Join Jason Jones and other reporters and observers for live coverage of the game between the Kings and Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C.. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.
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December 17, 2013
Join Jason Jones and other reporters and observers for live coverage of the game between the Kings and Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C.. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
December 15, 2013
Join Jason Jones, Ailene Voisin and other reporters and observers for live coverage of the game between the Kings and Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
December 13, 2013
Join Jason Jones and other reports and observers in Phoenix for live coverage of the game between the Kings and Suns. Coverage begins at 5 p.n.. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
December 11, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday evening from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 6 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
December 9, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday evening from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 6 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
December 7, 2013
Follow The Bee's Jason Jones along with other reporters and observers covering the game between the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz from EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Dec. 7. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. for the game beginning at 6.
December 6, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 6 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
December 3, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday evening from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 6 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
November 30, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game with the Golden State Warriors on Saturday afternoon from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 2 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
November 29, 2013
Join The Bee's Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin and many more observers checking in live from the Kings game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night from Sleep Train Arena. Reporting begins at 6 p.m., and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
November 20, 2013
In the second game of back-to-back meetings, the Kings are in Phoenix to play the Suns. Gametime is 6 p.m., but coverage on our live blog begins at 5 p.m.
November 19, 2013
The Kings play the first game of a back-to-back home-and-home set with the Phoenix Suns, beginning with tonight's 7 o'clock game at Sleep Train Arena. Coverage begins on our live blog at 6 p.m.
November 17, 2013
Playing an afternoon game, the Kings face the Memphis Grizzlies at 3 p.m. Follow the action via our live blog with coverage beginning at 2 p.m.
November 15, 2013
Looking for a second consecutive victory, the Kings play host to the Detroit Pistons at 7 o'clock tonight at Sleep Train Arena. Follow the game via our live blog beginning at 6 p.m.
November 4, 2013
Kings head coach Michael Malone said he had a miserable Sunday because of his team's drubbing the previous night against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.
But three games into an 82-game season, it's good to know he hasn't lost his sense of humor (and he often jokes about being an Irish-Catholic from New York).
After Monday's practice, he began his media session with the following tongue-in-cheek remarks:
"I feel like I have to go to church, go to confession. 'Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I wasn't a good husband yesterday. I wasn't a good father yesterday.' "
Then, in all seriousness, he added: "I just hate losing, and I understand this is going to be a process, and we're going to take our lumps, and the team we are today will not be the team we are a year from now. I get that, but I still can't get over how we played, and the effort we brought forth to start that game is so disappointing.
The good thing about the NBA? There is little between games. The Atlanta Hawks make their only visit to Sleep Train Arena tomorrow night.
November 1, 2013
Replay Friday night's Kings game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena.
October 31, 2013
After an altogether crazy night at Sleep Train Arena - there is no sleep after this particular opener - here are a few final thoughts, observations, musings:
When NBA Commissioner David Stern made his grand entrance, literally walking down the purple carpet outside the security desk, some of the fans chanted his name. One longtime fan, who was holding photos of Kings players and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson shouted, "Thank you, Commissioner. You're our hero!" I approached her a few minutes later to hear more of her thoughts, and was given an earful. Joyce Dovelli, 55, a licensed family therapist, swears the Kings uncertain future contributed to domestic discord. "A lot of people who came in were stressed out about the Kings leaving," she said. When I asked, 'Are you kidding?' she grinned, then replied, "Actually, no."
It was appropriate that Jason Thompson, the longest tenure King, scored the deciding basket - a putback off a DeMarcus Cousins miss.
Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive and minority owner Mark Mastrov were among the many VIPs who lingered long after the game ended, chatting in the hallways, soaking up the moment with their friends and families.
The tribute to Stern between the first and second periods featured brief comments by Johnson and Ranadive, and was a nice touch. But we should have heard from Stern, too. In other words, the presenting Stern with the key to the city was great, but he should have been handed the microphone.
Because of there was much going on within the arena preceding the game, I missed the cricket demonstration with Ranadive and Shaq. Bummer.
Finally, pass-first point guard Greivis Vasquez is a delight; Isaiah Thomas is probably a much-better player than the new front office anticipated; DeMarcus Cousins is going to have an excellent season; rookie Ben McLemore is going to improve the Kings' dreadful off-ball movement when he gains some experience; and in an organization with an abundance of dynamic, diverse personalities, rookie head coach Michael Malone is an interesting combination of intensity, intelligence and humor.
October 30, 2013
Follow the Kings as they play the Denver Nuggets in their 2013-14 NBA season opener at Sleep Train Arena beginning at 7 p.m.
October 30, 2013
The ongoing attempts to make Sleep Train Arena comfortable for the next three years, or however long it takes to complete the downtown arena project, has brought one-time adversaries together: Rann Haight, who designed Arco I and was the architect of Arco II, and more recently worked with the local group that pushed (unsuccessfully) for a complete renovation of the current building, was approached by the new regime and asked to help with the current upgrades.
Haight, who lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, took the job and, within about 90 days, oversaw transformation of the hallway leading to the media lounge, owners' suites and family room, and partial relocation of the visitors locker room.
"I really appreciated the opportunity," Haight said before tipoff. "Sacramento is very lucky to have new owners (led by Vivek Ranadive) willing to invest whatever it takes for the next three-four years."
October 30, 2013
The list of activities scheduled for Wednesday's pre-game FanFest includes everything from a Purple Carpet stroll by NBA Commissioner David Stern, among others, and a cricket demonstration - that is not a typo - set near the Southeast side of Sleep Train Arena at approximately 5 p.m.
The participants include Kings majority owner and India native Vivek Ranadive, minority owners Shaquille O'Neal and Roger Craig, along with team advisor Chris Mullin. What else can I telll you? Before engaging in some light reading about India's most popular sport earlier this evening, everything I knew about India's most popular sport (very little) was gleaned from watching episodes of "Downton Abbey."
Just for fun: The sport known as "the gentleman's game" is played with a bat and a ball, and with 11 players per team on a 22-yard long pitch. Can't wait to see Shaq in that outfit, either.
October 23, 2013
Kings-Warriors felt like a preseason game - which it was - until it didn't. Despite the turnovers (25), the lack of ball/body movement (17 assists) and sloppy play throughout, the Kings' rallied from a 17-point deficit in what became another very intense, heated contest between Northern California's NBA teams. The theatrics included the following: DeMarcus Cousins and Andrew Bogut exchanging words and elbows. Isaiah Thomas and Steph Curry in a little staredown (with Cousins playing peacemaker) near midcourt. David Lee running into the visitors locker room after being inadvertently popped in the mouth and bloodied during a scrum with Patrick Patterson.
Ok, and that was the on-court stuff. The off-court drama is almost as compelling given the numerous relationships and connections between Kings new owners Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov, GM Pete D'Alessandro, coach Michael Malone, advisor Chris Mullin, etc., and the Warriors ownership and front office. Again, this is only preseason, but in a very classy gesture, GSW GM Bob Myers and assistant GM Kirk Lacob walked across the court afterward and shook hands with Ranadive and Mastrov.
And who says preseason and/or wins and losses between these two teams doesn't matter? Ranadive arrived shortly before tipoff after attending the Board of Governors meetings in New York.
October 23, 2013
I don't know what it is about NBA centers born outside the United States, but within the past 25 years alone, they are a very interesting group.
My recent conversation with Kings training camp invitee Hamady Ndiaye - as profiled Wednesday in The Bee - tweaked my memory about the NBA's league's recent cast of 7-foot international characters. Just to name a few of the more outgoing types: Dikembe Mutombo (Congo), Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), Samuel Dalembert (Haiti), Rik Smits (Netherlands), Yao Ming (China) and the late Manute Bol (Sudan).
Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) was always warm and engaging when you got him away from Georgetown and, later, the New York Knicks. The deep-voiced, finger-watting Mutombo, known as "Deke," is in a league of his own. Kings coach Michael Malone reminded us the other day about his booming personality and "cookie monster" vocals.
September 26, 2013
While speaking with league sources about the four-year contract extension DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to with the Kings in principle, I learned another interesting bit of information: NBA Commissioner David Stern plans to attend the Kings home/season opener Oct. 30 at Sleep Train Arena. I am assuming Stern will be in Miami the previous night for the championship ring ceremony at the Heat-Bulls game, and then just hop onto his private jet for the 3,000-mile flight to California.
No one should be surprised. Keeping the Kings in Sacramento has been on Stern's 'to do" list for at least a decade. And, obviously, his relationship with Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, and former Golden State Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive - who had been itching to become a majority partner - facilitated the sale of the team and the proposed downtown arena. After this ordeal, there is no way the Commissioner, who retires Feb. 1, misses out on the emotional opening night celebration.
September 23, 2013
I caught up with Shaquille O'Neal after he had finished eating his appetizers at a midtown restaurant (Zocalo) earlier tonight, and he was his usual charming, teasing self. For anyone who might have slept throughout the day Monday, the Kings old Lakers nemesis is joining the Kings ownership group headed by Vivek Ranadive. The dinner was hosted by Ranadive - his arm in his sling because of shoulder injuries suffered in his recent bicycling accident - and attended by minority owner Mark Mastrov (Shaq's close friend), head coach Michael Malone, consultant Chris Mullen, and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
The former Lakers star, who famously tweaked Kings fans with his hilarious verbal digs about Queens and flopping and Rick Adelman and poetry during the spectacular Western Conference finals in 2002 - all of which I write about in Tuesday's print edition of The Bee - sounded serious about mentoring Cousins, who was seated to his left, and planned on spending significant time in Sacramento. He also said he remain with TNT and continue as an analyst on their award-winning studio show.
As for the reaction of Kings fans who will never forget 2002? Their arch rival is impossible not to like. It's only a matter of time before Shaq is completely embraced by the community, say, one press conference and 24 hours or less.
September 3, 2013
Rookie Ben McLemore must be a little prescient. A short while ago on Twitter, he alerted Kings fans that he was changing his jersey from No.16 to No.17 "for a good reason." Like the fact the organization plans to retire Peja Stojakovic's No.16 jersey in the near future? No confirmation yet - and nothing is imminent - but that's very likely the plan.
Meantime, McLemore will stick with No.16 at least for the upcoming season.
"We have considered retiring Peja's number," said team president Chris Granger, "and he certainly deserves that honor. (But) at this time, that's all I will say."
August 29, 2013
While I was finishing an hour-long interview with new Kings coach Michael Malone in his office at the Sacramento Kings practice facility, there was a knock on the door. Who walks in? Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro, accompanied by a grinning Vlade Divac.
The former Kings center - whose No.21 jersey hangs from the rafters inside Sleep Train Arena - was coy about the purpose for his visit and said he planned to remain in Sacramento very briefly.
