Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 28, 2013
The Morning After: A few more notes on scoring

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Kings have discovered their offense in their last two games.

*The Kings have shot better than 50 percent in consecutive games for just the second time this season.

*The Kings scored 125 against Orlando after scoring 125 at Miami. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time since the 1992-93 season that the Kings scored 125 points or more in consecutive games. It is the first time since the Kings the 1986-87 season the Kings have scored at least 125 points in consecutive games on the road.

*After having 30 or more assists in a game once this season, the Kings have managed that in the last two games.

*The Kings have scored 41 points off turnovers in their last two games.

*The 101 points allowed by the Kings since giving up 98 points in a loss at Utah on Feb. 4.

February 27, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Magic

Kings 98, Magic 68

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Kings are rolling behind 21 points from John Salmons and 17 points apiece from Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton.

Evans also has seven assists as the Kings have been in control of the game most of the night.

Salmons has made four of his five three pointers and 13 of his last 16 from three-point range.

The Kings are shooting 56.3 percent tonight.

Kings 67, Magic 44

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Kings posted season highs for field goals made (28) and assists (22) in a half and led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter.

Marcus Thornton has 13 points to lead five Kings in double figures. DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson all have 10 points.

Cousins also has five rebounds and four assists. Evans has five assists and three steals.

The Kings are shooting 62.2 percent while the Magic are at 35.7 percent.

About the only thing to complain about the Kings is the six turnovers they had in the second quarter, but they've forced nine turnovers and scored 15 points off them.

E'Twuan Moore and Arron Afflalo each have nine points for the Magic.

At this pace the Kings could hold an opponent under 100 points for the first time Feb. 4 - a span of eight games.

Kings 36, Magic 22

ORLANDO, Fla. - After a slow star, the Kings have jumped all over the Magic with a balanced attack on offense that included 11 assists and no turnovers.

The Kings closed the quarter on a 29-9 run, led by DeMarcus Cousins (eight points, four rebounds, three assists), John Salmons (seven points, three assists) and Tyreke Evans (four points, four assists, two steals).

The Kings shot 56 percent (14 of 25) while the Magic shot 33.3 percent (6 of 18).

E'twaun Moore scored nine of the Magic's first 13 points to lead Orlando.

February 27, 2013
Kings at Magic: Five things to watch

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Kings haven't been great in back-to-back games this season.

The Kings have been swept seven times in back-to-back games.

Now they'll play in the second of back-to-back games tonight against the Orlando Magic after playing a double-overtime game Tuesday night at Miami.

February 27, 2013
The Morning After: The good and bad against the Heat

MIAMI - Tuesday night's game was fun to watch. The Kings felt good about themselves, even though it ended in a 141-129 loss to the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena.

Here's a look at some of the reasons why the Kings were close, but also why they lost to the Heat.

February 26, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Heat

Heat 141, Kings 129

MIAMI - After Marcus Thornton pulled the Kings within one at 128-127, LeBron James scored seven unanswered to spark a 9-0 run that allowed the Heat to finally shake the Kings and win their 12th game in a row in double overtime.

Thornton made a career-high eight threes in scoring a season-high 36 points, but James (40 points, 16 assists, eight rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (39 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) were too much at the end of the night.

The Kings (19-39) have now lost a season-worst six consecutive games.

That the Kings forced the Heat (41-14) into overtime was improbable after they trailed by nine late in regulation.

But the Kings had a chance to win in the first overtime.

Isaiah Thomas shot was blocked by Chris Bosh and Miami grabbed the rebound with 5.7 seconds to play.

But John Salmons managed to block LeBron James' attempt to win the game with a lay up and force a second overtime.

Wade missed two free throws that gave the Kings the ball down 112-110 with 19.8 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins scored on a putback of a miss by IThomas to tie the game at 112.

Wade missed a jumper at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime.

Miami led 110-101 with 2:20 to play in regulation before a 11-2 run by the Kings ended the quarter. Thornton made three three-pointers during the run that was capped by Cousins' putback.

Thornton finished with 36 points. Cousins had 24 points and 15 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 26 points and five steals.

Kings 85, Heat 84

MIAMI - With four players in double figures and 23 assists on 30 field goals, the Kings are using the team approach to go the upset of the Heat.

Marcus Thornton has 21 points to lead the Kings but the third quarter was big for Tyreke Evans, who scored 10 of his 16 points in the period.

John Salmons has 15 points and DeMarcus Cousins has 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Dwyane Wade leads Miami with 25 points. LeBron James has 20 points and eight assists.

The Kings have to be careful with the ball (13 turnovers, 16 Miami points off turnovers) to have a chance of holding on to the lead.

Miami has just seven turnovers for 13 Sacramento points.

Kings 53, Heat 51

MIAMI - The backcourt of Aaron Brooks and Marcus Thornton helped propel the Kings to a halftime lead.

Thornton has a game-high 18 points. Brooks' stat line isn't impressive. He missed all four of his shots to go with an assist, a steal and a turnover. But the Kings were a plus-3 with Brooks in the game for 10 minutes.

The lack of turnovers, however, was important. After giving up eight points off five turnovers in the first quarter, the Kings gave up two points off three turnovers in the second quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins had 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 17 points. LeBron James has eight points and five assists.

The Kings are doing a much better job of setting up teammates tonight. The Kings have 15 assists on 19 made field goals.

Heat 27, Kings 22

MIAMI - The Kings led 16-8 before the Miami Heat picked up their defense to finish the quarter by forcing five turnovers that led to eight points.

DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton each scored six points in the quarter as the Kings shot 50 percent. Cousins also grabbed five rebounds.

LeBron James led the Heat with six points and four assists. Dwyane Wade also had six points for Miami. The Heat shot 59.1 percent.

February 26, 2013
Kings at Heat: Five things to watch

MIAMI - What has gone wrong during the Kings' five-game losing streak?

The simple answer is a lot. But here are five statistical areas that stand out from each loss and areas the Kings must focus on if they are to upset the Miami Heat tonight by highlight some of the worst showings of the streak.

1. .547: In the first loss of the streak the Memphis Grizzlies shot 54.7 percent, the highest for an opponent during the losing streak. Three of five opponents during the losing streak have shot at least 50 percent. Miami (.495) leads the NBA in shooting percentage.
2. 10: The Dallas Mavericks handed the Kings their second loss of the streak in part by blocking 10 shots. The Kings have a habit of taking tough, contested shots that opponents take advantage of defensively. The Heat average just five blocks a game, but if the Kings are careless, Miami will gladly reject their shots.
3. Zero: That's the number of times the Kings led in their loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The Kings' best chance of beating Miami might be to jump out to a big lead and then use their inside advantage with DeMarcus Cousins to close the deal.
4. 24: The number of points the Atlanta Hawks scored off Kings turnovers in the fourth loss of the streak. That helped the Hawks overcome an early deficit. If the Heat are able to approach that figure, the Kings will be in big trouble.
5. 62: The New Orleans Hornets handed the Kings their fifth consecutive defeat with 62 points in the paint. The Heat can score in the paint in transition and by breaking the Kings down off the dribble with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

February 26, 2013
Cole Aldrich to join the Kings soon

MIAMI - The final piece of last week's trade will soon be joining the Kings.

Center Cole Aldrich will be with the Kings as early as tomorrow. Aldrich did not meet up with the Kings in New Orleans to stay in Sacramento for more medical testing.

"He's doing his final testing and should be joining us somewhere on this trip," said Kings coach Keith Smart.

Aldrich will have to do a lot to earn playing time behind DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and Chuck Hayes for minutes at center, but if he brings the "refreshing" professional approach of Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson, Smart will be pleased.

"I talked to (Aldrich) last night," Smart said. "He's in great spirits and looking forward to coming out and playing with us and being around the team, which will be good for him."

