Kings

Kings lose 113-96 in Memphis

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Kings lose 113-96 in Memphis

BOX SCORE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Grizzlies wanted to put the blowout loss from their last game behind them, and the Sacramento Kings paid the price for Memphis' recovery.Rudy Gay scored 23 points, Sam Young added 20 and the Grizzlies beat the Kings 113-96 on Tuesday night.Memphis' performance was a big improvement from its lackluster 104-64 loss at Chicago on Sunday."We had to get it out of our mind," said guard Mike Conley, who scored 14 points in his return from an ankle injury. "That was a terrible way to lose. We just didn't put forth the effort. But I think we did a good job of putting it in the back of our mind. New day, new game."O.J. Mayo had 16 points, Marc Gasol also scored 14 and Tony Allen had 10. Gasol also had 15 rebounds as Memphis outrebounded Sacramento 49-41."The crazy thing about (Chicago), we didn't even do any partying or anything the night before to celebrate the New Year," Mayo said. "We tried to keep it professional, and still came out and got beat by 40. This definitely was a great win to get coming back home."Jimmer Fredette scored 17 points and fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas had 15 to lead Sacramento as the Kings' reserves got extended minutes with Memphis leading by double digits for a bulk of the second half."(I did it) for two reasons," Kings coach Paul Westphal said of playing the bench. "One is that we had a lot of offensive firepower on the floor with Jimmer and Isaiah and (Francisco Garcia). We were able to spread to floor and have a lot of 3-point shooting and get penetration. I thought the best chance to get back in the game was to crack open a few steals and get some threes."If that did happen, we would have our starters fresh for the last 5 or 6 minutes. If it didn't happen, they would be rested for dinner."J.J. Hickson was the only Sacramento starter to reach double figures, scoring 12 points. Travis Outlaw added 11. The Kings' starting backcourt of Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton combined for only 14 points on 6 of 18 shooting.Memphis finished 55 percent from the field, led by Gasol's 7 for 10, Mayo at 8 of 11 and Gay 10 for 16. Part of that came from Memphis controlling the paint 72-46.The Kings shot 41 percent.DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench, as expected, after missing Sunday's game against New Orleans when Westphal told him to stay away from the team. Cousins finished with four points on 1-for-5 shooting in 22 minutes."I thought we were coming off the bench well," Cousins said. "Once I got a little sweat, I was into it. I don't know why I'm missing all these little putbacks. I am missing them, so I have to keep working."The Kings were down 17 points early and rallied to tie the score at 50-all in the final minute of the first half. However, Gay's tip at the buzzer gave the Grizzlies a two-point lead at the break."I thought Rudy Gay was a double handful for us throughout the first half and into the next quarter," Westphal said.Gay scored 15 points in the first half, and no Kings player was in double digits. Both teams committed eight turnovers, but the Kings shot 12 for 18 in the second quarter to get back into the game."In the first half, we went up, we let back up. We went up, we let back up," Young said. "In the second half, it seemed like we were more focused and played our way of basketball with more consistency."Memphis then had a 9-0 run in the early minutes of the third quarter and the Kings never threatened the rest of the way.The Grizzlies got their offense back on track, scoring off turnovers and getting out on the break. They also started controlling the boards as they extended the lead to 23 late in the third quarter, eventually holding an 87-68 advantage heading into the fourth."In the second half, we ran off a 35-18 lead (in the third quarter), and we kept getting stop after stop," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "When we do that and rebound, we are able to run."NOTES: Before the game, Westphal said of the Cousins situation, "I wouldn't say it's resolved. We will see how it plays out. I think DeMarcus has to continue to show maturity and a desire to go the same direction as his teammates. We're all hoping that happens." . Conley returned after missing two games with a sprained left ankle he injured in the second game of the season. .The Kings were playing the opener of their only stretch of three games in three days during the compressed season. It was also the third of five games in six nights. .During the game, it was announced that Gene Bartow, who served as president of Hoops LLC, the parent company of FedExForum and the Grizzlies, and a Hall of Fame college coach, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

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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

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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: