Instant Replay: After review, Kings end losing streak with win over Raptors

Instant Replay: After review, Kings end losing streak with win over Raptors


SACRAMENTO -- The streak is over. After dropping their previous four games, the Sacramento Kings rode a ruckus Golden 1 Center crowd to come away with a 102-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors. But it didn’t come without plenty of drama.

As the game clock expired, Terrence Ross buried a 28-foot 3-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. Upon further review, DeMarcus Cousins tipped the ball slightly, starting the clock early and giving Sacramento the huge win.

With Cousins struggling early to stay on the floor, Rudy Gay stuffed the stat sheet against his former team. The 6-foot-8 forward finished the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the win. 

Cousins managed to play just nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but he got it going in the second half. Sacramento’s All-Star center finished the evening with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while knocking down 3-for-6 from long range.

Dave Joerger mixed up his starting lineup, pushing Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos to the bench in favor of Darren Collison and Matt Barnes. Afflalo found his rhythm early, scoring all 14 of his points before the intermission. Koufos added eight points, six rebounds and blocked three shots in 26 reserve minutes.

Collison set his teammates up first before getting his own offense going. He finished with a team-high nine assists and added 15 points in his first start of the season.

With all of the attention focused on the high-scoring combination of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, big man Jonas Valanciunas got loose for Toronto. 

The 7-footer missed the previous matchup between these two teams, but on Sunday night he went off for 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting and added 13 rebounds. He was all elbows around the rim, but for one of the few times this season, DeMarcus Cousins was outscored by an opposing big. 

Lowry went off for 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds, including two of three free throws in the final minute to draw the Raptors to within three. He also grabbed eight rebounds, handed out six assists and picked up two steals in the loss. 

For the second time this season, Sacramento held DeRozan under 30 points, which has only happened three times over the Raptors first 13 games. DeRozan managed to score just 12 points on 3-for-15 from the field and veteran wing DeMarre Carroll hit 3-of-6 from downtown on his way to 17 points. 


Afflalo and Koufos took the move to the second unit like pros. Afflalo brought the offense early and Koufos energized the defense all night. 


With the game hanging in the balance midway through the fourth quarter, Gay hit a 3-pointer from the elbow and then came up with a huge steal and breakaway dunk to give the Kings the lead. It was a tight game all the way down the stretch, but Gay gave his team a tremendous boost. 


Sacramento not only has 13 healthy bodies in uniform, they have another two up in Reno getting minutes with the Bighorns.  


The Kings finish up their five-game homestand with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday followed by the Houston Rockets on Friday night at Golden 1 Center.

Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list


Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Moving on up. Vince Carter came into Monday evening’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons needing just five points to surpass Patrick Ewing for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He got that and a little more.

Carter, 41, picked off a Pistons pass in the second quarter and hammered down a breakaway dunk to score his first two points of the evening. He knocked down a jumper in the lane before halftime to get within one point of Ewing and then moved ahead of the 7-footer with a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The 20-year NBA veteran now sits at 24,817 points. He is 375 points behind the great Jerry West’s 25,192, who currently sits in 21st place on the all-time list.

Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons


Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons

SACRAMENTO -- It’s time for some home cooking. The Sacramento Kings open a six-game homestand Monday night at Golden 1 Center. They’ll host a struggling Detroit Pistons team that has lost three straight and seven of their last eight.

The Kings battled the Utah Jazz all the way down the wire Saturday evening at Vivint Smart Home Arena, before falling in the final minute. Buddy Hield put up 20-plus points for his third straight game to lead Sacramento.

Detroit looked like a playoff team for much of the season and then the wheels fell off their bus. They have plenty of talent, but so far, they are struggling to find chemistry since acquiring All-Star Blake Griffin at the deadline.

Pistons by 3.5

Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- The Kings have struggled to contain Griffin throughout his career. Whether he starts or not, second-year big Skal Labissiere is likely to see plenty of time against the high-scoring power forward. Labissiere is averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes a game in March. He needs to move his feet and avoid foul trouble against Griffin.

Kings: 23-48, fourth place in Pacific

Pistons: 30-39, fourth place in Central

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Pistons: PG Reggie Jackson (ankle) out, PF Jon Leuer (ankle) out.

Decisions, Decisions -- With Bogdanovic out for the evening, Dave Joerger has a tough choice to make. Does he elevate Hield into the starting lineup and disrupt his bench unit? Or does he start veteran Garrett Temple alongside De’Aaron Fox. Hield has earned a look with the starters, but he’s on fire with the second team.

Keep Fighting -- Plenty of fans want the Kings to lay down and preserve their spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. The Kings are trying to build a winning culture around a group of young players. They are developing an identity as the season heads towards its conclusion and there is no reason to let up.

Shoot the 3-ball -- The Kings trail only the Golden State Warriors in 3-point percentage. They hit 14-of-21 from behind the arc against the Jazz, but that’s not enough. The goal should be 30 threes per game from here on out. The team has the shooters, they just need to hoist it up more often.

The Pistons lead the season series 1-0 and are looking for the sweep. Detroit holds a 134-119 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 37-26 edge during the Sacramento-era.