Thomas entered the starting lineup, Sacramento has been able to move the ball and rack up the assists, and it's not just the point guard racking up dimes. Everyone's passing a bit more than they used to.
Smart has the Kings losing games competitively. When it was Westphal coaching the team, you could be guaranteed that half the time the loss would be disastrous. Those games occasionally come, but Sacramento generally competes hard in all their losses and doesn't totally check out of contests. In many games Sacramento has lost this year, they had a decent shot of winning the game. This is an upward trend.
Smart still has to do a few more things, like improve the team defense (still abhorrent) and get the Kings to play more consistently, but the team doesn't look like the lost cause it was a month ago.
To talk about Smart and the Kings, check out Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings looked like they were in good shape to win this one when they held a five point lead with 28 seconds left in regulation, but Aaron Afflalo rallied the Nuggets with a three pointer, then down three and bare milliseconds left on the clock, Marcus Thornton fouled Afflalo shooting a three, and Afflalo nailed all three free throws to tie the game.
After Tyreke Evans made some huge buckets to keep Sacramento afloat in overtime, Ty Lawson nailed a three pointer thanks to a poor close by Evans with four seconds left to break the tie and put Denver up three. Francisco Garcia got a good look off the subsequent inbounds thanks to a DeMarcus Cousins screen, but the three came up well short.
Afflalo finished with 32 points, Lawson added 16 points and 13 assists, Kenneth Faried had a career high 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds, Al Harrington added 14 points and nine rebounds, and Andre Miller dished 11 assists of his own. Thornton and Evans led the Kings with 27 points each, John Salmons had 14 points, Jason Thompson put in 13 and Francisco Garcia had 11.
The Sacramento Kings are a team that has a lot of issues, one of them primarily being ball movement and player movement to keep the offense flowing. Those issues are occasionally alleviated with Isaiah Thomas running the point, but even he doesn't always play well enough to keep things flowing.
During the crucial stretch for Sacramento against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, Sacramento's offense stagnated on multiple consecutive possessions, as the Kings passed only once or didn't passed at all when attempting shots, leading to no baskets and an uncontested Phoenix run that put the Suns up comfortably for the rest of the game.
The Kings offense was not strong, shooting 38.4% from the field compared to 45.5% for Phoenix. Marcus Thornton needed 23 shots to score 21 points, DeMarcus Cousins 20 shots to score 16 points, Tyreke Evans 18 shots to score 17 points, and Isaiah Thomas needed 13 shots to score a mere eight. Phoenix was led by Marcin Gortat with 14 points and 17 rebounds; Steve Nash chipped in 19 points and seven assists and Jared Dudley (14 points), Shannon Brown (13 points) and Channing Frye (11 points, 10 rebounds) all chipped in.
Jimmer is probably never going to be an NBA starter. It's just not physically possible. He doesn't have the ball-handling ability and court vision to run the point guard position for the Kings. Isaiah Thomas has proven to be superior in every which way in that regard. And there's no way he's getting the start over Marcus Thornton at the two, who is almost better at everything Jimmer is good and bad at.
However, as a backup combo guard? This is probably where he belongs, and where he'll be most utilized for the rest of his career. And he's proven he can thrive in this role.
He showed sparks of that future in two matchups against the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. Fredette found a player that was probably more physically talented but had a more limited role (like a spot shooter), allowing him to conserve his energy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't (lots of wide-open threes tended to occur). However, on offense, Jimmer proved he could put points up, and at one point fueled a strong Kings second-quarter comeback that had the Sacramento bench racing to its feet.
The Jimmer Show (via kingsflix)
Of course, when the starters reentered the game (particularly when Chris Paul went one-on-one), Fredette's limitations were immediately met, and he had to be removed from the game quickly to avoid being torture chambered. Still, when you look at Jimmer, you see a smaller version of J.J. Redick--a dedicated spot shooter in college who is probably more offensively talented but definitely defensively challenged. With time and development, he can possibly fit into a similar role and be an attribute rather than a last-ditch option.
The Los Angeles Lakers distanced themselves from the Sacramento Kings over the span of three quarters, then held off a late Sacramento rally to win 115-107. Kobe Bryant led the way for Los Angeles with 38 points and eight rebounds, including hitting the dagger three (his only three) to put the Lakers up by double digits in the final minutes.
Andrew Bynum was the critical player in this contest, causing DeMarcus Cousins problems at both ends. Cousins shot 5 for 16 from the field and finished with 10 points (although he did manage 13 rebounds, seven offensive). Bynum had an efficient 18 points on 8-13 shooting, while also grabbing 15 rebounds in the process. Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace added 15 points each, while Derek Fisher dished out seven assists.
Sacramento had seven Kings finish in double figures and even had efficient ball movement, putting up 23 assists and only five turnovers. However, Sacramento lost with their shooting, shooting 43.7% from the field and allowing the Lakers to hit 53.7% and nail 21 of 26 free throws (Sacramento managed to get to the line only nine times).
The Sacramento Kings acquired power forward J.J. Hickson in the offseason to bolster their front court along with DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and eventually Chuck Hayes. While talented and athletic, Hickson never quite worked out in Cleveland once LeBron James left and has struggled to play well with his new teammates in Sacramento.
If his mediocre and inconsistent play was not enough for Geoff Petrie to look for a potential trade, Hickson went as far as to say he never wanted to come to SacTown a few weeks back. Now, with the NBA Trade Deadline on the horizon, it appears the Kings are actively looking to rid themselves of Hickson. Marc Stein of ESPN has the latest report:
You can't like their chances here given J.J. Hickson's season-long struggles, but sources say that the Kings are shopping Hickson hard before the March 15 trade deadline, hoping to salvage something from the last trade consummated before last summer's lockout.
In that swap with Cleveland last June 30, Sacramento surrendered both Omri Casspi and a protected first-round pick for Hickson. But Hickson's game has regressed with the Kings, prompting them to see whether they can find a new home for him.
It's tough to imagine too many suitors lining up to take Hickson from the Kings, but all it takes is one team. Fortunately for Hickson and Petrie, the athletic forward is still just 23 years old and could still develop into a quality role player for some team in the league. With the asking price likely to be very low, you would have to think Hickson will get moved sometime in the coming weeks.
For more on the Kings and to monitor the trade deadline madness, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
Sacramento Kings interim coach Keith Smart, who replaced a fired Paul Westphal in early January, will remain the team's head coach, according to Sacramento co-owner Joe Maloof, and reported by SI.com.