February 25, 2013
Report: Kings minority owner Kehriotis to offer competing bid to purchase team

According to KTXL Fox Sports director Jim Crandell, Kings minority owner John Kehriotis plans to exercise a right of first refusal and is heading a group that is close to offering a competing bid to purchase the franchise and build a new sports and entertainment complex that does not require city/county subsidy. On his 10 p.m. Monday night broadcast, Crandell said Kehriotis, who owns 12 percent of the Kings, has secured a $350-million commitment from investors and a verbal agreement for another $400 million.

The information was attributed to an anonymous source.

Reached at his Bay Area home late Monday night, Kehriotis offered a succinct, "No comment at this time."

February 25, 2013
The Morning After: Toney Douglas won't watch quietly

NEW ORLEANS - The Kings are learning Toney Douglas isn't shy.

The recently acquired guard from the Houston Rockets was fully engaged from the bench during the Kings' 110-95 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

"I'm a vocal person, regardless," Douglas said. "I know I'm new here but that's just how I am. I'm going to talk. If I don't know something, I'm going to ask. And when I'm on the court, I'm going to talk. That's just how I am."

February 24, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Hornets

Hornets 110, Kings 95

NEW ORLEANS - The Kings dropped their fifth consecutive game as the defense still isn't good enough and the offense is still inconsistent.

The Hornets (20-37) shot 50.3 percent while the Kings (19-38) shot 42.2 percent for the game.

The Kings made 12-of-19 three pointers in the loss.

John Salmons led the Kings with 18 points, all coming on a career-high six made three pointers.

DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jason Thompson added 16 points and nine rebounds.

Anthony Davis led the Hornets with 20 points. Greivis Vasquez had 12 points and 13 assists while Eric Gordon added 17 points.

Hornets 79, Kings 73

NEW ORLEANS - John Salmons was perfect from three-point range in the third quarter but overall the Kings aren't shooting well and still trail.

Salmons matched his career high with five made threes after going scoreless in the first half. He joined Jason Thompson (16 points, nine rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (14 points, nine rebounds) in giving the Kings a productive starting frontcourt.

But overall the Kings are shooting 42.2 percent with Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans struggling with a combined 4-for-20 shooting night.

Four New Orleans starters have scored in double figures, led by rookie Anthony Davis with 18 points.

Eric Gordon has 17 points and Greivis Vasquez has 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hornets are shooting 49.3 percent.

Hornets 53, Kings 47

NEW ORLEANS - In a game that his been relatively even, the Kings' turnovers stand out as their biggest problem tonight.

The Kings had six turnovers in the second quarter and are up to eight for the game. The Hornets have converted the mistakes into 11 points.

So even though Jason Thompson (12 points, four rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (10 points, seven rebounds) are having solid games, the Kings are trailing. It also doesn't help that Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans have combined to shoot 4-of-14.

Anthony Davis has 12 points for the Hornets. Eric Gordon has 11 points and Greivis Vasquez had six points and seven assists.

The Hornets have only six turnovers and have outrebounded the Kings 23-19.

Hornets 30, Kings 27

NEW ORLEANS - Both teams are shooting 50 percent with only two turnovers in what was an entertaining first quarter.

Jason Thompson led the Kings with 10 points and three rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins had eight points and six rebounds.

They combined for all the rebounds the Kings had in the quarter.

Isaiah Thomas had seven points and three assists.

Anthony Davis had eight points for the Hornets. Greivis Vasquez had six points and five assists.

Both teams scored 20 points in the paint in the quarter.

February 24, 2013
Kings at Hornets: Five things to watch

NEW ORLEANS - The Kings will look to end their four-game losing streak tonight at New Orleans.

That won't be easy. The Kings are 5-24 on the road this season.

1. Point guard duel: Isaiah Thomas wants to force New Orleans guard Greivis Vasquez into a fast game. A slower game favors the bigger Vasquez.
2. Defensive effort: The Kings are allowing 115.3 points per game during the losing streak. The most disappointing aspect in the last loss was the overall lack of intensity on defense.
3. Efficient offense: Even though they scored 108 points in losing at Atlanta, the Kings still shot poorly (43.2 percent). The Kings are 8-1 when shooting 50 percent or better this season.
4. Finding Ryan: Ryan Anderson made seven three pointers off the bench and scored 27 points in last month's win over the Kings. The Kings have to do a better job of not leaving him with open looks.
5. Start off well: The Kings were down big early in their last trip to New Orleans. And the Kings have shown during the season when things go bad, that's when they are most likely to fall back into bad habits.

February 24, 2013
Cole Aldrich not with Kings in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - New Kings center Cole Aldrich his not with the team. He stayed in Sacramento for further medical.

Patrick Patterson and Toney Douglas are with the team in New Orleans. Both will be available for this evening's game against the New Orleans Hornets.

All three players were acquired in last week's trade with the Houston Rockets.

February 23, 2013
The Morning After: Salmons says youth can no longer be an excuse

ATLANTA - The Kings have pointed to their youth for some of the mistakes they repeatedly make in games.

But that excuse is old.

The Kings latest loss, 122-108, to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, was filled with many of the usual mishaps that have led to a 19-37 record.

The Kings know selfish play on offense and bad defense will lead to losses. But the Kings continue to repeat these mistakes.

At least one veteran says it's time to start using youth to excuse bad basketball.

"The whole league is young at this point," said forward John Salmons. "We had the youngest MVP ever (Derrick Rose) a couple years ago. We've got Kevin Durant, (Russell) Westbrook, James Harden in the championship (last season). So the young stuff, the young thing is not really an excuse anymore. It's time to grow up and be a team.

Exactly how young are the Kings? There are no rookies on the roster after Thomas Robinson was traded. Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette are in their second seasons.

Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton are both in their fourth seasons. DeMarcus Cousins is in his third season.

But the Kings have not matured in their approach to the game.

Offense is what makes them happy. And only when the offense is going well do the Kings seem to take an interest in playing defense.

"With this team we're too focused on offense, too much on one-on-one play," Salmons said. "We don't move the ball on a consistent basis and then on the defensive end we let teams get run outs, transition points. It's hard for us to get stops in halfcourt sets because we focus on the offense so much."

February 22, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Hawks

Hawks 122, Kings 108.

ATLANTA - The Kings (19-37) lost their fourth consecutive game after a dominant showing in the fourth quarter by the Hawks (30-23)

The Kings shot 7-for-25 in the final period.

After leading by 13 points in the first quarter, the Kings couldn't hold off the Hawk, who have beaten the Kings in their last 10 meetings.

The Kings managed only 45 points in the second half and shot 43.1 percent for the game. Their 16 turnovers led to 24 points for Atlanta.

Isaiah Thomas finished with 30 points and nine assists for the Kings. Thomas' streak of made free throws ended in the fourth quarter at 46. That's five short of tying Mike Bibby's team record of 51 from the 2002-03 season.

DeMarcus Cousins finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Al Horford led the Hawks with 24 points. Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists. The Hawks shot 53.3 percent and had 33 fast-break points.

Hawks 93, Kings 88

ATLANTA - The Kings allowed 30-plus points for the second quarter in a row as the Hawks took the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas (25 points, eight assists) and DeMarcus Cousins (22 points, 11 rebounds) are having big games, but the Kings have 14 turnovers and are allowing the Hawks to shoot 55.1 percent.

The Kings shot 10-of-26 in the third while the Hawks shot 13-of-19.

Atlanta has scored 22 points off Kings turnovers.

The Hawks have four players in double figures, led by Jeff Teague with 18 points. Al Horford has 17 points.

The Hawks only have five turnovers.

