Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

January 31, 2013
Smart wants to see more running from Cousins

PHILADELPHIA - DeMarcus Cousins had reason to be frustrated at times Wednesday night.

At one point, he was being defended by guard Avery Bradley and did not receive the ball in the post.

Another time, he had Paul Pierce on him, and didn't receive the ball.

What does Cousins' coach want him to do about that? Work harder.

Keith Smart wants to see his center running more, especially when he doesn't get a rebound, to create early post opportunities.

"I'm shared with him sometimes you're trailing," Smart said. "You need to get down the floor right away. If you get down the floor right away you just created a post up game for us without me calling a play."

Some quick scoring chances would help Cousins. In his last five games Cousins is shooting 38.3 percent while averaging 11.4 points, seven rebounds, 3.2 assists and 4.6 turnovers.

Smart said teams have done a better job of not allowing Cousins to catch the ball where he wants. And some of the double teams have taken Cousins out of his game.

Smart said Cousins needs to be decisive and not waste time waiting for the extra defender.

"Now he's waiting for the double team to come and the clock is winding down," Smart said.

Smart said he knows it can be frustrating for a big man to run the floor with no guarantees of getting the ball.

"You may run the floor 10 times and only get the ball once but you can't stop running the next 10," Smart said. "These things have to become habits to keep yourself involved in the basketball game. Because you can't slow the game down too much where you're calling the play 5-down, 5-down over and over again."

January 31, 2013
The Morning After: Looking back at a horrible second quarter

BOSTON - The second quarter of Wednesday's 99-81 loss to the Boston Celtics was as bad as any quarter the Kings have played this season.

A brief recap

*The Celtics shot 80 percent (16-for-20), the best shooting percentage of any Kings opponent this season.

*The Celtics made their first 14 shots in the quarter. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the most consecutive fields goals made this season is 15, by Utah against Miami on Jan. 14. Boston's first miss came with 2:29 left in the quarter. Avery Bradley missed a lay up.

*The Kings were outrebound 9-5. Paul Pierce had four rebounds in the quarter. No King had more than one.

*The Celtics had 11 assists. The Kings had one.

*The Kings committed seven turnovers that led to 13 points for Boston.

*The Kings shot 5-for-18.

*The quarter began with Boston going on an 8-2 run to take a 30-26 run with 9:49 before halftime.

Kings coach Keith Smart called a timeout. He subbed in Travis Outlaw for Francisco Garcia. The remaining players on the floor were Chuck Hayes, Thomas Robinson, Aaron Brooks and Marcus Thornton.

Smart on why he didn't go back to the starters at that time:

"It was still relatively early. So I didn't think it would get away from us like it did. We started off slow in the first quarter so I needed the starters to be able to close the gap a little bit so we didn't go into the second quarter being down so much. So I couldn't take those guys out because we had to play catch up in that first quarter. We didn't want to go into the second quarter being down 10. So I had to play those guys and try to get out of the quarter and then obviously our second unit played well, they have played well in the past. And obviously tonight was not one of those nights. And their bench did a great job and put the game in a comfortable place for them."

*It's not uncommon for Smart to go with five reserves in the second quarter. He played all five starters the entire first quarter Wednesday.

*Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson replaced Robinson, Hayes and Thornton with 6:25 left in the quarter. The Kings were down 41-31. Isaiah Thomas and Garcia checked in with 5:45 on the clock and the Kings down 43-31.

*Boston would then close the quarter on a 16-7 run.

*The Kings' reserves shot 2-for-7 with a rebound, an assist, a steal and two turnovers.

January 30, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Celtics

FINAL
Celtics 99, Kings 81

BOSTON - The Celtics (22-23) controlled the game after the second quarter and were able to coast to a win.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Six Celtics scored in double figures.

Tyreke Evans led the Kings (17-30) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Kings shot 39.2 percent for the game and committed 19 turnovers, leading to 27 points. The Kings had only one turnover in the first quarter.

The Celtics shot 53.4 percent.

The Kings play Friday at Philadelphia.

THIRD QUARTER
Celtics 80, Kings 60

BOSTON - The Kings added seven more turnovers in the third quarter which helped keep the Celtics comfortably ahead in the game.

The Celtics scored 11 of their 21 points in the quarter off Kings turnovers.

The only King that hasn't played in Tyler Honeycutt after Jimmer Fredette played six minutes in the third.

Jason Terry has 12 points off the bench for Boston to lead a balanced attack. The Celtics are shooting 54.2 percent and have 20 assists.

Tyreke Evans has 13 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.

HALFTIME
Celtics 59, Kings 38

BOSTON - The Celtics made their first 14 shots of the second quarter and shot 16-for-20 in a decisive second quarter.

Thirteen of Boston's points came off seven turnovers in the second quarter. The Kings shot 5-for-18 in the quarter.

The Kings went with their reserves in the second quarter and quickly saw their two-point lead become a 10-point deficit by time the starters began checking in with 6:25 left in the quarter.

By then the Celtics had all the momentum. Kevin Garnett (11 points) and Brandon Bass (10) both made all five of their shots for Boston in the first half.

Jason Thompson has nine points for the Kings, who have only five assists. The Celtics have 16 assists.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 24, Celtics 22

BOSTON - The Kings got of to a bad start, trailing 8-0. But they settled down and took the lead on a dunk by Tyreke Evans to close the quarter.

Francisco Garcia started for John Salmons (stomach flu) and scored six points. Jason Thompson led the Kings with seven points.

Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with nine points.

The Kings forced six turnovers while committing only one against the Celtics, who are one of the league's best teams at forcing turnovers.

The Kings were outrebounded by Boston 13-9. That's an area the Kings should dominate against the Celtics' smaller frontline.

January 30, 2013
Kings at Celtics: Five things to watch

BOSTON - Game 3 of the six-game road trip is tonight. The Kings were off Tuesday so fatigue should not be a factor, but who plays small forward might be.

1. Salmons' status: Starting small forward John Salmons (stomach flu) skipped morning shootaround to rest up for tonight's game. He will be a game-time decision. Francisco Garcia would likely start. Garcia filled in Monday at Washington when Salmons could not continue after the first quarter. Keith Smart said during his pregame media availability he did not expect Salmons to play.

2. Ball pressure: The Celtics are third in the NBA with 8.73 steals per game. Boston also forces the fourth-most turnovers (15.8 per game). Turnovers were a big part of the recent four-game losing streak.

3. Physical play: Look for the Celtics to try to rough up DeMarcus Cousins in the post to make him become a jump shooter.

4. Moving the ball along: With Rajon Rondo out for the season, the Celtics are like the Kings in that they lack a dynamic playmaker to setup teammates. That had Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressing the importance of ball movement tonight. The team that succeeds in that area will be in a good position to win.

5. Kings activated: Rivers said the Celtics have found out in their last two trips to Sacramento the Kings are a good team when "activated." That means sharing the ball and being active on defense.

January 29, 2013
The Morning After: DeMarcus Cousins not in a slump, says coach

WASHINGTON - How's this for a stat line:

29 points
14 rebounds
7 assists

That's DeMarcus Cousins' line from the last three games. After six consecutive double-doubles, Cousins hasn't grabbed 10 or more rebounds in his last three games.

January 29, 2013
Kings, Smart, and about that relief

After listening to Keith Smart's post-game press conference Monday evening, I immediately recalled those famous commercials about Rolaids and relief. The Kings' victory against the Wizards in Washington, D.C., was an obvious tension-buster after what has been an emotionally draining time for many folks associated with the organization. Since it was announced that the Maloofs had sold majority interest to the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer group in Seattle, the Kings dropped had four straight and appeared demoralized and distracted for large portions of the defeats.

Players and coaches aren't robots. Amid all the talk of sales and potential counter bids here in Sacramento, Smart hasn't gotten enough credit for keeping this group remotely together. After Isaiah Thomas' runner secured the victory over the Wizards, he appeared physically and emotionally drained. Understandably.

January 28, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Wizards

FINAL
Kings 96, Wizards 94

WASHINGTON - Isaiah Thomas's floater in the lane with 1.9 seconds to play gave the Kings a victory and ended their four-game losing streak.

Thomas, who said the turnovers during the losing streak were his fault, had 22 points and seven assists.
Martell Webster tied the game with 7.9 seconds to play after Tyreke Evans missed one of two free throws.

But Thomas answered to give the Kings (17-29) a fifth road. Francisco Garcia had 17 points for Sacramento.

Emeka Okafor led the Wizards (11-32) with a season-high 23 points. He also had 15 rebounds.

John Wall had 19 points and six assists. Webster finished with 18 points.

THIRD QUARTER
Wizards 76, Kings 72

WASHINGTON - Wizards center Emeka Okafor has a season-high 21 points and 14 rebounds to help keep the Kings trailing.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has 12 points and four rebounds.

Francisco Garcia leads the Kings with 17 points. Isaiah Thomas has 12 points and has already matched his season high with seven assists.


HALFTIME
Wizards 57, Kings 53

WASHINGTON - This game continues to feature offense from unlikely sources.

Francisco Garcia scored 15 points in the second quarter in relief of John Salmons, who left the game with the stomach flu.

Garcia was 5-for-7 from the field, including 4-for-5 on three pointers.

