Kings snap skid with win over Lakers

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Kings snap skid with win over Lakers

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SACRAMENTO (AP)The Los Angeles Lakers had talked about bringing Showtime back to the franchise when they hired Mike D'Antoni to implement his fast and flashy offense.The curtains are still waiting to be raised on that act.Kobe Bryantscored an efficient 38 points butDwight HowardandPau Gasolstruggled inside, and the lethargic Lakers lost 113-97 to the struggling Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night to snap a three-game winning streak."If we're going to play Showtime, my God, they just closed the whole theatre on us," D'Antoni said. "Showtime, are you kidding? It was Muppet Time."Marcus Thorntonscored 23 points andTyreke Evanshad 18 to pace Kings, who had lost five straight games.Jason Thompsonadded 13 points and 10 rebounds to help Sacramento run away in the fourth quarter and cement the latest Lakers setback.Los Angeles seemed to be turning things around since hiring D'Antoni. Instead, the Lakers looked lost and listless against the Western Conference's worst team, showing all the same problems that got coach Mike Brown fired."The first half might have been the worst basketball I've seen in 10 years," D'Antoni said. Later, he added, "It was like we were wrestling in mud."Bryant finished 11-of-20 shooting andJodie Meekshad 15 points off the bench as D'Antoni lost for the first time on the Lakers bench. A night after beating Brooklyn in Los Angeles, the Lakers might've been bad enough to give D'Antoni a headache to go with the pain still throbbing in his surgically replaced knee.Bryant still almost willed his tired team back.After the Lakers went down by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, he converted a three-point play overDeMarcus Cousinsthat sliced Sacramento's lead to 96-92 with 3:06 remaining. Thornton thwarted the rally in a hurry, swishing a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the next possession.Officials whistled Gasol for a flagrant foul when he swatted Thompson in the face going for a rebound. Thompson made one of two free throws, Cousins added a pair of driving layups and a free throw to put Kings ahead 105-93, and the home fans chanting "Beat L-A! Beat L-A!" while Bryant finished the game on the bench with a towel over his head."It always feels good beating the Lakers," Thornton said. "Our fans were into it so we don't really want to let them down. So we came out and played hard, I don't know what for, but we played extremely hard against the Lakers."Though point guardsSteve NashandSteve Blakeare expected to be out with injuries for at least another two games, the limited Lakers talent was hardly an excuse in this matchup.The Lakers held Sacramento to 31 percent shooting in the first quarter. Kings big manChuck Hayesalso had to go back to the locker room to receive stitches after he was cut around his right eye and had blood dripping down his cheek, and yet Los Angeles still only led by six.Aaron Brooksstarted Sacramento's spurt in the third quarter when he floated an underhand layup over Howard and drew a foul for a three-point play on the new Lakers center, who tumbled hard into a row of photographers under the baseline. Brooks added a jumper and a 3-pointer to highlight the 17-5 run that put the Kings ahead 69-58."Our team went on a whirlwind," Kings coach Keith Smart said.D'Antoni kept yelling and motioning for the Lakers to sprint up court to match Sacramento's speed. Instead, they often kept the pace at a slow crawl.Howard finished with seven points on 2-of-4 shooting. Gasol scored eight points on 3 of 10 from the field, and the Lakers were outscored 50-22 in the paint."It seemed like we were a little lethargic for whatever reason," Bryant said. "We just have to push through it, particularly the second unit, especially while Dwight is in there. You don't have to go to as many pick-and-rolls, really, just dump the ball down to him and let him operate."Never happened.After the Lakers closed within a point,James Johnsonmade three straight layups during an 11-2 run that put the Kings ahead 88-78 early in the fourth quarter. D'Antoni called a timeout in the middle of Sacramento's surge to put his starters back in the game and give his listless Lakers a chance to refocus.No chance for that now.D'Antoni's knee - and the Lakers mettle - will be tested even more. Los Angeles plays at Memphis on Friday and at Dallas on Saturday to complete a quick three-game trip."I think you always have a little bit of shock when a guy comes in new, and so you start off all like puppies out there," D'Antoni said of his team's turnaround when he was hired. "Now it's back to reality a little bit."NOTES: The Kings won all three preseason games against the Lakers. The series is 1-1 in the regular season, with the home team winning each time. ... Howard made 3 of 4 free throws after going 7 for 19 from the line a night earlier against Brooklyn. His first attempts came with 7:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.

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

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

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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

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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. 

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