Kings 63, Hawks 61

ATLANTA - The Kings' turnovers (six more) and shaky defense have allowed the Hawks to rally and take the lead at halftime.

Sacramento has allowed 19 points off turnovers in the game, 12 points coming in the second quarter. The Kings have 12 turnovers compared to just three for Atlanta.

Aided by Sacramento mistakes, the Hawks shot 15-of-25 from the field in the quarter with 12 fast-break points.

Jeff Teague scored all 10 of his points in the quarter. Al Horford and DeShawn Stevenson each have 11 points

Isaiah Thomas has 19 points and four assists to lead the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins has 10 points and six rebounds.

Kings 33, Hawks 25

ATLANTA - The Kings used some hot shooting to jump out and lead by as many as 13 points in the quarter.

The Kings shot 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) and made 9-of-10 free throws in the quarter. Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 12 points and two assists. Tyreke Evans had 9 points and two assist.

Al Horford has been hot for Atlanta lately, but played only four minutes in the quarter after picking up two fouls. John Jenkins came off the bench to lead Atlanta with six points.

The Hawks also benefited from six Kings turnovers to stay in the game.

The Kings have only 11 players tonight while waiting for the three players acquired in Wednesday night's trade with Houston to join the team in New Orleans.

February 21, 2013
The late Jerry Buss? The Maloofs should be paying attention

After reading texts and watching video highlights from Jerry Buss' memorial services Thursday at the Nokia Theatre, I just wanted to add a few thoughts. I met Dr. Buss in 1981, or not long before he fired Paul Westhead, appointed Jerry West and Pat Riley as co-coaches, only to capitulate when The Logo said he wanted no part of coaching again and handed the solo duties to Riley.

In the ensuing years, the Lakers have been pure Hollywood, part soap opera, tremendous acting, and unfailing high drama. Think "Downton Abbey" for three-plus decades, not three seasons. Under a stewardship that began in 1979 and culminated in in 10 NBA Championships, Buss' Lakers offered continued entertainment. They have their moments, of course. They screw up with the best of them (Magic as head coach?). But then they recover, and make amends, and they all this in front of one of the world's largest audiences.

Buss, who offered great insight and powerful resistance, by the way, when neighbor Donald Sterling relocated the Clippers to the Los Angeles Sports Arena in 1984 - and as we all know in Sacramento, opposed the Maloofs' attempt to relocate the Kings to Anaheim in 2011 - oversaw the best organization in professional sports. There is nothing close, no team nearly as much fun. George Steinbrenner presided over a dynasty and always seemed miserable. Buss presided over a dynasty and cherished the thrill of the chase, and of course, all those titles.

While circumstances affect outcomes in all sports, Buss' success was no accident. He paid his players, hired great people, replaced folks who didn't get the job done. He repeatedly promoted his daughter, Jeanie, because she has long been one of the brightest business minds in sports and entertainment. She tolerated her father's affinity for the young ladies; he re-hired her boyfriend (Phil Jackson) a few months after dumping him because, simply, he was the game's premier coach.

But when I think about Dr. Buss, a one-time chemistry professor who made his millions in the Southern California real estate market, I will most fondly recall his iconclastic teams; those Lakers-Celtics, Bird-Magic matchups in the 1980s; his ability to nurture the brilliance and quirkiness of West; his appreciation for his first rock star coach, Riley; Randy Newman's anthem, "I Love L.A." rocking the old Forum; Southern Cal's marching band and its nightly rendition of the Fleetwood Mac hit, "Tusk"; and mostly, the way the way the organization responded when a devastated Magic Johnson announced in Oct., 1991, that he had contracted HIV.

That was when, in my mind, the Lakers were elevated to a higher realm. At a time when AIDS was a death sentence, when it was a political football even within the NBA, Buss' folks opened the Forum doors. With David Stern's constant supervision and unwavering support, they embraced their superstar and helped educate the public about a contagious, virulent disease. Journalists were welcomed into Mike Dunleavy's locker room. Conversation was encouraged, even elicited. West and the late Chick Hearn sat in the stands, often by themselves, openly crying at times, but never dodging a very sensitive subject. The discussion started in the United States, and continued the following summer in Barcelona.

The Maloofs, who attended the invitees-only ceremonies on Thursday, should have paid closer attention all these years. No one expects owners to be saints. But fans have every right to expect commitment to supportive communities and competent management in the team's business and basketball operations. If Dr. Buss ever contemplated selling the Lakers - and his wealth is down the list among NBA owners these days - there is no doubt incoming owners would have been required to park themselves at Staples Center. As an emotional West said while eulogizing his former boss, "He was a man for all people."

We won't forget.

February 21, 2013
Catching up with Patrick Patterson

ATLANTA - I was able to catch up with Patrick Patterson, one of the three new Kings, via telephone this evening for a story for tomorrow's newspaper.

Below are a few quotes from Patterson.

On his initial reaction to the trade:

"Pretty must just frustration at first, disappointment. I was sad. Those were my initial thoughts and emotions. But as time went on, I cooled off, got level headed. Now I'm good, I'm excited."

On having always defended DeMarcus Cousins' character after they were teammates at Kentucky:

"I talked to DeMarcus. ...It's strong, a solid relationship. He's a good friend of mine. And I stand by what I say. .... People say all these negative things about him but I'm still one of his biggest fans."

On what he brings to the Kings:

"Just someone who's going to work extremely hard, run every time in transition ... Do what he's asked, a person you can rely on and trust....and I'm a good role player...I will do whatever it takes."

Money matters

The Kings will net about $2.3 million from yesterday's deal. It wasn't a deal that was easy for management to make.

The front office was in no hurry to deal Thomas Robinson, who the team was very high on even though he had a standout rookie season.

He was the Kings' second-rated player in the 2012 NBA Draft and they landed him with the fifth pick.

Debut date?

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said it was "highly unlikely" Patterson, Toney Douglas or Cole Aldrich would play Friday against the Atlanta Hawks.

Sunday at New Orleans makes more sense as of now.

All players have to report and pass physicals.

Change in plans

The Kings were scheduled to practice tonight after arriving in Atlanta. That practice was cancelled and the team will have a shootaround at 11 a.m. Friday.

February 20, 2013
Kings trade Robinson, give up disappointing No.5 pick

Nothing is official yet, but so much for the theory that the Kings would not make any trades while the Maloofs attempt to sell their majority interest to a group that intends to move the franchise to Seattle. While awaiting word that the deal has been finalized - sending rookied Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas, it's clear that Kings basketball officials decided they erred in drafting the undersized Robinson with the No.5 pick last summer and wanted to cut their losses. While this looks like a pure salary dump, as our Bee writer Jason Jones notes in Thursday's print editions, the 6-foot-9 Robinson - as he is listed - has been a major disappointment. While the former Kansas standout is athletic, has quick feet and pursues rebounds, he has terrible hands and doesn't finish around the basket. (Another ex-Jayhawk and one-time Kings backup center Scot Pollard cautioned accordingly while everyone was celebrating the fact Robinson dropped to the Kings at No.5).

While a lot of scouts really like Patterson, who is also an undersized 6-foot-9 power forward who can shoot, any enthusiasm for this deal is tempered by two things: the fact that Cisco was a great teammate and a calming influence in the locker room and Rocktes' general manager Daryl Morey's recent history of fleecing his colleagues. Morey is too much of an analytics guys for my taste, but he seems to have a feel for assembling players with complementary skills and personalities -- the personalities being huge here. I really like his recent additions of James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, and role players like Chandler Parsons and now Garcia and Robinson.

Obviously, much more to come.

February 20, 2013
Kings deal Thomas Robinson to the Houston Rockets

The Kings have agreed to trade first-round draft pick Thomas Robinson, swingman Francisco Garcia, forward Tyler Honeycutt and a second-round pick to the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets have agreed to send forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and guard Toney Douglas to the Kings.

