Kings blown out of Memphis, 128-95

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Kings blown out of Memphis, 128-95

BOX SCORE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rudy Gay had 23 points, Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo added 22 apiece and the Memphis Grizzlies won their sixth straight, 128-95 over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.Marc Gasol had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Marreese Speights contributed 12 points and 15 rebounds for Memphis, which scored a season high.Jimmer Fredette led the Kings with a season-high 20 points and six assists, while Donte Greene and DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 apiece. Cousins also had 11 rebounds and Tyreke Evans had 13 points.The Grizzlies led by only eight at halftime, but opened the second half with a 12-0 run to push the lead to 20. The Kings, who snapped a two-game winning streak, trailed by as many as 39 in the fourth quarter.The victory moved the Grizzlies atop the Southwest Division, percentage points ahead of San Antonio and Dallas.Conley's shooting gave Memphis an early 16-point lead, as the Grizzlies point guard hit all seven of his shots for 15 first-quarter points. He eventually would hit eight straight and 10 of 11 in the half for 22 points.The Memphis lead expanded to 19 early in the second quarter, but the Kings battled back behind Fredette, who scored all 15 of his first-half points in the second quarter.That helped the Kings outscore Memphis 39-34 in the quarter by hitting 17 of 26 shots and cut the halftime lead to 68-60.Gay and Mayo had 12 points apiece for Memphis. Cousins had 12 for the Kings.Memphis again took over the game at the start of the second half, scoring the first 12 points for an 80-60 lead. The Grizzlies eventually would lead by 28 points in the third period by outscoring the Kings 34-16.Gasol had 11 in the quarter for Memphis, and, by the early stages of the fourth period, the Kings' reserves were on the floor with Memphis owning a 30-point advantage.Notes: Grizzlies C Hamed Haddadi, who has not played this season because of visa problems, dressed for the game. Asked before the game if Haddadi was on limited minutes, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins replied: "Unlimited minutes. He'll play as long as my desire for him to play." Haddadi played just over 5 minutes with two points and five rebounds. ... Memphis has won seven of the last eight in the series. .The Kings are now 4-6 under coach Keith Smart. ... Gasol hit a 3-pointer midway through the third, only his second long-range attempt this season. ... Kings G Marcus Thornton left the game in the first half with a stiff left thigh. ... Kings F John Salmons missed his first game of the season. Kings officials said he stayed at the team's hotel with an illness. Francisco Garcia started in his place.

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

SACRAMENTO -- The changes keep coming in Sacramento. NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings have hired former Orlando Magic executive, Scott Perry, to fill the role of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Perry will report directly to Vlade Divac, who will retain final say in player personnel decisions.

Perry spent the last five seasons in Orlando as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. He was let go from the Magic last week following the dismissal of General Manager Rob Hennigan.

Perry, 53, began his career as an executive with the Detroit Pistons where he held the position of Director of Player Personnel from 2000-2007. He briefly left the Pistons, joining the Seattle Supersonics organization as an Assistant General Manager of the team for the 2007-08 season, before spending another four years as Detroit’s Vice President of Basketball Operations from 2008-2012.

Highly regarded around the league, Perry adds another experienced basketball mind to the Kings front office.

During his postseason media availability last week, Vlade Divac spoke openly about his willingness to accept additional help.

“We’re open always to improve - the team, the front office, everything is open for improvement,” Divac said. “I’m very happy and confident in what we have right now, but like I said, we should be open if something can you better.”

With the addition of Luke Bornn on Wednesday to head up the team’s analytics department, and Perry on Friday, the Kings appear to be building a stronger infrastructure as they move into a full youth movement.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was first with the information.

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

SACRAMENTO -- Changes are coming to the Sacramento Kings. The team quietly made news on Monday evening when it was reported that Roland Beech, the Kings VP of Basketball Results, will not return after two years on the job.

But Sacramento hasn’t abandoned the analytics movement. In fact, they are about to invest heavily in a new group, with a new face at the helm. -- Luke Bornn, who will join the Kings front office as the new VP of Analytics and Strategy, NBC Sports California has learned.

In accepting the role, Bornn, 31, will leave soccer giant A.S. Roma as well as his positions as an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University and visiting scholar at Harvard University. He’ll be taxed with building a new department in Sacramento that will look to bring in some of the brightest minds in the field of analytics.

He is a stat head for sure, but one with a focus on creating a system of sketching and mapping the spatial movements of players using the incredible technologies now available to teams through the NBA’s SportVU system.

“We’ll be looking at more advanced modeling tools often with the player tracking data to try and get a deeper understanding of player performance,” Bornn told NBC Sports California. “There is a lot of what happens on the court that really is not picked up by the box score. A lot of players that make big contributions make it in ways that don’t appear. It’s not an assist, it’s not a rebound, it’s not a block.”

According to their site, “SportVU utilizes a six-camera system installed in basketball arenas to track the real-time positions of players and the ball 25 times per second. Utilizing this tracking data, STATS is able to create a wealth of innovative statistics based on speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

Introduced to the basketball data world while working at Harvard in 2012 by Kirk Goldsberry, who now works for the San Antonio Spurs front office, Bornn is already well known in the basketball world for his work.

“Kirk and I sort of hit it off,” Bornn said. “He had just gotten SportVU data and he basically said to me, ‘I have this data, but I have no idea what to do with it, I have the basketball side, but I don’t have the technical side.’ I had the technical side and so it started a long collaboration of working with player tracking data.”

Bornn has co-authored papers presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in each of the previous four years, including four straight Sloan finalist papers.

Every team in the league has someone looking over this data, but Bornn hopes to tailor the information to the needs of the Kings’ staff.

“It’s not about me coming in and saying, ‘Here is how to think about the game and here’s the magic numbers,’” Bornn said. “It’s really about me going to them and saying, ‘How do you think about the game, what is it that you care about, is there questions you want answered and can I help you with that?’”  

The plan is for Bornn and his team to build a database of sorts that is accessible to players, coaches and the front office that relies heavily on video to show information, instead of just numbers on a page. They will have your conventional statistics, but an array of other options as well specifically created for the team.

“My role with the Kings will be all encompassing,” Bornn said. “It’s player evaluation, opponent scouting, it’s performance - with the sports science group there. We’ll be looking at all aspects, from the basics of stats, all the way to the more advanced metrics.”

From developing oncourt strategies to charting player health, Bornn and his team will make information accessible to the Kings’ front office, coaching and medical staff with the hope of adding yet another resource for the franchise.

Predicting player injuries is one of the hot button topics in the NBA at this moment with the league going as far as elongating the All-Star break and taking another 10 days onto the schedule to help spread out back-to-back games. It’s a complex issue that is in its fledgling stages.

“In terms of injuries, that’s where everyone wants to go and I think that’s where we’ll aim to go as well, but right now, that’s very much an unsolved problem,” Bornn said.

It appears that the Kings are jumping into the analytics field with both feet. Bornn is moving to Sacramento with his family and will be on the ground as the Kings prepare for a very important 2017 NBA Draft and then free agency.