Kings look to avoid season sweep by Pacers

953267.jpg

Kings look to avoid season sweep by Pacers

Programming note: Pacers-Kings coverage begins tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SporstNet California. Territory restrictions apply.

Still trying to find their way without All-Star Danny Granger, the Indiana Pacers appear to have taken a big step forward.The Pacers look to keep their momentum going Friday night when they try to sweep the season series with the Sacramento Kings for the first time since 2008-09.After fighting through a slow start without Granger, who is targeting a February return from a left knee injury, Indiana (7-8) has a chance to win for the fourth time in five games.The Pacers put together perhaps their biggest win of the season Tuesday night when George Hill banked in a shot over Dwight Howard with 0.1 seconds left to give Indiana a 79-77 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the opener of a four-game road trip.Hill scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game with a team-high 19 points for the Pacers, who had lost six of their first eight away from home."We need road wins to build our togetherness, our belief in ourselves and our new identity, and to build confidence," coach Frank Vogel said. "This is a big one, and one that we were looking for."David West added 16 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight assists. The power forward has played well recently, averaging 21.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 55.2 percent in his last four games.Indiana, though, has had its struggles offensively. The Pacers shot under 40.0 percent (36.7) for the seventh time Tuesday and scored less than 80 for the fourth time, but they made up for it with another impressive performance on the defensive end.Indiana held the Lakers to a season low in points and their lowest field-goal percentage at home (31.6) since April 8, 2000. The Pacers lead the NBA in defensive shooting percentage (40.2) and rank third in points allowed per game(91.2).Now, Indiana faces a Kings team that had averaged 107.7 points while shooting 52.8 percent from the field - 23 of 48 (47.9) from 3-point range - in three games before a 97-89 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.After falling into a tie with New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference, Sacramento (4-10) will try to wrap up its three-game homestand with its third win in five games.Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins each scored 20 against the Timberwolves. Evans has come on strong of late, averaging 21.0 points on 54.8 percent shooting over his last five games.While the Kings have the third-lowest turnover average in the West at 14.6, they committed five miscues in the fourth quarter Tuesday."We make plays throughout the whole game and then it's either a turnover or a couple of stops we didn't get," guard Isaiah Thomas said. "We've just got to learn from it and we've got to fix it or, like I said, we're not going to win these close games."Cousins has enjoyed some success against an Indiana team that ranks near the top of the league in rebounds (48.5) and blocks (7.4) per game. He's recorded three straight double-doubles versus the Pacers and averaged 18.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in four career meetings.Indiana has won six of nine against the Kings, including 106-98 in double overtime Nov. 3. West and Hill each scored 18 points while Paul George chipped in 16 and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Pacers.The Kings were led by Marcus Thornton's season-high 26 points off the bench and Cousins' 21 points and 13 boards.

Instant Replay: Kings' bid for revenge against Knicks falls short

Instant Replay: Kings' bid for revenge against Knicks falls short

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings had plenty of chances Friday night at Golden 1 Center, but they just can’t figure out how to win the close ones. Needing a 3-pointer to tie the game late, DeMarcus Cousins hoisted a half court shot at the buzzer that rimmed out, as Sacramento fell to the New York Knicks by a 103-100.

Carmelo Anthony was incredible for New York, scoring 23 of his 33 points before the intermission. When he gets hot, the 11-time All-Star is tough to stop. Joerger tried plenty of different looks on the 32-year-old forward, but he was relentless.

The Kings had Kristaps Porzingis’ number for most of the night, but the second-year big got loose to start the fourth. The high-scoring 7-footer, scored 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Knicks.

With Derrick Rose out with a knee issue, backup point guard Brandon Jennings pulled the start. Jennings proved worthy of the challenge, finishing the night with 13 points and seven assists.  

With scorers all around him, Kyle O’Quinn went did the dirty work, finishing with eight points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Cousins continued his early-season dominance. The two-time All-Star came into the night averaging 28.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per night and matched those numbers against New York. Cousins dropped in a team-high 28 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists in the loss.

Darren Collison came up huge in the fourth, dropping in a big 3-ball and finishing at the rim on the break. The veteran point guard finished the game with 14 points and three assists.

Omri Casspi gave Dave Joerger a spark off the bench, hitting the Knicks for 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting and Ben McLemore added 10 points and four rebounds in his second straight game as a starter.

Rudy Gay struggled on the defensive end, allowing Anthony to get hot early. On the offensive end, Gay managed to post 13 points and grab five rebounds.  

After playing sparingly over the last few weeks, Anthony Tolliver was the first sub for coach Joerger. The veteran forward gave quality minutes, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes.

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Anthony got it going early and often for the Knicks, scoring 15 in the opening quarter on his way to a 33-point night. Sacramento tried different looks all night, but with little success.

TURNING POINT -- Cousins grabbed a rebound with 2.5 seconds remaining and barely missed a 60-footer at the buzzer to tie the game.

INJURY UPDATE -- Matt Barnes sat out the game for what Dave Joerger deemed “scheduled rest.”

WHAT'S NEXT -- One and done. After a five-game road trip, the Sacramento Kings played a single game at Golden 1 Center before heading out on the road again for a back-to-back Saturday night in Utah.

NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings

raptors.jpg
USATSI

NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association announced today that it has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20, 2016. 

The Raptors’ protest asserted that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a three-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining in the game.  The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined that the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.  

The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction on the play. 

NBA media services