Yahoo! Sports reports the deal is part of a three-team trade that will also send Houston forward Marcus Morris to Phoenix.

The Kings are waiting on the trade call with the NBA before announcing the deal, so it might not be official until Thursday.

Robinson was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Kings were ecstatic to select him as they had him rated No. 2 on their draft board.

February 20, 2013
Smart misses practice because of family emergency

Kings coach Keith Smart did not attend Wednesday's practice after his oldest son, Andre, suffered an injury playing basketball that required surgery.

Assistant coach Jim Eyen ran today's practice.

Smart is expected to join the team in Atlanta. The team leaves for Atlanta Thursday morning to start a five-game road trip.

February 20, 2013
The Morning After: Rebounding, defense still hurting the Kings

Reviewing some of what went wrong Tuesday night.

Coach Keith Smart said it was not intentional that with a three-point deficit that in the final 30 seconds of a game that center DeMarcus Cousins was stuck defending point guard Tony Parker.

"He stayed to long," Smart said. "His job was to get out there show hard and get back. ... He stayed in the coverage too long.

February 19, 2013
More Kings, Spurs, and arena politics

San Antonio Spurs coach and team president Gregg Popovich was unusually cranky before and after tonight's Spurs-Kings game at Sleep Train Arena. One suspects the reasons have mostly to do with his team's schedule (the Spurs are on their annual exhausting road trip to accommodate the rodeo at AT&T Center); fatigue from having to coach the West Squad during the All-Star Game last weekend in Houston, which required him to run practices and fulfill several media obligations; and the fact he didn't want to get pulled into conversations about the Kings arena situation, uncertain future, and similarities between Sacramento and San Antonio as small market cities.

Pop probably wasn't too thrilled that his opponents closed to within two points in the final minutes, though the Kings managed kicked themselves with an inability to grab loose balls and defensive rebounds in the critical sequences. Nonetheless, count me among those who find his aging, unselfish, precise, glitz-free team delightful to watch. For a few minutes there, I thought I was back in Indianapolis watching Yugoslavia-Argentina at the 2002 World Championships or at the 2004 Athens Olympics watching Argentina (and Manu Ginobili's squad) against anybody. This was international ball revisited. Tony Parker penetrated for layups or floaters, and found shooters in the corners. If teammates weren't open, the ball quickly moved to someone else on the wings or underneath. Execution was crisp, decisions instinctive, and the offense rhythmic. Unlike so many offenses today, where everything is initiated off the dribble - really, it's ok to move the ball before putting it on the floor - the Spurs pass (lead league in assists), cut and shoot.

Also, while they don't defend like they did earlier in Tim Duncan's career, the future Hall of Famer's length is still disruptive. They defend well enough, and they rebound. If they enter the playoffs rested and healthy, this will be a very interesting postseason.

February 19, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Spurs

Spurs 108, Kings 102

The Kings were as close as three in the final two minutes, but couldn't come up with defensive rebounds late and fell to the Spurs.

The Kings have lost three games in a row and begin a five-game road trip in Atlanta on Friday.

The Kings are 5-23 on the road.

Isaiah Thomas led the Kings (19-36) with 22 points. Tyreke Evans finished with 20 points.

Tony Parker led the Spurs (43-12) with 30 points and 11 assists. Danny Green finished with 21 points and Kawhi Leonard added 15 points.

Spurs 83, Kings 74

The Kings were as close as six in the quarter but again played the Spurs even for a second consecutive quarter.

Isaiah Thomas (22 points) is keeping the Kings in the game while the Kings continue to struggle shooting (34.3 percent).

Four fouls have limited DeMarcus Cousins to 21 minutes. He has 11 points and six rebounds. Tyreke Evans has 12 points.

Tony Parker (22 points, eight assists) has led the Spurs. Danny Green has 15 points.

The Kings haven't capitalized on 15 turnovers by the Spurs, scoring just 10 points off them. The Kings have only nine turnovers, but have given up 16 points off tetheir mistakes.

Spurs 50, Kings 41

The Kings picked up the offense a little bit thanks to an injection of energy from the bench, but they are still down nine.

Shooting 10 of 27 was a big improvement from the first quarter, but hardly a proficient showing. The Kings are shooting 28.6 percent for the game.

The Kings top-2 scorers, DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans combined to shoot 1-of-9 in the first half. Jason Thompson also missed all five of his shots. Marcus Thornton missed six of his seven shots.

Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 14 points. Jimmer Fredette had 10 points off the bench.

The bench has seven of the made shots for the Kings on 7-of-25 shooting.

Tony Parker leads the Spurs with 13 points and six assists. Kawhi Leonard has 13 points.

Spurs 28, Kings 19

The Kings began tonight's game like a team that's been off for a few days. The Kings are shooting 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) but missed only one of 10 free throws and had only one turnover to stay within single digits.

Isaiah Thomas (10 points) and John Salmons (six points) made all four field goals with two each.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with six points and five assists. The Kings managed two assists in the quarter.

Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson combined to shoot 0-for-11. The Spurs shot 12-for-21 in the opening quarter.

February 19, 2013
Kings vs. Spurs: Five things to watch

Kings coach Keith Smart enters tonight concerned with how San Antonio's bench might impact the game.

With that in mind, here are five bench players for the Kings to be wary of tonight.

1. Manu Ginobili - The Spurs' super sub played just 9:43 in his return to the lineup Feb. 13 because of hamstring injury. Coach Gregg Popovich indicated Glinobili's playing time would still be limited. Ginobili is averaging 12.3 points.
2. Matt Bonner - He's the kind of perimeter-based big man that concerns smart and could lead to more time for James Johnson for defensive purposes. Bonner is shooting 44.6 percent from three-point range.
3. Patty Mills - The backup point guard lit up the Kings for 18 points on Nov. 9. The Kings might want to be aware of him tonight.
4. Boris Diaw - A versatile and smart player that will put pressure on the Kings' defense with his decision making.
5. Gary Neal - The guard has a season-high of 29 points has made 17 of his last 32 shots.

February 18, 2013
DeMarcus Cousins not speaking on Tim Duncan

DeMarcus Cousins meets up with Tim Duncan again Tuesday night.

Cousins has a great amount of respect for Duncan, but after the last meeting with the Spurs, Cousins kept his comments short about Duncan.

"He's a good NBA player ... I'm not going to even get into that," Cousins said. "Tim Duncan is a good player."

There was on sense of anger when discussing Duncan, but the last time Cousins played Duncan Nov. 9 in Sacramento, he engaged in some trash talk that led to Spurs television analyst (and Duncan's former teammate) Sean Elliott to call out Cousins on the air, citing his need to respect Duncan.

This led to Cousins leaving the locker room to confront Elliott after the game upon being told via messages on his phone.

The league deemed Cousins' confrontation hostile and threatening enough to suspend Cousins for two games.

So Cousins won't be saying much about Duncan, perhaps until after the game.

*Kings coach Keith Smart commented on the death of Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

Smart said he became familiar with Buss while coaching with the Golden State Warriors when they would play the Lakers in the preseason in Hawaii.

"I almost went to the Lakers at one time coaching with Rudy Tomjanovich so I had discussions there as well," Smart said. "He always was a personable guy, the time we were over in Maui it was always 'hi' or 'hello.' I didn't get a chance to totally interact with him but he never was a guy that went out of his way to say I own the Lakers. He was a fun guy to be around."

*Marcus Thornton (bruised right hand) practiced tonight. He missed last Wednesday's loss at Dallas with the injury.

