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.

Kings beat Grizzlies for Joerger: 'He really wanted that one'

Kings beat Grizzlies for Joerger: 'He really wanted that one'

SACRAMENTO -- Sometimes a game means a little bit more than just one of 82. For Dave Joerger, beating his former team is gratifying, whether he wants to admit it or not, especially when that team is in the middle of major playoff push.

“I know he really wanted that one, you could tell before and during the game,” veteran point guard Darren Collison said of his head coach after the Kings’ 91-90 over the Memphis Grizzlies. “Anytime you go against your former team it definitely means a lot.”

Everyone noticed the change in Joerger. Be it in film prep or in walk-through, something was different. Despite the playoff chase being over, Joerger turned to his veterans and they delivered in the clutch.

“Anytime you play against your former team, whether it be a coach or a player, you have a little more energy, you have a little more incentive to win,” Anthony Tolliver said.

Ten Kings players saw court time, but both Skal Labissiere and Langston Galloway played sparingly as Joerger tightened his rotation. All five starters played 30 minutes or more, with Collison seeing a team-high 37 minutes.

The veteran point guard finished with a game-high 23 points and seven assists in the win. His free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining pushed the Kings into the lead and Memphis’ last ditch effort to win the game at the buzzer rimmed out.

“The more games we win, it’s going to be better for these young guys,” Collison said. “It’s very hard to win in this league and winning is contagious.”

This was the second straight victory for Sacramento after dropping four in a row. The team is now 5-12 since the All-Star break and they are 4-4 over their last eight games.

“We’re competing and that’s the biggest thing - we’re not laying down,” Willie Cauley-Stein said. “Even though we’re not in the playoff race, we’re playing like we’re in the playoff race and that’s bigtime.”

Cauley-Stein continued his strong play since the break. The second-year big posted 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out three assists in 33 minutes. He played solid defense on veteran Zach Randolph down the stretch.

It was a team effort. Four players scored in double-figures, including rookie Buddy Hield, who scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds. Big man Kosta Koufos added 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks, while Ty Lawson finished with 10 points in 19 minutes of action.

Following the game, Joerger alluded to this being the final time we will see many of the veterans playing major minutes together. With just eight games remaining in the season, it’s time to give the young core the reigns and let them show what they can do.

“This was maybe our last stand for the year as far as you’re probably not going to see all those veterans play together for the rest of the season,” said Joerger. “It’s at home, it’s a great opportunity. The guys went out there and laid it all on the line.”

The Kings return to their home court on Wednesday when the Utah Jazz roll through Golden 1 Center. Of their remaining eight games on the schedule, Sacramento has four home contests and four on the road. They’ll finish the 2016-17 season on April 12 in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. 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 are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.