The Kings, however, still trail because they haven't slowed down the hot shooting of the Wizards. Washington shot 56.1 percent (23 of 41) in the first half. The Kings are shooting just 42.2 percent (19 of 45) but six of those makes are three pointers.

Emeka Okafor still leads the Wizards with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Washington has a 24-16 rebounding advantage.

FIRST QUARTER
Wizards 32, Kings 27

WASHINGTON - Now who predicted this game would be a scoring duel between DeMarcus Cousins and Emeka Okafor?

Cousins having 10 points after the first quarter isn't shocking. But Okafor has 14 points. He averages 8.5 points this season.

And what's not shocking in a bad way for the Kings during their four-game losing streak is their opponent is shooting well. The Wizards shot 65 percent (13 of 20) in the first quarter.

The Kings managed their turnovers better with only two, but could not take advantage of the Wizards, who had six turnovers.

Thomas Robinson has seven points off the bench for the Kings.

January 28, 2013
Kings at Wizards: Five things to watch

WASHINGTON - Game 2 of the six-game road trip brings the Kings to Verizon Center against the Washington Wizards.

Looking back at the Kings' 95-94 win over the Wizards on Jan. 18, here are five reasons the Kings need to ignore Washington's 11-31 record and expect another tough game.

1. John Wall is better: Wall came off the bench and had 14 points and 10 assists and has started the last two games in his return from a knee injury. He figures to be a problem against the Kings' smaller guards.

2. Bradley Beal: The Kings had problems with the rookie guard in Sacramento (26 points) so they will have to decide how to defend him. Tyreke Evans might defend Wall so Beal could have another big game.

3. Two bigs: Nene and Emeka Okafor will look to frustrate DeMarcus Cousins by relying on their experience defensively. Cousins had 21 points and 16 rebounds in the first game. Cousins is coming off a subpar game at Denver.

4. The Wizards nearly won the game: Wall missed two free throws late and the Wizards had two shots at game winners in Sacramento. Considering the Kings have lost their last four games, they should be focused on playing a complete game.

5. The game is on the road: The Kings are 4-17 on the road. So they cannot afford to overlook any team.

January 28, 2013
Live chat: Seattle vs Sacramento: Fight for the Kings

January 27, 2013
The Morning After: More on turnovers

DENVER - The Kings have been a turnover-prone mess and Isaiah Thomas says it's up to him to fix it.

"It's hard but you've just got to take control," Thomas said. "I've got to do a better job, I've got to be more vocal. I've got to be more demanding."

But will take more than Thomas to eradicate the mistakes.

January 26, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Nuggets

FINAL
Nuggets 121, Kings 93

DENVER - The Kings' six-game road trip began with a dud. The Kings were never in this game, falling behind by 20 in the first quarter and were never able to make the game competitive.

The Nuggets (27-18) led by as many as 35 points.

The Kings helped out Denver with 20 turnovers that led to 25 points for the Nuggets.

Ty Lawson led Denver with 25 points and six assists. Andre Iguodala had 20 points and seven assists.

Aaron Brooks had 16 points for the Kings (16-29). Sacramento has lost four games in a row. Thomas Robinson had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

IN his worst game in a while, DeMarcus Cousins had only three points, two rebounds and four assists to go with four steals.

Tyreke Evans had 15 points.

THIRD QUARTER
Nuggets 101, Kings 69

DENVER - The Kings held the Nuggets to their lowest scoring quarter of the night and still gave up 30 points.

The Nuggets are shooting 60.9 percent (39 of 64) and have been coasting most of the night. Denver has led by as many as 35 points. Six Nuggets have scored in double figures led by Ty Lawson's 26 points.

The Kings have been sloppy with the ball (18 turnovers) and shooting poorly (40.3 percent).

The Kings have given up 31 fastbreak points.

HALFTIME
Nuggets 71, Kings 49

DENVER - The Kings are still being beaten soundly. And apparently coach Keith Smart didn't like what he saw from his two best players as Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins sat the entire second quarter.

Cousins is scoreless with three assists in eight minutes. Evans has three points in seven minutes. Each player has a turnover.

The only active player Smart hasn't tried is Travis Outlaw, but at this rate it can't be long before Outlaw gets a chance.

The Nuggets are doing whatever they want on offense, shooting 61.7 percent from the field. Denver already has 23 assists and only six turnovers. Andre Iguodala has 17 points and Ty Lawson has 15 points and six assists.

Denver's shooting percentage, made field goals (29) and assists were season highs for a Kings' opponent in a half.

Isaiah Thomas has 10 points to lead the Kings. Marcus Thornton has eight points off the bench.

FIRST QUARTER
Nuggets 39, Kings 25

DENVER - The Kings began this road trip by matching their season high for points allowed in a quarter and falling behind by as many as 20 points.

The Nuggets shot 73.9 percent (17 of 23) and scored 13 fast break points.

The Kings shot 34.5 percent (10 of 29) and committed five turnovers.

Ty Lawson set the pace for the Nuggets with 15 points and five assists. John Salmons has eight points for the Kings.

Kings coach Keith Smart has already used 10 players.

January 26, 2013
Kings at Nuggets: Five things to watch

DENVER - The six-game road trip begins tonight and the Kings have a few built-in excuses.

*It's second-game of a back-to-back.

*They're playing in the altitude.

*Denver didn't play last night.

If the Kings head to Pepsi Center with these thoughts heavy on their minds, they might as well stay on the bus because they'll get blown out.

But here are five things the Kings should be thinking about tonight:

1. Defense: The Kings have allowed 108.3 points per game during their three-game losing streak.
2. Ball security: The Kings have more turnovers (43) than assists (40) in their last two games. DeMarcus Cousins has 13 of the turnovers.
3. Passing the ball: The one-pass-and-shoot offense or the no-pass-and-shoot offense didn't work Friday night against Oklahoma City and won't work tonight.
4. Staying focused: The Thunder piled up assists Friday by catching the Kings flat footed and staring at the ball and losing track of their defensive assignments a few times.
5. Ignore the refs: The officiating hasn't been kind to the Kings in their last two games and the frustration is showing. Isaiah Thomas picked up his first tech of the season Friday night from the bench after he picked up his fifth foul.

January 26, 2013
The Morning After: Friday's role is no guarantee Jimmer will play more

For one night Jimmer Fredette was the backup point guard.

Kings coach won't promise that will be the case tonight.

Smart went with Fredette ahead of Aaron Brooks in Friday night's loss to Oklahoma City.

Fredette played 18 minutes. Brooks didn't play at all.

Jimmer played four minutes in Wednesday's loss to Phoenix after not playing in the two games prior to Wednesday.

Asked if he might go with Fredette in a similar manner in future games, Smart would not commit to the kind of rotation change.

"I never say yes today," Smart said after the game. "I always look at the personality of the game. The personality of the game dictates a whole lot of things for our basketball team. So I'll at the game in Denver (tonight) and see how we play that one and see where (Fredette) is."

Fredette wasn't spectacular (six points on 2-of-8 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, one turnover), but statistically Fredette has been one of the more efficient Kings all season.

Fredette is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA (42 percent) and has shown the willingness to pass to an open teammate.

Concerns over certain match ups continue to limit Fredette's minutes along with the fact he might have played his best as the backup shooting guard (Marcus Thornton's role).

So we'll see tonight if Smart sticks with Fredette and keeps Brooks waiting.

*Chuck Hayes didn't play at all Friday, his first DNP-Coach's Decision of the season. That leaves Jason Thompson as the only King to play in every game.

January 25, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Thunder

FINAL
Thunder 105, Kings 95

The final score makes this game look closer than it really was.

The Thunder was in control from late in the second quarter until the end of the game as the Kings lost their third game in a row.

Sacramento beings a season-long six-game road trip Saturday night at Denver.

The Thunder (34-10) led by as many as 25 points in the second half.

The Kings (16-28) shot 41.9 percent for the game and had more turnovers (19) than assists (15).

Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 16 points.

All-Star Kevin Durant led the Thunder (34-10) with 24 points and 11 rebounds. All-Star guard Russell Westbrook had 18 points and 14 assists. He sat out the entire fourth quarter.

Former King Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 24 points.

THIRD QUARTER
Thunder 86, Kings 67

The game continues get worse for the Kings, who scored just 16 points in the third quarter. Their offense is bad (41.3 percent shooting). Sacramento has 11 assists, three fewer than Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder has 25 assists on 32 made shots.

The Kings have given up 16 points off 16 turnovers and been outrebounded 36-31.

Kevin Martin has 19 points for OKC, as does Kevin Durant.

DeMarcus Cousins has 13 points to lead the Kings.

HALFTIME
Thunder 58, Kings 51

The Kings' 14-point lead in the first quarter is a distant memory.

Kevin Martin, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have taken over this game.

The Kings led 23-9 before Oklahoma City began to chip away at the lead beyind Martin (15 points), Westbrook (15 points, six assists) and Durant (13 points, eight rebounds, four assists).

The Kings stalled on offense, especially in the second quarter and have only six assists for the game. The Thunder, not known as a high-assist team (21.59 per game, 19th in the NBA) already has 16 assists.

DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton each have 11 points to lead the Kings.

*Sorry for the lack of a first-quarter update. Had some wifi issues that seem to be resolved.


January 25, 2013
Chat live Monday: Seattle vs Sacramento: Fight for the Kings

Seattle and Sacramento are facing off over the Sacramento Kings. So we're bringing together reporters from The Seattle Times and The Sacramento Bee to host a live chat with fans. Join at noon Monday to share your questions or comments: sacbee.com/live

Have a question you'd like the team of reporters to answer? Leave it in the Comments field below.

Participating in the chat will be:

bobcondotta.pngBob Condotta has been covering Seattle's quest for an NBA team. He has covered the University of Washington football program for The Seattle Times since 2002. Previously, he covered UW for The Tacoma News Tribune. He has covered a variety of sports in a career that began in 1985. Find him on Twitter: @bcondotta

lynnthompson.pngLynn Thompson covers City Hall for The Seattle Times. A veteran journalist, Lynn helped break the story about investor Chris Hansen's interest in bringing an NBA franchise back to Seattle. Lynn has covered Hansen's proposal extensively as Hansen modified it to win final approval from city and county lawmakers. Find her on Twitter: @lthompsontimes

MARCOS BRETON.JPGMarcos Breton is the news columnist for The Sacramento Bee and was previously a sports columnist and senior writer. Breton is the author of two baseball books and is a Baseball Hall of Fame voter and a contributor to ESPN. He was also featured in Ken Burns' documentary "The Tenth Inning." Find him on Twitter: @MarcosBreton

RYAN LILLIS.JPGRyan Lillis is part of a three-reporter team at The Sacramento Bee covering the potential move of the Sacramento Kings and the quest to build a new arena. He is the author of City Beat blog and has covered the city of Sacramento, its neighborhoods and politicians since 2008. Find him on Twitter: @Ryan_Lillis

January 24, 2013
Lack of passing cited for turnovers

The Kings committed a season-high 25 turnovers in Wednesday's loss to Phoenix.

And guess what the culprit for many of those mistakes was (again)?

The ball stopped moving.

"As a ball player when you draw to guys your job is over," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "You as the ballhandler, once you have created a double team via the pick-and-roll or a post up, your job is to move the basketball. Last night there were so many times where we hung on to the ball in pick and rolls and tried to make a play for ourselves."

The plus and minus of the situation

There were only two Kings that had a positive plus/minus rating after the Phoenix game.

But they played a total of 11 minutes.

Travis Outlaw was a plus-eight in seven minutes. Jimmer Fredette was a plus-seven in four minutes.

Tomorrow's opponent

Smart said in preparing for the Oklahoma City Thunder the Kings need to play close to a perfect game to win.

"I think it's more on us," Smart said.. "Us taking care of the ball, us making sure we have the right spacing on the floor to take advantage of what they do very well and that's clog the paint up. We've got to get to the free throw line."

January 24, 2013
The Morning After: Not a good night for Cousins with the officials

A scout recently asked me if DeMarcus Cousins had threatened referees because it seems as if he doesn't get the calls he should during games.

Against the Phoenix Suns, there wasn't anything Cousins could do to get a whistle in his favor.

Cousins is 10th in the NBA with 5.9 free throw attempts per game. But even though he had his headband knocked around and off his head, Cousins didn't shoot a free throw in Wednesday night's loss.

"I didn't shoot any which I don't understand," Cousins said.

The Kings also were assessed a technical foul for a second delay of game call when Cousins caught the ball after it went through the hoop before tossing it to the official.

After the game Cousins sought an explanation for the technical foul.

"I asked him what did I do wrong to get the tech and he said that I touched the ball, I shouldn't touch the ball," Cousins said. "But if it falls in my hands I just throw him the ball. Nothing I can do about it."

Cousins and the rest of the Kings would be better off they could ignore the officials all together.

That's easier said than done.

"That's never going to be good," said coach Keith Smart of being focused on officiating. "Once you start trying to invite the officials to help you with anything - because it takes you out of your game. Because now rather focus on finishing plays, you're hoping for a whistle. And that kind of got us a little sideways. You're not going to get certain calls, you've got to play through those things."

January 23, 2013
Kings toss game away, but Shaq praises Cousins

After watching the Kings turn the game over (25 turnovers) to the visiting Phoenix Suns at Sleep Train Arena, I got home in time to watch NBA.TV's postgame show with Matt Winer, Steve Smith and Shaquille O'Neal. When Winer asked his colleagues what "caught their eye" during Wednesday's games, Shaq paused, then replied, "DeMarcus Cousins."

"DeMarcus Cousins?" a surprised Winer responded.

"I see flashes of greatness," Shaq explained, "but I need consistency. Whenever I see something great, in my mind, I say, 'you need to do that all the time, not some of the time.' He is probably the most talented big man in the game. BUT he needs to show that every night."

January 23, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Suns

FINAL
Suns 106, Kings 96

Thanks to a big fourth quarter from Michael Beasley, the Suns ended up pulling away from the Kings in the final half of the fourth in interim coach Lindsey Hunter's debut.

Beasley scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

The Kings couldn't stop Beasley or get of their own way with a season-high 25 turnovers. The Suns scored 27 points off turnovers, which made up for being outrebounded 49-30.

The Kings (16-27) have now lost their last two games.

DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 15 rebounds, but didn't shoot any free throws even though he appeared to absorb plenty of contact. Evans even went to speak with an official after game with team security standing nearby.

Tyreke Evans had a team-high 16 points.

Rookie Thomas Robinson had career highs with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Luis Scola led Phoenix (14-28) with 21 points. Goran Dragic had 12 points and 11 assists.


THIRD QUARTER
Kings 77, Suns 74

If the Kings can clean up their own mistakes and make free throws, they will be in good position to win tonight.

The Kings have 17 turnovers and are just 13 of 20 on free throws. That's allowing the Suns to hang around in a game the Kings are shooting 49.2 percent and have a 40-25 rebounding advantage.

DeMarcus Cousins has 15 points and 13 rebounds. Thomas Robinson has 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Goran Dragic has 10 points and nine assists for Phoenix. Luis Scola has 12 points, but also has four fouls, which has limited him to 19 minutes.

HALFTIME
Kings 57, Suns 49

The Kings received a boost from their second-unit and it sparked a big second quarter. James Johnson made all five of his shots and has 11 points. Marcus Thornton has eight points while Thomas Robinson has six points and eight rebounds.

The starters weren't all bad. DeMarcus Cousins has nine points and 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans has nine points and three rebounds.

Thanks to Cousins and Robinson the Kings have a 29-17 rebounding advantage.

After a slow start the Kings are shooting 53.5 percent. The shooting has helped make up for 12 turnovers that have led to 14 points for the Suns.

Luis Scola has 10 points for Phoenix. Goran Dragic has six points and six assists.

FIRST QUARTER
Suns 30, Kings 27

It was another poor shooting start for the Kings (42.9 percent) but a three pointer by DeMarcus Cousins at the buzzer pulled Sacramento within three points.

Cousins has seven points and five rebounds but missed six of his nine shots. He's not getting the benefit of calls from the officials. Even though his headband has been knocked around, he hasn't shot a free throw.

Luis Scola and Jared Dudley each have eight points for Phoenix, which shot 56.5 percent in the quarter.

It's the first game for interim head coach Lindsey Hunter.

January 22, 2013
Just a few more Kings/NBA offerings ...


The Kings arena situation remains fluid, with The Bee reporting a short while ago that billionaire Ron Burkle and Mark Mastrov are seriously considering a tag-team offer to purchase the team and develop a downtown arena. I also keep hearing that at least two or three other major players are in the mix to varying degrees, among them developer Eli Broad and the big fella, Oracle's Larry Ellison. We'll see. But in the meantime, the next critical date is Feb. 1, when the Maloofs are supposed to receive a non-refundable $30 million chunk of change per their sale agreement with the Seattle ownership group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.

A few final thoughts from the day:
. To all Kings fans sending emails and complaining about Jimmer Fredette's erratic playing time ... I agree. I can count the number of small guards (too many), but still can't figure out why Fredette isn't getting more minutes.
. Belated condolences to Oklahoma City coach Scotty Brooks, whose mother died last weekend in Manteca. Lee Brooks was a hoot. I interviewed her a number of times, and spent a few hours with her at the family's car wash. Wearing jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers, Lee chatted proudly about her son - a Kings head coaching candidate at the time - while washing down the stalls and cleaning up the place.
. I was remembered earlier tonight about the fact that Broad was a minority owner of the Kings during Jim Thomas' ownership.
. The Suns are in town Wednesday night, but I'm looking forward to Friday's visit by the Thunder. Kevin Durant is amazing. Former Kings guard Kevin Martin is flourishing in his role off the bench. It's always great to spend time with Brooks, who I have known since his rookie season. On top of all that ... OKC is the city that stole the Sonics from Seattle.

January 22, 2013
Sacramento Kings sale to Seattle: The Bee's arena team hosts

January 22, 2013
The Morning After: Sale news puts many in limbo

NEW ORLEANS - Today's game wasn't the story of Monday.

The Maloofs and partner Bob Hernreich entered a binding agreement to sell the team to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who would then move the Kings to Seattle to bring back the Supersonics.