"Yes," Maloof said emphatically when asked if Smart's option would be picked up. "With no disrespect to our past coaches, we really have someone who everybody likes now. The players like him, the basketball staff likes him, we trust him, and he knows the game. Keith Smart is a wonderful coach, and we're lucky to have him. ... Yes, we'll pick it up. We want him to be our coach forever."
There had previously been rumors both that Smart had been signed already through the 2013 season and that the Kings were still keeping their options open at that position moving forward, but it now appears the truth is that a longer-term deal is in order.
Asked if Smart might be given a new, long-term deal, Maloof said, "We really like him. I think our objective is to keep him as long as we can."
With the Kings now looking very likely to remain the city, it makes sense for them to sign a coach that has brought some stability to a franchise that has had five coaches since 2006. Smart has connected with the players and, as Maloof points out, is respected and liked by the rest of the staff.
For all news and information regarding the Kings, please visit Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers had an entertaining contest for at least one half. But after a 57-57 tie through halftime, the Clippers couldn't be stopped and put distance between themselves and Sacramento for the rest of the contest.
The Clippers shot 48% from the field and hit over half their threes (12 of 23) to put distance between themselves and the Kings. Chris Paul led the way by totally outplaying Isaiah Thomas, piling up 22 points, nine assists and three steals, got solid help from Blake Griffin with 14 points and nine rebounds, but it was mostly the hot shooting of the Clippers against porous Sacramento defense. Randy Foye put up 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds, all while nailing three threes. Mo Williams added 18 points (four triples on the game) and five assists, and Bobby Simmons put in three more 3-point shots.
DeMarcus Cousins had another double-double, compiling 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jimmer Fredette had a nice third quarter off the bench and finished with 11 points on the game. Marcus Thornton had 18 points, but Tyreke Evans struggled with his shot and had 18 points on only 21 shots.
The Sacramento Kings were involved in a physical intense contest against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night to start off the Post All-Star Break part of the season. But Sacramento got solid production all season from everyone involved.
DeMarcus Cousins was the workhorse inside, finishing with 22 points and 18 rebounds, including eight on the offensive side of the ball. Marcus Thornton added 22 points, Isaiah Thomas put in 18 points and eight assists, Tyreke Evans had 13 points and Jason Thompson added ten points of his own. Sacramento only shot 44% of the field, but they managed to hit 22 free throws to narrowly edge things out in the final minute. The Kings used a brief surge halfway through the fourth to take the lead for good.
Utah got solid production from Devin Harris (18 points), Josh Howard (15 points), C.J. Miles (13 points), and Al Jefferson (12 points, 8 rebounds). But Sacramento just made enough of a push thanks to the great work by Cousins, Thornton and Thomas.
The NBA is looking to make their All-Star Weekend into a special event and created the BBVA Rising Stars game, which is essentially the annual Rookie-Sophomore Game with a twist. This year, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley drafted their own teams and have them playing tonight. The game is currently in the first half and is being televised on TNT.
DeMarcus Cousins is having a fine second season with the Sacramento Kings and is playing for Team Chuck this evening. The big man joked about going for the MVP earlier in the week and got off to a very strong start, scoring 13 points and bringing down three rebounds in a little less than six minutes of play. Cousins shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field
Not too many players would care about winning MVP in the Rising Stars Game, but you know Cousins wants to, for nothing more than to brag to other young guns around the league.
For those who are counting at home, Jeremy Lin has no points. Clearly a bust.
For more on Cousins and the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
DeMarcus Cousins is the lone Bay Area participant in NBA-All Star Weekend.
The Sacramento Kings looked like they were headed toward a miserable finish to their East Coast road trip when they nearly gave up 70 points to the Washington Wizards. Washington scored 68 points and shot nearly 60% in the first half and seemed ready to run away with it.
But Sacramento cut into that lead in the second half, and then Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton took them all the way home.
Thomas and Thornton combined for 34 points in the second half, and had most of the critical buckets to rally the Kings back from eight down against the Wizards. Tyreke Evans had 22 points and six assists, DeMarcus Cousins added 16 points and 16 rebounds, but both of them sat for most of the second half while Thomas and Thornton ran the show.
Sacramento moves to 11-22 on the season as they prepare for a week of rest during All-Star weekend.
The road woes continue for the Sacramento Kings, as they’ve dropped the first five games of their Eastern swing and fell to 3-17 on the road. Despite scoring right with the Miami Heat, they couldn’t stop the Eastern Conference champs for four.
Dwyane Wade keeps his crazy run going, finishing with 30 points and 10 assists on 11 of 16 shooting. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Mario Chalmers scored 20 points thanks mostly to his six three pointers. LeBron James added 18 points and eight assists. The Heat shot 55% from the field and nailed ten threes and got huge bench points from Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller and Norris Cole.
Isaiah Thomas hit five three pointers in the third quarter and paced Sacramento to 35 points, but they were still outscored there as Miami hit 36. Thomas had 24 points to lead Sacramento, Tyreke Evans added 21 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, and Marcus Thornton had 23 of his own.
Sacramento has one final road game in their East Coast road trip against the hapless Wizards.
After Isaiah Thomas helped propel the Kings with a brilliant performance, both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans committed two stupid fouls on two consecutive possessions, both of which allowed the Cavs to take the lead in the final seconds. Cousins did get a huge bucket and free throw that gave Sacramento a one point lead, then Evans fouled Kyrie Irving with almost no time left to allow Irving to sink the game winning free throws.
Sacramento was led by Thomas, who put up 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, as he dominated all night long. Marcus Thornton added 21 points and 10 rebounds. But Cousins (19 points on six of 17 shooting, with 9 rebounds) and Evans (10 points on five of 17 shooting) both had tough nights. The Cavs were led by Irving with 23 points; Antwan Jamison added 21 points and eight rebounds, while Tristan Thompson put in 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Sacramento has now lost all four games on their road trip, with a date in Miami upcoming.
The Sacramento Kings got off to a strong start against the Detroit Pistons and managed to maintain a steady lead for most of the first three quarters. They were on pace for around 115-120 points and were doing quite well offensively.
Unfortunately, they ran out of steam at the end.
