Kings win season opener, down Lakers 100-91

623134.jpg

Kings win season opener, down Lakers 100-91

BOX SCORE

Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, including 18 in the 2nd half, and his backcourt mate Tyreke Evans chipped in 20 as the Kings took their season opener over the Lakers 100-91.

After scoring 12 points in the first half on 4-13 shooting, Kobe Bryant finished with 29 points on 10-24 from the floor.

"It's not a rivalry," Kobe Bryant said. "We beat them every year. Oh my God. I don't care if they beat us tonight. I like (Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof). I hope they enjoy this."
Second-year big man DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 27th career double-double after delivering 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

The game was played in front of a raucous crowd at Power Balance Pavilion, who almost saw their beloved Kings relocate to Anaheim this offseason.

"These fans are unbelievable," newly acquired forward Chuck Hayes said. "I thought they were loud on TV. I thought they were loud as an away player and I think they're even louder as a home player. It was just a great moment."

Hayes signed a four-year contract worth over 21 million with the Kings on Dec. 9, only to have it voided 10 days later after he failed a physical due to complications with his heart.

However, after Hayes was re-examined and passed several additional tests, he was re-signed by the Kings three days ago.

"Chuck Hayes is the glue of this team," Westphal said. "We knew he would be the glue when we signed him and he shows it every day. It was a phenomenal effort for Chuck with what he's been through."
The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points early in the 4th quarter, but cut it to 89-87 with 4:24 remaining.

However, the man of the night, Marcus Thornton, nailed a deep 3 to give the Kings a five-point lead, and the Lakers never recovered.

The Kings used a 7-0 run over the final 2:06 of the 2nd quarter to take a 49-40 lead into halftime. They scored the first four points of the 3rd quarter to extend their lead to 13, but the Lakers battled back to pull within five at 62-57.

However, a 16-7 run over the final 5:34 of the third quarter gave the Kings a 14-point lead heading into the fourth.

Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, tallied 19 points off the bench for the Lakers, who dropped to 0-2 for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.

John Salmons, who played with the Kings for two plus seasons from 2006 to 2009, scored 13 points after being re-acquired by Sacramento on a draft-day trade in June.

It wasn't a perfect game for the Kings by any means, as they shot 21-35 from the free throw line and allowed 16 offensive rebounds.

However, the difference in the game may have been from beyond the arc as the Kings nailed 9 of 18 3's, whereas the Lakers shot a woeful 1-for-16 from deep.

The Kings are back in action tomorrow night as they will fly to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:00 p.m.

Prior to tipoff, Kings TV color commentator Jerry Reynolds laid out his three keys to the game. Let's take a look at what they were, and how the Kings fared.

1) The Newest Kings: Jimmer Fredette and Travis Outlaw scored six points each, J.J. Hickson scored three points to go along with five rebounds, the aforementioned John Salmons had 13 points, Isaiah Thomas scored five points and made some great passes for two key assists, and Chuck Hayes contributed seven points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and stellar defense. All in all, it's fair to say that the "new Kings" delivered on opening night.

2) Defensive Rebounding: The Kings lost the rebounding battle 45-40, and allowed 16 offensive rebounds. Fortunately for them, the Lakers shot just 42 percent for the game. Had the Lakers not shot 1-16 from 3-point range, the Kings could be 0-1 heading to Portland.

3) The Kobe Factor: At first glance, a 29 point, five rebound, six assist night for Kobe Bryant looks pretty good. However, when you take into account that he shot 10-24 from the floor, and 4-13 in the first half, it's not so good. Kobe entered tonight with 24 games of 30 or more points vs. Sacramento -- the most against any opponent. He didn't get to 25 tonight.

Drew Shiller is a Web Producer at CSNBayArea.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Report: Kings finally give up hope on long lost prospect

dejan-ap.jpg
AP

Report: Kings finally give up hope on long lost prospect

SACRAMENTO -- The one that got away.

News broke Friday afternoon of another player move from the Sacramento Kings. A transaction 22 years in the making was finally completed when according to a published report, the Kings renounced the rights to 6-foot-7 Serbian, Dejan Bodiroga.

The now 44-year-old wing has been retired since 2007. He’s known around the basketball circles as one of the greatest European players to never to come to the NBA.

Drafted by Geoff Petrie with the 51st overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft, Sacramento tried multiple times to get the sharpshooter to come to the states. It was always a longshot, but after selecting Corliss Williamson and Tyus Edney with his first two selections, Petrie took a late-round gamble. 

Bodiroga has a trophy case full of awards, including a Spanish League MVP, a FIBA World Cup MVP and a Greek League MVP. He also won championships in the Italian, Greek and Spanish Leagues, as well as silver medal in the 1996 Olympic games.

He is also on the list of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors along with fellow Serbian and current Sacramento Kings General Manager, Vlade Divac.   

Kings fans reacted on Twitter to the news in standard fashion:

Kings preseason schedule: Circle Oct. 8 on your calendars

fox-deaaron-kentucky-ball-lonzo.jpg
USATI

Kings preseason schedule: Circle Oct. 8 on your calendars

SACRAMENTO -- The season is still months away, but the slow buildup has started. Thursday afternoon the Sacramento Kings announced their preseason schedule for the 2017-18 season and there is plenty of intrigue to look forward to.

The Kings open their preseason schedule on Oct. 2 at the Golden 1 Center against the San Antonio Spurs. Under head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs won 61 games last season before falling to the Golden State Warriors in four games during the Western Conference Finals. They didn’t land Chris Paul, like early rumors suggested, but they roll into Sacramento with former King Rudy Gay and a team chalked full of veterans.

Four days later, the Kings travel to the AT&T Center in San Antonio to face the Spurs again. San Antonio will start the season without point guard Tony Parker, who ruptured a quad tendon during the playoffs and is expected to sit out until January.

The Kings fly to Sin City on Oct. 8 for their annual matchup in Vegas against the Lakers. The game will certainly take on a more of a circus feel as the Lonzo Ball vs. De’Aaron Fox fanfare hits a fever pitch.

Following the Lakers game, the Kings travel back to Sacramento where the vaunted backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum await on the second night of a back-to-back. Portland took the season series 2-1 last year and come in with rookie Zach Collins, who Sacramento dealt away on draft night for opportunity to select Justin Jackson and Harry Giles at picks 15 and 20.

The Kings take on the new-look Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 12 at the Staples Center. The backcourt of Chris Paul and J.J. Reddick is no more and veteran sixth-man Jamal Crawford is now with the T-Wolves. The additions of Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic make the Clippers and intriguing watch.

Sacramento finishes out their preseason schedule Oct. 13 at Oracle Arena against the reigning world champs. The Warriors come back with most of their championship roster intact, but a few additions. Nick Young will come off the bench to add more offensive firepower and former Kings forward Omri Casspi will make his return to Sacramento after being traded away at the All-Star break last season.

Per NBA scheduling changes, the preseason and regular season have been moved up. Sacramento will finish their exhibition schedule five days ahead of last season’s schedule. With only two home games on the docket, plenty of Kings fans will have to wait until the regular season to get their first glimpse at the team’s five rookies and three free agent acquisitions.