Whether Kevin Johnson can pull together a group to convince the NBA to reject the Seattle deal and keep the Kings in Sacramento remains to be seen. But for now, the Kings as constructed will be the team you watch.

January 21, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Hornets

FOURTH QUARTER
Hornets 114, Kings 105

NEW ORLEANS - Rallying from 27 points down was too much as the Kings lost to finish their three-game road trip 1-2.

DeMarcus Cousins finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and Tyreke Evans had 16 points.

Ryan Anderson led the Hornets (14-27) with 27 points, including 7-for-14 on three pointers. Greivis Vasquez had 19 points and 11 assists.

The Kings were outrebounded 49-36. Cousins was the only King with double digits in rebounds.

THIRD QUARTER
Hornets 87, Kings 76

NEW ORLEANS - The Kings cut a 27-point deficit to as few as eight points after shaking off the early-morning look to their game in the first half.

DeMarcus Cousins has 20 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas has 14 points and Tyreke Evans has 11 points.

The Kings had only two turnovers in the third quarter and shot 15-for-20. After seven assists in the first half, the Kings had seven assists in the third.

The Hornets were without Anthony Davis. He did not return after turning his ankle in the second quarter.

Ryan Anderson was scoreless in the quarter and still leads New Orleans with 19 points.

HALFTIME
Hornets 64, Kings 39

NEW ORLEANS - Ryan Anderson scored 17 of his 19 points in the second quarter as the Kings continued to look like a team that's not into this game.

That was evident as Anderson continued to light them up from long range, making 5 of 8 three pointers. That's the most made threes in a quarter by a Kings opponent this season.

Anthony Davis has 11 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for New Orleans but limped off the court just before halftime.

Eric Gordon added 12 points and Greivis Vasquez has eight assists, one more than the Kings as a team.

DeMarcus Cousins has eight points and seven rebounds to lead the Kings. The Kings are shooting 34.1 percent (15 of 44) and have missed all eight of their three pointers.

The Kings have allowed 16 points off nine turnovers.

FIRST QUARTER
Hornets 30, Kings 18

NEW ORLEANS - The game started a little after 10 a.m. PST and the Kings looked like they're still waking up. They shot 34.8 percent and committed five turnovers, leading to nine points for New Orleans.

Meanwhile the Hornets have opened up a lead behind seven points apiece from Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis. Davis also has five rebounds and two blocked shots.

DeMarcus Cousins has six points and five rebounds to lead Sacramento. Isaiah Thomas also has six points.

January 21, 2013
Keith Smart, Aaron Brooks and Isaiah Thomas discuss Seattle news before today's game

NEW ORLEANS -- By time the Kings arrived at New Orleans Arena for today's game against the New Orleans Hornets, the news that the Maloofs had agreed to sell the team to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen had made the rounds through the team.

The sale has to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors. NBA commissioner David Stern has already said Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson would have the opportunity to present a local ownership group with a new arena plan to keep the team in Sacramento.

So the uncertainty remains and players don't know if they'll be playing in Seattle or Sacramento next season.

January 20, 2013
Kings finalize deal to sell team to Seattle, sources say

By Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis
tbizjak@sacbee.com

After weeks of private negotiations, the owners of the Sacramento Kings are on the verge of announcing that they're selling the team to a group that would move the Kings to Seattle.

The announcement could come as early as tomorrow morning. It follows two weeks of intense speculation and sets the stage for a climactic tug-of-war between Sacramento and Seattle over the team's future over the next few weeks.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is planning to propose a counter-offer in which a rival group would buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento.

January 20, 2013
The Morning After: Breaking down why Jimmer's playing time will be down

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The duo of Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton combined for 34 points in Saturday's win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

That meant no time for Jimmer Fredette.

My Twitter timeline was peppered with questions about why Fredette didn't play against the Bobcats.

January 19, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Bobcats

FINAL
Kings 97, Bobcats 93

CHARLOTTE - The Kings had five players score in double figures, led by Marcus Thornton with 18 off the bench to give the Kings (16-25) their fourth road win of the season.

Isaiah Thomas made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 18.4 seconds to seal the game.

DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Thomas had 15 points and seven assists while Tyreke Evans had 16 points.

Kemba Walker had 14 points and 10 assists but shot an airball on a three pointer with 2.9 seconds to play and the Bobcats (10-30) down 96-93.

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 78, Bobcats 76

CHARLOTTE - Kemba Walker had 10 points and three assists in the third quarter keep the Bobcats in the game.

Walker now has 14 points and eight assists and the Kings will have to execute on both ends of the court to win.

*The Kings are shooting 49.2 percent and have four players that have scored in double figures. DeMarcus Cousins has 15 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Thornton also has 15 points.

*The Kings need to be more aggressive. They had 13 free throws in the first half but attempted only two in the third quarter.

HALFTIME
Kings 51, Bobcats 46

CHARLOTTE - Kings coach Keith Smart stuck with some of his backups in the second quarter and it eventually paid off.

The second unit has been shaky of late, but Marcus Thornton managed to find his game during the second quarter with 10 of his 12 points. Thornton has both made three pointers for the Kings.

James Johnson came off the bench to add nine points and four rebounds.

*The scoring has been balanced in the manner the Kings would like. Nine different Kings have scored. Sacramento had 11 assists in the first half.

*Ben Gordon has 11 points off the bench for Charlotte.

*The Kings still haven't allowed a point off a turnover. Sacramento has six turnovers.

*Smart used 11 players in the first half. Jimmer Fredette and Travis Outlaw were the Only Kings that didn't play.

*Thomas Robinson was hit in the mouth at the end of the first quarter. After having X-rays and stitches, he will return to the game.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 25, Bobcats 20

CHARLOTTE - The Kings are already five points away from matching last night's output in the first half. It helps that the opponent is Charlotte and not the Memphis Grizzlies.

Isaiah Thomas had eight points, two rebounds and two assists for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins had four points and four rebounds.

All five starters scored for the Kings.

*The Kings had only three turnovers. The Bobcats didn't score off any of them.

*Hakim Warrick had 4 points and three rebounds for the Bobcats. Kemba Walker had two points and three assists, but made only one of his five shots.

January 19, 2013
The Morning After: Rotation plans change as missed shots add up

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The plan was to start shortening the rotation but that didn't happen in the Kings' 85-69 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Friday night.

It was the Kings worst offensive performance of the season and Keith Smart shuffled in everyone he had available.

Only two players (DeMarcus Cousins, John Salmons) played more than 30 minutes. Ten players played at least 10 minutes.

The Kings shot a season-low 34.1 percent to go with season lows for scoring and assists with nine.

"You're searching for something," Smart said. When you're as flat as we were, 14 points (in the first quarter), 16 points (in the second quarter) you're searching for anything you can possibly get."

Smart had credited shortening his rotation with back-to-back wins. But the lineups were mixed-and-matched Friday.

The lineup that finished the game was Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Travis Outlaw, James Johnson and Thomas Robinson as the last attempt to make a run to win the game.

*One way to generate offense would be to get to the free throw line. The Kings only shot 15 free throws.

"We didn't get those calls that we needed," Smart said. "And not because the refs didn't make the calls but we didn't create the kind of contact that's necessary to get (calls)."


January 18, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Grizzlies

FINAL
Grizzlies 85, Kings 69

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings posted season lows in points, shooting percentage (34.1 percent) and assists (nine) in losing the first game of their three-game road trip.

DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (15-25), who trailed by as many as 18 points.

Cousins was the only Kings to score in double figures.

Mike Conley led Memphis (25-13) with 19 points. Marc Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Allen added 14 points and 10 rebounds.


THIRD QUARTER
Grizzlies 60, Kings 47

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings have now played every player on the active roster tonight but still haven't found a rhythm on offense.

The Kings are shooting 30.8 percent and have 12 turnovers. DeMarcus Cousins has 16 points and 10 rebounds, but he's the only King doing anything of note on offense.

*The bench has produced 11 points for the Kings, five coming from Chuck Hayes.

*It's not like the Kings are losing because they are launching a lot of deep shots. They've only taken four three pointers and 33 of their 65 shots have come in the paint.

*Marc Gasol has 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Grizzlies.

HALFTIME
Grizzlies 42, Kings 30

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings established new season lows for points in a half and shooting in a half (28.6 percent). The Kings shot 12-for-42 and committed seven turnovers in a dismal showing.

The Kings were so bad on offense, they made the Grizzlies (41.5 percent, nine turnovers) look like a juggernaut on offense. The Kings were also outrebounded 27-21.

*DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with seven points and seven rebounds. But Jimmer Fredette, who scored 12 second-half points in Wednesday's win did not play at all in the first half.

*Noted defensive specialist Tony Allen has nine points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol has eight points and five rebounds.

FIRST QUARTER
Grizzlies 18, Kings 14

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings haven't caught a break without Zach Randolph being out for Memphis.

His replacement, Marreese Speights, has six points and the Grizzlies have led by as many as eight points. Rudy Gay also has six points for Memphis.

*The Kings shot just 35.3 percent (6-of-17) and only scored a point off six Memphis turnovers.

*DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with six points and four rebounds. Cousins also had one of the Kings' two assists in the quarter.

*For a team that is 24-13, the Grizzlies don't have much of crowd here on a Friday night. There are a lot of empty seats in FedExForum. Perhaps everyone is on Beale Street.

January 17, 2013
The Morning After: Jimmer sits the first half; stars in the second half

Keith Smart broke his rule about not playing players that don't play in the first half of a game Wednesday night.

And if hadn't the Kings might have ended their five-game homestand with a loss.

Fredette played the final 20:50 of the game, scoring 12 points to go with two assists and a steal in the Kings 95-94 win over the Washington Wizards.

January 16, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Wizards


FINAL
Kings 95, Wizards 94

Tyreke Evans made a free throw with 11.4 seconds to play and the Wizards missed two attempts to take the lead in the final seconds as the Kings won their second consecutive game.

Evans missed the second free throw that allowed the Wizards to have a chance to win.

Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and John Salmons each had 21 points for the Kings (15-24). Jimmer Fredette had 12 points, all coming in the second half.

Evans also had eight rebounds and eight assists. Cousins had a game-high 16 rebounds.

Bradley Beal finished with a career-high 26 points to lead the Wizards (7-29).


THIRD QUARTER
Wizards 77, Kings 72

The Kings trailed by as many 11 points in the third quarter but received a spark from Jimmer Fredette to keep the game close.
Fredette scored eight points in the quarter to keep the Kings within reach.

*Bradley Beal is having a good day with 21 points. He's made 5-of-6 three pointers.

*Tyreke Evans has 18 points to lead the Kings. John Salmons scored seven points in the third and is up to 16 points.

*The Kings have to take care of the ball. They've given up 16 points off 14 turnovers.

HALFTIME
Wizards 56, Kings 48

The Kings' offense fell off in the second quarter. The Kings shot 8-for-20, which wasn't nearly good enough to keep up with the Wizarads, who are shooting 52.1 percent.

*The Kings are shooting 51.2 percent, but have allowed eight points off nine turnovers. The Wizards also have nine turnovers, but have only given up four points off their mistakes.

*The offense slowed down when the second unit began playing more. The Kings had eight assists in the first quarter but only three in the second quarter.

Only one Kings' reserve has an assist (Aaron Brooks with one).

*Tyreke Evans has 15 points to lead the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins has eight points on 4-for-11 from the field.

*The Wizards already have 20 assists on 25 made shots and have three players in double figures. Bradley Beal has 15 points while Kevin Seraphin and John Wall each have 10 points.

Nene is on pace for a triple-double with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 32, Wizards 31

Defense? There wasn't a lot of it in the first quarter.

The Kings shot 60.9 percent (14 of 23) while the Wizards shot 57.7 percent (15 of 26). There were a total of three turnovers combined and 20 assists between the two teams.

Tyreke Evans made five of his six shots for a game-high 13 points in 11 minutes. Isaiah Thomas had four of the Kings' eight assists.

*Nene had a solid all-around quarter with six points, three assists and two rebounds for Washington. Kevin Seraphin had eight points off the bench for the Wizards.

*The Kings have allowed 117.8 points per game in their previous five games. Doesn't look like that will be changing tonight.

January 15, 2013
Robinson is OK after car accident; Brooks expected to play Wednesday

Thomas Robinson was fine after last night's car accident. Here he explains what happened:

On how he feels:

"I'm fine. Everything's good."

On how the car ended up over the center divide:

"It wasn't the plan. I made the turn too wide, that's all. I didn't want to keep going straight so turned the car and hit the median."


"I wasn't going that fast. It's just that I tried to make the turn too late, which is very narrow. I should have just kept trying to go straight. It was too late to make the turn but I still tried to make it."

Damage to the car:

"It's not that bad, the car's not totaled but I messed the bottom part of my bumper up. I probably busted something in the engine but I'm not sure. I'm breathing, I really don't care too much about the car."

*Robinson had a wrap on his left hand from a scratch in practice, coach Keith Smart said.

*Smart said Aaron Brooks would be worked back into the rotation after returning from having the flu. Brooks dressed for Monday's game but did not play.

"He probably could have played last night but I knew I had to shorten the rotation last night," Smart said. "I couldn't get everyone playing."

Smart said he was focused on getting Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton acclimated after time off and didn't want to force Brooks into the mix.

"I didn't want to have too many players in the game that were still dealing with issues of trying to get their game going again," Smart said.


January 15, 2013
The Morning After: Thomas Robinson OK after car accident near Sleep Train Arena

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Kings forward Thomas Robinson was involved in a car accident after Monday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I was alerted of the accident via Twitter and checked out the scene. By time I arrived the other car that was involved was gone and Robinson was sitting in another car.

Robinson didn't get out of the car and put it in reverse and backed away from the scene. Robinson, I'm told, was not injured.

January 14, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Cavaliers

FINAL
Kings 124, Cavaliers 118

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots and two steals as Sacramento ended a four-game losing streak.

The Kings (14-24) withstood a career-high 33points from rookie Dion Waiters sweep the season series against Cleveland (9-31).

Tyreke Evans finished with 18 points, making all six of his field goals and all four of his free throws.

Marcus Thornton led a solid bench effort by the Kings with 20 points. Jimmer Fredette had 16 points and Thomas Robinson had 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Kings shot 51.2 percent and played just enough defense late to escape with a win. The Kings forced two late turnovers, including a steal and coast-to-coast lay up for Cousins.

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 93, Cavaliers 87

It was an eventful 12 minutes for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins was called for a technical foul and flagrant foul 1, and their lead that was once 13 was cut to as few as three.

The Kings are shooting 53.8 percent, which is great because they aren't stopping the Cavs (48.6 percent) who average 94.4 points this season.

*Cousins was called for a technical foul with 7:50 left in the quarter for complaining that he'd been hit with a forearm and elbow by Cleveland center Tyler Zeller.

The flagrant foul came with 6:24 left in the quarter. Cousins was trying to block a shot by Zeller from behind when his arm caught Zeller across the face.

*Cousin has 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to lead the Kings. Tyreke Evans has 16 points, having made all five of his field goals and all four of his free throws.

*Dion Waiters and CJ Miles each have 17 points for the Cavs.

HALFTIME
Kings 69, Cavaliers 57

*DeMarcus Cousins is on pace for a triple-double (14 points, eight rebounds, five assists) and the Kings already have 15 assists. The team is playing a lot like it did before the current four-game losing streak. The scoring is balanced and eight players have at least one assist.

*Thomas Robinson has kept up his solid play of late with eight points in the first half. Jimmer Fredette also has eight points off the bench. Marcus Thornton came off the bench to score 11.

*Tyreke Evans has 12 points but no assists yet in his first start since Dec. 16.

*Cousins also has three blocked shots.

*CJ Miles has 14 points to lead the Cavs. Dion Waiters added 12 points off the bench. Omri Casspi scored 10 in the second quarter.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 31, Cavaliers 24

The Kings got back to playing at a faster pace (and making shots) to get off to a good start. Tyreke Evans led the Kings with seven points. DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson each had six points.

*The Kings shot 54.5 percent, but might have a bigger lead if not for five turnovers that led to seven points for Cleveland.

*Robinson played nearly eight minutes in the quarter because Jason Thompson picked up two quick fouls.

*The Kings have a 13-6 rebounding advantage. The Cavs are without Anderson Varejao the Kings should be able to control the glass.

*CJ Miles led Cleveland with seven points. Kyrie Irving has six points and two assists.

January 13, 2013
Video: Keith Smart talks after Sunday's practice

Quick notes in case you don't have the time to press play:

*Tyreke Evans will start Monday against Cleveland.

*Aaron Brooks (illiness) did not practice and is unlikely to play Monday. He missed Saturday's game, too.

January 13, 2013
The Morning After: A lot is going wrong for Kings, lately

There are a myriad of reasons why the Kings have lost four consecutive games.

*The defense hasn't been stellar. They've allowed 117.8 points per game.

*In the last four games the Kings haven't outscored an opponent in the paint. In their 13 wins, only one has come when they've been outscored in the paint.

January 12, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Heat

FINAL
Heat 128, Kings 99

Miami guard Mario Chalmers made an arena-record 10 three pointers to lead the Heat to a convincing win. The Heat never trailed and led by as many as 38 points.

It was a bad night from the start for the Kings, who fell behind 14-2 and were never in the game.

Chalmers did most of the damage, leading the Heat (24-11) with a career-high 34 points. Miami had a season-high 35 assists, led by LeBron James with seven. James also scored 20 points.

Kings guard Isaiah Thomas had a career-high 34 points in the loss. Sacramento (13-24) has lost four in a row.

The Kings gave up 34 points off turnovers while allowing the Heat to shoot 56.3 percent.

THIRD QUARTER
Heat 103, Kings 72

Isaiah Thomas has a career-high 31 points after scoring 21 in the third quarter. But this is hardly the kind of game he'll be celebrating. The Kings have given up 27 points off 14 turnovers have been beaten soundly from the start of the game.

The Kings decision-making has been questionable most of the night and the turnovers are the biggest indicator.

*The Kings are shooting 39.7 percent overall but shooting 50 percent from three-point range (8 of 16).

