Instant Replay: Kings start fast, lose close one to Clippers

Instant Replay: Kings start fast, lose close one to Clippers

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- Close, but no cigar. The Sacramento Kings shook off a disastrous second quarter to make it a game. But like so many other nights this season, they ran out of gas in crunch time and fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by a final of 106-98.

With all eyes focused on Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, the coach’s son got loose. Austin Rivers lit the Kings up for 18 of his 24 points in the first half. He attacked the rim and when Sacramento gave him space, he drilled them from the perimeter.

Paul orchestrated the Clippers offense, dropping 12 assists and 14 points on the night. J.J. Redick got hot from the perimeter, scoring 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting and DeAndre Jordan went off for 20 points and nine rebounds.

Dave Joerger mixed up his starting lineup, turning to Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Rudy Gay, Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins to begin the game and they responded with a 29-19 first quarter. But then the wheels fell off the Kings’ bus leading into the half.

The Kings couldn’t find a bucket in the second quarter and their defense completely fell apart. Los Angeles used a 34-12 quarter to take a 12 point lead into the intermission. Sacramento battled late, but they didn’t have the legs to finish the comeback.

Cousins looked uncomfortable early against DeAndre Jordan, but got it going in the third quarter. Sacramento’s All-Star big stuffed the stat sheet, finishing the night with 25 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks in the loss.

Gay returned to action after missing 10-of-11 games with a hip flexor injury and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. The veteran forward posted 18 points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action.

The starting backcourt of Collison and Lawson worked for stretches. Collison scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Lawson chipped in 17 points and six assists.

Garrett Temple added five points and nine rebounds and Matt Barnes handed out six assists and grabbed six rebounds.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Rivers put on a show in the first half and then showed up again in the fourth. Sacramento made adjustments to slow him down, but the 24-year-old guard did some major damage.

TURNING POINT

The Kings overcame an atrocious second quarter to make it a game, but the Clippers hit three straight triples in the mid-fourth quarter to take an eight point lead and steal the momentum. Sacramento had a few chances late, but a couldn't complete the comeback.

INJURY UPDATE

After missing four straight, Gay returned to action against the Clippers and made a nice contribution.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings continue their season-long seven game homestand Sunday afternoon when the Golden State Warriors swing by for a 6pm start.

Young Kings' inexperience rears ugly head in loss to Jazz

Young Kings' inexperience rears ugly head in loss to Jazz

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings showed their age Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. They couldn’t buy a basket early. They could do no wrong in the second and third quarters. And when the chips were down, they couldn’t stop a charging Utah Jazz team from pulling away for the 112-82 blowout.

Utah led by as many as 20 in the first quarter and it looked like it was going to be a long night. The Kings shot just 31.6 percent in the game’s first 12 minutes and they allowed the Jazz to knock down 5-of-11 3-pointers early.

“We started off slow and in a hole and tried to come back,” Willie Cauley-Stein said.

The Jazz pushed the lead to 24 in the opening minutes of the second quarter and then Ben McLemore happened. The fourth-year guard went off for 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the second as the Kings cut Utah’s lead to just seven at the intermission.

“It’s nice to see him back in there and getting rhythm and feeling good about himself,” Dave Joerger said of McLemore. “He is able at his size to get off of people that are holding. With his athleticism, he can be an effective cutter and he can be an effective pin down player.”

The 24-year-old wing finished the night with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, but he was one of just three Kings players to notch double-figure scoring as the ball movement dried up for long stretches.

Utah made adjustments in the second half to slow McLemore and the Kings did a poor job of responding. They over dribbled the ball, leading to just 14 assists on the night.

The Jazz on the other hand looked like a finely oiled machine. With big man Rudy Gobert anchoring the post, they made cuts at the rim and found open shooters all around the perimeter.  

“They hit shots, a lot of shots, a lot of threes,” Willie Cauley-Stein said. “That breaks the game wide open when you’re hitting threes and a lot of stuff is going in.”

Sharpshooter Rodney Hood dropped in 5-of-5 from long range, scoring 18 points in just 24 minutes of play. Gordon Hayward knocked down 3-of-5 from deep for a team-high 20 points. Overall, Utah outscored the Kings 39-6 from 3-point range.

Despite the rough start and the barrage of 3-point makes by the Jazz, Sacramento cut Utah’s lead to just two midway through the third quarter. And then the playoff bound Jazz dropped a 52-24 run on Sacramento to finish the night off.

Joerger allowed his core of young players plenty of time on the floor. Skal Labissiere played a team-high 33 minutes in the loss, coming away with nine points and seven rebounds.  

“I’m definitely learning a lot,” Labissiere said. “It’s the best way to learn to be out there against guys like that. Whenever I’m out there, I’m always learning something. I just try to give my best.”

Rookie Georgios Papagiannis added eight points and three rebounds in 20 minutes and Buddy Hield struggled for one of the few times in a Kings uniform, scoring just two points on 1-for-7 shooting.

It’s a process. With the playoff chatter over and done with, the Kings are bound to have a few more night’s like this in the final seven games of the season as they transition to a full youth movement.

 

Instant Replay: Kings fight back, but succumb to Jazz

Instant Replay: Kings fight back, but succumb to Jazz

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- After winning two straight, the Sacramento Kings came out flat and the Utah Jazz made them pay. The Jazz quieted the crowd early, pushing their lead to 24 points in the second quarter, but the Kings bounced back to make it a game. In the end, Utah had too much firepower, coming away with the 112-82 victory.

All-Star Gordon Hayward used his height advantage at the wing to punish the Kings. Hayward scored 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting and added seven rebounds in the win.

Rudy Gobert pounded the Kings in the paint, finishing the night with 16 points and 15 rebounds.  

Rodney Hood knocked down 5-for-5 from behind the arc on his way to 17 points. Shelvin Mack shot 5-of-8 from the field for 14 points and Joe Ingles finished with 12 points and five assists off Quin Snyder’s bench.

There is no quit in Ben McLemore. The fourth-year guard has an uncertain in Sacramento after this season, so he made sure to put on a show for anyone who might be interested in his services. McLemore dropped in 17 of his 22 points in a wild first half run that got Sacramento back into the game.

Darren Collison was one of the few Kings to find success early as the Jazz built their big lead. The veteran point  guard finished the night with 12 points and one assist.

Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t back down from Gobert. The second-year 7-footer managed to score seven points and grab a team-high eight rebounds in the loss.

Ty Lawson came off Dave Joerger’s bench to score 11 points and dish out three assists. Skal Labissiere shook of a slow start to score nine points and grab seven rebounds, while rookie Georgios Papagiannis chipped in eight points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
McLemore caught fire. He singlehandedly stopped the Kings from getting blown out in the first half with his 7-of-8 shooting performance before the intermission.

TURNING POINT:
Sacramento managed to make it a game in the third quarter, clawing all the way back to within one point. The Jazz responded to take a 78-67 lead into the fourth and then put the Kings away.

INJURY UPDATE:
Garrett Temple and Kosta Koufos sat for scheduled rest. Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings travel to New Orleans where they’ll face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday evening. They’ll fly to Minnesota following the game to play the Timberwolves as part of a back-to-back.