Detroit cut the lead to two by the end of the third, then outscored Sacramento 28-20 in the fourth to win narrowly. Rodney Stuckey had a career night with 36 points on 20 shots, torching the Kings defense all night long. Brandon Knight added 23 points and 10 assists, while Tayshaun Prince contributed 22 points and 10 boards. The Pistons shot 46% from the field, but also got 10 more field goal attempts and 25 free throw attempts in all thanks to great rebounding, 16 offensive boards in all.
The Kings shot fairly well from the field (50% in all) but went cold in the final quarter. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 26 points and 15 rebounds, Marcus Thornton added 24, and Tyreke Evans had nine assists and six rebounds to go along with his 16 points. Isaiah Thomas and Jason Thompson added 13 apiece.
DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings might have his emotional issues, but there's no denying his talent. Cousins has been on a double-double tear the last few weeks and is averaging around 16-11 early through the 2012 season.
Charles Barkley faced similar attitude issues throughout his NBA career, yet still churned out All-Star appearance year after year after year. That might be part of the reason why Barkley (who along with Shaquille O'Neal were in charge of picking the teams for the Rookie-Sophomore game) took Cousins with his second pick overall and the fourth overall pick in the draft. Cousins will be reunited with his college teammate from Kentucky in John Wall on Team Charles, and Barkley's team is filed with plenty of great role players and solid contributors, none of them being too flashy.
Take a look at Team Charles.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings; John Wall, Washington Wizards; Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers; Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves; Paul George, Indiana Pacers; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs; Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers; Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz; Marshon Brooks, New Jersey Nets
On paper, Team Shaq looks like the more exciting looking squad.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers; Jeremy Lin, New York KnicksRicky Rubio, Minnesota TimberwolvesGreg Monroe, Detroit PistonsMarkieff Morris, Phoenix Suns Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats Norris Cole, Miami Heat Landry Fields, New York Knicks Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
To talk about Cousins and the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
Yeah, you thought the Sacramento Kings would be the ones to derail Linsanity?
The Kings dedicated a lot of effort to try and hold down the New York Knicks phenom and decided to ignore the fact that four other Knickerbockers were on the court. Jeremy Lin put up a career-high 13 assists along with 10 points and five rebounds, as New York undid Sacramento's defense with excellent ball movement. The Knicks piled up 25 assists and shot 50% from the field, as Landry Fields (15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), Bill Walker and Steve Novak (14 points each), Amare Stoudemire and Imam Shumpert (11 points), as well as Jared Jeffries (10 points) all had solid shooting nights.
Tyreke Evans had 19 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 15, and Isaiah Thomas added 14 off the bench. The Kings shot 38% from the field and received meager production from their forwards, as Jason Thompson, J.J. Hickson and John Salmons combined to put up five points.
The Sacramento Kings have come in with a concerted effort to make sure Jeremy Lin doesn't beat them with his scoring. Lin does only have six points on two-of-four shooting and it seems Sacramento's trapping and focus on Lin have kept him from doing any scoring damage.
And of course, Sacramento is down by almost 20 because the Kings have totally ignored everyone else. Lin has distributed nine assists to various players like Landry Fields and Tyson Chandler. Fields is shooting 4-5 from the field and has 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire have nine points each in support.
The Knicks have held the Kings to under 33% shooting. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins have combined to shoot 3-16, which is a guaranteed recipe for a loss. Marcus Thornton has 13 points to lead Sacramento, who are in a deep hole to start the second half.
One such victory did not come to fruition on Tuesday night as a late rally by Sacramento against the Chicago Bulls would eventually fall short, leaving Smart to trying and explain afterwards in the Windy City:
The Kings don't have much time to lick their wounds of the loss though as their road trip continues tonight with a meeting at Madison Square Garden with Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks, then four more road games including a stop in Miami before returning home at the end of the month for a meeting with the Jazz back at Powerband Pavilion.
For more in depth news and analysis of the Sacramento Kings, make sure you check out Sactown Royalty to get in on the action.
Unfortunately, their infamous defense showed up too and sunk them.
Without Derrick Rose, Chicago still managed to shoot 52% from the field and dish 33 assists with only 13 turnovers. Luol Deng led Chicago with 23 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists, John Lucas III added nine and nine, Joakim Noah had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Carlos Boozer put in 16 points, and Kyle Korver gave Chicago 18 points off the bench. Offense was what Chicago needed tonight to stay in front of Sacramento.
The Kings wasted a great performance from DeMarcus Cousins, putting up 28 points and 17 rebounds (although he did have six turnovers). Tyreke Evans came close to a triple double (27-8-8), and Marcus Thornton put in 23 points.
The Sacramento Kings had a great Thursday night performance when they upset the Oklahoma City Thunder. But they fast learned their limitations when they couldn't replicate those efforts two days later against the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix took the lead early and stayed on top for the entire contest. The Kings shot 35% from the field and had 16 assists to 16 turnovers. Meanwhile Phoenix moved the ball, shot 50%, while also distributing 27 assists compared to 15 turnovers, while also shooting 50% from the field. Steve Nash dished 15 of those dimes, Jared Dudley led Phoenix in scoring with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Markieff Morris had 18 points, Channing Frye added 17, and Marcin Gortat had 15 of her own.
The Sacramento Kings had only one national TV appearance which came tonight, and they made the best of it against the league-leading Oklahoma City Thunder. With the Kings trailing late, Marcus Thornton hit some huge threes to tie things up with a minute or so left, and then Sacramento hit some go-ahead free throws to take the lead for good. It was hardly a clean contest for Sacramento, but they took advantage of Thunder mistakes throughout to earn the upset.
Oklahoma City turned over the ball 23 times and conceded extra shots all game long to Sacramento, who attempted 99 (NINETY-NINE!) field goals in regulation compared to 77 for the Thunder. All those extra shots ended up making the difference, since Sacramento only hit 40% of those shots.
Tyreke Evans had 22 points, five rebounds and five assists, DeMarcus Cousins put up 19 points and nine rebounds, and Thornton added 15 points. Jason Thompson put in 11 points and 10 boards and Donte Greene added 10 points. Russell Westbrook added 33 points, Kevin Durant put in 27 points, and James Harden finished with 17 points.
Jimmer Fredette looked like he was buried on the bench before today, but he proved his worth for the Sacramento Kings as he scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to help charge a huge comeback against the Minneosta Timberwolves. Fredette knocked down a few triples, had a steal and a layup and added a big assist to Donte Greene to help get the Kings back in a close contest. Greene also nailed a huge three to tie the game at 82, but missed the potential game-winner in the corner at the buzzer.
DeMarcus Cousins was plagued with fouls, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Thornton had 22 points, and Tyreke Evans and Greene had 11 points each. Nikola Pekovic led the way for Minnesota with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Beasley added 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Derrick Williams had 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Sacramento Kings looked like they were on the verge of yet another tough road loss against the hapless New Orleans Hornets, as they trailed by double digits at halftime. But an incredible 31-14 finish to the game helped propel Sacramento to victory down the stretch. The Kings used eight three pointers and 47% shooting to notch the win in this one.
DeMarcus Cousins nearly had his second straight 20-20 game, finishing with 28 points and 19 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had a strong fourth quarter to finish with 20 points. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points and six assists off the bench (including perhaps the most critical basket on a prayer three), and John Salmons and Marcus Thornton both finished in double figures.
It's only Sacramento's third road victory on the season, but the Kings now have won three in a row and are moving closer back to respectability at 9-15.
The Kings had looked like they'd pulled away from the Warriors with a late third quarter run, moving ahead by double digits before the start of the fourth. But then Golden State's second unit keyed a huge fourth quarter comeback, capped off by a Klay Thompson three to tie things up with a few seconds remaining. However, Sacramento scored the first nine points of overtime to key their victory.
Sacramento's starters had a strong night, as Tyreke Evans had 26 points and nine assists, Marcus Thornton led the way with 28 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had a strong 21 points and 20 rebounds. Jason Thompson added 15 points and 16 boards, while John Salmons contributed 14 points too.
Thornton poured in 20 points thanks mainly to 10 free throws made (he only went 4 of 13 from the field), Salmons chipped in an efficient 19 points on 14 shots plus eight rebounds, Tyreke Evans added 18 points, five rebounds and five assists and Jason Thompson put in 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Sacramento to a crucial 95-92 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Sacramento didn't play particularly better, but used their superior free throw rate (22 of 29 compared to 8 of 16 for Portland) to get the win in this one.
LaMarcus Aldridge did his best (28 points and 14 rebounds), and Jamal Crawford (17 points on 17 shots), Raymond Felton (15 points, 10 assists), and Kurt Thomas (10 points) led Portland, but they couldn't get to the line and that proved to be the difference.
The Golden State Warriors desperately needed to pick up a victory on Tuesday night and they took care of business against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. The Warriors got off to a bit of a slow start and the game was sloppy throughout, but a big second half led Golden State to the 93-90 win. The victory improved the team to 7-12 on the season.
Brandon Rush had a huge night off the bench and had 20 points, including four 3-pointers and six rebounds. David Lee and Dorell Wright both had 15 points, while Monta Ellis contributed 12. Stephen Curry continued to struggle with his shot and had just three points on seven shots.
Tyreke Evans played well for the Kings and just missed the triple-double, scoring 22 points, dishing out nine assists and bringing down 10 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins had a big night with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas did his best in the fourth quarter to will Sacramento to victory, but his 11 points came up short.
The Warriors will have a day off and will face the Utah Jazz on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
For more on the team, head on over to Golden State Of Mind.
Avinash Kunnath and myself break down the Kings and W's to decide which team is superior this year.
The Sacramento Kings put up no resistance whatsoever against the Denver Nuggets in a blowout defeat. The Kings gave up 32 points in the first quarter, were outscored 34-17 in the second quarter as they were down 23 at halftime, then gave up another 56 points in the second half. The Nuggets only hit two three pointers, but that hardly mattered as the Kings gave up over 60% shooting from inside the arc. Denver used excellent passing to execute their offense, with 29 assists to 13 turnovers (compared to 19 assists and 16 turnovers for Sacramento).
All five Denver starters and two bench players were in double figures, with Danilo Gallinari leading the way with 23 points on 8 of 12 shooting. Andre Miller had 15 points and 10 assists, Nene Hilario had 16 points, Corey Brewer had 15 points, Ty Lawson put in 11 points, Kosta Koufos had 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Al Harrington added 10 points.
The Sacramento Kings haven't had a really great season. It might get a lot tougher when they lose their starting two-guard Marcus Thornton for the next few games.
Thornton is averaging 16 points per game but is shooting under 40% from the field. He hasn't quite lived up to the contract the Kings threw at him this offseason to keep him in Sacramento, and he will need to produce at a higher level when he gets back if the Kings are expected to make some noise.
The injury to Thornton means Jimmer Fredette will get more of a chance to see the court. Fredette has been even more efficient than Thornton, hovering around 35% shooting and averaging more shots taken than points scored. Both of these shooting guards are going to have pick up their game in future contests.
To discuss the Thornton and Jimmer injuries, head to Sactown Royalty.
The Blazers raced away from the Kings midway through the second quarter, putting up a double digit lead and cruising comfortably through the second half on the way to victory. Crawford scored 26 points on 18 shots along with five assists and three rebounds, Gerald Wallace chipped in with 20 points and 8 rebounds, LaMarcus Aldridge added 13 points and 16 rebounds, Wes Matthews chipped in 14 points, and Raymond Felton added 11 points.
Sacramento is getting better at moving the ball and taking care of the ball, but their shooting was abominable tonight (40%). Tyreke Evans shot 2 of 10 for 9 points, Donte Greene shot 4 of 13 for 12 points, Isaiah Thomas shot 3 of 12 for 11 points. On the bright side, Jimmer Fredette added 13 points, Francisco Garcia put up 12 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The Sacramento Kings visited the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, coming off a big upset win over the San Antonio Spurs. Unfortunately, the glow seems to have worn off quickly, as the Kings dropped another lopsided loss 128-95 to fall to 6-11 overall, with a 2-8 record on the road.
The Kings only trailed 68-60 at halftime, but the third quarter proved to be the nail in the coffin as Memphis outscored them 34-16. Within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies had opened up a 30-point lead. By the final minutes of the game, the Grizzlies were threatening to push the lead to 40 points.
The Sacramento Kings snapped a nine-game home winning streak for the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and did so with a strong defensive effort. Despite nearly blowing the game midway through the fourth quarter, the Kings won the final few minutes of the contest and came away with a 88-86 victory. This was the first time Sacramento has beaten the Spurs at home since 2006.
Tyreke Evans played very well against Tony Parker and ended his night with 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. DeMarcus Cousins had a big fourth quarter and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Marcus Thornton had 17 points and had a +/- number of +17 for the night. Jimmer Fredette continued to struggle on both ends of the court and played just nine minutes while scoring three points.
Parker played well for San Antonio and had a game-high 24 points and seven assists. Tim Duncan ended with a double-double, while big men Tiago Splitter and Dejuan Blair both scored 10 points each.
Next up for the Kings will be the Grizzlies, who they will face on Saturday night in Memphis. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. PT.
For more on the team, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings came away with a big win over the Indiana Pacers in their last game and now they hold a slight lead over the Spurs in San Antonio. Despite being up big early in the second quarter, the Kings lead 50-47 at the half. Sacramento shot 42.6% from the field in the first two quarters, including four of their 13 attempts from behind the arc.
Tyreke Evans led the way and could record a triple-double with a solid second half; the third-year guard has 11 points, five rebounds and five assists at the break. Marcus Thornton has 11 points as well, although he has three fouls that may limit in the rest of the way. DeMarcus Cousins recorded six points and six rebounds, while Jimmer Fredette continues to struggle with only three points on four shots.
Tony Parker has 10 points for the Spurs and has five assists as well. Tim Duncan scored eight and brought down three rebonds, while Richard Jefferson was mostly ineffective with just three points and two fouls.
The second half is about to begin. A road win would be absolutely huge for the Kings tonight.
For more on the team, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
Surprisingly, it worked.
Befuddling Indiana's offense, which had trouble attacking the zone and getting to the middle of the floor, the defensive scheme forced Indiana to single digit scoring in the fourth quarter, and Sacramento managed to pull out a big 92-88 victory at home. It wasn't at all convincing, but it did snap a three game losing streak and improve them to 5-10 on the season.
DeMarcus Cousins had a solid night; despite only scoring 13 points, he also notched 19 rebounds. Marcus Thornton added in 17 points, Francisco Garcia notched 16 and Isiah Thomas had 8 points off the bench, which played a key role in the zone schemes that flustered Indiana in the crucial fourth quarter.
The Sacramento Kings are among the worst teams in the NBA this season and they have already fired their head coach. One of the biggest (and most obvious) reasons for their struggles is their inability to score the basketball and do it efficiently. Despite the team attempting to bring scorers to Sacramento when they drafted Jimmer Fredette -- who is hardly the problem -- along with the acquisition of John Salmons and re-signing of Marcus Thornton, nothing has gone right thus far.
The Kings rank 25th in points per game, averaging a little more than 90 per night. Without a true point guard to run the show, Sacramento ranks dead-last in assists. The team has also struggled mightily to hit their shots from behind the arc, making just 25.8% of their shots from deep. Combine their struggles on the offensive end of the court with their mediocre defensive play and there's no wonder the team has begun the year with a record of 4-10.
Until this team acquires a true point guard to run the offense and a legitimate small forward who isn't a complete albatross on the court, it's tough to see the Kings winning many games.
For more, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings don't have much to cheer about right now. In the midst of a 4-9 season that's already seen the benching of DeMarcus Cousins and a coaching change from Paul Westphal to Keith Smart, a lot is going on in Sac Town.
But one of the positives has been the continued improvement of young guard Marcus Thornton. With NBA.com's recent GM Survey coming out, it seems as if Thornton's improvements were among the things to look for heading into the season as Thornton made the top five among those ‘most likely to have a breakout season' with 7.1% of the vote. James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder was no. 1 with 21.4% of the vote.
Thornton's points per game average ballooned from 7.8 points in 46 games with the New Orleans Hornets to 21.3 in 27 games with the Kings last season. Thornton is currently averaging 17.6 points per game this season to show that his scoring outbursts once joining the Kings were not a fluke.
Apparently, the rest of the league took notice.
The Sacramento Kings cannot do anything right when they leave the California state capital. The Minnesota Timberwolves ran all over them in the second half en route a 99-86 victory, dropping Sacramento to 4-10 on the season and 1-7 on the road.
Kevin Love finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds, Luke Ridinour had a career night with 25 points and nine assists, Wayne Ellington added 15 points off the bench, and Ricky Rubio came close to triple double territory by notching up nine points, eight boards and eight assists.
Sacramento had five players finish in double figures, with Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Francisco Garcia leading the way with 12 points, John Salmons adding 11 and DeMarcus Cousins putting up ten. But the Kings shot only 4 of 17 from three point land (the T'Wolves went 10 for 26), and Sacramento also missed eight free throws. It was a tough loss for a team that needs a lot of fixing.
The Sacramento Kings suffered an absolutely miserable 99-60 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. The situation grew even more tense following the game, when rumors of a locker room altercation involving Kings center DeMarcus Cousins began to swirl.
Jason Jones, the Kings beat writer for the Sacramento Bee, was present in the locker room after the game and took to Twitter in an attempt to set the record straight about exactly what happened. Here is his take, via several of his Tweets on Saturday night:
Here's the locker room "incident" with Cousins (and then I'll get back to writing my game story):
Cousins was getting dressed and there was a cameraman standing in front of him and Cousins asked could he not point the camera at him while he changed. The cameraman said the camera was off, and Cousins said he still [didn't] want [a] camera on him.
Cameraman's reply: "Whatever."
Cousins basically said, I don't care, keep the camera off me. As cameraman leaves he makes a remark about making sure the camera was off next time he was in there. Cousins asks "what did he say" and stands up. Isaiah Thomas grabbed Cousins by his sweatshirt to say calm down.
At no point did Cousins try to go after the cameraman. Cousins then gathered his belongings and left the locker room.
Then said cameraman came to media room to talk about Crazy DMC, not mentioning that he did egg on DMC some with last comment.
But no, DMC DID NOT go after him, chase him, etc. Looks/sounds much worse than it was. Used some bad language, which he can't do In that situation w/ cameras around and such, but trust me, I was there. It's much ado about nothing. If Cousins ignores 2nd comment there is nothing to talk about. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Jones added the following regarding his take on the situation:
Could DMC have ignore him? Yes. But he's still sick, agitated over the loss and the cameraman wasn't exactly trying to calm things down.
BTW I've seen MUCH worse with reporters/cameramen/athletes in NFL locker rooms. Never gets reported. DMC's rep hurts him in these situations.
This was not a Ryan Leaf-type incident with DMC and camerman. DMC never raised his voice or even got near the guy.
It is certainly not a good thing that Cousins is developing such a reputation as a mercurial hothead that even local cameramen are attempting to get a rise out of him in the interest of potentially salacious footage. But it is a very good thing that Jones was there and able to clarify exactly what went down.
Zombies. The Sacramento Kings looked like they wanted to feast on human flesh in a pretty sad performance against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs didn't play particularly great, but they didn't really need much to take down a fatigued Sacramento team playing its fourth straight road game.
Dallas didn't need much from their starters as Dirk Nowtizki had 14 and Shawn Marion 10, but the Mavericks bench was the engine of the game. Jason Terry had 21 off the bench, Vince Carter 16, and Lamar Odom, Ian Mahinmi and Rodrigue Beaubois combined for 22 more points (Sacramento's entire bench had only 19 points).
As for some ugly symmetry, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette and J.J. Hickson each shot 1 for 8. The Kings scored 11 points in the first quarter and 23 in the first half. They shot 25.6% from the field and make only 2 of 21 three pointers. Marcus Thornton shot 4 of 14 to "lead" Sacramento with 14 points, DeMarcus Cousins added the world's loneliest double-double (12 points, 10 boards) on 4 of 12 shooting. Sacramento again had way fewer assists (ten) than turnovers (15).
Sacramento concludes their road trip when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves this Monday.
The Sacramento Kings visited the Houston Rockets on Friday night in search of their second straight win and their second road win of the season. When all was said and done, however, the Kings had lost the game by a final score of 103-89 and dropped to 1-5 on the road. they now hold a 4-8 record on the season.
Sacramento kept pace with the Rockets throughout the first half, even holding a 52-50 lead heading into halftime. A big third quarter by the Rockets seemed to sap the will of the Sacramento team, as they wilted in the third and fourth quarters en route to the loss.
Tyreke Evans had a huge game for the Kings, leading all scorers with 27 points. He also picked up six rebounds and five assists in 42 minutes on the floor. Isaiah Thomas scored 13 points for Sacramento. Francisco Garcia and Donte Greene each contributed 11 points, with Greene also adding eight rebounds.
According to multiple sources, including Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, the Sacramento Kings will hire former Toronto Raptors assistant and NBA All-Star Alex English to join newly appointed head coach Keith Smart.
In wake of Paul Westphal firing, source says Alex English will be added to the Kings coaching staff headed by Keith Smart.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 13, 2012
English was the director of player development and an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors from 2004-11 after a couple of seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks.
As a player English retired as the sixth leading scoring in NBA History, was a eight time All-Star and won the scoring title in 1983. His #2 his been retired by the Denver Nuggets, though spent time with the Bucks, Pacers, Mavericks as well as in Italy.
English has also spent time as an actor, garnering roles in a 1987 motion picture titled Amazing Grace and Chuck, a 1989 TV series titled Midnight Caller, as well as 1996's motion picture classic Eddie.
For more in depth news and analysis of the Sacramento Kings, make sure to check out Sactown Royalty to get in on the action and show off your fanhood.
The Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors battled in a close contest through most of the night, but it was their talented young players that led the way in a seven point victory on the road. It was the first road victory on the season for the Kings, who improved to 4-7 on the season.
The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins, who exploded for 21 points nad 19 rebounds against a small Raptor frontline. Cousins still had five turnovers, but it was a minor issue. Tyreke Evans also had a nice effort, compiling 29 points on 7 of 22 shooting but also made all 14 of his free throws.
But it was Isaiah Thomas who stole the show, knocking in six of 12 from the field and dishing out six assists on his way to a career-high of 20 points. The rookie from Washington might have proven that he has the mettle to be a solid point guard for his team, even if he isn't quite yet capable of handling starter's minutes.Sacramento was arguably a better team when Thomas was running the team in his minutes on the floor.
The Philadelphia 76ers used a dominant third quarter to cruise to victory against the Kings on the road. Elton Brand had a nice double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday contributed 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists, Evan Turner managed 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. It was ultimately the passing efficiency of the Sixers that overwhelmed the Kings, with 30 assists to 10 turnovers compared to 16 assists to 15 turnovers. Philly outscored Sacramento 32-18 in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
The Kings had Jimmer Fredette start at point guard. He had as many turnovers as assists and one more turnover than field goal makes (2 for 7). John Salmons shot 3 for 10, J.J. Hickson 1 for 5, and Travis Outlaw was 1 for 8. Francisco Garcia 3 for 9, Isaiah Thomas 3 for 8.
With Marcus Thornton sidelined with a thigh contusion, Fredette takes over two-guard responsibilities and will start alongside Tyreke Evans in the Sacramento backcourt. Fredette will probably be tasked with guarding the sharpshooter Jodie Meeks, so this might be a nice matching duel of two players with similar skillsets. Jimmer's defense will be challenged here, as he's had trouble matching his offensive production on the floor.
Even if this is a road contest in Philadelphia, there will definitely be Jimmer fans in attendance, as this picture courtesy of doktakra on Twitter makes perfectly clear.
Can the Sixers make the Kings pay for Jimmer being on the floor for 30-35 minutes? We shall soon find out.
The Sacramento Kings played the Orlando Magic tightly for about the first 45 minutes of the game. Then they couldn't execute down the stretch and ended up losing. It's a familiar symptom of this young and inexperienced team.
Hedo Turkogulu probably got lucky when he banked in a three. But Sacramento looked horrid down the stretch going the other way, as DeMarcus Cousins drove wildly against Dwight Howard and Tyreke Evans ended up attempting a no-look floater while staring at the opposite basket. Orlando meanwhile got a Ryan Anderson three and a few easy baskets to pull away late. Orlando simply executed down the stretch while Sacramento executed themselves.
The breakdowns at the end ruined a great game by Evans, who had 28 points and eight assists. Cousins added 16 points and 10 assists, J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Thornton had a mighty struggle from the field though, going 5 of 16 from the field and fouling out with 13 points.
Dwight Howard had a quiet game with five points and four rebounds, but Jason Richardson stepped up with 22 points, Glen Davis had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Ryan Anderson had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Tyreke Evans might have just sustained a significant ankle injury that could hamper the chances of the Sacramento Kings to beat the Orlando Magic. It's a close game at halftime, but Evans's ankle could keep him from being a significant factor (if any factor at all) in the second half. You can see an image of Tyreke tweaking his ankle here.