When I asked if he would be joining the new regime as an international scout or in some other capacity, he just laughed.
Currently, the Kings icon lives in Belgrade, where he heads Serbia's Olympic effort.
"The most important thing is that the Kings stayed," said Divac, who as usual, was wearing jeans and a short-sleeved T-shirt. "It will take some time (returning to elite status). People have to be patient. But the team is here."
Before walking off toward the practice facility with D'Alessandro, Divac said he would be back in town for the Kings home opener against Denver.
July 25, 2013
LAS VEGAS - A one-week visit to my adopted hometown is more than enough. Our Kings beat writer, Jason Jones, has solo duties tonight at the U.S. national team scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center.
But a few thoughts before packing for the flight home:
July 23, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro had planned to be here to watch Monday's opening day practice at USA Basketball's mini-training camp, and of course, primarily to see how DeMarcus Cousins responded to USAB czar Jerry Colangelo's olive branch. (DMC looked a little sluggish, but nothing that a few more windsprints won't cure).
Instead, D'Alessandro flew to Indianapolis for Greg Oden's early Tuesday workout and planned to arrive here in the evening. Assistant GM Mike Bratz and player personnel director Shareef Abdur-Rahim are filling in, and head coach Michael Malone is expected to attend the noon practice at UNLV.
The Kings are looking at the injury-riddled Oden - as our Kings beat writer has written the past several days - as a backup to Cousins, who is among a very impressive gathering of young NBA stars participating in this four-day mini-camp. The goal, of course, is to earn a spot on next summer's World Cup squad and the 2016 Olympic team, but the real question is: Who isn't here? Monday's scrimmages on the two adjacent courts at UNLV's Mendenhall Center featured Anthony Davis, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Ryan Anderson, Kyrie Irving, Kenneth Faried ...
July 22, 2013
LAS VEGAS - For those who might have been wondering, the Maloofs have maintained an extremely low profile throughout the NBA Summer League and today's opening scrimmage of the USA Basketball mini-camp.
Their longtime spokesman, Troy Hansen, who has remained with the family as a publicist for their other businesses (including ZING vodka), said there are no immediate plans to chat with representatives from the Sacramento media market.
He added that the brothers also don't want to detract from the attention new Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive continues to receive.
July 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS - After a mildly scalding scolding from head coach Michael Malone, the Kings broke a four-game losing streak with a 93-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday in their Summer League finale. Rookies Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum produced their best efforts of the week, and were particularly effective in the second half.
McLemore, who was 0-for-8 in his previous outing, scored 27 points on a variety of deep three's, stepback jumpers and dunks. He also grabbed nine rebounds. McCallum contributed 12 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists, including a perfect lead pass to McCallum for a ferocious one-handed dunk that electrified the crowd in the Cox Pavilion - and brought DeMarcus Cousins and the other Kings players to their feet.
Cousins arrived shortly before tipoff and joined his teammates on the bench. He takes part in the Team USA training camp that begins Monday.
McCallum, who combined with McLemore for several of his assists, nominated the Kansas Jayhawk standout's dunk for ESPN's nightly highlights. "I think it's going to be No.1 on SportsCenter," said the rookie point guard. "It has to be. It might look different being on the court, but it was a big-time play. We got a rebound. I leaked out, called for outlet, saw him running the floor, gave him a little shovel pass, and next thing I know, I looked up and he's throwing it down."
More importantly to Malone, the Kings finished their Summer League (1-4) with a victory.
"We won the game today how we want to play," said the first-year head coach. "We defended at a high level. We took care of the basketball. And our two young guys had great games. "
July 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Now that things have cooled down in Sacramento ....
Longtime NBA president Joel Litvin, who for years has been intimately involved in the Kings arena/relocation issues, stayed in town after the league's executive board meeting Thursday to watch some of the Summer League games. While this meant Litvin didn't get to accompany David Stern and Adam Silver on their charter flight back to New York late Thursday night, he's not complaining.
"I love this," said Litvin, who plays weekly in a competitive basketball league in Westchester County, N.Y. "I've been in the gym all day."
While remaining indoors makes complete sense given the extreme heat wave battering much of the country, he also revealed a more aggressive escape plan: He is taking his family to Iceland next month. Why Iceland? Need we ask?
"Because it's Iceland," he replied, grinning.
July 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Scotty Stirling, who was among Kings personnel officials who lost a job in the ownership change, is here at the Summer League, looking for work and enjoying one of his favorite events. Stirling, who lived in the Bay Area throughout his tenure under Geoff Petrie, says he has spoken with several teams about doing advance and college scouting and believes he has a verbal agreement with at least one East Coast team. "I love coming here for this," said Stirling. "This is where it (NBA careers) starts."
Another longtime Kings executive who was laid off last October by the Maloorfs - security director Jack Peirson - has been working security for the league throughout the tournament and expects to stay through next week's Team USA training camp. Peirson, who worked for the Lakers at the Forum and Staples Center before coming to Sacramento, is pursuing fulltime opportunities in three cities.
Peirson, in particular, was a familiar figure at Sleep Train Arena.
LAS VEGAS - The flurry of personnel moves and coaching changes ongoing within the league - the good and the bad - will reveal themselves within a matter of time. They always do. But this one's a slam dunk: The Charlotte Hornets once again will be known as the Charlotte Hornets, beginning in 2014-15.
Can teal uniforms with the pinstripes be part of the agenda?
For those who might have forgotten, Charlotte's original expansion franchise, formed in 1988 as the "Hornets," played in the 22,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum. Known as "The Hive" because successful plays were accompanied by the unrelenting buzzing of bees, the Hornets sold out for seven consecutive seasons before owner George Shinn self-destructed, gutted his roster and totally alienated the powers-that-be while attempting to partner with the city on a new arena. Frustrated by his inability to secure a new facility, Shinn pushed for relocation to New Olreans, and despite persistent push-back from NBA Commissioner David Stern and other high-ranking league officials, was reluctantly granted approval by the Board of Governors.
Tuesday was an unusual day for the Kings, even by their recent standards. We will have more to say about the acquisition of small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - like this move very much - as well as the earlier moves for Greivis Vasquez and Carl Landry - like these moves as well. But the addition of Dee Brown as the Kings player development coach will serve as a constant reminder of how much this community misses the WNBA: Brown, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1990 and was fortunate enough to experience the final seasons of the Bird-McHale-Parish-DJ combination, is the former head coach of the (defunct) Orlando Miracle and the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars.
Besides all of the above, we sports writers always appreciated the fact that, even though surrounded with the dynamic personalities within that fabled Cetlics locker room, he chimed right in.
July 4, 2013
The Kings will not match the four-year, $44 million offer sheet that Tyreke Evans has agreed to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans. According to sources close to the situation, the new Kings management group instead is hoping to close Thursday on a sign-and-trade agreement involving Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez and backup center Robin Lopez.
No deals can be finalized until July 10.
Because Evans, the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, is a restricted free agent, the Kings have the right to match any offer he receives in the open market. However, team officials reportedly believe the offer is excessive and would damage the team's long-term salary cap flexibility. They pulled their four-year, $52 million offer to free agent Andre Iguodala Tuesday when the Denver Nuggets swingman refused to make a firm commitment.
Evans' future with the Kings became less certain when the club selected Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore last Thursday in the NBA Draft. Evans, who was shifted from point guard to small forward, and most recently, shooting guard, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season.
June 21, 2013
There were too many blowouts for me to rate this championship series as a classic, but Games 6 and 7 represented the best of the NBA. I have covered this league since 1981, sat courtside for the Finals duels with Bird, Magic, Jordan, Charles, Stockton, Malone, Kobe, Shaq, etc., and these last two games were magical. This was compelling old-school basketball, with none of the flexing (see Dwight Howard) or nonsense that too often detracts from today's game. This was passing, shooting, defense, teamwork, unselfishness, major contributions from role players (Shane Battier) and emerging stars (Kawhi Leonard), and mostly, the greatness of future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Tim Duncan.
A few final thoughts:
* Duncan is 37 years old. Two years ago, he converts that two-footer (or the putback) over the smaller Battier that would have tied the game. He still finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals - this, coming off his 30-point, 17-rebound performance in Game 6. Who does that at 37?
* Tony Parker's hamstring injury was probably far more serious than the Spurs let on. While LeBron deserves major credit for his defense, there is no way a healthy Parker goes scoreless in a seventh game if he's healthy.
* Despite bad knees, Wade always produces in the clutch.
* Manu Ginobili always produces in the post-game interview session.
* This enduring perception that LeBron should be punished for leaving Cleveland is beyond ridiculous. Yes, we all have soft spots for the superstars who begin and end their careers with the same franchise (Bird, Magic, Stockton, etc.), but go back and look at the Cleveland Cavaliers roster that reached the 2007 NBA Finals against these same Spurs. The Cavs had seven years to provide a supporting cast for LeBron. Seven years. That's on them.
* Interest in the Game 7 prompted owners of my corner restaurant to turn on the overhead television - for the first time since I've been buying salads-to-go for the past 15 years. Just guessing, but the TV ratings must be a records-buster.
* Kudos to Heat president Pat Riley (for continuing to put the players and coaches in place) and owner Micky Arison for celebrating David Stern during the post-game trophy presentation. As Arison noted, this is Stern's last championship series, and given the Commissioner's contributions to his league, this is a grand finale. Also, for those in Sacramento? Arison, who is a member of the finance/relocation committee, was an unwavering backer of keeping the Kings in town.
June 12, 2013
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo had issues with DeMarcus Cousins in the opening days of the national team training camp last summer in Las Vegas, but apparently, that's all in the past. Cousins accepted an invitation to participate in the July 22-25 national team mini-camp, again in Las Vegas. The list of invitees is a who's who of young NBA stars, among them Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Ryan Anderson, Damian Lillard, John Wall, and Kawhi Leonard, to name a few.
Players competing in the mini-camp enhances their prospects for being named to the national squad for the 2014-16 international season, including the 2016 Olympics. Mike Kryzyewski returns as head coach, with Jim Boeheim, Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau as his assistants.
Of greatest significance for Cousins? The list of 27 players only includes three other centers - Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and Andre Drummond. Despite his early issues with Colangelo, Cousins also received strong public endorsements last summer from Kobe Bryant, along with private praise within USAB for his effort during the majority of the training session.
"DeMarcus and I talked," Colangelo said the other day. "He has another chance. He did a lot of things well last summer."
June 11, 2013
The Kings were one of three teams fined by the league Tuesday for statements, remarks, conduct, etc., that could be construed as "tampering" with a player who is currently under contract. In a slight slip of the tongue during his introductory press conference 10 days ago, rookie coach Michael Malone mentioned that Chris Paul "would look good in a Kings uniform."
