Kings

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.

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

cousins-demarcus-davis-anthony-arms.jpg
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

maloof-courtside-kings.jpg
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.