February 17, 2013
Ryan Anderson worries for Kings

HOUSTON - New Orleans Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, the former Oak Ridge standout who later attended Cal, said he monitors the Sacramento/Seattle developments from afar. Friends and family members, he said, frequently send him news updates. He also follows the arena developments via the Internet and social media. After competing Saturday in the Long Distance Shootout here at All-Star Weekend, he offered his thoughts on the Kings and their uncertain future.

"It's just hard," said Anderson. "It's hard. Not only did I grow up in such a great Kings era, and grew up when the city was just so Kings and NBA-oriented ... I keep saying it. It was a golden ticket to get into that arena. I won a state championship in that arena. I played in junior high in that arena. I have so many memories. It's just so hard to think about the possibility of the Kings leaving."

February 15, 2013
Mitch Richmond among Hall of Fame finalists

HOUSTON - Former Kings guard Mitch Richmond, a six-time All-Star who enjoyed some of his most productive seasons in Sacramento, was one of 12 finalists named for the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

The final selections will be announced in April. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a perennial All-Star during his career with the Phoenix Suns, was on the ballot for the first time but did not advance to the final pool of candidates. Neither did former Kings center Vlade Divac, also nominated for the first time.

Former Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt - known simply as the great "o-SCAR" - was a direct inductee as voted into the Hall by the International Committee. (The International Committee offers Divac the best chance of gaining admission in future years).

The Direct Electeds, as this group is called, included former NBA Deputy Commissioner Russell Granik - inducted as a contributor - who is particularly deserving of this honor. Granik spent more than 25 years as David Stern's No.2 man and was instrumental in in the creation and continued support of the WNBA.

February 14, 2013
Stern, NBA, Kings, Expansion ... interesting

HOUSTON - NBA Commissioner David Stern continues to downplay the possibility of adding an expansion franchise to mollify parties in this Sacramento-Seattle duel. Earlier in the week, Stern told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that "I am going to claim executive privilege on that one. The idea of leaving Sacramento is not a good one. The idea of going back to Seattle is a good idea. We'll have to see how that plays out."

When Feigen asked about expansion, Stern replied, consistent with his comments of late, "I don't think (expansion) is an option. Right now we have no approved plan for an arena in Seattle."

Keep in mind, Stern is an attorney, and a master at parsing his words. And this is the NBA. If Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson comes up with a viable ownership/arena plan ... nothing is off the table. We will continue to hear more about the topic of Kings/Seattle/relocation throughout the weekend. KJ arrives Friday, hours ahead of Stern's annual (and final) All-Star Weekend press conference on Saturday. This one figures to be a beauty.

February 14, 2013
The Morning After: Kings continue to struggle on defense

DALLAS - The Kings' best chance to win games is to not play a halfcourt game and push the tempo.

The Kings are 12-6 when scoring 100 points or more, so the Kings have only won seven times when not cracking 100 points.

So the Kings need to find the balance between finding their offense and getting stops or they'll have more games like Wednesday's 123-100 loss at Dallas.

February 13, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Mavericks

Mavericks 123, Kings 100

DALLAS - The Kings head into the All-Star break with back-to-back road losses after being routed by the Mavs at American Airlines Center.

The Kings enter the break with a 19-35 record, second-worst in the Western Confernce.

The Kings shot just 41.3 percent and committed 18 turnovers.

Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Vince Carter came off the bench to lead all scorers with 26 points and pass Larry Bird for 29th on the NBA all-time scoring list with 21,794 points.

Carter also made six three pointers to become the 11th player with at least 1,600 made three pointers in his career.

Darren Collison had 18 points and nine assists for the Mavs (23-29) while Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Kings host the San Antonio Spurs next Tuesday after the break.

Mavericks 92, Kings 77

DALLAS - The Kings pulled within seven during the quarter, but then Vince Carter kept getting open looks at three pointers.

Carter made five threes in the quarter and along the way passed up Larry Bird for 29th on the all-time scoring list with 21,794 points.

Carter scored 17 points in the third and has 24 for the game.

Tyreke Evans has 21 ponts to lead the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins has 17 points and 13 rebounds. But he also has a game-high five turnovers.

Carter's shooting prevented the Kings from taking full advantage of making 15 of 16 free throws and forcing seven turnovers in the third.

The Mavs made 10 shots in the third, six were three pointers.

Mavericks 59, Kings 44

DALLAS - The Kings usual culprits (poor shooting, turnovers) have put them in a 15-point hole.

The Kings made only six of their 21 shots in the second quarter in being outscored 29-17. The Kings have eight turnovers that have led to 14 points for Dallas.

The Kings haven't contained Mavericks point guard Darren Collison, who has 12 points and seven assists.

The Kings have seven assists as a team. Dallas has 15 assists.

Dirk Nowitzki has 12 points and six rebounds for the Mavs.

Tyreke Evans was scoreless in the second quarter for the second consecutive game and still has 10 points. James Johnson has 10 points off the bench after not playing in the previous three games due to a coach's decision.

DeMarcus Cousins has eight points and a game-high nine rebounds for Sacramento.

Mavericks 30, Kings 27

DALLAS - Tyreke Evans is off to a good start for the second game in a row (10 points), but again a Kings opponent is shooting better than 50 percent.

Memphis shot at least 50 percent in every quarter last night and the Mavericks began the game shooting 51.9 percent with only one turnover.

The Kings allowed six points off three turnovers while shooting 47.6 percent.

DeMarcus Cousins has seven points and four rebounds for the Kings. Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each have six pois and four assists for Dallas. Darren Collison has four points and four assists.

February 13, 2013
Kings at Mavericks: Five things to watch

DALLAS - The Kings will be without guard Marcus Thornton tonight (bruised right hand). X-rays were negative today.

Thornton was holding his hand last night in Memphis after trying to help defend Marc Gasol in the first half. Sitting out tonight will give Thornton six more days to prepare to play San Antonio after the All-Star break.

Here are five ways not having Thornton impacts tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

1. More minutes for Evans: Unless he's in foul trouble, this is the kind of game Tyreke Evans should play in the 40-minute range.
2. Jimmer Time: No Thornton means Jimmer Fredette should get Thornton's minutes as the backup shooting guard. It's his best position because it takes away the ballhandling responsibilities and allows him to focus on scoring.
3. Bench production: Thornton finished with 15 points last night. He's the only reserve averaging 10 or more points for the Kings. Someone will have to pick up the slack.
4. Brooks still plays: There will be decision as to who backs up Isaiah Thomas tonight if Fredette is playing the off guard. Aaron Brooks is coming off his best game for the Kings in a while and figures to play a prominent role tonight.
5. Floor spacing: Even if he's not making shots, Thornton is a player the defense has to respect. If John Salmons continues to struggle shooting as he had lately, Francisco Garcia could be a key player tonight to provide spacing.

February 13, 2013
The Morning After: Was Smart right to stick with Brooks and T-Rob?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Kings coach Keith Smart takes plenty of grief from fans for some his lineup decisions.

And I received my fair share of messages about Smart's decision to play Isaiah Thomas 23 seconds and Jason Thompson 1:48 in the fourth quarter.

Smart stuck with Aaron Brooks (11:37) and Thomas Robinson (7:36) for during the fourth quarter of the Kings' 108-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Tuesday night.

February 12, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Grizzlies

Grizzlies 108, Kings 101

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings trailed 99-93 with 4:16 to play but would get no closer as the Grizzlies pulled away down the stretch.

The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Kings. Both wins were at home. The Kings (19-34) have lost their last five road games.

Even though the Grizzlies (33-18) had 20 turnovers that led to 26 points for the Kings, they won because they shot 54.7 percent while the Kings shot 46.5 percent.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 23 points and seven rebounds. Tyreke Evans finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley had 22 points and seven assists and Tony Allen finished with 19 points.

The Kings last game before the All-Star break is Wednesday at Dallas.

Grizzlies 84, Kings 73

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Five Kings have scored in double figures but doesn't matter when the opponent is shooting 55 percent.

The Grizzlies have their biggest lead of the game thanks to 19 points from Tony Allen and 16 points and 11 rebounds from Marc Gasol.

Memphis has made 33 of its 60 shots and holds a 32-26 rebounding advantage.

Jason Thompson leads the Kings with 15 points and Tyreke Evans has 14 points.

The Kings are just 3-of-14 from the three-point line while the Grizzlies have made 6-of-11 threes.

Grizzlies 58, Kings 55

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - If the Kings can keep the Grizzlies from shooting above 50 percent, they would have a better chance of winning this game.

As it stands, the Kings are down only three in spite of the Memphis shooting 55.3 percent because they have scored 16 points off eight turnovers by the Grizzlies.

The Kings have also limited their turnovers (six) and shot 48.9 percent.

DeMarcus Cousins has 13 points while Marcus Thornton scored 11 in the first half for the Kings.

The Kings have 17 bench points and 13 fast break points.

Marc Gasol leads Memphis with 14 points and seven rebounds. Tony Allen has 12 points.

Grizzlies 26, Kings 25

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kings led 17-11 before the Grizzlies used a 10-2 run to take the lead.

It was a rare good start for the Kings at FedExForum. The last time the Kings were here, they scored a season-low 69 points.

But even with the Grizzlies rallying the Kings are in a good spot to compete in this game.

Tyreke Evans led Sacramento with 10 points, missing only one of his six shots. Evans also grabbed three rebounds and had two assists.

The Kings, however, might want to figure out how to slow down Tony Allen. He's taking it to the Kigns again with 10 points and three rebounds to make up for a slow start from Marc Gasol (two points).

February 12, 2013
Kings at Grizzlies: Five things to watch

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Zach Randolph is an All-Star. Marc Gasol made the All-Star team last season.

So guess who jumps off scouting report for the Kings before tonight's game at the Memphis Grizzlies?

Tony Allen.

February 11, 2013
The Morning After: Hayes shows versatility on defense

Chuck Hayes would like you to know he is more than a post defender.

Hayes was able to showcase that during Sunday night's 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena.

Hayes is usually called on to deal with burly post players like Utah's Al Jefferson. But with DeMarcus Cousins on the bench with foul trouble, Hayes was on the court late against the Rockets and their wide-open attack.

February 10, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Rockets

Kings 117, Rockets 111

The Kings' lone representative at the upcoming All-Star Weekend carried them to a second consecutive win Sunday night. Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings rallied to beat the Rockets at Sleep Train Arena.

It was just the seventh win in 28 games this season for the Kings when allowing their opponent to score 100 points. Houston eclipsed that mark with plenty of time remaining in the final quarter, but the Kings made enough shots down the stretch and made 16 of 16 free throws in the fourth to ice the win.

Thomas hit a three-pointer to put the Kings ahead 106-105 with 3:13 left, then went right at the Rockets' Jeremy Lin on the Kings' next possession and drew Lin's sixth foul of the game, sending Lin to the bench.

John Salmons also had 23 points for the Kings, including three big free throws after James Harden fouled him on a three-point attempt with 1:09 left. That gave the Kings a 111-107 lead, forcing the Rockets to foul in order to catch up, which they could not.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 points but hardly played in the fourth after picking up his fifth foul with 9:33 left. He did not appear again.

Harden led all scorers with 30 points and Patrick Patterson added 18 for the Rockets, who had five players in double figures.

Rockets 86, Kings 84

Carlos Delfino buried a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in the quarter to send the Rockets into the fourth with a lead. Both teams continue to shoot well -- the Rockets are at 52 percent from the floor, the Kings at 47 percent -- but the Kings got a little sloppy with the ball in the third, committing five turnovers after having just four in the first half.

Houston's James Harden leads all scorers with 25 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Delfino and Patrick Patterson have each added 13 points.

DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting but watched the end of the third quarter from the bench after picking up his fourth foul and is not on the court for the start of the fourth.

John Salmons has 13 points and Jason Thompson 12 points for the Kings. After not playing at all in the first half, guard Jimmer Fredette entered for Isaiah Thomas midway through the third and made 1 of 3 shots, a three-pointer from the top of the key. Aaron Brooks, who replaced Thomas in the first half, did not play in the third quarter.

February 10, 2013
The Morning After: Thornton's chat with Smart pays off Saturday

You'd have to be oblivious to the obvious to see that Marcus Thornton hasn't exactly been thrilled with his role as sixth man this season.

Thornton led the Kings in scoring last season (18.7 points per game), but has slipped to fourth on the team this season (11.6 ppg).

During the Kings four-day break before Saturday's win over the Utah Jazz, Thornton and coach Keith Smart met to discuss Thornton's role - specifically when he entered the game as a sub.

Smart had been putting Thornton in games very late in the first quarter or to start the second quarter.

That wasn't working for Thornton, who hadn't scored 20 points since Jan. 14 and had not looked comfortable lately.

"We kind of came to an agreement (about) checking into the game in the second quarter," Thornton said. "You have to get yourself mentally prepared and you're body's not ready. So we came to a mutual agreement that I'd check into the game around 3:30, 4 (minute mark of the first quarter). I guess from here on out I'll be checking into the game around that time."

It worked Saturday. Thornton scored 24 points.

Smart indicated it wasn't as simple of changing when Thornton entered the game. He said Thornton had to shake the "me" syndrome.

But the agreement certainly was a part of that change.

"I thought that helped him," Smart said. "I said to him a couple times in practice what you put in is what you get out of it. I thought that help him. I said to him a couple times in practice what you put in is what you get out of it."

Thornton said he felt good about his shooting leading into Saturday's game. Smart noticed that, too.

"I told him (Saturday) you had a great, high-energy shootarouind," Smart said. "One that you haven't had in a while. All of that moved around from shootaround to the actual game."

February 9, 2013
In-game blog: Kings vs. Jazz

Kings 120, Jazz 109

The Kings (18-33) ended their four-game losing streak in front of announced crowd of 16,193 on the fan-driven "Here We Buy" night at Sleep Train Arena.

The final minute of the game was dominated by a "Here We Stay!" chant, a "Sacramento" chant and the wave.

Isaiah Thomas led six Kings in double figures with 25 points. Jason Thompson added 21 points. Marcus Thornton had 24 points off the bench.

The Kings played an energized game from start to finish and it was easily their best showing since the announcement the Maloofs had reached an agreement to sell the team to a Seattle-based ownership group.

Alec Burks led Utah (28-24) with a season-high 24 points.

Kings 87, Jazz 74

The Kings have six players that have scored in double figures as they've extended their halftime lead.

Jason Thompson is leading the way with 17 points. Isaiah Thomas has 15 points. DeMarcus Cousins has 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

It's easily the Kings best showing in while, especially considering they are playing a team above .500.

The Kings have shot well enough (50.7 percent) to overcome allowing 23 points off their 12 turnovers and the Jazz shooting 50.8 percent.

It doesn't hurt when the team's leading scorers, Cousins and Tyreke Evans have combined for 12 of the 23 assists.
Al Jefferson leads Utah with 16 points.

Kings 62, Jazz 54

The Kings closed the half on a 13-4 run after the Jazz overcame a 13-point deficit to take a 50-49 lead.

The Kings already have 19 assists and only six turnovers. They're still shooting well (56.5 percent) and doing a good job of playing unselfishly for the most part.

Isaiah Thomas leads the Kings with 13 points. Jason Thompson 11 points.

Al Jefferson leads Utah with 14 points. The Jazz are shooting 57.9 percent, but have 10 turnovers.

Kings 31, Jazz 29

The Kings came out and established a quick eight-point lead. The Jazz were able to cut into the lead late in the quarter, led by guard Alec Burks with seven points.

The Kings did a lot right. They shot 56.5 percent and had 10 assists on 13 made shots. Tyreke Evans already has five assists and DeMarcus Cousins has four assists.

The Kings committed only two turnovers, too.

What the Kings have to fix is allowing the Jazz to shoot 66.7 percent. The Kings are a streaky shooting team and when they cool off in this game, they'll need to limit the Jazz to stay in the game.

February 9, 2013
Kings vs. Jazz: Five things to watch

After an extended break, the Kings play the Utah Jazz tonight. The Kings have been off since their overtime loss at Utah on Monday.

The Kings are 4-13 over the last 17 games after playing some of their best basketball before that stretch.

If the Kings are to rebound and not match their longest losing streak of the season (five games) the Kings need some strong efforts, particularly from the bench which has been inconsistent of late.

Here are five areas to watch when it comes to the reserves.

1. Jimmer's shooting: Besides scoring 14 points in a game that was way out of hand, Jimmer Fredette had a disappointing road trip. Overall he shot 36.9 percent over the last six games.
2. Chuck on the block: If Chuck Hayes can have a solid showing defending Al Jefferson that could mean less time for Jason Thompson. Thompson is coming off a season-high 23 points at Utah.
3. A big 3: With Marvin Williams starting at small forward for Utah, James Johnson might be called upon earlier than normal if Williams is able to exploit his size advantage.
4. Thornton's scoring: The leading scorer last season, Marcus Thornton's playing time and production have tailed off significantly this season as a reserve. He has to start the game off shooting well to have a better chance to stay on the floor, especially with Tyreke Evans playing better lately.
5. Robinson's activity: Keith Smart has trusted rookie Thomas Robinson's defense more late in games and tonight could be a night he's needed if the Kings have problems with Paul Millsap. Millsap's perimeter game could be an issue defensively for the Kings.

February 8, 2013
Cousins makes the call to have tech rescinded

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had one of his technical fouls had been rescinded by the league, leaving him with 11 for the season.

The rescinded technical was from the Kings' Feb. 1 loss at Philadelphia.

"I actually made the call myself," Cousins said. "Luckily enough they rescinded it and we're good."

Cousins was assessed a technical foul with 2:12 left in the third quarter against the 76ers.

Cousins dove on the floor for a steal and was called for a foul. He slammed the ball down as he sat on the floor and was whistled for the technical.

Cousins said after the game he wasn't even mad at the official at the time, he was upset he committed a foul instead of securing the ball.

Cousins is one technical ahead of Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes for most in the league.

If Cousins were to reach 16 technical fouls he would be suspended for one game and be suspended for every other technical to go with a $5,000 fine.

Cousins picked up two technical fouls and was ejected in Monday's overtime loss at Utah.

It was Cousins' league-leading third ejection.

"I'm disappointed in myself that I let my emotions get the best of me," Cousins said. "I should of just walked away but the same time I needed an explanation as to why I got the first tech, which I still haven't gotten. But it happens, I've moved on."

February 7, 2013
Isaiah Thomas added to Rising Stars Challenge

DeMarcus Cousins won't be as angry as he was last week.

Second-year guard Isaiah Thomas will be in Houston after all for the Rising Stars Challenge next Friday as part of All-Star Weekend.

Thomas and Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio were added to the pool of available first and second-year players by the game's acting commissioner, former NBA guard and current TNT analyst Kenny Smith.

Smith was drafted by the Kings in 1987.

The original pool of players was selected by a vote of NBA assistant coaches.

Had Thomas not been added, it would have been the first time since 2009 the Kings had
no representation at All-Star Weekend.

Cousins was upset over Thomas' initial exclusion, blaming the state of the Kings organization for Thomas being left out the game.

Cousins took to social media to congratulate Thomas.

Thomas is averaging 11.6 points and 3.2 assists this season, 12.7 points and 3.6 assists as a starter.

Thomas had stated being named to the game was a goal after being left out as a rookie.
Cousins was the lone participant for the Kings last season in the game.

Thomas is part of TEAM CHUCK, consisting of players drafted by Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley.

The squad will be coached by San Antonio Spurs lead assistant coach Mike Budenholzer.

February 5, 2013
The Morning After: Smart does not express concern with Cousins' maturity

SALT LAKE CITY - DeMarcus Cousins hadn't pulled punches lately with some of his postgame comments.

He'd said he couldn't keep blaming himself for the Kings losing and seemed to take shots at coach Keith Smart because he "had all the answers."

Smart said he did not thing any comments made by Cousins were a sign he had a setback in his progress to mature.

February 4, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Jazz

Jazz 98, Kings 91 (Overtime)

SALT LAKE CITY - The Kings blew a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter before falling in overtime.

The Kings lead 82-75 with 4:26 to play in regulation before the Jazz closed the game on a 9-2 run to force overtime.

Both teams had a chance to win in regulation. Tyreke Evans missed a lay up with 16.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Al Jefferson shot an airball from three-point range at the buzzer.

In the overtime the Kings could not generate enough offense, which highlighted the loss of center DeMarcus Cousins to an ejection at halftime.

Jason Thompson led the Kings (17-33) with a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. Evans had 20 points.

The Kings fell to 0-3 in overtime this season.

Randy Foye led Utah (27-22) with 20 points. Jefferson had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Kings conclude their six-game road trip with a 1-5 record and four consecutive losses.

The Kings shot 40.2 percent for the game but made up for that by forcing 22 turnovers. But only two of the turnovers came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Kings 66, Jazz 62

SALT LAKE CITY - Playing without DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings outscored the Jazz 23-18 in the third.

Jason Thompson has 17 points and seven rebounds to lead four Kings in double figures.
Sacramento's offense hasn't been great, but the Kings have made up for it by being aggressive (11 steals).

The Kings are shooting just 42.6 percent, but have scored 19 points off 20 Utah turnovers.

Al Jefferson has 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead Utah. The Jazz are shooting 51.9 percent, so if they can hold on to the ball, the Kings should be concerned.

Jazz 44, Kings 43

SALT LAKE CITY - DeMarcus Cousins has been ejected after picking up his second technical foul after the halftime buzzer.

Cousins picked up his first technical foul with 2:23 left in the second quarter from official Tre Mattox. Scott Foster gave Cousins his second when Cousins met the officials at halfcourt and continued to talk even though they said they were done talking.

Coach Keith Smart and guard Isaiah Thomas tried to step in but were too late.

Cousins spent the last two minutes of the quarter continuing to talk to officials about the first technical, waving at Mattox to leave him alone and staring them down.

It's the second time Cousins has been ejected against the Jazz this season. He was ejected form the Kings' Nov. 24 win over Utah in Sacramento.

Cousins now has 12 technical fouls, four away from an automatic one-game suspension.

Cousins had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half.

Al Jefferson led Utah with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Kings 22, Jazz 20

SALT LAKE CITY - DeMarcus Cousins made all four of his shots as the Kings led by as many as eight points to start the game.

Cousins has eight points and four rebounds to lead the Kings. Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas each have five points.

The Kings managed their turnovers well (two) and shot 58.8 percent. But the Jazz are shooting 52.9 percent.

Al Jefferson has six points and four rebounds to lead Utah.

February 4, 2013
Kings at Jazz: Five things to watch

SALT LAKE CITY - At this point a 2-4 record on the this six-game road trip would be a confidence booster, considering how the Kings have been routed in their losses on the trip.

Winning the second game won't be easy tonight against the Utah Jazz. Here are five things the Kings have to look at if they are to upset the Jazz.

1. Bad offense: Too often the Kings do not make their opponents work on defense. The first or second person that touches the ball shoots. And then the Kings, who are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, are on their heels after a miss. Some kind of offensive discipline is needed as the Kings are averaging 86.2 points in their last five games.
2. Mental toughness: the word around the league on the Kings is to jump on them early to take away their confidence and chances are you'll win. The Kings appeared to check out mentally against the Knicks in falling behind by as many as 50 points.
3. Bench production: Kings coach Keith Smart used Jimmer Fredette instead of Aaron Brooks. Fredette scored 14 points against the Knicks after the game was well out of hand. But overall, the bench has been a huge negative lately. Marcus Thornton has scored in double figures only once in the last five games. Thomas Robinson's effort has stood out, but the reserves have to provide more.
4. DeMarcus Cousins: The Kings' talented yet obviously unhappy center must put his feelings aside and play with maximum effort against Al Jefferson. These aren't the Washington Wizards so chances are the Kings can't expect to win with Cousins not fully engaged.
5. Defensive effort: Some of the Kings' showings defensively have been dreadful. Good shooters are left open, the perimeter defense is passive against penetration and the paint isn't protected. Perhaps having Sunday off gives the Kings the energy needed to put forth the effort needed to defend consistently. The Kings are allowing 104.6 points per game on the road trip.

February 3, 2013
The Morning After: Knicks play like a team while Kings don't

NEW YORK - There was a lot wrong with the Kings Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

But the biggest difference between the Kings and the Knicks was the Knicks played for their coach and each other while the Kings appeared to play with separate agendas.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson has an opportunity to coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars so his players rallied to make something happen.

February 2, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Knicks

Knicks 120, Kings 81

NEW YORK - The Kings endured their most embarrassing loss of the season, falling behind by as many as 50.

The Kings (17-32) are 1-4 on their six-game road trip that ends Monday at Utah.

The Knicks' regulars spent the final quarter on the bench enjoying the rout that began with a run in the first quarter to take the lead after trailing 18-6.

The Knicks (30-15) took 86 shots, 43 of them from three-point range. New York made 19 threes, the most by a Kings opponent this season.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 25 points and nine rebounds but a the worst plus/minus on the team (minus-34).

New York's bench was stellar, led by J.R. Smith with 25 points. Amar'e Stoudemire had 21 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the field.

Knicks 97, Kings 52

NEW YORK - The Knicks are doing whatever they want at this point and the Kings are offering little resistance.

*The Kings trailed by 46 in the third quarter, their biggest of the season.

*The Kincks Tyson Chandler has 20 rebounds - the Kings have 20 rebounds.

*The Knicks' bench has 59 points. That's 50 more than the Kings' bench, seven more than the entire team.

*DeMarcus Cousins has 25 points and nine rebounds, but his numbers have meant little tonight.

*J.R. Smith has 25 points for the Knicks.

*The 41 points scored by the Knicks in the third are the most by an opponent in a quarter this season.

Knicks 56, Kings 33

NEW YORK - The Knicks continued their domination. The 19-4 run to end the first quarter stretched over into the second and they've outscored the Kings 50-15 since trailing 18-6.

The Kings have defended terribly, more than once leaving Steve Novak open for three pointers (he made all four) and have been even worse on offense (13-for-39 shooting).

The Knicks' bench has outscored the Kings 36-33, led by Amar'e Stoudemire's 13 points and Novak with 12.

The Kings have also been outrebounded 30-15. Tyson Chandler has 13 rebounds, which ties the most by an opponent in a half this season against the Kings.

The Knicks made nine three pointers, matching the most made by an oppponet.

DeMarcus Cousins has 12 points and seven rebounds for the Kings.

Knicks 25, Kings 22

NEW YORK - After jumping out to an 18-6 lead, the Kings were outscored 19-4 to close the quarter.

The Knicks gained momentum by going to their bench. J.R. Smith (eight points) and Amar'e Stoudemire (seven points) sparked the run.

DeMarcus Cousins has 10 points and six rebounds for the Kings. Tyreke Evans has seven points.

The Knicks shot just 10-for-25, but had seven offensive rebounds.

February 2, 2013
Kings at Knicks: Five things to watch

NEW YORK - The bench has been a mess lately. The defense has been laughable at times and the team's leading scorer, DeMarcus Cousins, is publicly questioning the head coach.

Outside of that, there's nothing noteworthy about the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings play the New York Knicks tonight where this road trip could get even worse if the Kings don't change a few things from their three losses on this six-game trip.

February 2, 2013
The Morning After: The minuses of the second unit

PHILADELPHIA - The Kings have been outscored 64-30 in the second quarter of their last two games.

One constant in that stretch has been the game getting out of hand with the reserves in during the second quarter.

Here are how the plus/minus breakdowns for some of the key backups in the last two games:

February 1, 2013
In-game blog: Kings at Sixers

Sixers 89, Kings 80

PHILADELPHIA - The Kings rallied to take a 73-72 lead with 10:34 to play after trailing by 19 points.

From there, the Sixers owned the game, limiting the Kings to seven points the rest of the game.

A season-high 29 points from Tyreke Evans wasn't enough to overcome three quarters of bad defense by the Kings and an offensively-inept fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas had 24 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (17-31).

Thaddeus Young had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Sixers (20-26). The Sixers have won consecutive games for the first time since November.

Sixers 72, Kings 68

PHILADELPHIA - The Kigns finally started to play some defense and now they're in the ball game.

The Kings force five turnovers in the third in holding the Sixers to 18 points. By playing a smaller lineup of four perimeter players around DeMarcus Cousins the Kings got into the open floor and scored in transition.

Tyreke Evans led the way with 13 points in the third and now has 26 points. DeMarcus Cousins has 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Nick Young has 17 points for the Sixers. Jrue Holiday has 15 points and seven assists. Thaddeus Young has 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sixers shot 6-for-18 in the quarter while the Kings were 11-for-20.

Sixers 54, Kings 39

PHILADELPHIA - The Kings still can't stop the Sixers, who are shooting 56.1 percent. Meanwhile the Kings have helped the Sixers with eight turnovers that have led to 11 points.

The Kings have also been outrebounded 23-14.

The Kings trailed by as many as 19 points in the second quarter with the lead swelling to double digits against a group of five reserves.

Tyreke Evans has 13 points for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins has eight points and eight rebounds but also has four turnovers.

Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young each have 13 points for the Sixers.

James Johnson is out for the game for the Kings due to illness.

Sixers 27, Kings 23

PHILADELPHIA - The Kings have allowed the Sixers to get out in transition (eight fast break points) and shoot 60 percent to start the game.

The Kings haven't been horrible on offense (45.5 percent shooting, six assists on 10 made shots) but they have to get a handle on the Sixers defensively, considering they are 28th in the league in scoring.

Tyreke Evans has seven points and two assists. DeMarcus Cousins has six points and six rebounds.

Jrue Holidy has seven points for the Sixers. Evan Turner already has five assists.

February 1, 2013
Kings at 76ers: Five things to watch

PHILADELPHIA - The Kings have a lot of bad habits. And considering this is the last game of this road trip against a team below .500, it might be the Kings best chance to steal another road win.

Here are a few things the Kings can do to beat the Philadelphia 76ers.

1. Start better: The Kings are 4-26 when trailing at halftime this season. Wednesday's game at Boston was over after a 37-14 second quarter that the Celtics dominated.
2. No third quarter follies: The Kings are 3-27 when trailing after the third quarter.
3. Keep the game close: The Kings have a knack for losing big. The Kings have lost by 10 or more 21 times this season. The Kings are outscored by an average of 9.7points on the road.
4. Share and protect the ball: The Kings are 1-7 when they have more turnovers than assists. Sacramento had 19 turnovers and 13 assists Wednesday.
5. The century watch: The Kings are 5-20 when allowing teams to score over 100-plus points. The Sixers are 28th in the NBA at 93.38 points per game.

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