An assistant in New Orleans when the veteran point guard was with the Hornets, Malone was responding to a question about his relationship with the Clippers free-agent-to-be.
"The Kings organization accepts the league's decision and regret any infraction of the policy," team spokesman Chris Clark said. The amount of the fine was not disclosed. The Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks were also fined.
June 10, 2013
Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who has discussed the Kings GM vacancy with new owner Vivek Ranadive and was said to be at least mildly intrigued, told team officials that he is no longer interested in the position. Bird sat out the 2012-13 season and is weighing whether to return to the Indiana Pacers - where he has an open invitation to resume his role as the team's top basketball executive - or to extend his sabbatical a second season, both for personal and health reasons.
Bird, 56, is the highest profile candidate on Ranadive's wish list. The incoming owner is continuing to speak with a number of individuals about his club's most important front office position, and has interviewed Chris Wallace, Travis Schlenk, David Morway, Mike Dunleavy and Chris Mullin, among others.
Former Kings star Chris Webber, who for years has expressed a desire to rejoin his former club in a personnel capacity, also met with Ranadive on at least one occasion, and his TNT cohort (and one-time King) Kenny Smith on Monday revealed that he has spoken to the new owners about a personnel position.
In the absence of a GM, head coach Michael Malone continues to supervise pre-draft workouts at the Kings practice facility.
New Kings coach Michael Malone, who spent 12 seasons as an assistant, might rue the day he joined the head coaching brotherhood. Job security there is not. The Denver Nuggets firing of George Karl Thursday - and assuming the Memphis Grizzlies' officially cut Lionel Hollins loose - means that more than one-third of the league's coaches were fired. To be precise, 12 of 30 head coaches were fired, including six who led their teams into the playoffs.
I can't remember a time when the coaching market was flooded with so many competent and accomplished candidates (Nate McMillan, Hollins, Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Doug Collins, etc.), and certainly none moreso than the Nuggets' Karl. In his ninth and final season in Denver, Karl led a balanced, but moderately talented team to a franchise-record 57 victories. The injuries to Danilo Gallinari (out for year), Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson hampered the Nuggets and contributed mightily to their first-round elimination by the Golden State Warriors. And it goes without saying that it's extremely difficult in this league to win without at least two legitimate stars.
Karl's inability to get the Nuggets beyond the first round, coupled with his request for a contract extension and more security, reportedly prompted team president Josh Kroenke to part ways with the second key Nuggets figure (Masai Ujiri) in the past several days. But Kroenke may have a few regrets this time next year, because no coach in this league squeezes more out of his talent than George Karl. A two-time cancer survivor and future Hall of Famer, Karl wins wherever he goes. He won't be out of work long.
After being formally introduced as the Kings head coach Monday, Michael Malone didn't discourage speculation about his new team's possible pursuit of free-agent-to-be Chris Paul. Among other things, the Clippers point guard is upset because Clips owner Donald Sterling told reporters that coach Vinny Del Negro was fired because his most important players - Paul and Blake Griffin - weren't fans. More importantly, Malone, who spent 12 years as an NBA assistant before landing the Kings job, became close with Paul when the two were with the New Orleans Hornets.
"Obviously, Chris would look pretty good in a Sacramento Kings uniform without a doubt," Malone said. "He's a great friend, somebody I had a great relationship with when I spent time with him in New Orleans. We stay in touch. He's got a lot of things going on right now. As I told him recently, I care about him. I hope he's okay, and whatever decision he makes is best for him and his family, and I'll always be rooting for him."
And, by the way, the name is Michael. Malone's father, Brendan, who will be an assistant on the Kings coaching staff, said no one in the family has ever called him "Mike." The family's deep Irish Catholic roots were apparent during the media session: Michael Malone's daughters, Caitlin (8) and Bridget (6), have thick red hair.
So, as it turns out, while many spectators in Sleep Train Arena last April 17 were wondering if the Kings would ever play another game in Sacramento, Grant Hill, one of the greatest players and most respected NBA players of his era, was sitting on the visitors bench with the Los Angeles Clippers, weeks from announcing his retirement.
Sadly, chronic ankle problems prevented him from reaching his full potential and ending his 18 seasons with an induction into the Hall of Fame. Before the injuries and the surgeries, he was a 6-foot-8 combination of grace, guile and explosiveness. He was a big cat - with terrific ballhandling skills. I'll never forget the first time I saw the former Duke standout play in person: in Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum during his freshman year.
On a team that included Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner, it was obvious that the slinky small forward, who scored, rebounded, passed and defended, already was the best player on the floor. When I caught up with Mike Krzyzewski outside the locker room afterward, I offered my first impressions - that his small forward was going to be tremendous - and asked if I was overstating Hill's abilities. Krzyzewski, whom I had gotten to know during the Dream Team Tour of 1992, smiled and shook his head.
May 16, 2013
DALLAS - Where to begin? While the NBA owners were expected to endorse the relocation committee's recommendation and keep the Kings in Sacramento, the scene at the Hilton Anatole these past two days was filled with tension, drama, anger, and perhaps surprisingly, more than an occasional display of humor and humility.
As I pack up for the flight to Oakland for Game Six of the Western Conference semifinal between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, here are a few final thoughts, observations and tidbits:
To be perfectly honest, my first trip to Indianapolis wasn't all that memorable. It was during the 1981-82 NBA season, and after a game between two dreadful teams - Clippers and Pacers - the late, great Indianapolis Star beat writer Dave Overpeck took me out for something to eat and drink. At the time, the late-night choices were limited. We had a choice between a place called The Slippery Noodle and a place called the The Slippery Noodle.
Use your imagination, folks. I don't even want to know if the place still exists.
I write about the Pacers' history and their resilient fan base in Friday's Bee, but it's hard to summarize this franchise and the transformation of this city in 25 or so inches. Forget about the fact Indianapolis has become one of the world's sports destination cities - a place for NCAA Tournaments, All-Star Games, Super Bowls, World Basketball Championships, etc.
Indy comes highly recommended (by me) for two specific reasons: First, there is no basketball facility that remotely compares with the authenticity of the Hoosiers-themed Bankers Life Fieldhouse that seats just over 18,000 and actually feels like a place built for basketball. And secondly, the compact, vibrant downtown that now features dozens of hotels and restaurants, is one of the great walking cities in America. (Who can ever forget the sight of a devastated George Karl walking toward the Marriott Hotel after Team USA's historic epic loss in the 2002 World Basketball Championships?)
Plus, what's not to embrace about the Pacer People? Ah, yes, the Pacer People. Before earplugs were required at Arco Arena and everyone started gushing about decibel levels at the Warriors' Oracle Arena, the noise at Market Square Arena was comparable to the best of the best - the old Boston Garden, the old Chicago Stadium, the Salt Palace and even the new palace in Salt Lake City. My ears are still ringing from the sounds of the engines roaring - and, yes, they pumped in the faux noise back in the day - but mostly from the enthusiasm of the crowds.
Small markets don't necessarily do it better, and in fact, they have to work harder. Maybe that's why they tend to be louder.
May 2, 2013
OAKLAND - While walking toward a back staircase that leads to the press section, I happened upon prospective Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and his son, Andre. Ranadive, the Warriors vice-chairman who will sell his shares in the GSW if his group's offer to buy the Kings goes through, was friendly, but didn't want to say much while the process is ongoing.
Andre Ranadive, however, quickly volunteered that he was a huge fan of the Kings' teams that featured Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, and Peja Stojakovic, among others.
The NBA's relocation committee voted unanimously last Monday to block the Kings move to Seattle. An investment group that is headed by Ranadive and included the Jacobs family, Chris Kelly, Mark Mastrov and Mark Friedman submitted a backup offer of $341 million for the Maloofs majority interest in the Kings. The parties are expected to negotiate these next two weeks, with the full Board of Governors expected to meet on May 15. Historically, the league's owners rubber stamp the sales and relocation recommendations provided by their committees.
May 2, 2013
OAKLAND - Warriors President and CEO Rick Welts, who commutes to Sacramento where he lives with his partner, Todd Gage, and Gage's two children, said he was "thrilled" by the relocation committee's unanimous vote rejecting the Kings' move to Seattle. Welts suggested, however, that Santiago, 8, and Amanda, 12, were even more excited by the 7-0 outcome. "I'm not sure they're ready to dump their Warriors gear for Kings gear," Welts added laughing, before Game Six of the Golden State-Denver series, "but they probably do that when I'm not around anyway."
A few minutes prior to tipoff, Nuggets coach George Karl, though a former coach and longtime fan of the city of Seattle, pulled me aside in the hallway. "I was really happy for the fans back in Sac," he said. "They deserve to keep their team."
January 12, 2013
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 ....
December 16, 2012
Nuggets 122, Kings 97
The Nuggets sat their starters the entire fourth quarter and still scored the most points allowed by the Kings this season. Denver shot 54 percent, led by reserve center Javale McGee, who scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Isaiah Thomas had 20 points for the Kings, mostly on 13-of-15 free-throw shooting. DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Kings (7-16) have now lost four consecutive games after their season-best three-game winning streak. They play tomorrow night at Phoenix.
Nuggets 97, Kings 67
This one has gotten away from the Kings. Six different players are in double figures for the Nuggets, led by Danilo Gallinari (18 points) and Javale McGee (17 off the bench).
The Kings' season-high number of points allowed is 119. That's certainly within reach for the Nuggets, who are shooting 59 percent.
DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson both have double-doubles for the Kings, Cousins with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Thompson with 16 and 10.
Ty Lawson hit a three-pointer over Thompson with 6:37 left in the quarter to give the Nuggets a 26-point lead, their largest at the time. Thompson spun away in frustration and Kings coach Keith Smart got up and called a timeout.
There have been no outbursts from Smart toward his team, after he lit into them during a timeout during the Kings' loss to Oklahoma City on Friday. But Smart did pick up a technical foul for walking to half-court and barking at the officials after Cousins went up for a shot, drew significant contact and was not awarded a foul.
It was the third technical for the Kings in the game. They now have 16 on the season.
Cousins has not been pleased with the officiating on several plays. With 1:19 left in the quarter he went in for a dunk attempt, clanged it off the rim and was left looking around in vain for a foul.
November 12, 2012
DeMarcus Cousins' agent told me a few minutes ago that the Players Association is appealing the two-game suspension the third-year center received for what the league characterized as "confronting" San Antonio Spurs television analyst Sean Elliott in a "hostile manner" following Saturday's Kings-Spurs game at Sleep Train Arena.
According to John Greig, the union is continuing to investigate the matter, but already is convinced the penalty is too severe. Cousins was informed of the two-game penalty and did not play in the Kings-Lakers game Sunday in Staples Center. The immediate goal is to get the suspension lifted prior to tomorrow's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Calls to the Players Association were not returned.