*Mario Chalmers has made a career-high eight three pointers for the Heat and leads the team with 28 points. LeBron James has 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

HALFTIME
Heat 66, Kings 44

Miami continues take advantage of the Kings' poor shooting and decision making. The Kings are shooting 37.2 percent and have allowed 19 points off 10 turnovers. The Kings have already used 11 players and have yet to find a combination to slow down the Heat.

*Mario Chalmers has 19 points for Miami, which is shooting 56.1 percent. LeBron James has been relatively quiet with 10 points, two rebounds and three assists.

*Isaiah Thomas (10 points) is the only King to have scored in double figures. DeMarcus Cousins has eight points and eight rebounds. Jimmer Fredette had seven points off the bench.

*The Kings have zero points from starting forwards Jason Thompson and John Salmons.

FIRST QUARTER
Heat 28, Kings 17

The Kings are off to a woeful start shooting 6-of-24 with six turnovers. Miami's pressure defense resulted in six steals. Miami turned the turnovers into 12 points in an impressive start to the game.

*Thirteen of the shots were from DeMarcus Cousins (2-of-6) and Isaiah Thomas (3-of-7).
Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 13 points. LeBron James had 10 points.

*Tyreke Evans came off the bench for the third time since returning from his knee injury. Kings coach Keith Smart went to Evans and Marcus Thornton early in the quarter when the Heat jumped out to a 14-2 lead.

*Aaron Brooks (flu) is not active tonight.

January 12, 2013
Kings future source of conversation at Candlestick Park


SAN FRANCISCO - The fluid developments regarding the Kings future in Sacramento is a very hot topic over here at Candlestick Park. I have been in the press box awaiting the NFC Divisional playoff between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers for about two hours, and several Bay Area journalists are closely monitoring the latest info on the ongoing drama. And how interesting? The situation just happens to heat up the same two days the Miami Heat visit Sleep Train Arena for the first time in two seasons?

That's why we love sports. Predictions are fun, but they still have to play the games ....


January 12, 2013
Kings future source of conversation at Candlestick Park


SAN FRANCISCO - The fluid developments regarding the Kings future in Sacramento is a very hot topic over here at Candlestick Park. I have been in the press box awaiting the NFC Divisional playoff between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers for about two hours, and several Bay Area journalists are closely monitoring the latest info on the ongoing drama. And how interesting? The situation just happens to heat up the same two days the Miami Heat visit Sleep Train Arena for the first time in two seasons?

That's why we love sports. Predictions are fun, but they still have to play the games ....


January 11, 2013
The Morning After: Rebounding continues to hurt the Kings

The Dallas Mavericks are routinely outrebounded. But as many opponents have discovered, you can always make up for that against the Kings.

Dallas has the worst rebounding differential in the NBA (minus-4.32) but outrebounded the Kings 52-41 in their 117-112 overtime win at Sleep Train Arena.

(The Kings have the second-worst differential at minus-4.11).

The Kings allowed 15 offensive rebounds to the Mavs and 17 second-chance points.

So even on a night the Kings defended well, holding Dallas to 42.7 percent shooting could never pull away and eventually lost a game they should have won going handily.

*Dwight Howard and Charlie Villanueva are among the players recently fined for flagrant foul 2 calls. That's the only reason I think DeMarcus Cousins will play Saturday against the Miami Heat.

Cousins' admits his reputation could hurt him and he could be suspended for the play below, when he caught Vince Carter with a forearm in the face.

*In two games against Dallas Cousins has faced discipline for hitting an opponent. He was suspended in December for hitting O.J. Mayo in the groin.

Now he'll see if there is further punishment after being ejected Thursday.

But he still has a fan in Mavs coach Rick Carlisle:

"Cousins is a phenomenal player. I don't know if I've ever seen a guy that's that big that has the diversity that he has to his game. He does things off the dribble with such force and speed. He is really a unique player."

January 11, 2013
Kings, Mavs, strange night, weird lineups


Not that there wasn't enough going on earlier tonight at Sleep Train Arena (can you say arena issues and Seattle?), but the Kings blew yet another huge lead - this time a 17-point advantage against the aging Dallas Mavericks. Next up Saturday night? The defending NBA champion (if slumping) Miami Heat and LeBron James, who didn't visit last season because of the lockout-shortened 66-game schedule.

So, here are just a few thoughts after a game the Kings absolutely should have won:

* Just a guess here, but Keith Smart will probably not give himself a very high grade after he watches the replay and breaks down the possessions, as is his practice.

* During key stretches when the Kings should have been blowing the game open, Isaiah Thomas, who pushed the pace and finished with 18 points and four assists in 31 minutes, was on the bench; Tyreke Evans, who has flourished off the ball, was inexplicably thrust back into his old lead guard position and was far less effective; John Salmons forced several shots and was the biggest offender when the offense reverted to one-on-one; Jimmer Fredette hit two of three shots, spread the floor, and still only played eight minutes; and Franciso Garcia, who converted four of eight attempts, too often was ignored when he was open in the corners.

* DeMarcus Cousins, who had an otherwise exceptional performance with nine boards, four assists, and 29 points, including a terrific baseline spin move that split a double-time, was tagged with a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected with 41 seconds remaining in overtime for tagging Vince Carter with a forearm in a scrum for a loose ball. Cousins simply has to do a better job maintaining his poise. He is too talented and too smart for this ongoing nonsense. That said, after watching the replays, I think a Flagrant One would have been adequate. While Cousins clearly swung and popped Carter, he immediately reached out and extended his hand to the Mavs veteran. Once again, league officiating supervisor Stu Jackson will review the play and determine whether to rescind the second technical, leave the matter as is, or further punish Cousins.

* The Mavs repeatedly frustrated Cousins in the second half, exploiting the Kings lack of perimeter shooting and dribble penetration, and their dreadful ball movement. The third-year center was triple-teamed, and on at least one occasion that I can recall, had four defenders swarming. Is there a point guard out there somewhere? Anywhere? An extra pass? Sometimes?

* Aging Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki converted only 7 of 21 shots, but still managed to collect nine boards. The Kings (who committed 20 turnovers and amassed 23 assists), were outrebounded 52-41.

* Despite all the arena uncertainty, the blown lead and the frequent offensive lulls, the crowd was energetic, engaged and hopeful. I will say it again and again: I have covered the NBA for newspapers in four cities, and Sacramento fans deserve better than the constant threat of relocation.

January 10, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Mavericks

FINAL
Mavericks 117, Kings 112

Playing without an ejected DeMarcus Cousins for the final minute of overtime, the Kings dropped their third consecutive game -- one they led by 17 points in the third quarter.

The Kings trailed 111-109 when Cousins got tangled up with Vince Carter going for a loose ball. Cousins apparently contacted the face of Carter, who went to the ground along with Cousins.

Cousins was called for a flagrant foul 1. Officials reviewed the play and upgraded it to a flagrant foul 2 and automatic ejection. It would have been Cousins' sixth foul regardless.

After a missed free throw by Dallas, the Kings in-bounded the ball with 15 seconds left down 115-112. But Isaiah Thomas -- whose three-pointer in regulation forced overtime -- took a nearly identical shot that came up well short.

O.J. Mayo made two free-throws to ice the game for the Mavericks.

Cousins led all scorers with 29 points and added nine rebounds and four assists. Thomas had 18 points and Tyreke Evans had 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Mayo led Dallas with 24 points and added 10 rebounds. Shawn Marion had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Carter had 23 points.

FOURTH QUARTER
Kings 101, Mavericks 101

The Kings blew a 17-point third-quarter lead but hit two big three-pointers in the final minute to send this game into overtime.

The Mavericks chipped away until they took the lead at 94-93 with 2:15 left on an O.J. Mayo lay-up off a Kings turnover. Vince Carter had 15 points in the quarter, going often into the paint at DeMarcus Cousins after Cousins picked up his fifth foul.

With 48.7 seconds left, John Salmons hit a three-pointer to pull the Kings within 100-98. Salmons tried to tie the game with 16.3 left on a pull-up jumper but was called for an offensive foul.

Mayo made one of two free throws to give Dallas a 101-98 lead. Isaiah Thomas then hit a contested three-pointer falling down to tie the game with 9.1 seconds left.

Dallas missed a short jumper at the buzzer.

Cousins has 25 points for the Kings.

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 78, Mavericks 68

With Dirk Nowitzki (4-of-16) epitomizing the Mavericks' cold shooting, the Kings take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter behind 19 points from DeMarcus Cousins and 15 from Isaiah Thomas.

The Kings have made the most of the shots they've taken from inside the three-point arc. They are 4-of-17 from long range and 23-of-36 from inside the arc.

Francisco Garcia also has 13 points for the Kings.

Tyreke Evans, in his second game back from a knee injury, has played 18 minutes off the bench and scored nine points.

Three different players have a team-high 11 points for Dallas -- Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.

January 10, 2013
Live chat replay: Ailene Voisin discusses latest on Kings sale saga

The Bee's Ailene Voisin will lead a live chat beginning at 1 p.m. today to discuss the latest developments surrounding a possible sale of the Kings and their move to Seattle.

January 10, 2013
Compilation: Reaction to the potential sale of the Kings to Seattle
January 9, 2013
More on Kings, Seattle, and possible relocation craziness


While reiterating that Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof change their minds faster than I switch from ESPN to MSNBC to CNN, here are a few final thoughts on an eventful Wednesday that began and ended with an insane number of tweets, rumors, reports, etc., about the possible sale of the Kings franchise to a group from Seattle.

* According to sources, several of the team's minority owners were stunned (and ticked off) to hear that talks about a sale/relocation between the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-led Seattle group reportedly have intensified. And one day after Virginia Beach removes itself as an NBA player? Hmmm. I also heard that high-ranking Kings employees were shocked by the reports that first surfaced early Wednesday on Yahoo!
* Of the Maloofs, Gavin has long been most adamantly opposed to selling. The second of five Maloof siblings, he jokingly has said that he would chop off one of his legs before agreeing to a sale of the franchise. As for the investors Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said he has spoken with about purchasing the Kings? Let's just say, the brothers like Ron Burkle about as much as they like the Lakers, which is to say, they will never get over it ..
* This is pretty lousy timing for KJ. The former Phoenix Suns All-Star should be celebrating his nomination for the 2013 Naismith Hall of Fame.
* Not a bad number: 19 sellouts in 27 seasons in Sacramento. While Kings attendance is dwindling - for obvious reasons, among them franchise uncertainty and a disappointing product - based on the eyeball test and from watching games on NBA League Pass, a number of other teams appear to be, um, quite generous with the numbers.
* Publicly, league executives were unusually quiet Wednesday. Can only guess at the significance of the silence ....
* For those who might not have noticed, L.A.'s other team - those Clippers - will be here for the regular-season finale. The man sure knows how to make money, though.
* While the reported estimates of $500 million would break all NBA numbers for franchise sales, any relocation would require that the Maloofs pay off the $77 million loan to the city, pay approximately $30-$35 million in relocation fees, and receive approval from the Board of Governors.

Finally, this is a wild and crazy season. Who thought the Lakers would be on the playoff bubble? That the Grizzlies and Warriors would be this good? Or, for that matter, that the Kings would be this bad?

January 9, 2013
From the social networks: Kings reportedly leaving town for Seattle

The news and social-media fireball started with a single tweet earlier this morning from Daina Falk, daughter of NBA agent. The tweet was later deleted. It said: "So I hear that the Seattle Kings is officially a done deal! The Maloofs finally sold the ailing Sacramento team. #NBA"

January 9, 2013
LIVE CHAT, 12:45 p.m.: Kings leaving? Talk with Marcos Breton

Reports indicate that a deal to sell the Kings and move them to Seattle continue to circulate with greater intensity.

Join The Bee's Marcos Breton at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the latest on the franchise's possible exity from Sacramento.

January 7, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Grizzlies

FINAL
Grizzlies 113, Kings 81

Led by Wayne Ellington's career-high 26 points, the Grizzlies (22-10) used a dominant second half to coast to a victory Monday night at Sleep Train Arena.

It was the worst home loss of the season for the Kings.

The Kings (13-22) have lost two games in row and had their four-game home winning streak snapped.

The Kings shot just 36.8 percent.

John Salmons led Sacramento with 17 points.

Rookie Thomas Robinson grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds.

THIRD QUARTER
Grizzlies 87, Kings 65

Memphis dominated the third quarter, quickly turning a close game into a blowout heading to the fourth quarter.

Wayne Ellington scored 10 of his 17 points in the third quarter as the Grizzlies opened up a big lead.

*The Kings shot 5 of 15 (33.3 percent) while the Grizzlies shot 13 of 20 (65 percent) in the third quarter.

*DeMarcus Cousins was dominant during the four-game road trip, but hasn't had as much success in Sacramento. He's shooting 3 of 9 for 10 points to go with eight rebounds.

*John Salmons has 17 points to lead the Kings.

*The Kings have been outrebounded 32-19.

HALFTIME
Grizzlies 51, Kings 45

The Kings haven't been able to overcome the balanced offensive attack of Memphis. Five Grizzlies have at least six points, led by Mike Conley with 10 points and four assists. Memphis led by as many as nine points in the quarter.

*Tyreke Evans played for the first time since Dec. 16 and played the final 4:48 of the first half. Evans had two points, a rebound and an assist.

*John Salmons has 13 points to lead the Kings. Jason Thompson has 10 points.

*The Kings have been outrebounded 24-13.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 23, Grizzlies 22

John Salmons (10 points) and Jason Thompson (eight points) are off to a good start the Kings. Sacramento shot 8-for-16 from the field and had seven assists in the first quarter.

*The Kings were outrebounded 14-7 in the first quarter.

*Zach Randolph has six points to lead the Grizzlies.

*Both teams had 12 points in the paint. The Grizzlies were able to come up with 11 fast-break points.

January 7, 2013
Vlade Divac, Kevin Johnson on Hall of Fame ballot

Longtime Kings center Vlade Divac and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson are among the 2013 nominees for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The list released today by NBA.com also includes former KIngs guard Mitch Richmond, Gary Payton, Bernard King, Oscar Schmidt, Jerry Reinsdorf and Russ Granik, as well as referee Dick Bavetta.

Divac, who was nominated by the International Committee, brings impressive credentials from both the NBA and the international community. As a skinny young center from southern Serbia, he anchored the powerful Yugoslavian national team throughout his boyhood. After the breakup of the Balkans - a development that destroyed the friendship between Divac and Croatian star Drazen Petrovic - Vlade became a fixture on the Serbian squad that upset the United States in the 2004 World Championships captured the silver medal in the 1996 Olympic Games.

January 6, 2013
More info on Hannah Storm's foundation

In Sunday's Bee, I wrote about Hannah Storm and her horrific accident Dec. 11 that left the longtime sportscaster with burns on her chest, neck, face and hands. I've received inquiries from folks asking for more information about her experiences with Vascular Birthmarks and the foundation she started several years ago. Anyway, there is plenty of information to be found on her website - HannahStormFoundation.org. As I mentioned in the column, Hannah was born with a Vascular Birthmark under her left eye, so she is more than a little familiar with the topic. Like a lot of people, I am hoping she recovers quickly and completely from the propane gas grill accident (she was rushing to get dinner going) and resumes her anchoring duties soon with ESPN's SportsCenter.

January 6, 2013
The Morning After: The dominance of DeMarcus Cousins last week

BROOKLYN - Perhaps we can put the talk of the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins to rest.

During the Kings' four-game road trip he showed exactly why the Kings have no plans to trade him.

His numbers:

24.5 points per game
15.3 rebounds per game
3.8 assists per game
1.75 assists per game
52.7 shooting percentage
76.9 free throw percentage

January 5, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Nets

FINAL
Nets 113, Kings 93

BROOKLYN - The Kings finally played a team with a winning record on this four-game road trip and the result was a blowout for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Kings finished the trip 2-2, which isn't bad considering the Kings were 1-12 on the road to start the trip.

But losing in such fashion isn't how the Kings (13-21) wanted to travel back to California. But the Kings couldn't overcome a bad second quarter and rally Saturday.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 28 points and 11 rebounds, his third 20-10 game in his last four and sixth consecutive double-double.

Six Nets scored in double figures led by Brook Lopez with 18 points in just 17 minutes. Deron Williams finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes.

Brooklyn (19-15) had three reserves score in double figures.

The Nets shot 51.8 percent while the Kings shot 40 percent.

THIRD QUARTER
Nets 88, Kings 72

BROOKLYN - The Nets are shooting only 54 percent after their extremely hot start, but the Kings haven't been able to do enough to overcome falling behind by as many as 23 points.

*The Nets are dominating the Kings on the glass with a 39-25 rebounding advantage. The Nets have 22 second-chance points.

*DeMarcus Cousins has 22 points and nine rebounds for the Kings. Nets center Brook Lopez has 18 points for the Nets. Reggie Evans has 12 rebounds for Brooklyn.


HALFTIME
Nets 65, Kings 47

BROOKLYN - The Nets shot 67.5 percent, the highest an opponent has shot in a half against the Kings this season. And the Kings couldn't maintain their good shooting from the first quarter when their reserves were outplayed by the Nets' bench in the second quarter.

*The Kings scored 16 points in the quarter. The Nets had 21 points from their reserves in scoring 29 points.

*Kings' reserves shot 2 of 12 in the quarter. Both makes were by Aaron Brooks. Chuck Hayes got up three shots while Jimmer Fredette and James Johnson each took two shots.

*MarShon Brooks scored 10 points off the bench for Brooklyn in the first half. Reserve Mizra Teletovic added nine points.

*John Salmons still has 13 points after going scoreless in the second quarter. Jason Thompson has 12 points while DeMarcus Cousins has 10 points.

FIRST QUARTER
Nets 36, Kings 31

BROOKLYN - The Kings shot 59.1 percent, which on most nights would be a great start. But that shooting performance doesn't look impressive when the opponent shoots 71.4 percent.

The Nets shot 15-for-21 and were led by Brook Lopez with eight points. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had seven points. Williams also had four assists.

*John Salmons was aggressive for the Kings and has 13 points. He missed one of his six shots.

*There weren't many missed shots, but the Kings can't be happy with only three rebounds.

*The Nets have 24 points in the paint, a big reason why they are shooting so well.

January 4, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Raptors

FINAL
Kings 105, Raptors 96

TORONTO - DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds as the Kings routed the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

Cousins shot 11 of 18 from the field and 9 of 12 from the free throw line as the Kings used a 28-10 second quarter to blow the game open.

John Salmons finished with 20 points for the Kings (13-20), who have won four of their last five games.

Kyle Lowry led the Raptors (12-21) with 24 points. Ed Davis had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Alan Anderson added 20 points.

The Kings finish this four-game road trip tomorrow night at Brooklyn.

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 82, Raptors 63

TORONTO - The Kings dominated the third quarter to take a commanding lead. DeMarcus Cousins led the way and is up to 26 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

*Jason Thompson also has taken advantage of the Raptors' frontline for 14 points. Thompson and Cousins have combined to shoot 17 of 27. The Kings are shooting 50.8 percent (32 of 63).

*The Kings have 19 assists. They've record 22 or more in five of their six previous games.

*The Raptors are shooting 36.1 percent (22 of 61). The shot 14.3 percent (3 of 21) in the third quarter.

HALFTIME
Kings 54, Raptors 53

TORONTO - The Kings closed the second quarter on a 10-2 run to take the lead at halftime. The Kings trailed by as many as eight points in the quarter with the Raptor taking advantage of the Kings' second unit.

*The Raptors still have no answer for DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins has 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Cousins also had two steals. The only negative would be the three fouls Cousins picked up.

*Alan Anderson has 12 points to lead the Raptors. Ed Davis has 10 rebounds.

*The Kings have six steals against six turnovers.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 23, Raptors 22

TORONTO - DeMarcus Cousins is too much for the Raptors to handle. Cousins has nine points, four rebounds and three assists. The two players that have tried defending him (Aaron Gray, Amir Johnson) both have two fouls already. But Cousins also picked up a technical foul that appeared unnecessary.

Toronto's Alan Anderson kept talking to Cousins after a play. Cousins walked away and Anderson followed to keep the chatter going.

So with Cousins standing at the free throw line and Anderson still yapping, double technical fouls were called.

*The Kings had only two turnovers in the quarter to make up for shooting 39.1 percent (9 of 23).

*The Raptors made 3 of 6 three pointers. The Kings made one of their five.

*Jose Calderon led the Raptors with seven points. Ed Davis grabbed seven rebounds.

January 3, 2013
The Morning After: Keith Smart appreciates the consistency of Jason Thompson

CLEVELAND - It's been said by many that Jason Thompson might be the most consistent King this season.

His scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and free throw percentage are all above his career averages while his personal fouls are below his career average, too.

Thompson is averaging 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent.

Thompson had a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Kings 97-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Kings coach Keith Smart has come to rely on Thompson every night, even if he doesn't bring up Thompson often.

"J.T.'s one those guys that's a coach's dream because you always forget about him," Smart said. "You look at the stat sheet, you look at film, and you see this guy is doing all the little things. He's one of those utility men that on a basketball team you really, really need. I never worry about him. I know he's going to play to well all the time for the most part and give a good honest effort all the time."

Thompson did pick up his fifth technical foul of the season Wednesday. That might garner more attention if Thompson wasn't playing with DeMarcus Cousins, who has seven.

"We'll look at the film and see if he was really trying to pass the ball to the official as he said he was," Smart said.

*The Kings were happy to win a close game on the road (finally) after breaking down at Detroit late.

As Thompson put it, the Kings like to make things interesting and even did so against Cleveland after leading by 10 in the third quarter.

"We knew we had to get his one going to Toronto and then Brooklyn," said Francisco Garcia. "This is where confidence is built. We got this one. Now we've got to go to Toronto."

Added Smart:

"There are a lot of games where we've been right there. Then here comes a quick drive, a quick shot, a turnover, a missed block out, all those things. Fouling a guy at the wrong time. All of it came together for the most part (Wednesday). And that's been our Achilles' heel trying to close games out on the road."

"It's about patience, playing the clock and trying to take advantage of what the opponents are doing defensively as well as offensively."

*Here is DeMarcus Cousins (18 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, two steals) from postgame media time.

It also should be noted Cousins had only one turnover, a big sign he isn't rushing on the floor and picking up cheap offensive fouls.

January 2, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Cavs

FINAL
Kings 97, Cavaliers 94

CLEVELAND - The Kings (12-20) won their second road game of the season thanks to a strong showing from DeMarcus Cousins (18 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) and Jason Thompson (19 points, 10 rebounds).

Francisco Garcia had 14 points and Aaron Brooks came off the bench to add 13 points.

The Cavs (7-26) were led by Kyrie Irving (22 points, six assists) and Dion Waiters (20 points).

The Kings led most of the fourth before Irving gave the Cavs a 90-89 lead on two free throws.

Cousins then found John Salmons for the go-ahead three pointer with 52.9 seconds to play and the Kings never trailed again.

THIRD QUARTER
Kings 74, Cavs 71

CLEVELAND - DeMarcus Cousins is up to 18 points and 14 rebounds as the Kings have a slim lead trying to get their second road win of the season. Jason Thompson has 15 points and eight rebounds for Sacramento. The Kings led by as many as 10 points in the quarter.

*The Cavs are shooting just 35.8 percent but are hanging around because they are plus-12 in three pointers over the Kings and plus-3 in free throws.

*Dion Waiters has 16 points for the Cavs. Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Gee each have 14 points.

The Kings are shooting 45.3 percent (29 of 64), but have missed 9 of 10 from three-point range.

HALFTIME
Cavaliers 53, Kings 52

CLEVELAND - The game has remained close throughout the first half. The biggest lead has been five points by the Kings. The game has been tied seven times and there four lead changes.

*DeMarcus Cousins has 11 points and nine rebounds to pace the Kings. Jason Thompson has 10 points.

*The Cavs received a boost from Dion Waiters off the bench. The rookie had 14 points, all in the second quarter.

*The Kings have a 28-14 advantage in points in the paint.

*The Cavs are shooting just 40.5 percent but have made 17 of 19 free throws.

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 28, Cavaliers 25

CLEVELAND - DeMarcus Cousins has exploited the absence of injured Cavs center Anderson Varejao for nine points, six rebounds and two assists to get the Kings off to good start on offense.

The Kings are shooting 50 percent (11 of 22) and have nine assists.

*C.J. Miles has 12 points to lead Cleveland. The Cavs shot 8 of 21 in the first quarter. Miles made four of his eight shots.

*The Kings have outscored the Cavs 16-6 in the paint.

*The Kings attempted one three pointer in the first quarter. The Cavs shot six, making one.

January 2, 2013
The Morning After: Rebounding remains a big concern for Kings

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Rebounding was a concern of the Kings before the season and it still is.

The Kings were down 95-93 with 2:50 to play when they were unable to secure a rebound off a missed free throw.

Jason Maxiell grabbed the rebound and made one of his two free throws to make the score 96-93.

January 1, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Pistons

FINAL
Pistons 103, Kings 97

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The (11-20) Kings pulled within one in the fourth quarter but had some critical mistakes in the final minutes to lose for the 13th time in 14 road games.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit (12-22).

The Pistons shot 52 percent for the game while the Kings were at 41.9 percent.

THIRD QUARTER
Pistons 80, Kings 67

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Pistons haven't cooled off after making 10-of-16 shots in the third quarter. Detroit is up to 55.2 percent for the game while the Kings have slipped to 42.9 percent.

*DeMarcus Cousins has 21 points, 12 rebounds and three steals for the Kings. But the offense has been a struggle since the first quarter. After 28 points in the first 12 minutes, the Kings have scored 21 and 19 points in the next two quarters.

*Brandon Knight has missed only three of his 11 shots and has 19 points for Detroit. The Kings have been outrebounded 34-24. No King besides Cousins has more than three rebounds.

HALFTIME
Pistons 58, Kings 48

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - There was plenty going on before halftime. The second quarter saw the Kings fall behind by 15 and Charlie Villauneva ejected for a flagrant foul 2 on Isaiah Thomas.

Villanueva fouled Thomas while he was airborne with four seconds left in the half. Thomas jumped up to challenge Villanueva. Thomas appeared to swing at Villanueva but was not called for a technical foul or ejected.

*The Kings shot 36.8 percent (7 of 19) in the second quarter. They've also given up 16 points off 10 turnovers.

*Thomas leads the Kings with 12 points. DeMarcus Cousins has 11 points and seven rebounds.

*Brandon Knight has 15 points for Detroit. Will Bynum had 10 pints, all in the second quarter. The Pistons are shooting 52.4 percent

FIRST QUARTER
Kings 28, Pistons 27

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Kings and Pistons are both shooting well. The Kings, however have seen their eight-point lead diminish because of turnovers. The Kings have allowed 12 points off six turnovers.

*The Kings shot 57.9 percent (11 of 19) while the Pistons shot 61.1 percent (11 of 18).

*Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 10 points. Brandon Knight had 13 points and three assists for Detroit.

*Marcus Thornton (sprained left ankle) did not dress for the game.



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