Kings dominate, beat Dallas 110-97

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Kings dominate, beat Dallas 110-97

BOX SCORE
SACRAMENTO -- Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton each scored 17 points to help the Sacramento Kings end a 10-game losing streak against the Dallas Mavericks with a 110-97 victory on Friday night.Rookie Isaiah Thomas added 14 points, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter, for the Kings, who last beat Dallas on Jan. 11, 1999. The worst of those losses came in the first meeting earlier this season when the defending champion Mavericks won 99-60 in Dallas.Jason Terry scored 23 points to lead the Mavericks, who have lost six straight road games for the first time since November 1999. Dallas has lost seven of nine games overall to fall into seventh place in the Western Conference.With victories over New Orleans and Dallas, the Kings are off to a strong start to a nine-game homestand that is the longest in franchise history. The homestand started a night after the City Council approved a plan to help finance an estimated 391 million arena to keep the Kings in town for at least another 30 years.That has given Kings fans something to cheer about for a change for a last-place team that has missed the playoffs for the past five seasons.DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points in his return from food poisoning and the Kings had seven players reach double-figures in the win.Sacramento took the lead early and then started to pull away in the third quarter against a Dallas team that had lost the previous night in Phoenix. Thomas hit a pair of 3-pointers around a pretty drive from Evans to extend the lead to 78-61 midway through the third. Sacramento led by 16 after three quarters and coasted to the victory.Francisco Garcia's 3-pointer midway through the fourth extended the lead to 102-82 and allowed the Kings to become the second team to reach the century mark against Dallas in the past 21 games.The Kings started off much better in their second meeting against the Mavericks than they did in Dallas on Jan. 14, when they were held to a franchise-low 23 points in the first half of the stingiest defensive game in Dallas history. The Kings went 22 for 86 from the field (25.6 percent) in that game.The Kings got out on the break early and matched their first-half scoring total from January in just over 6 minutes as Evans' two free throws gave Sacramento a 23-10 lead with 5:54 left in the quarter.The Kings led by nine after one and were up 54-44 at the half after Marcus Thornton's runner in the lane with 3.8 seconds left. They topped their total from January with 9:44 left in the third when Cousins made two free throws to make it 61-51.Notes: Donte Greene got his third start of the season for the Kings to match up with Dirk Nowitzki and scored 11 points. Nowitzki finished with 13 on 5-for-13 shooting. ... The Mavericks wrap up a stretch of three games in three nights on Saturday at Golden State. ... Sacramento F J.J. Hickson missed the game with a hip pointer and Dallas C Brendan Haywood sat out with a sprained left ankle. ... Grammy Award winner Drake was at the game.

Disgruntled Bulls PG Rondo throws shade on Kings

Disgruntled Bulls PG Rondo throws shade on Kings

After wearing out his welcome in Boston, Dallas and Sacramento, Rajon Rondo is doing the same in Chicago.

The veteran point guard, who was benched for five games at the end of December and beginning of January, opened up his situation in Chicago during a recent interview.

While talking about what could possibly be the problem with the Bulls, Rondo brought up his one season with the Kings.

“It’s just, maybe, the personnel in this situation. I mean, last year -- I hate to keep talking about last year -- but you couldn’t name three people on my team, the Sacramento Kings, and I led the league in assists. You know? I don’t know. I believe so (that his skill set still has value), given the right personnel and the flow of the game," Rondo told TNT's David Aldridge last week.

While the Kings were mired in a 33-49 season in 2015-16, Rondo racked up an NBA-leading 11.7 assists per game. Russell Westbrook was second with 10.4.

In four games since returning from being benched by coach Fred Hoiberg, Rondo is averaging 6.5 points and 6.0 assists in 22.6 minutes per contest.

Rondo is signed through the 2017-18 season and is scheduled to make just under $14 million next season.

'Undisciplined' Kings regressing at halfway point of 2016-17 season

'Undisciplined' Kings regressing at halfway point of 2016-17 season

SACRAMENTO -- Undisciplined. It’s a word that we haven’t heard much, but it is one of the better ways of describing the 2016-17 Sacramento Kings 40 games into the season.

“We’re not a good team right now - plain and simple,” veteran Matt Barnes said following another loss on Sunday night. “We have what it takes, but we’re undisciplined, we’re not consistent and we lose our focus too much.”

Turnovers, technical fouls, inconsistent offensive and defensive sets - this has become the Kings’ bread and butter. And it’s come to a head during the team’s 1-5 homestand, especially on the Kings’ 122-118 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Tonight, turnovers killed,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “We didn’t execute well. I don’t think we were that great defensively.”

Cousins’ six turnovers was a team-high, but he had plenty of help. Only Garrett Temple failed to give the ball up on the night, leaving nine other players to share in the 22 total miscues for Sacramento.

“We just don’t pay attention to detail and it always comes back and bites us in the ass at the end of games,” Barnes said.

Despite all of the messy play, Sacramento still had a chance. The Kings had an outside shot to erase an enormous deficit and come back and beat OKC. But that has become their modus operandi.

During their six-game homestand, they have trailed by 14 or more points in every contest. On Sunday against the Thunder, they fell behind by 17 and still were able to cut the lead to just three with 26.5 seconds remaining. In a game that often comes down to a few opportunities that go one way or the other, the Kings are more often the team that makes the crucial error.

“It’s a few plays here and there that we think don’t matter early in the game and we end up losing a four point game,” Barnes said. “We’re a hell of a team in the last three minutes of a game. We make it exciting, but most of the time, by that time, it’s too late.”

Kosta Koufos picked up a tech in the second quarter. Barnes picked one up during a crucial moment in the fourth. Cousins had one as well, giving him 11 on the season, but it was the double-tech variety with Russell Westbrook, so it had no impact on the score.

“We complain too much to the refs, you know what I mean,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to worry about the other team. I think we worry about the refs too much.”

Those two points came back to play a major role in a close ball game and they carried no favor with the officiating crew either. It’s possible that the game would have had the same outcome, but it’s difficult to say for sure.

“Stop talking to the officials and let it go,” Temple said. “They’re going to call what they call; I’ve never seen a call changed because a person is talking to the official. It is what it is.”

There is no benefit of the doubt for a team like Sacramento. They have a reputation with the officials that they live up to on most nights. They are in the refs ear from start to finish. When technical fouls are called, it isn’t a surprise to anyone in the building.

“They’re human beings just like us, so if you constantly berate them about calls, that’s not going to help you,” Temple added. “So we’ve just got to leave them alone, try to control what we can control.”

At some point, the Kings need to learn from their mistakes. But at the halfway point of the season, they appear to be regressing. Frustrations are mounting as their playoff hopes once again dim in the month of January.

With the loss, Sacramento fell to 16-24 on the season. They have one game left at Golden One Center on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers before embarking on a brutal eight game road trip.