"We will definitely have something more to say tomorrow," Greig added late Monday afternoon.
November 5, 2012
Kings spokesman Chris Clark said that tickets are available for the team's 7 p.m. home opener today against the Golden State Warriors.
Clark said the game was trending toward a sellout and that a very limited number of tickets remain to be sold. Clark predicted a strong walk-up and a capacity crowd.
April 26, 2012
Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Power Balance Pavilion.
Kings 113, Lakers 96
The Kings finished their season Thursday night by defeating a Lakers team that was resting its key players in preparation for a playoff run.
That's a position the Kings want to be in next year, which would be significant progress for a team that finished this lockout-shortened season 22-44.
After Thursday's season finale, head coach Keith Smart presented each player with a copy of a book titled "Talent Is Never Enough."
"There were several games this year where we were probably a little more talented than the team we played based on them having some players out with injuries, and we didn't close the deal," Smart said. "We didn't win those games. Hopefully next year we can win those basketball games.
"All the things we did this year were really building up toward summer preparation and then next year, to get us off to a great start. But it's going to require them being committed to it. And it's going to require myself and my staff and everyone else to be committed to them following through with the plan."
The plan for Thursday night's season finale against the shorthanded Lakers, said the Kings' Tyreke Evans, was "to play hard, get the win and let's get out of here."
They did so, jumping out to an 11-point lead after one quarter in a game that was never really close afterward. The Kings led by as many as 24 points.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds. Evans added 21 points and Jason Thompson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Kings scored 24 points off of 15 Lakers turnovers, and outscored the Lakers on the fast-break, 25-5.
Josh McRoberts had a team-high 16 points for Los Angeles. Ramon Sessions and Devin Ebanks each added 14 points.
The Kings won two of their final three games to finish one game ahead of the last-place New Orleans Hornets in the Western Conference.
"We just didn't get off to a great start, and that's what hurts you, especially in shortened seasons," said guard Jimmer Fredette. "I felt like we're continuing to get better, getting to know each other more as a group. But it's all about this offseason now, and working as hard as we can to get back and be better next year."
April 24, 2012
Thunder 118, Kings 110
OKLAHOMA CITY - Daequan Cook scored 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder's reserves led a comeback win for Oklahoma City (47-18).
The Thunder didn't play its starters the entire fourth quarter but had enough to beat the Kings (21-44), who couldn't slow down Cook or Derek Fisher late in the game.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 32 points. Jason Thompson had a season-high 22 points. Travis Outlaw also had a season high with 20 points.
The Kings (21-44) lost even though they shot 52.4 percent and had 60 points in the paint.
The difference was free throws. The Thunder made 33-of-36 while the Kings were 20-of-27.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes.
Kings 86, Thunder 82
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Thunder stuck with their starters most of the third quarter but the Kings have maintained the lead behind DeMarcus Cousins, who leads Sacramento with 24 points.
Four of five starters for the Kings have scored in double figures. The fifth, Isaiah Thomas, has nine points.
Travis Outlaw has a season-high 18 points for the Kings.
Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 32 points, a total that should increase is slight lead over Kobe Bryant for the league scoring title.
Durant also has a game-high nine rebounds.
Kings 59, Thunder 57
OKLAHOMA CITY - Neither team could keep up the hot shooting of the first quarter. After shooting 81.1 percent to open the game, the Kings are down to 58.1 percent.
The Thunder are at 46.3 percent after shooting 61.1 percent in the first quarter.
The Kings led by as many as 13 points but turnovers (six in the quarter) helped Oklahoma City get back in the game.
DeMarcus Cousins has 16 points to lead the Kings. Travis Outlaw and Jason Thompson each have 13 points for the Kings.
Kevin Durant has 20 points to lead the Thunder. Russell Westbrook has 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting and three assists.
Kings 40, Thunder 35
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Kings haven't looked this good on offense all season, or perhaps Oklahoma hasn't been this bad.
Either way, the Kings will take it.
Sacramento had its highest-scoring first quarter of the season after shooting 18-for-22 (81.1 percent). Travis Outlaw led the Kings with 10 points and four rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins has nine points. Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans each have eight points. Isaiah Thomas has five points and five assists.
The Kings had 12 fast-break points, nine assists and only one turnover.
The Thunder shot 61.1 percent. Kevin Durant, who is trying to win his third scoring title, has 16 points for the Thunder.
He's not expected to play a lot with the Thunder having already secured the second seed in the Western Conference.
April 22, 2012
Kings 114, Bobcats 88
CHARLOTTE - The Kings made sure they would not be the team the Charlotte Bobcats ended their losing streak against by dominating the game from the start.
The Kings (21-43) never trailed Sunday night, jumping on the home team early and never being challenged most of the game.
It was the Kings' largest margin of victory this season and the first time the Kings have led a game from start to finish.
The Kings had lost four consecutive games on the road six in a row to the Bobcats.
The Bobcats (7-56) have now lost 20 in a row.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with a game-high 29 points. He also had 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans was 10-for-11 shooting for 22 points.
Jason Thompson added 14 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Thompson also had a career-high five steals.
Derrick Brown, Byron Mullens and Kemba Walker each had 13 points for Charlotte. Walker also matched his career high with 11 assists.
April 20, 2012
Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' loss to the Thunder at Power Balance Pavilion.
Thunder 103, Kings 92
The Thunder continue their march to the playoffs. The Kings fall into a tie with the New Orleans Hornets for the worst record (20-43) in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City shot 53.3 percent from the field and scored 20 points off of 12 Kings turnovers to defeat the Kings for the second time in a week.
"I was happy with the way they competed, the way they played," Kings head coach Keith Smart said of his team. "They made those guys work for some of the things they got tonight.
"Obviously we made some defensive breakdowns at the wrong time of the game. But we're going to get better, we're going to get better."
The Kings trailed by just three points early in the third quarter, 67-64, following a three-pointer from guard Isaiah Thomas. But the Thunder went on a 12-2 run and led by at least eight points the rest of the way.
"We've got to be a better defensive team," said the Kings' Tyreke Evans. "The good teams, they play defense. We all know we can score on this team. We've just got to talk more on defense to help each other."
The Kings had a tepid shooting night, finishing 40.9 percent from the field and 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the free-throw line.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 29 points and added 14 rebounds and seven assists, falling just short of a triple-double on a night when Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson -- the only NBA player to average a triple-double over an entire season -- was in the building.
James Harden had 20 points off the bench for the Thunder, while Serge Ibaka added 12 points and eight blocks. In three games against the Kings this season, Ibaka has 25 blocks.
DeMarcus Cousins had a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.
Tyreke Evans finished with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting after being held to just two points in a loss to the Thunder last Friday.
"(It was) just confidence in the shots," Evans said. "In warm-ups I was just thinking the mid-range game was going to have to be big for me and I was just looking for it this game."
The Kings forced 17 turnovers, converting them into 14 points. They were out-scored on the fast-break, 27-12, and fell to 1-11 in games without guard Marcus Thornton. Their leading scorer sat out the game with a left quad contusion.
"I give Coach (Keith) Smart tons of credit," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He has this team playing hard. We had to play well to beat them.
"They have good offensive players on that team. They are a fast team, they move the ball and Cousins is a load down low. I thought we did a good job of making them miss some shots and our distribution was very good tonight."
April 15, 2012
Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Power Balance Pavilion.
Kings 104, Trail Blazers 103
Marcus Thornton again showed why Kings head coach Keith Smart has faith in him as a late-game scorer.
With the Kings trailing the Portland Trail Blazers by one point, Thornton hit a 17-foot jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Kings their first win in eight games.
Wesley Matthews had made his eighth three-pointer of the game for Portland just seconds before to give the Trail Blazers the lead. Portland's desperation heave from mid-court fell short as time expired.
"It was a play designed by coach, a great play," Thornton said. "Isaiah (Thomas) taking it up, DeMarcus (Cousins) came down, set a great screen and I turned and got the ball, saw a little daylight and just tried to make the shot."
It was the Kings' first game at Power Balance Pavilion since Friday's news that the proposed deal for a new downtown arena had fallen through. Despite frustration among fans, an announced crowd of 16,012 turned out for the Sunday afternoon game and erupted when Thornton's final shot fell.
Needing big plays down the stretch, the Kings got them from several different players.
With the game tied at 100-100 and the Trail Blazers in-bounding with 39.4 seconds left, Terrence Williams stole the ball from Portland point guard Raymond Felton.
After a timeout, Cousins drove for a left-handed lay-up with the shot clock running down. That gave the Kings a 102-100 lead with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Matthews, though, followed with a step-back three-pointer from the corner. He finished 8-for-10 from beyond the arc and had 31 points to lead the Trail Blazers.
That set the stage for Thornton.
"No matter who the opponent was, we needed this win, and the young men found a way to do it," Smart said. "Based on everything that happened with our franchise this week and the way it has been with our team in the past two weeks, we found a way."
Thornton finished with 20 points. Cousins had 23 points and seven rebounds, Thomas had 18 points and eight assists and Tyreke Evans added 20 points.
Felton had 19 for the Trail Blazers and J.J. Hickson, making his return to Power Balance Pavilion after being released earlier this season by the Kings, had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Kings shot 47.4 percent. The Trail Blazers shot 52.6 percent and made 16-of-32 three-point attempts.
But the Kings played one of their tidiest games of the season, recording 26 assists and turning the ball over just six times, leading to two Portland points. They scored 19 points off of 17 Portland turnovers.
"It feels good," Cousins said. "Even with all of the drama going on, our fans came out and supported us, stayed engaged in the game and showed their loyalty toward us. So we're thankful to have them and we love them for it."
April 13, 2012
Thunder 115, Kings 89
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Kings lost their seventh game in a row as the Western Conference leaders used their big second quarter to propel them.
The losing steak is the longest of the season for the Kings (19-41).
Jason Thompson was the only starter for the Kings who played in the fourth quarter of the blowout. The Thunder also rested their starters.
Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 21 points. DeMarcus Cousins had nine points and 12 rebounds but shot just 3-for-14. Tyreke Evans played just 13 minutes and had two points.
The Kings shot 38.9 percent.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (43-16) with 29 points.
April 10, 2012
Mavericks 110, Kings 100
DALLAS - Thanks to the scoring of their bench, the Mavericks sent the Kings to their fifth consecutive defeat.
After three lackluster showings, DeMarcus Cousins posted game highs of 25 points, 18 rebounds and a career-high six steals. But that wasn't enough to overcome 54 points from the Dallas bench.
Rodrigue Beaubois had 15 points off the bench for Dallas (32-26). Jason Terry added 13 points from the bench.
Dirk Nowitzki finished with 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each had 16 points for the Kings. Jimmer Fredette added 13 points off the bench for the Kings (19-39).
The Mavericks scored 25 points off 15 Kings' turnovers. The Mavs also had 20 second-chance points.
April 8, 2012
Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' 104-87 loss to the Houston Rockets at Power Balance Pavilion.
Rockets 104, Kings 87
Lacking energy from the opening tip-off, the Kings dug themselves too deep a hole early en route to losing their fourth game in a row.
A mix-and-match lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Terrence Williams, Chuck Hayes and Hassan Whiteside gave the Kings a spark in the third quarter and played much of the fourth.
Starters DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Jason Thompson did not see the floor in the fourth quarter and combined for 19 points and 18 rebounds.
"That group got us to eight points, so I played those guys," Kings head coach Keith Smart said of his fourth-quarter lineup. "They did a good job getting us back to a manageable number."
Williams had 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Fredette added 17 points and Thomas had 16 points and six assists.
But the Kings burned themselves with mistakes, finishing with 21 turnovers that led to 22 points for the Rockets and making just 20-of-37 free-throw attempts.
And the fast-paced play that they have thrived with was nowhere to be found.
"The last two games have kind of resembled the beginning of the season," said forward-center Chuck Hayes, "like when things go bad we show everybody that things are going bad with our body language and our emotions.
"Maybe because it was the second game of a back-to-back or an early Sunday game, I don't know. We have to find the energy that we pretty much contained the past month or two."
Courtney Lee led the Rockets with 25 points, 17 of which he scored in the first quarter. Guard Goran Dragic had 15 points and nine assists, while Patrick Patterson added 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
The Rockets outscored the Kings in the paint, 46-28. The 28 points were the fewest the Kings have scored in the paint in a game this season.
Cousins finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 25:45. Playing much of the second half, Hassan Whiteside had four points and a team-high 10 rebounds in 19:44.
"It's more of a mental thing than a physical thing," Fredette said of the team's lethargy. "Mentally you have to be prepared, all of us. We have to do a better job of getting ourselves ready in warm-ups and getting ourselves mentally prepared so we can start the game well and not get into lapses."
March 31, 2012
Nets 111, Kings 99
After a good start, the Kings (18-34) managed only 64 points over the final three quarters to lose to New Jersey (19-35).
Anthony Morrow led the Nets with 25 points off the bench. Deron Williams finished with 19 points and 15 assists.
Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points, but DeMarcus Cousins (14 points, nine rebounds) and Marcus Thornton (13 points) were both below their season averages.
The Kings have lost their last three home games.
Nets 91, Kings 76
The Nets stayed hot and the Kings cannot keep up.
The Nets have five players that have scored in double figures. Anthony Morrow has 19 points off the bench with all of his field goals coming on three pointers. Gerald Wallace has 16 points. Kris Humphries has 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Deron Williams is orchestrating what has become a blowout with 10 points and 13 assists.
All five Kings' starters have scored in double figures but the Kings aren't getting the production from the bench.
The bench has provided 15 points for the Kings.
DeMarcus Cousins has 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Kings. But he missed all five of his shots in the third quarter before sitting with four fouls.
Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each have 13 points.
Nets 59, Kings 56
Both teams were loose with the ball in the second quarter with seven turnovers apiece. The Kings' were hurt more by the turnovers as they led to eight points for the Nets and cost the Kings the lead.
The Nets also had their way scoring, making 13-of-19 shots to take the lead after trailing the entire first quarter.
When the Kings went to their second unit, they lost momentum to start the second quarter, going nearly five minutes with only two points during a 10-2 run that gave the Nets a 41-37 lead.
The starters returned to put the Kings back in the lead, but the Nets were able to regain control of the game.
DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings with 14 points and four rebounds. Jason Thompson has 11 points and four assists.
Deron Williams has seven points and nine assists for the Nets. Kris Humphries has 11 points and seven rebounds.
Kings 35, Nets 31
A lot of offense to star the game as neither team looks tired after playing close games last night.
The Kings are shooting 58 percent, led by DeMarcus Cousins with eight points and three rebounds.
Tyreke Evans is back after missing Friday's win at Utah with back spasms. Evans has seven points and three assists.
The Nets are shooting 48 percent, led by All-Star guard Deron Williams. Williams has seven points, six assists and three rebounds.
The Kings led by as many as nine points in the first quarter. The Kings' high shooting percentage is due to a lot of good looks. The Kings have 24 points in the paint, making 12-of-18 shots in the paint.
March 26, 2012
Rockets 113, Kings 106
HOUSTON - The Kings' struggles on the road continued as a 16-point lead in the first half wasn't enough to hold off the Rockets at Toyota Center.
The Kings (17-32) have now lost three games in a row.
The Kings' offense slipped in the second half and overtime and the Rockets finally pulled away in overtime. After shooting 50 percent in the first half the Kings ended the game shooting 42.7 percent.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with a career-high 38 points but did not score in overtime until there were 9.3 seconds to play and the game was pretty essentially decided. The Kings either couldn't or just didn't get him the ball enough in overtime where he had an advantage against former college teammate Patrick Patterson.
Marcus Thornton finished with 27 points. Tyreke Evans (12 points) and Terrence Williams (10 points) were the only other King in double figures. Evans also had a career-high six steals.
Patterson had 24 points off the bench for the Rockets (27-23). Luis Scola added 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Kings 99, Rockets 99
HOUSTON - Marcus Thornton missed a three pointer to win the game with 0.9 seconds to play.
DeMarcus Cousins has a career high with 36 points to go with 12 rebounds. Thornton has 27 points.
Patrick Patterson has 22 points off the bench to lead Houston. Luis Scola has 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Kings 72, Rockets 71
HOUSTON - The Kings struggled with their shooting in the third quarter and the Rockets took advantage to make this a close game.
The Kings shot 33 percent in the third (7-of-21) while the Rockets shot 57.1 percent (12-of-21).
The Rockets were able to tie the game twice but never took the lead.
DeMarcus Cousins has 22 points and nine rebounds for the Kings. Marcus Thornton has 21 points. Tyreke Evans has a career-high six steals.
Courtney Lee leads the Rockets with 14 points.
Kings 51, Rockets 42
HOUSTON - If not for their own mistakes, the Kings would be up by double digits.
The Kings have 10 turnovers in the first half and their lead that was once 16 points was cut down to four at 46-42 with 1:50 left in the second quarter.
The Rockets have 13 points off Kings' turnovers to help offset their bad shooting. Houston is shooting 34 percent (16-of-47). That includes missing 9-of-10 from three-point range.
The Rockets have 10 turnovers, too, leading to 16 points for the Kings.
DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings with 16 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Thornton added 14 points.
The Kings are shooting 50 percent, but only have two bench points. Smart didn't say with his bench long in the second quarter after the Rockets pulled within five to start the quarter.
Patrick Patterson came off the bench to lead the Rockets with 10 points.
Kings 29, Rockets 17
HOUSTON - The Kings are off to a good start, which has been rare on the road this season.
One reason the Kings are 4-21 on the road has been their slow starts. But after giving up the first two points of the game, the Kings went on a 14-2 run.
The Kings are shooting 50 percent (12-of-24) and led by as many as 16 points. Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins each have seven points. Cousins also has five rebounds.
Donte' Greene started for Jason Thompson (sprained left ankle) and had six points.
The Rockets are shooting 26.1 percent (6-of-23). Houston also had six turnovers, which led to 10 points for the Kings.
March 24, 2012
Kings head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' 111-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
Warriors 111, Kings 108
OAKLAND -- Tyreke Evans' last-ditch three-point attempt fell short and the Kings lost their second game in a row and their third of the season to the Warriors.
The Kings had the ball down by one point with less than 10 seconds remaining, but guard Isaiah Thomas mishandled the ball and lost it out of bounds to give possession back to the Warriors.
Richard Jefferson broke free on the inbounds pass for a wide-open dunk with 2.8 seconds left to put the Warriors up 111-108.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson led all players with a career-high 31 points.
David Lee added 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for Golden State.
DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points, 18 rebounds and five assists. Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each added 16 points, while John Salmons had 17 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Kings shot 47.3 percent, while the Warriors shot 48.9 percent.
"We did a good job defensively," said Kings head coach Keith Smart. "We made Klay have to work, but we got ourselves back into the game.
"But then in the last couple of plays we made mistakes. The ball was a turnover going out of bounds off of Isaiah and we had a breakdown at the end. The mistakes that we made were growing pains, but we've got to go through them and I hope that these games will help us as we go forward."
The Kings had rallied from 13 points down and taken a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter. They finished with 72 points in the paint, eclipsing 70 points in that area for the third consecutive game and the third time this season.
Cousins had just two points in the fourth quarter on two shot attempts. Smart said the Warriors went to a zone defense to try to deny Cousins the ball in the post and were successful in discouraging the Kings from getting the ball to Cousins.
Cousins, though, said he thought there was still room to get him the ball.
"We fought so hard to come back in the game and made a lot of big plays to get back in it," Cousins said. "We've just got to be smarter down the stretch."
Terrence Williams made his debut for the Kings and played a meaningful 7:17 down the stretch. He finished with five points and two rebounds, but also had two turnovers, including a costly one on a breakaway in the final minute.
March 22, 2012
Kings head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' loss to the Utah Jazz at Power Balance Pavilion.
Jazz 103, Kings 102
Al Jefferson scored on a put-back off a Devin Harris miss with 0.9 seconds left to allow the Utah Jazz to escape Power Balance Pavilion with the win.
It was only the Jazz's fifth field goal of the fourth quarter, as the Kings came back from a 10-point deficit.
The Kings took a one-point lead with 4.1 seconds left on a lay-up by Marcus Thornton, who had hit a big three-pointer just seconds before.
But Jefferson corralled Harris's miss and laid it in. He finished with 26 points and seven rebounds.
"We did everything we could, got ourselves back in the game based on how we were playing," said Kings head coach Keith Smart. "I knew it would be hard to close out this last home game, but our guys fought to get back into it and there were a bunch of plays we actually made down the stretch to get us in a good position.
"We were one rebound away from taking it home. Didn't happen, but our guys are still playing well."
Gordon Hayward had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Jazz, while Derrick Favors added 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Tyreke Evans had a team-high 25 points for the Kings off the bench.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds, and Jason Thompson also had a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Thompson, though, appeared to injure his left leg on Jefferson's game-winning play and had to be helped off the court into the locker room.
The Kings finished 5-4 on their franchise-long nine-game homestand.
Jazz 87, Kings 77
The Jazz keep making shots and the Kings, despite getting a strong quarter from DeMarcus Cousins, haven't been able to close the gap.
