Kings take on surging Bucks


Kings take on surging Bucks

Programming note: Kings-Bucks coverage kicks off at 5 p.m. today on Comcast SportsNet California (territorial restrictions apply)

(AP) -- With another strong offensive performance from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Milwaukee Bucks should have a good chance to match their longest winning streak of the season Wednesday night.

The backcourt duo can help the Bucks to a third consecutive victory as they try to avoid a third straight loss to the visiting Sacramento Kings.

Jennings scored 26 points and Ellis added 24 as the pair went 16 of 32 from the field Sunday to help Milwaukee (10-9) to a 97-88 win at Brooklyn. The guards outscored the Nets' star backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson by two striaght games. 26 points and combined to record eight steals.

"It was just another game," said Ellis, who shot a season-high 61.5 percent (8 of 13). "It just happened me (and Jennings) came out wanting to play hard."

While Ellis (18.7 points per game) and Jennings (17.2) are shooting a combined 40.2 percent, they remain the two most explosive offensive options for a Bucks team that has only one other player averaging double-figure points. Although their scoring has been comparable in wins and losses, the two are shooting 42.8 percent during the Bucks' victories and 37.7 percent in their defeats.

"It's the nature of our team; when Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are playing well, we usually win," coach Scott Skiles said.

The Bucks are playing well enough for a shot at matching their three-game winning streak from Nov. 12-17. Milwaukee also is trying for a season-high third consecutive victory at the Bradley Center, where it has held its last two opponents to an average of 90.5 points on 42.9 percent shooting - 9 of 32 (28.1 percent) from 3-point range.

Jennings was held to six points in a 97-90 loss to the Kings in their last visit to Milwaukee on March 23, 2011, and his 31 weren't enough in a 103-100 defeat at Sacramento last season.

The Kings (7-13) had their season-high three-game winning streak end with a 119-96 loss at Dallas on Monday. That defeat came two nights after Sacramento posted its first road win, 99-80 at Portland.

Playing a third consecutive game without injured guard Tyreke Evans, the Kings trailed 65-43 at halftime and allowed the Mavericks to shoot 55.2 percent overall. DeMarcus Cousins and Francisco Garcia each scored 25 points for Sacramento, which had yielded 87.3 points per game on 39.0 percent shooting during the three straight victories.

Garcia has received sporadic playing time this season but has totaled 37 points over the last two games while starting in place of Evans, who remains day to day with a sore knee that has sidelined him for five of the last six contests. Garcia went 7 of 12 from 3-point range against the Mavericks.

"You find someone that works hard enough to try and steal minutes, and obviously he has done that," coach Keith Smart said. "He's shooting the ball well right now."

Sacramento guard Marcus Thornton has totaled 24 points in his last four games while shooting 7 of 29 (24.1 percent), but he's scored 27 in each of the last two meetings with Milwaukee.

Kings buy controlling interest in Reno Bighorns

Kings buy controlling interest in Reno Bighorns

The NBA Development League and the Sacramento Kings today announced that the team has acquired a controlling interest in the NBA D-League’s Reno Bighorns. 

With the purchase, the Kings become the 15th NBA team to own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate. 

“With today’s purchase, half of NBA teams now own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate an important milestone that proves how essential developing top young NBA talent has become,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner.  “I’m thrilled to welcome Vivek Ranadiv√© and the Sacramento Kings’ ownership group to the NBA D-League family and want to thank Herb Santos for his integral role in Bighorns basketball.” 

Longstanding partners, the Bighorns and Kings have been affiliated since the 2008-09 season, Reno’s inaugural NBA D-League campaign.  Prior to the 2013-14 season, the teams entered into a single-affiliation partnership, with the NBA franchise managing basketball operations for the NBA D-League club.  With today’s purchase, the Kings will now assume all business operations of the Bighorns. 

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with the Bighorns and the Reno/Tahoe community,” said Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadiv√©. “This is an incredible opportunity to develop players, front-office staff and future business executives for the Sacramento Kings, while simultaneously contributing meaningfully to the Reno entertainment, commercial and non-profit ecosystem.”

Five current Kings have NBA D-League experience.  Additionally, head coach Dave Joerger and assistant coaches Bryan Gates and Duane Ticknor all made the jump to the NBA coaching ranks following stints on NBA D-League benches. 

Since the team’s inception, more than 10 Bighorns have earned GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA, including San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green.  Additionally, 16 NBA players have spent time on assignment in Reno, including current NBA players Jeremy Lin and Hassan Whiteside. 

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to grow basketball and provide family-friendly entertainment in the Reno community over the past five years,” said Bighorns minority owner Herb Santos.  “I cannot thank everyone enough for the years of support and look forward to continuing to cheer for the Bighorns alongside each of you.”

Sacramento Kings media services

Kings trim roster, waive second-year guard/forward

Kings trim roster, waive second-year guard/forward

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings Wednesday waived guard/forward Lamar Patterson, according to Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac.

Patterson averaged 5.8 points (.455 FG%, .333 3pt%, .917 FT%), 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game in four preseason contests with Sacramento, including 14 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 3pt, 4-4 FT), one rebound, one assist and two steals against Washington on Oct. 15.

Patterson (6-5, 225), registered 2.4 points (.350 FG%, 12-49 3pt, .727 FT%), 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 11.3 minutes per game during his first NBA season with Atlanta in 2015-16, appearing in 35 contests.