It's too bad, because the Sacramento guard was having a good game up to this point. Evans has 15 points on six of eight shooting and DeMarcus Cousins has 12 points and six rebounds. J.J. Hickson has eight points and six rebounds, Travis Outlaw six points. The Magic have gotten nothing from Dwight Howard due to foul trouble (zero points, zero rebounds), while Jason Richardson and Glen Davis lead Orlando with eleven points each. Sacramento is getting to the free throw line at a better rate, but they can't hit any threes and have five more turnovers.
The Sacramento Kings hosted the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. For the first half of the game, it appeared that the Kings would be outgunned once again, but in the end they were able to bounce back and take the 103-100 victory, keeping Milwaukee winless on the road.
The Kings trailed 58-37 at halftime, but scored over 30 points in both the third and fourth quarters, in addition to holding the Bucks to just 18 points in the fourth. Still, Milwaukee held a 100-99 lead as with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation. Tyreke Evans drew a foul on Stephen Jackson and sank both free throws to put the Kings up 101-100, after which Jackson missed a 19-foot jumper with 0:05 left on the clock. Evans drew another foul with two seconds left and made both of his free throws again to put the game away.
Two Sacramento players managed to record double-doubles on Thursday. Evans had 26 points and 10 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 points and picked up 15 boards. Marcus Thornton led all Kings scorers with 27 points.
The Sacramento Kings are playing their first game without head coach Paul Westphal at the helm. While the team started off the game against the Milwaukee Bucks with good intensity on both ends of the court, it was more of the same by the time the second quarter rolled around. At the half, the Kings trail 58-37. Sacramento scored just 12 points in the last 14 minutes of the half.
Tyreke Evans played well to begin the game and leads Sacramento with 14 points at the break. DeMarcus Cousins, making his first start in three games, has eight points and five rebounds, although he has three turnovers and three fouls. Jimmer Fredette has just three points and made one of his four attempts from the field.
Brandon Jennings has dominated thus far and had 15 points and four assists in the half. Drew Gooden is on his way to a double-double with 14 points and seven rebounds. Stephen Jackson added 10 points off the bench, as well.
The Kings are playing their fourth game in five nights, so fatigue may be an issue, but this is nothing different from what Sacramento has done all season long.
DeMarcus Cousins never meshed well with Paul Westphal and the second-year big man had lost his spot in the starting lineup after an alleged altercation in the locker room a few nights ago. With coach Westphal fired earlier on Thursday afternoon, new head coach Keith Smart, who reportedly worked well with Cousins in the preseason, has given the 21-year old center his spot back in the starting lineup.
DeMarcus Cousins said he is back in the starting lineup tonight.— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) January 6, 2012
This is probably for the best. The Kings are determined to figure out a way to have Cousins succeed in Sacramento and he has a favorable matchup with Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut out for tonight's matchup. In addition to Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes are the other probable starters. Expect to see Jimmer Fredette, J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson see a bulk of the minutes off the bench.
The Kings will face the Bucks tonight at Power Balance Pavilion with tipoff set for 7 p.m. For more on the team, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
It was a standard demolition for the Sacramento Kings, who were outplayed in every quarter. Sacramento was down 10 after one, 17 at halftime, 21 after three quarters and ended up with a 27 point loss on their hands. The Kings never got going, and continue to be one of the worst passing teams in the league, managing 12 assists to 16 turnovers and shooting 32% from the field and under 10% from the three point line.
Marcus Thornton needed 20 shots to score 23 points, Tyreke Evans eight points on ten shots, John Salmons three points on seven shots, J.J. Hickson six points on nine shots, Jimmer Fredette seven points on 13 shots, Isaiah Thomas four points on nine shots. Meanwhile Denver shot 60% from the field and received efficient offensive performances up and down their roster.
The one bright spot had been the one big blotch the past few days. DeMarcus Cousins had his most efficient offensive performance, going 9 of 12 from the field and 8 of 9 from the line. But he only had three rebounds to go with his three blocks and steals, and Sacramento was outrebounded 50-36 by Denver. The Kings look miserable away from Power Balance Pavilion, and they have to be happy to be getting back home.
Jimmer Fredette continued his excellent play off the bench for the Kings, but on the night troubled big man DeMarcus Cousins returned to the lineup, Sacramento was blown out 113-96 by the Memphis Grizzlies. Fredette scored a team-high 17 points in a team-high 29 minutes, while Cousins scored just four points and brought down eight rebounds.
In what seems to be a concerning trend, the Kings got off to a very poor start on Tuesday night and the team was unable to recover throughout the game. The Grizzlies, who were led by Rudy Gay and his 26 points, led for most of the contest and ended the first quarter with a 14 point lead. Six players reached double digits for Memphis, including Sam Young, who scored an efficient 20 points.
For the Kings, there really wasn't too much to look positively at. The team continues to not distribute the basketball (13 assists, 19 turnovers) and they were out rebounded and destroyed on the offensive glass. Paul Westphal and the coaching staff did not make any adjustments at halftime. Rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas had a strong game in the losing effort, scoring 15 points, brining down four rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Until the Kings learn to play together, wins will be tough to come by. Coach Westphal's days in Sacramento may be numbered if changes are not made.
For more on the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
With a lot of distraction centering around Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins and absence from the game on Sunday night, ti became clear the rest of the team would need to step up. Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton were up to the challenge, leading Sacramento a comfortable 96-80 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Evans had 27 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Thornton added in 25 points, six rebounds and five steals. Chuck Hayes had 10 rebounds and J.J. Hickson had nine, while Jimmer Fredette added seven points, five assists and two steals off the bench. John Salmons also provided 13 points. The difference was at the three point line, where the Kings knocked in eight of 23 three pointers, and the Hornets missed all fifteen. Sacramento used a strong third quarter, outscoring New Orleans 30-18 to blow open a tied game.
The Sacramento Kings are clearly involved in a tense situation with their promising young big man, as DeMarcus Cousins was sent home from Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Hornets. Cousins apparently demanded a trade, and Paul Westphal figured it was time to send a message to his young rookie.
While this might suggest Westphal is losing his grip on the team, it's clear that management stands right behind their head coach on this decision.
However, there are multiple conflicting reports about how serious Cousins is about his trade demands. Cousins has been considered to be an immature player, and the trade demand could have been made in jest. The organization also doesn't seem seriously interested in dealing one of their most talented players.
It would indeed be rather hasty for the Kings to decide to deal Cousins. This is likely Sacramento trying to be firm in disciplining the big man to try and avoid future headaches. There is really no one Petrie could make a deal for anyway to try and make up for the loss of a player like Cousins. Try and get the situation settled before things deteriorate out of control.
Although it seems like the situation is already in a bad, bad place.
To discuss Cousins and the Kings, head to Sactown Royalty.
DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings are at odds with each other. Is Paul Westphal on his last legs as their head coach?
The Sacramento Kings continued to struggle at the beginning of the 2011-12 NBA season as they hosted the New York Knicks on Saturday evening.The 114-92 loss gives the Kings a 1-3 overall record, including a 1-2 record when playing at home.
The Knicks, who were playing without Amare Stoudemire due to a sprained left ankle, put up monstrous early and late quarters. They outscored the home team 35-20 in the opening quarter and 36-27 in the final frame. The Knicks starting five all put up double-digits against the Kings, including three players with over 20 points each. Sacramento, by contrast, only managed four players at double digits in scoring. Guard Marcus Thornton led Kings scorers with 14 points. Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans each had 13 points.
Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks led all scorers with 23 points, also racking up seven rebounds and five assists. Josh Harrellson managed a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tyson Chandler put up 22 points and was a perfect 10-for-10 on free throws. Landry Fields added another 21 to the New York effort.
For all news and information regarding the Kings, please visit Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings will catch a break on Saturday evening as they welcome in the New York Knicks to town. They will not have to deal with all-star big man Amare Stoudemire, who has been bothered by a sprained ankle. Stoudemire, who always seems to save his best for the Kings, had been attempting to play through the injury, but it was too much to bear in his last game with the Lakers and struggled mightily.
Amare Stoudemire will sit out tonight's game in Sacto to rest his sprained ankle.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) December 31, 2011
The injury causes the Knicks some depth problems in the front court. With no true replacement, the team will likely go with Bill Walker and rookie Josh Harrellson to replace most of his minutes. This could cause problems for New York, especially when power forwards Jason Thompson and J.J. Hickson are on the floor for Sacramento.
As for the Kings, expect a same starting lineup Coach Westphal has put out in the first three games. The coaching staff placed an emphasis on ball movement in practice on Friday and it will be interesting to see how the players respond. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes and DeMarcus Cousins are the probable starters.
For more on the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings have a lot of individual talent on their team. But it's clear they don't quite yet know how to play with each other. Sacramento's defeat to the Chicago Bulls was naturally inevitable.
The Kings actually proved to be the more superior team on the glass, grabbing ten more offensive rebounds thanks to the work of DeMarcus Cousins (12 rebounds, 7 offensive), Chuck Hayes (10 rebounds, three offensive), and J.J. Hickson (8 rebounds, four offensive). But Sacramento was outshot 54% to 42%, and only had 13 assists to 14 turnovers (compared to 25 Chicago assists and 18 Bulls turnovers). Most importantly, the Kings missed 14 free throws, with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton going 5 of 14 from the charity stripe.
Thornton had 20 points and Evans had 19, with Cousins providing 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jimmer Fredette contributed 14 points, John Salmons 12. Derrick Rose had a solid 19 points and eight assists, although he struggled with six turnovers. Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 15 rebounds, with Richard Hamilton adding 16 points and Luol Deng putting up 12. That's the balance the Kings are striving to find with their offense, but they need to learn to work together, space the floor, and move the ball properly.
After playing a nearly flawless game against the Lakers on Monday night, the Sacramento Kings were completely lost in Portland as they fell to the Trail Blazers by a score of 101-79. Sacramento led most of the first half, although the wheels started to come off early in the third quarter and there was no looking back from there. After scoring 25 points in the first ten minutes of the game, the Kings scored just 54 in the next 38.
DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 16 points on 18 shots, although he was rather inefficient with five fouls and four turnovers. After shooting the lights out against LA, Marcus Thornton couldn't make anything throughout most of the contest and ended with just 14 points on 5 of 15 shooting. Tyreke Evans looked completely lost on both ends of the court and he ended with just four points, two rebounds and two assists. Jimmer Fredette scored 10 and shot 1-for-5 from behind the arc.
The Trail Blazers played stellar team defense throughout and could not be stopped in the second half. Gerald Wallace led the way with 25 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge dominated the paint for 24 points and eight rebounds. With the win, Portland improves to 2-0 on the season, while the Kings fall to 1-1.
For more on the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings did their best to take advantage of a great opportunity to dispatch their rivals from Southern California, and they controlled the majority of their contest with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning 100-91.
Sacramento relied on great, efficient guard play from Marcus Thornton (27 points on only 13 shots) and Tyreke Evans (20 points on 13 shots), as they made every shot they needed to make to get the win. John Salmons added another 13 points, DeMarcus Cousins put up a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards, and Chuck Hayes added seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Kobe Bryant had 29 points, five rebounds and six assists to lead the Lakers, and got support from Metta World Peace (19 points) and Pau Gasol (15 points).
The Lakers, still clearly missing Andrew Bynum, were forced to go small on way too many occasions to match up with the Kings wing players. That did not help their perimeter defense though, as Sacramento buried 50% of their threes; Los Angeles was a woeful1 of 16 from behind the arc. In most other categories, the Lakers held firm with the Kings, but the three point line was their doom in this contest.
The Sacramento Kings are using their superior guard play to really take it to the Los Angeles Lakers through one half of play. The Kings look like the crisper team, hitting 53% of their shots. Tyreke Evans has 12 points and three assists to lead the Kings, and Marcus Thornton has provided solid support with nine points, three rebounds and three assists. Jimmer Fredette and Travis Outlaw both have six points off the bench, and Chuck Hayes has been impressive in his Sacramento debut with eight points.
The Lakers look very fatigued after playing the second night of a back-to-back, shooting 36% from the field and making only one three. Kobe Bryant is shooting around 30% from the field to lead the Lakers with 12 points, Metta World Peace has 10 points, and Troy Murphy has eight, but the rest of the Lakers (particularly Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol) are struggling to hit their shots.
The Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers are playing a slightly ragged contest early on, taking a 21-20 lead after one period. The scorers are the one putting the points up, as Marcus Thornton has seven points, Tyreke Evans six, and John Salmons five.
The Kings are shooting over 50% from the field, while the Lakers (fresh off a back-to-back) are around 40%. The Lakers seem to be passing the ball better (seven assists to Sacramento's three) and grabbing more rebounds, particularly on the offensive glass, which is allowing them to hang around.
The Sacramento Kings are ready for their opening night of the 2011-12 NBA season against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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