Kings

Instant Replay: Kings blow 28-point lead, crumble in San Antonio

Instant Replay: Kings blow 28-point lead, crumble in San Antonio

BOX SCORE

A tale of two halves. After leading by as many as 28 early in the game, the Sacramento Kings let one slip away Wednesday night in San Antonio. Despite playing without Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs kept charging at the Kings. In the end, San Antonio came away with the 114-104 victory over the Kings, sending Sacramento to their sixth straight loss.

Manu Ginobili is an ageless wonder. The 15-year NBA vet torched the Kings for 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting off of Gregg Popovich’s bench.

Patty Mills hit big shots when the Spurs needed them. The veteran point guard scored 17 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point land and added 10 assists.

David Lee started at the power forward spot and hit Sacramento for 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jonathan Simmons chipped in 14 points and Danny Green tossed in 14 points in the win.

Tyreke Evans turned back the clock in the first quarter as Sacramento stunned the playoff bound Spurs. Starting at the small forward position, Evans scored 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting, including 13 in the first quarter.

The rookies produced. Skal Labissiere showed off his arsenal, dropping in a career-high 15 points, while grabbing six rebounds in 15 minutes. Buddy Hield caught fire from the outside, finishing the night with 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting from behind the arc.

Kosta Koufos attacked the Spurs in the post early, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the Kings’ 37-point first quarter. The veteran center added 10 rebounds in the loss.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Labissiere needs more minutes. The rookie power forward brought the energy in his limited time on the floor. He’s looking more and more like a player every time he steps on the court.

TURNING POINT:
The Spurs used a 34-23 third quarter to steal momentum. They looked every bit the part of a team heading for a deep playoff run, despite playing without Leonard and Aldridge.

INJURY UPDATE:
Rookie Malachi Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear, but hopes to return before the season is finished. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings return to Sacramento for back-to-back games against the Wizards and Nuggets on Friday and Saturday at Golden 1 Center.

 

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

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AP

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

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AP

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

Gavin and Joe Maloof have gambled plenty in their lives, which is in part how they ended up losing the Sacramento Kings. They ran big, they hit a dry well, and they ended up selling the works.

So their decision to bet $880,000 on Floyd Mayweather in his “thing” with Conor McGregor for a $160,000 payout seemed the perfectly daft idea for two guys who were painted as perfectly daft when they were running the Kings and their other businesses into a freeway abutment on I-80.

In fairness, they are planning to donate their winnings to a number of charities in the name of their hangover drink (Never Too Hungover, although I might have gone with the more lyrical HurlNoMore), so it’s not like their hearts aren’t a place close to the mythical “right place.”

But it does beg the question, “Why don’t they just give $160,000 and skip the scam?” Because it wasn’t about charity, it was about promotion, and while there’s nothing wrong with promotion, attaching it to one of the seediest carnival events of the modern era makes it seem, well, kind of creepy.

Or maybe “creepy” is too strong. Maybe’s it’s just opportunism, which is more, well, Vegas-y.

Kings fans will remember the Maloofs as the family that saved the foundering team from the clutches of owner Jim Thomas, and then remember them as the family whose clutches Vivek Ranadive had to save the team from 15 years later. It’s the nature of most ownerships – you do good to eliminate a prior evil, and eventually become evil yourselves when the fans turn on you.

But the Maloofs aren’t evil – even their most strident critics will say that. They just saw an opportunity to scratch a bunch of itches at once – good-heartedness, advertising, gambling and Vegas’ most important product – selling you things you could never imagine wanting.

It almost makes you wonder if they harbor a secret itch to take the $160,000 and double down on behalf of the charities for another of their pet projects – the Vegas Golden Knights. If they put it on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at 200-1, that’s $32,000,000. Then if they took that and . . .

. . . and before you know it, they’re trapped in the fantasyland of Las Vegas at its weirdest. Maybe it’s just performance art with more money than most of us can eat.