Kings

Kings hold court at home with OT win over Warriors

662664.jpg

Kings hold court at home with OT win over Warriors

BOX SCORE
SACRAMENTO The Sacramento Kings held the Warriors scoreless for the first three minutes and 43 seconds of overtime and wound up snapping Golden States two-game winning streak. For the Kings, the victory avenged their 93-90 loss to the Warriors on Tuesday at Oracle.Kings 114, Warriors 106 (OT)Player of the game: DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 points and 20 rebounds. He also knocked down a back-breaking straightaway 18-foot jumper which banked in with 2:06 left in overtime, giving the Kings a 109-102 lead.

We got manhandled on the boards, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. Their four and five positions just dominated the glass. We didnt step up to the challenge. At times its individual and at times its collective. Awfully frustrating when a guy like Dominic McGuire can tie for our rebounding lead (5) in a little under 15 minutes. Its a mentality, a mindset.Key stretch: The start of overtime did the Warriors in and nobody struggled more than Stephen Curry. He missed three shots in the first two minutes of the extra period and also committed a turnover.Curry wouldnt have started the overtime according to Jackson had Nate Robinson been back in the locker room nursing a groin injury.Robinson sustained the injury early in the fourth quarter but ended up playing until the end of regulation. At the end of regulation, he went back into the locker room to get treatment.(Robinson) went in the back and got taped and then said he was ready, Jackson said. In fairness to Steph, I told him I shouldnt have gone back to him even if Nate was not ready. It wasnt fair to him especially coming off ankle issues and all that. Obviously he wasnt going to be loose and clearly he wasnt himself when he went back in. Thats on me.Said Curry: Im not used to it, but if he calls your number youve got to do the best you can. My legs werent normally where theyd be on the shots I did take, but its one of those situations where Nate was injured a little bit, and I had to go in there and play. Tried to do my best.

Huge shot: Rookie Klay Thompson hit the biggest shot of his career, burying a corner 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining to tie the game 102-102.That was the play if I could get a layup, get a layup, said Robinson, who finished with 20 points. But we wanted a three, Klay was wide open, baseline drift, wide open. works every time.

Bench again: For the second time in the past two games, Warriors coach Mark Jackson played primarily his substitutes in the fourth quarter. That unit rallied from an 11-point deficit to force overtime.Our bench was incredible, Jackson said. Their effort was outstanding and I look forward to the day where Im not a coach standing over there thinking: Do I stick with these guys or do I get my starters back in the game? Thats not a good feeling. Youre supposed to have guys you can rely on that can pick it up when needed.

Thorntons third: Thornton really got it going in the third quarter, and it helped the Kings gain some separation from Golden State. Thornton had 18 points in the period, which was the big reason the Kings turned a one-point halftime deficit into an 87-76 lead after three periods.Wright on: Dorell Wright had a spring in his step and it seemed obvious. He had a terrific put back dunk off a rebound and also had his long-range game going.Wright had 19 points in the first half, going 6-for-7 from the field, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He finished with 24 points but didnt play in the fourth quarter or overtimeIts very frustrating because the No. 1 thing is Im a team player, Wright said. If guys are rolling theyre rolling. But me being a competitor I want to be in there. But youve got to roll with the coachs decision. Im a vet so Ive been there, seen it all. Im not worried. I just got to stay ready so that when he does call me Ill be ready. It is what it is.

Tight first half:Neither team led by more than five points through the first 24 minutes. The Warriors went into halftime up 54-53, and did so despite struggling on the glass.Sacramento had 27 rebounds to the Warriors 16. But the Warriors made up for that by shooting 50 percent to the Kings 40 percent.Bar raised: Jackson was asked before the game if he was concerned that by putting too much of an emphasis on Saturdays game he called it a big game on Friday that a loss would be more of a setback than a regular-old loss would be.Not all, Jackson said. It is a very important game for us and if we leave here with a loss we should feel like its a letdown, we should be disappointed, we should be upset and some of the air should be taken out of us. But were not looking forward to that feeling. We expect to accomplish what we came for.

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.

Top seven Kings' games to watch during 2017-18 season

cousins-pelicans-kings-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Top seven Kings' games to watch during 2017-18 season

The Sacramento Kings released their 2017-18 schedule Friday afternoon. While the league has added 10 days to the calendar, the Kings schedule is still packed with 16 sets of back-to-backs and a season-long six game road trip during the month of January. It’s a whirlwind of excitement that begins October 18 with at the Golden 1 Center. Here are seven games to look forward to as the Kings embark on their 33rd season in Sacramento.

Opening night 2017-18 - October 18 - Kings v. Rockets - Hope spring eternal with the tip off of another season of Kings basketball. Of the 17 players expected on the opening day roster, 10 are new to the team, including De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Vince Carter and George Hill. It’s a young an exciting squad with only five players with more than two seasons of NBA experience. The Kings open their schedule at home against James Harden, Chris Paul and high-powered Houston Rockets.

DeMarcus Cousins comes home - October 26 - Kings v. Pelicans - After 6-plus seasons in a Kings uniform, the 3-time All-Star returns to Sacramento for his first game from the visitors locker room. He’ll bring along another familiar face in former Kings point guard Rajon Rondo, who inked a one-year deal in New Orleans over the summer. Expect a ton of emotion, both from Cousins and a packed full house of Kings fans.

The Process vs. The Rebuild - November 9 - Kings v. 76ers - The 76ers have spent the last decade working on a plan to accumulate great young players while piling up losses at an alarming pace. Sacramento pulled the plug on the DeMarcus Cousins experience, instead choosing to go with a full youth movement. Fultz vs. Fox will headline the night, but there is plenty of intrigue as two of the youngest teams in the NBA battle it out.

Fox vs. Ball - November 22 - Kings v. Lakers - The rivalry between these two young guards is only going to get better with age. Fox likely won’t start the season with the first unit, like Ball, but he’ll get plenty of opportunity to shine. For better or worse, it’s Ball’s show in LA. Let the trash talking begin.

Rudy Gay makes his return - December 23 - Kings v. Spurs - Rudy Gay took a huge gamble and an even bigger pay cut when he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Kings. He and his rebuilt Achilles tendon  landed in San Antonio on a two-year, $17 million deal. He’ll likely play for a playoff spot for only the second time in his 11-year career.

Dennis Smith visits Sacramento - February 3 - Kings v. Mavericks - The Kings jumped all over the chance to draft De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall selection and in doing so, they passed on another incredibly talented young guard in Dennis Smith. Dallas may have stumbled on a superstar and Smith likely has a list of all of the teams that passed him over in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Champs come to play - February 4 - Kings v. Warriors - The Warriors and Kings have taken turns being awful over the last 30-plus years. While the Kings are predicted to miss the playoffs for the 12th straight season, Golden State is the odds on favorite to take home their third ring in four years.With just 90 miles separating the two fanbases, it should be an interesting mix of purple and yellow in the crowd.

Here's the Kings' full 2017-18 schedule: