Kings hold court at home with OT win over Warriors

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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.

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

SACRAMENTO -- The changes keep coming in Sacramento. NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings have hired former Orlando Magic executive, Scott Perry, to fill the role of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Perry will report directly to Vlade Divac, who will retain final say in player personnel decisions.

Perry spent the last five seasons in Orlando as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. He was let go from the Magic last week following the dismissal of General Manager Rob Hennigan.

Perry, 53, began his career as an executive with the Detroit Pistons where he held the position of Director of Player Personnel from 2000-2007. He briefly left the Pistons, joining the Seattle Supersonics organization as an Assistant General Manager of the team for the 2007-08 season, before spending another four years as Detroit’s Vice President of Basketball Operations from 2008-2012.

Highly regarded around the league, Perry adds another experienced basketball mind to the Kings front office.

During his postseason media availability last week, Vlade Divac spoke openly about his willingness to accept additional help.

“We’re open always to improve - the team, the front office, everything is open for improvement,” Divac said. “I’m very happy and confident in what we have right now, but like I said, we should be open if something can you better.”

With the addition of Luke Bornn on Wednesday to head up the team’s analytics department, and Perry on Friday, the Kings appear to be building a stronger infrastructure as they move into a full youth movement.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was first with the information.

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

SACRAMENTO -- Changes are coming to the Sacramento Kings. The team quietly made news on Monday evening when it was reported that Roland Beech, the Kings VP of Basketball Results, will not return after two years on the job.

But Sacramento hasn’t abandoned the analytics movement. In fact, they are about to invest heavily in a new group, with a new face at the helm. -- Luke Bornn, who will join the Kings front office as the new VP of Analytics and Strategy, NBC Sports California has learned.

In accepting the role, Bornn, 31, will leave soccer giant A.S. Roma as well as his positions as an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University and visiting scholar at Harvard University. He’ll be taxed with building a new department in Sacramento that will look to bring in some of the brightest minds in the field of analytics.

He is a stat head for sure, but one with a focus on creating a system of sketching and mapping the spatial movements of players using the incredible technologies now available to teams through the NBA’s SportVU system.

“We’ll be looking at more advanced modeling tools often with the player tracking data to try and get a deeper understanding of player performance,” Bornn told NBC Sports California. “There is a lot of what happens on the court that really is not picked up by the box score. A lot of players that make big contributions make it in ways that don’t appear. It’s not an assist, it’s not a rebound, it’s not a block.”

According to their site, “SportVU utilizes a six-camera system installed in basketball arenas to track the real-time positions of players and the ball 25 times per second. Utilizing this tracking data, STATS is able to create a wealth of innovative statistics based on speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

Introduced to the basketball data world while working at Harvard in 2012 by Kirk Goldsberry, who now works for the San Antonio Spurs front office, Bornn is already well known in the basketball world for his work.

“Kirk and I sort of hit it off,” Bornn said. “He had just gotten SportVU data and he basically said to me, ‘I have this data, but I have no idea what to do with it, I have the basketball side, but I don’t have the technical side.’ I had the technical side and so it started a long collaboration of working with player tracking data.”

Bornn has co-authored papers presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in each of the previous four years, including four straight Sloan finalist papers.

Every team in the league has someone looking over this data, but Bornn hopes to tailor the information to the needs of the Kings’ staff.

“It’s not about me coming in and saying, ‘Here is how to think about the game and here’s the magic numbers,’” Bornn said. “It’s really about me going to them and saying, ‘How do you think about the game, what is it that you care about, is there questions you want answered and can I help you with that?’”  

The plan is for Bornn and his team to build a database of sorts that is accessible to players, coaches and the front office that relies heavily on video to show information, instead of just numbers on a page. They will have your conventional statistics, but an array of other options as well specifically created for the team.

“My role with the Kings will be all encompassing,” Bornn said. “It’s player evaluation, opponent scouting, it’s performance - with the sports science group there. We’ll be looking at all aspects, from the basics of stats, all the way to the more advanced metrics.”

From developing oncourt strategies to charting player health, Bornn and his team will make information accessible to the Kings’ front office, coaching and medical staff with the hope of adding yet another resource for the franchise.

Predicting player injuries is one of the hot button topics in the NBA at this moment with the league going as far as elongating the All-Star break and taking another 10 days onto the schedule to help spread out back-to-back games. It’s a complex issue that is in its fledgling stages.

“In terms of injuries, that’s where everyone wants to go and I think that’s where we’ll aim to go as well, but right now, that’s very much an unsolved problem,” Bornn said.

It appears that the Kings are jumping into the analytics field with both feet. Bornn is moving to Sacramento with his family and will be on the ground as the Kings prepare for a very important 2017 NBA Draft and then free agency.