Cousins scored 12 points in the third quarter and now has 18 points to go with 12 rebounds.Â
Jason Thompson also has a double-double with a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Kings, though, are still shooting 42 percent, compared to 54 percent for the Jazz.
Al Jefferson leads Utah with 22 points. Gordon Hayward has 14 points and Derrick Favors has added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Thompson picked up a technical foul with five minutes left in the quarter.
March 20, 2012
Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Power Balance Pavilion.
Kings 119, Grizzlies 110
The Kings have showed lately they can score with just about any team, and did enough on the defensive end tonight against the Grizzlies, recording double-digit steals for the third game in a row.
The Kings matched their season-high with their third consecutive win. They finished with 28 assists and shot 53.4 percent from the floor.
It was the fifth time the Kings have shot 50 percent or better during their current homestand. They had done so just twice all season before that.
Marcus Thornton had 31 points and six assists. Jason Thompson had his fourth consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas finished with 18 points and seven assists.
DeMarcus Cousins had 23 points and five rebounds in a physical inside game before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
Rudy Gay had 23 points and six rebounds for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol fell just shy of a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Mike Conley had 16 points and nine assists.
The Kings out-scored the Grizzlies in the paint, 74-64, and scored 21 points off of 14 Grizzlies turnovers.
Kings 93, Grizzlies 86
Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 20 points in the third quarter to help the Kings take a lead into the fourth.
Thornton has a game-high 30 points.
It was a rough quarter for Cousins. He got tangled up with Zach Randolph on one play and had to go to the locker room a few minutes later to get retaped.
Then with 1:01 left he was hit in the face and walked to the bench holding a towel to his face, apparently bleeding.
Chuck Hayes has five fouls, so Hassan Whiteside entered the game for Cousins.
Rudy Gay has a team-high 19 points for the Grizzlies.
March 18, 2012
Kings 115, Timberwolves 99
The Kings scored 32 points off 21 turnovers by Minnesota to turn a tie game at halftime into a rout and win their second consecutive game.
The Kings (16-29) held the Timberwolves (22-24) to 30.9 percent shooting in the second half.
Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 24 points and four steals. Isaiah Thomas had 18 points, John Salmons added 15 points and Jason Thompson had his third game in a row with a double double (13 points, 10 rebounds).
Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 21 points and 11 rebounds but shot 7-of-21. Derrick Williams added 16 points off the bench.
It was the Kings' 12th home win of the season afer 11 all of last season.
Kings 90, Timberwolves 82
The Kings held Minnesota to 25 points in the third quarter and forced six more turnovers to lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Thomas leads the Kings with 18 points. Marcus Thornton has 15 points. Jason Thompson has 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Kevin Love leads the Timberwolves with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Minnesota was held to 33.3 shooting in the third while the Kings shot 55.6 percent.
Minnesota has given up 26 points off 18 turnovers.
Kings 57, Timberwolves 57
The Kings haven't figured out how to slow Minnesota's offense, but have 17 points of 12 turnovers to be tied at halftime.
The Timberwolves are shooting 53.5 percent, led by Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, who each have 11 points.
Beasley came off the bench in the second quarter to score eight of his points.
John Salmons leads the Kings with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Jason Thompson and Isaiah Thomas each have nine points The Kings are shooting 45.5 percent.
The Kings have already attempted 16 three pointers, making only four.
Timberwolves 31, Kings 28
The Kings are shooting 42.9 percent but have managed to keep the game close by making four of their nine three pointers.
Isaiah Thomas has nine points, two rebounds and two assists to lead teh Kings. John Salmons has seven points and Jason Thompson has six points and six rebounds.
The Kings are playing without Tyreke Evans (sprained left ankle) for the second game in a row. Francisco Garcia (sprained right wrist) dressed for the game but still might not play.
J.J. Hickson (back spasms) is also out.
Minnesota is offf to a hot start, shooting 52.2 percent. Kevin Love has nine points and six rebouns to lead Minnesota.
March 13, 2012
Warriors 115, Kings 89
Shorthanded? No problem. The Warriors shot 56.1 percent in the second half and ran away from the Kings in the fourth quarter at Power Balance Pavilion.
Golden State made 12-of-24 shots from beyond the arc. Brandon Rush, David Lee and Nate Robinson each had 17 points. Dorell Wright added 10 rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 16 points and Isaiah Thomas had 15.
The Kings shot 40 percent from the floor. They removed their starters late in the fourth quarter, as they will play again tomorrow night against the Detroit Pistons.
Warriors 84, Kings 73
The Warriors are one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, and they pulled away in the third quarter with perimeter shooting.
Dorell Wright and Brandon Rush are both 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. The Warriors as a team are 10-of-19 (53 percent).
Still, Rush was left open in the corner for a three with the Warriors inbounding with four seconds left in the quarter. He made it.
Wright has 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, while forward David Lee has 17 points and eight rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins has 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Kings. Tyreke Evans has added 16 points and Isaiah Thomas as 15.
March 9, 2012
Kings 110, Mavericks 97
The Kings are 2-0 on their franchise-record nine-game homestand after blowing out Dallas Friday at Power Balance Pavilion.
The Kings had lost 10 consecutive games to the Mavericks.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Kings (14-26), led by Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton with 17 points apiece. DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points.
The Kings had seven players score in doubles figures and shot above 50 percent or better for the second game in a row.
The Kings scored 28 points off 17 turnovers by Dallas.
Jason Terry led the Mavericks (23-19) with 23 points.
March 7, 2012
Kings 99, Hornets 98
Isaiah Thomas forced a turnover with the Kings down by one point and the Hornets in-bounding with 13.2 seconds left and found John Salmons for the go-ahead layup with 6.8 seconds left.
Hornets forward Trevor Ariza's potential game-winning jump shot bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.
The Kings forced 23 turnovers and overcame a rough night from the three-point line and a 55-percent shooting night by the Hornets, who took advantage offensively of the absence of DeMarcus Cousins in the middle.
Marcus Thornton finished with a team-high 25 points for the Kings, who had six players in double figures. Tyreke Evans scored 13 points and Jason Thompson had 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Guard Jarrett Jack led the Hornets with 25 points. Center Chris Kaman finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The Kings shot 50 percent from the field.
Hornets 80, Kings 78
Guard Greivis Vasquez hit a three-pointer with 20 seconds left in the quarter to send the Hornets into the fourth with a lead.
The Kings did not take good care of the ball at times and now have 11 turnovers.
Marcus Thornton has a team-high 18 points for the Kings. Tyreke Evans has 13 points and John Salmons has 10 off the bench.
Hornets guard Jarrett Jack leads all players with 20 points. Trevor Ariza has 17 points and center Chris Kaman has 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
March 4, 2012
Suns 96, Kings 88
PHOENIX - The Kings were outscored 26-17 in the fourth quarter and lost their third consecutive game at US Airways Center.
The Kings shot 38.4 percent for the game and were outplayed by the Suns after halftime. The Kings scored 36 second-half points.
Steve Nash led the Suns (17-20) with 19 points and seven assists. Marcus Thornton led the Kings (12-25) with 21 points.
Kings 71, Suns 70
PHOENIX - The Kings shooting continues to be bad (38.5 percent) but the Kings are clinging to a lead after Travis Outlaw made a dunk at the buzzer to end the quarter.
The Suns outplayed the Kings most of the quarter and even led 68-61 with 4:06 left in the third.
Tyreke Evans had seven points in the quarter to keep the Kings in the game. Marcus Thornto leads the Kings with 19 points on 8-of-21 shooting. DeMarcus Cousins has 14 points and 14 rebounds but is shooting 6-of-19.
Steve Nash leads the Suns with 16 points and five assists. Marcin Gortat has 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Kings 52, Suns 47
PHOENIX - Behind Marcus Thornton (14 points) and DeMarcus Cousins (12 pints, 10 rebounds) the Kings are leading.
The Kings led by as much as 10 in the quarter even though they are shooting just 42.6 percent. It helped that the Suns shot just 7-of-22 in the quarter.
The Kings have only four turnovers, too.
Steve Nash has 11 points and three assists for Phoenix. Nine different Suns have scored, including seven points off the bench from Robin Lopez and six from Sebastian Telfair.
Kings 32, Suns 29
PHOENIX - Marcus Thornton is off to a fast start with 13 points for the Kings. But if the Kings are to win this game, they can't allow the Suns to continue to shoot so well.
The Kings led by as many as nine points, but the Suns are shooting 60.9 percent to stay in the game. The Kings are shooting 46.7 percent.
Donte' Greene started the game for Jason Thompson to defend Phoenix's wing-oriented power forward Channing Frye.
Frye had only three points while Greene has seven points.
Center Marcin Gortat leads the Suns with eight points and five rebounds.
March 2, 2012
Lakers 115, Kings 107
LOS ANGELES - There was too much Kobe Bryant for the Kings tonight as they lost their second consecutive game to an L.A. team.
A night after Chris Paul helped the Clippers pull out a win in Sacramento, it was Bryant who scored 38 points (most by a Kings opponent this season) including five late that put the game away.
Kings coach Keith Smart played backups for all but 28 seconds of the fourth quarter. After the Kings fell behind 94-74, the reserves rallied the Kings with a 21-6 run to make the score 100-95 with 5:00 to play.
But the backups couldn't complete the comeback.
Francisco Garcia led the Kings (12-24) with 18 points off the bench.
The Kings had season highs in field goals made (45) and attempted (103). But the Lakers (22-14) shot 53.7 percent, making one less field goal on 82 attempts.
The Kings had only five turnovers. The last time the Kings had five turnovers or less in a game was Dec. 1, 2007 against Houston.
*For those monitoring the Andrew Bynum-DeMarcus Cousins matchup here are the results:
Bynum: 19 points (8-of-13), 15 rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots.
Cousins: 10 pints (5-of-16), 13 rebounds, one assist, two steals one blocked shot.
Cousins didn't play the entire fourth quarter. If he had he probably matches/exceeds Bynum in rebounds.
March 1, 2012
Clippers 108, Kings 100
The Clippers pulled away with a 12-4 run to start the fourth quarter en route to defeating the Kings at Power Balance Pavilion.
Chris Paul and Mo Williams combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who shot 47 percent in the game.
After making 57 percent of their shots from the floor in the first half, the Kings made just 14-of-39 shots (36 percent) in the second half.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings (12-23). Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each added 18 points.
Paul finished one assist shy of a double-double with 22 points and nine assists. Williams scored 18 points off the bench for the Clippers and Blake Griffin added 14 points and nine assists.
The Kings committed 18 turnovers. The Clippers finished with 30 assists to the Kings' 14.
Clippers 85, Kings 79
The Kings have cooled off from the floor after halftime and trail the Clippers by six heading into the fourth quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins leads all scorers with 19 points and has grabbed eight rebounds. Marcus Thornton has 18 points for the Kings, who are now shooting 49 percent after spending the entire first half above 50 percent.
Randy Foye has 16 points for the Clippers, who have also received 14 points and six rebounds from Blake Griffin and 14 points and six assists from Chris Paul. The Clippers are shooting 51 percent.
The Kings have committed 14 turnovers.
Kings forward J.J. Hickson landed hard after going up for a rebound and was helped to the locker room.
February 28, 2012
Kings 103, Jazz 96
DeMarcus Cousins had a game-high 22 points and 18 rebounds and Isaiah Thomas added 18 points and eight assists as the Kings held off the Utah Jazz at Power Balance Pavilion on Tuesday night.
The Kings overcame a slow start and 17 turnovers to shoot 44 percent from the field, above their season average, as they improved to 12-22.
Marcus Thornton added 21 points and Jason Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Devin Harris had a team-high 18 points for the Jazz, who had six players in double figures. Josh Howard added 15 points and seven rebounds, while Al Jefferson had 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Kings made free throws down the stretch, converting 24 of 29 foul shots. The Jazz struggled from the line, shooting 11-of-22.
Kings 74, Jazz 71
Isaiah Thomas found a cutting Marcus Thornton for a layup with 0.8 seconds remaining, and Thornton hit a free throw to give the Kings a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Kings shot better from the floor in the third quarter and are now shooting 42 percent for the game. DeMarcus Cousins leads all players with 18 points and 15 rebounds but picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench late in the quarter.
Thornton has 16 points and Tyreke Evans 13 for the Kings. Thomas has nine points and seven assists.
The Jazz are shooting 47 percent. Josh Howard leads Utah with 13 points, while Al Jefferson has 12 points and Gordon Hayward 10. Devin Harris has nine points and seven assists.
The Jazz have hurt themselves at the free-throw line, making just 10-of-20 shots.
February 22, 2012
Kings 115, Wizards 107
WASHINGTON - Using a lineup without its two best players, the Kings rallied in the fourth quarter for a 115-107 win to end their season-long six-game losing streak.
Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins didn't play in the fourth quarter as Keith Smart stuck with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Francisco Garcia, Jason Thompson and Chuck Hayes to close the game after the group gave the Kings (11-22) the lead.
Thornton finished with 22 points, 18 coming after Evans was called for his fourth foul with 10:18 left in the third quarter. Evans didn't come back into the game after that.
Cousins finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Evans had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Jordan Crawford led the Wizards (7-26) with 32 points off the bench. John Wall had 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.
The Kings matched their season-high in scoring in the win.
Wizards 89, Kings 88
WASHINGTON - The Kings played a little defense in the third, holding the Wizards to 35 percent shooting to get back in the game.
Tyreke Evans picked up two quick fouls to give him four with 10:18 left in the quarter. So Marcus Thornton picked up the scoring slack with10 points in the quarter.
Evans still leads the Kings with 22 points, but Thornton is up to 14. DeMarcus Cousins has 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Jordan Crawford leads the Wizards with 24 points. John Wall has 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Wizards 68, Kings 60
WASHINGTON - The Kings still leave much to be desired defensively.
The Wizards are shooting 58.3 percent, including 14-of-18 on shots in the paint. The Kings are shooting well considering how they've struggled all season (44 percent) but that's nearly good enough with the Wizards scoring at this rate.
Jordan Crawford dominated the second quarter off the bench for Washington with 15 points and has a game-high 21. Crawford made 8-of-12 in the first half.
Tyreke Evans leads the Kings with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting. DeMarcus Cousins has 14 points and 10 rebounds but shot 6-of-18.
Wizards 34, Kings 29
WASHINGTON - The Kings continue to allow teams to shoot well and if it keeps up, they will end this road trip winless.
The Wizards are shooting 53.8 percent, led by John Wall with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Kings are shooting just 39.3 percent. DeMarcus Cousins has 10 points and seven rebounds while Tyreke Evans has nine points and three rebounds.
February 17, 2012
Pistons 114, Kings 108
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Kings lost their fourth consecutive game, blowing an 11-point lead in the second half.
The Kings allowed 19 fast break points in the second half.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points and 15 rebounds, but the Kings probably didn't get him the ball enough in the fourth quarter when the Pistons (10-22) took over behind Rodney Stuckey (36 points), Brandon Knight (23 points, career-high 10 assists) and Tayshaun Prince (22 points).
The Kings (10-20) shot 50 percent, just the second time they've shot 50 percent or better this season. The Kings have lost both of those games.
Kings 88, Pistons 86
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Kings are shooting 54.7 percent but are barely ahead after big third quarters for Detroit by Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey.
Stuckey scored 13 of his season-high 31 points in the third. Prince had 10 of his 18 points in the third. The Pistons managed to get 13 fast break points in the third, too.
DeMarcus Cousins has 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings. Tyreke Evans has eight points and nine assists.
February 15, 2012
Knicks 100, Kings 85
NEW YORK - The Kings lost their third consecutive game as their mix of poor shooting and bad defense led to another blowout loss.
The Kings (10-19) shot 37.2 percent while the Knicks (15-15) shot 50.6 percent. It was the Knicks seventh win a row.
The Knicks were led by Jeremy Lin with 10 points and a career-high 13 assists.Landry Fields had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Knicks 77, Kings 55
NEW YORK - The Kings haven't even scored 20 points in a quarter yet and are being thoroughly beaten by the streaking Knicks.
The Kings are shooting 32.3 percent and have looked outmatched most of the night.
Tyreke Evans leads the Kings with 14 points.
Jeremy Lin has 10 points and a career-high 13 assists for the Knicks. Landry Fields has 15 points and 10 rebounds.
February 14, 2012
Bulls 121, Kings 115
CHICAGO -- The Kings scored a season high against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but allow the Bulls to shoot 52.4 percent in losing their second game in a row.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Marcus Thornton added 23 points.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 23 points and 11 assists. Joakim Noah had a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Bulls 88, Kings 77
CHICAGO -- The Kings were within two three times in the third but were outscored 14-9 to close the third after DeMarcus Cousins picked up his fourth foul with 4:07 left in the quarter.
Cousins didn't appear to touch Joakim Noah on the play that sent him to the bench and very well might have put the game out of reach for the Kings.
Cousins 19 points and 11 rebounds but the Bulls were able to extend their lead behind Luol Deng's 12 points in the quarter. Deng has 19 points tonight to go with nine assists.
The Bulls are shooting 51.5 percent while the Kings are above their season average but sill struggling at 44.1 percent.
Bulls 56, Kings 52
CHICAGO -- The Kings haven't slowed the Bulls offensively, even without Derrick Rose. The Bulls are shooting 51.1 percent, but only lead by four thanks to DeMarcus Cousins and some solid bench play.
Cousins has 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Donte' Greene came off the bench to make all four of his shots for 10 points, including a three pointer to bring the Kings within four at halftime.
The Kings need more from the backcourt to pull this game out. Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton have combined for 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Carlos Boozer leads the Bulls with 12 points. Joakim Noah has 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls.
Bulls 27, Kings 24
CHICAGO -- DeMarcus Cousins is off to a good start with nine points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot. The Kings haven't been able to take advantage of their center's efforts after shooting 41.7 percent.
The Kings starting lineup played the entire first quarter. The Bulls used one sub, Taj Gibson.
Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer each had eight points for the Bulls.
Kings rookie Jimmer Fredette (stomach illness) is dressed for the game but odds are he will not play.
February 11, 2012
Suns 98, Kings 84
On a cold shooting night, the Kings could not keep up with the Phoenix Suns, who shot 50 percent from the floor en route to a 98-84 win at Power Balance Pavilion.
The Kings shot 35 percent.Â DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 9 rebounds and guard Marcus Thornton scored 21 points for the Kings, who fell to 10-17.
Jared Dudley had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Suns, who also received 18 points from Markieff Morris off the bench. Steve Nash finished with 15 assists after sitting out the second quarter.
The Kings had 11 shots blocked, a game after they had 17 shots blocked by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Tyreke Evans had 4 points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Suns 75, Kings 60
The Kings will need another big fourth-quarter comeback if they want to win this one.
Phoenix has shot 53 percent from the floor through three quarters, led by 17 points from Jared Dudley and 15 points from center Marcin Gortat.
Marcus Thornton has 20 points to lead the Kings.
The Suns have been able to overcome 16 turnovers with good shooting.
Steve Nash returned to the floor to start the third quarter after getting stitches in his lip and had 6 assists in the quarter, giving him 12 for the game.
February 9, 2012
The announcers doing tonight's Kings-Thunder national game on TNT - especially former Kings forward Chris Webber - seemed confused when talking during the broadcast about Tuesday's City Council vote, even though Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson explained the situation to announcer Cheryl Miller before the game at Power Balance Pavilion.
Several times during the first half, Webber made comments about the council's vote on the arena failing. In the second half, Webber said he had talked to Johnson and again attempted to clarify but he never really explained the vote accurately and what it meant.
Yes, the vote failed - but it wasn't a vote on the arena, as Webber implied. The council rejected by a 5-4 vote a request by Sandy Sheedy to put the plan to lease the city's parking to help finance the arena up for a public vote.
Here's one of The Bee's Ryan Lillis' stories that best explains the vote and what it means.
February 9, 2012
Kings 106, Thunder 101
Trailing by eight points midway through the fourth quarter, the Kings closed out the game with a 19-6 run to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Power Balance Pavilion.
Tyreke Evans finished with a team-high 22 points for the Kings, who improved to 10-16. DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 9 rebounds, and Jason Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Thunder saw their Western Conference-best record drop to 20-6. Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 33 points and Kevin Durant had 27 points and 8 rebounds.
The Kings, who shot 40 percent from the floor, forced 23 turnovers and overcame a 48-percent shooting night and 17 blocked shots by the Thunder.
Thunder 78, Kings 76
Russell Westbrook scored 16 points in the third quarter as the Thunder took a two-point lead going into the fourth.
Westbrook leads all scorers with 27 points and has added 5 rebounds. Kevin Durant has 17 points for the Thunder.
Tyreke Evans has a team-high 16 points for the Kings, who have also received 14 points and 6 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins, and 8 points and 9 rebounds from Jason Thompson.
Oklahoma City did an excellent job of challenging the Kings' shots after halftime. The Thunder has 14 blocks, including 9 by forward Serge Ibaka.
That has knocked down the Kings' shooting percentage, though they are still shooting above 40 percent from the floor.
February 6, 2012
Kings 100, Hornets 92
NEW ORLEANS - Sparked by strong second-half play from DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas, the Kings overcame an 18-point deficit to win 100-92.
It was the Kings (9-15) third win a row, their longest winning streak of the season.
Cousins finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds. He had 18 points and 14 rebounds in the second half.
Thomas finished with 17 points and six assists. Thomas scored 14 points and has five assists after halftime.
Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets (4-21) with 20 points and nine assists.
The Kings outscored the Hornets 31-14 in the fourth quarter.
January 31, 2012
OAKLAND - Before tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors, Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas asked about Grant High football star Shaq Thompson, who earlier in the day tweeted his plans to accept a scholarship to the University of Washington. "I've never seen him play," said Thomas, "but I keep hearing about him. And any time someone like that (top recruit) becomes a Husky, I'm happy about it."
January 31, 2012
Warriors 93, Kings 90
OAKLAND - The Kings were done in by the Warriors bench, which played almost the entire fourth quarter and built a 12-point lead before holding on late to give the Warriors the win.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Kings (6-15), who for the second game in a row, lost by three points on the road.
Brandon Rush came off the bench to lead the Warriors (7-12) with 20 points. Rush scored 15 of the Warriors' 26 fourth-quarter points. Stephen Curry made a free throw for the only point for the Warriors that didn't come from a reserve in the quarter.
The Kings trailed 91-90 with 2.8 seconds to play, but Rush made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left in the game. Tyreke Evans heave at the buzzer from inside halfcourt was high off the backboard.
Evans finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 14 rebounds.
The Kings committed as season-high 21 turnovers that led to 21 points for the Warriors.
January 28, 2012
Jazz 78, Kings 67
SALT LAKE CITY - This game was tied at 56 before the Jazz used a 9-0 run to pull away. Earl Watson's three pointer at the buzzer gave Utah its biggest lead of the night.
Four of five Kings starters have scored I double figures but the Kings have zero bench pints. Meanwhile the Jazz have gotten 18 points off the bench from C.J. Miles.
Utah has 31 bench points.
Tyreke Evans leads the Kings with a game-high 22 points and eight assists. Gordon Hayward leads Utah with 20 points.
January 23, 2012
Blazers 101, Kings 89
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Kings lost their second consecutive in another double-digit road loss.
Jamal Crawford led the Blazers (10-7) with 26 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings (6-12).
The Kings host Denver on Wednesday.
Blazers 74, Kings 56
PORTLAND, Ore. - Not much changed for the Kings in the third quarter. The Blazers only scored 21 points but the Kings couldn't cut into the lead.
The Kings are shooting 33.9 percent and have been outrebounded 47-27. The Blazers are shooting just 42.3 percent, but the Kings struggles on offense have made that percentage more than adequate.
Jamal Crawford, who chose to sign with the Blazers over the Kings, has 20 points off the bench.
DeMarcus Cousins has 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings.
January 22, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO - Since the Kings are en route to Portland - hopefully near a television by today's NFC Championship game between the 49ers and New York Giants - it seemed like a good time to remind folks back in Sac that Power Balance Pavilion isn't the only antiquaited sports facility. Engineers have been working around the clock to release the rain flooding the Candlestick Park parking lots. Worker removed tarps from the field, but the the field is very soggy nonetheless. The worst is yet to come, weather wise.
No complaints from the media types, though. The NFL arranged for media shuttle buses from a hotel near the airport, with a police escort. It's the only way to travel.
January 20, 2012
Kings 88, Spurs 86
SAN ANTONIO - The Kings handed the Spurs their first home loss of the season by rallying in the final two minutes with four points from John Salmons and the game-winner by Tyreke Evans with 47.6 seconds to play.
Evans led the Kings (6-10) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Tony Parker led the Spurs (10-6) with 24 points.
Kings 73, Spurs 67
SAN ANTONIO - The Kings are still ahead in what would be their most impressive win if they hold on to their lead.
Tyreke Evans has 19 points to lead the Kings, who have answered every Spurs run tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins had to go to the locker room to be evaluated after being hit in the head, but returned to the bench.
Tony Parker has 19 points to lead the Spurs. Tim Duncan has 10 points and nine rebounds.
January 18, 2012
Kings 92, Pacers 88
The Kings opened the fourth quarter on a 22-7 run to take their first lead of the night and hold on to win and end and three-game losing streak.
The Kings held the Pacers to eight points in the fourth quarter.
The Kings (5-10) turned to reserves Francisco Garcia and Isaiah Thomas the entire fourth quarter. Travis Outlaw also came in to start the rally with five points early in the period.
Garcia finished with 16 points, 10 in the fourth.
DeMarcus Cousins matched his career high with 19 rebounds to go with 13 rebounds.
Danny Granger and Darren Collison each had 16 points for the Pacers (9-4).
January 16, 2012
Timberwolves 99, Kings 86
MINNEAPOLIS - The Kings ended their five-game road trip 1-4 after dropping their consecutive game.
Kevin Love led Minnesota with 33 points and 11 rebounds. And while Ricky Rubio gets a lot of attention, it was Luke Ridnour that hurt the Kings the most with 25 points and nine assists.
Rubio finished with nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Francisco Garcia each had 12 points for the Kings. Tyreke Evans had nine points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
The Kings (4-10) had a season-high 20 assists, but couldn't slow down Minnesota late as the Timberwolves (5-8) exploited Kings' breakdowns on defense.
The Kings host Indiana Wednesday before another three-game road trip.
Mavericks 99, Kings 60
DALLAS - The Kings lost their second consecutive game with their worst offensive showing of the season.
Aside from the franchise lows for points in a half (23) and field goals (eight) in the first half, the Kings had their lowest point total and lowest shooting percentage of the season (25.6 percent).
They also made only 22 shots, another season low.
The point total matches the fewest scored in the Sacramento era. The Kings scored 60 Jan. 10, 1991 at Charlotte.
DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings (4-9). Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 14 points.
Jason Terry scored a game-high 21 points to lead Dallas (8-5).
January 13, 2012
Rockets 103, Kings 89
HOUSTON - The Kings never recovered from their bad third quarter and lost the third game of their five-game road trip.
Sacramento (4-8) got 29 points, six rebounds and five assists from Tyreke Evans but the rest of the starting lineup added little, combining for 20 points.
Meanwhile all five Rockets' starters scored in double figures. Kyle Lowry had 25 points, nine rebound and seven assists. Samuel Dalembert had 21 points, 16 rebounds four blocked shots. Luis Scola added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Houston (4-7) outrebounded the Kings 55-36.
The Kings play at Dallas Saturday night.
January 11, 2012
Kings 98 Raptors 91
TORONTO - Led by a dominant game from DeMarcus Cousins and the bench play of rookie Isaiah Thomas, the Kings won their first road game of the season.
Cousins scored 21 points to go with a career-high 19 rebounds. Thomas had a season-high 20 points and six assists.
Tyreke Evans added 29 points for the Kings, who have Thursday off before playing at Houston Friday.
The Kings (4-7) are now 2-2 under coach Keith Smart.
The Kings still aren't shooting well (37 percent) but the Raptors weren't much better (43 percent). The Kings made up for that by making 31-of-34 from the free throw line.
Andrea Bargnani did not finish the game for the Raptors because of a strained left calf. Leandro Barbosa led Toronto with 24 points.
January 10, 2012
76ers 112, Kings 85
PHILADELPHIA - Behind the solid play of Elton Brand (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (17 points, eight assists, four steals), the 76ers (7-2) cruised to their sixth consecutive win.
The Kings (3-7) lost for their second game in a row and dropped to 1-2 under new coach Keith Smart.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans has 15 points for the Kings, who played without injured starters Marcus Thornton (left thigh contusion) and Chuck Hayes (dislocated left shoulder)
The Kings shot 39.5 percent after shooting better than 50 percent for a game Sunday for the first time this season. The 76ers shot 56.6 percent for the game.
January 5, 2012
Kings forward/center Chuck Hayes left tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter with a dislocated left shoulder.
Tyreke Evans made four free throws in the final minute to finish with 26 points, and Sacramento overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to stun the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100 on Thursday night hours after the Kings fired coach Paul Westphal. Read more.
Hayes was injured extending his arm and colliding with Bucks center Drew Gooden.
Hayes stayed down on the court for a few minutes before leaving the court with medical staff.
January 4, 2012
Nuggets 110, Kings 83
DENVER - The Kings were blown out again by a team missing a key player.
The Nuggets (5-2) had no problem with the Kings (2-5) without their key big man, Nene. The Nuggets shot 60.5 percent and scored 68 points in the paint in a dominant showing.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points off the bench. Marcus Thornton had 23 points. The Kings shot 32.6 percent.
Al Harrington led the Nuggets with 15 points. Five Nuggets scored in double figures.
January 3, 2012
Grizzlies 113, Kings 96
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies dominated the second half, turning a two-point game into a blowout.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 23 points and O.J. Mayo had 20 points off the bench.
Jimmer Fredtte led the Kings with 17 points. Isaiah Thomas added 15 points off the bench.
The Kings were dominated inside, giving up 72 points in the paint, even though the Grizzlies played without injured star Zach Randolph.
The Kings also had 19 turnovers that led to 24 points for the Grizzlies.
December 27, 2011
Blazers 101, Kings 79
PORTLAND, Ore. - Gerald Wallace had 25 points and eight rebounds while LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland to a 2-0 start to the season.
The Kings fell to 1-1. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers shot 52 percent while the Kings shot 42 percent.
The Kings also had 20 turnovers.
December 20, 2011
Coach Paul Westphal's comments following the Kings' 95-91 preseason win over Golden State.
Kings 95, Warriors 91
Neither the game nor the game-winning play was pretty. The Kings turned the ball over 27 times and gave back a 10-point lead in the third quarter.
But with just over 27 seconds remaining and the Kings trailing 91-89, a loose ball from a missed layup by Jimmer Fredette bounced to Marcus Thornton, who stepped back and sank a three-pointer from the corner to put the Kings ahead by one.
Thornton made two free throws to extend the lead, and a three-point attempt by Golden State rookie Klay Thompson fell short. J.J. Hickson made one free throw to fill out the final score.
December 20, 2011
After one quarter, the Kings lead the Golden State Warriors, 23-19.
Guard Marcus Thornton has a team-leading 9 points and has made both of his three-point attempts. He also converted a three-point play after being fouled on an acrobatic layup on a fast-break just before the quarter ended.
DeMarcus Cousins has been quiet early, with no points and no rebounds in just over nine minutes in the quarter.
David Lee leads the Warriors with 8 points and 5 rebounds.
The Kings started a lineup of guards Tyreke Evans and Thornton, Tyler Honeycutt at small forward, J.J. Hickson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Forward John Salmons is not available.