Instant Replay: Kings roar back, hold off T'Wolves for first win in new arena

Instant Replay: Kings roar back, hold off T'Wolves for first win in new arena


SACRAMENTO -- In Game One, the Sacramento Kings picked up their first win. In Game Two, they played their first ever game at the Golden 1 Center. And in Game Three Saturday night, they came from behind for a dramatic 106-103 victory, snapping their four-game losing streak to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If there was any question who the best big in the NBA is right now, DeMarcus Cousins answered it. The two-time All-Star pounded Karl-Anthony Towns to the tune of 29 points, seven rebounds and four assists as Kings fans rained MVP chants down from the rafters. Cousins fouled out in the final minute, but his team was able pull out the win without him on the court.

With Cousins drawing all the attention, Rudy Gay continued his stellar play, hitting the Wolves for 28 points on 11-for-20 shooting, including 10 points in the wild third quarter. Gay and Cousins carried the scoring load, but plenty of other Kings players contributed in the win.

Matt Barnes played huge minutes for coach Dave Joerger, scoring 12 points off the bench, while handing out a game-high nine assists. His block inside of two minutes gave the Kings the breathing room they needed. His rebound and made free throw with .2 of a second remaining in the game sealed it.

Ben McLemore hit a huge baseline jumper and a pair of 3-pointer in the fourth to give Sacramento a boost. His 13 points off the bench led the Kings’ second unit.

Andrew Wiggins put on a show for Minnesota. After posting 17 points in the first half, the 21-year-old Canadian finished the fourth with a flurry. The Timberwolves went to Wiggins heavy down the stretch and he answered the call with 29 points on 10-for-19 shooting.

Zach LaVine was hot early as well, tossing in 25-footers from the perimeter. He attacked the rim late to finish the night with 21 points. Towns chipped in 15 points and six rebounds for coach Tom Thibodeau and Gorgui Dieng added a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double in the loss.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Gay went nuts on both ends of the court and the Timberwolves didn’t know what hit them. For the second straight game Cousins put on a show and comes up empty in the player of the game category.

TURNING POINT -- After coming out flat in the first half, the Kings used a 24-1 run in the third to stun the Timberwolves and take an eight point lead into the final frame. Sacramento pounded Minnesota in the third to the tune of 31-12. The T-Wolves used a late fourth quarter push to tie the game, but the Kings rode the energized crowd for a huge win, improving to 2-1 on the season.

INJURY UPDATE -- Sacramento continues to avoid the injury. They have an entire roster of healthy bodies heading into their five game

WHAT'S NEXT -- Sacramento hits the road for a five-game trip out East which starts with a stop in Atlanta against the Hawks on Monday evening. The Kings hit Miami, Orlando, Milwaukee and Toronto to round out a five game in seven night stretch.

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Half man, half amazing. Vincanity. Air-Canada. V.C.

Vince Carter has plenty of nicknames on his bio. He also has plenty of achievements over his long NBA career. On Monday night in Sacramento, he added a new one.  

With his seven point performance in the Kings’ 106-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons, the 41-year-old forward surpassed a former teammate on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“It means a lot, because in my days in Orlando, I played with Pat Ewing and know him very well,” Carter said following the game.

Carter came into the night needing five points to tie Ewing’s 24,815 mark for 22nd place on the all-time scoring list.

In the early second quarter, Carter stole a pass from Andre Drummond at the top of the key  and flew down for a breakaway jam to move within three points of Ewing.

“It’s fun for everyone, just to show I can still do it,” Carter said of the dunk. “I think I’ve proven I can, but it’s still fun. I told James Ennis on the way, I said, ‘stay back, don’t foul me.’”

Ennis likely couldn’t have caught Carter either way, but the slam got the Kings crowd going.

At the 4:12 mark of the second, Carter drilled a 12-footer to move within one point of Ewing and with 29.5 seconds remaining in the third, Carter knocked down a 26-foot 3-pointer that rattled around and tried to spin out.

That was the last bucket of the evening for Carter, giving him 24,817 for his 20-year career. He now sits alone in 22nd place, two points ahead of the former New York Knicks star center.

“That’s crazy,” 20-year-old De’Aaron Fox said. “That’s a lot of buckets. Top-25, that’s huge - a lot of guys won’t get close to that.”

Carter now sits just 375 points behind legendary Laker, Jerry West for 21st place and 462 shy of Reggie Miller for a spot in the top 20.

“When you talk about (being) in the top 25 in scoring all-time, you just look at the list of the greats and elite players and the best of the best that still play, and to be in that group, I’m very humbled and thankful for it,” Carter told the media scrum surrounding his locker.

Carter was away from the team over the weekend dealing with a death in the family. He returned to Sacramento to play on Monday, but did so with a heavy heart.

For most of his life, the basketball court has been his place to escape. After two decades as a pro, it still has that effect.

“I just still love it, it’s been great to me, it gives me an opportunity to be around the younger generation and still be around the game I love and accomplish things like this,” Carter said.

He’s played sparingly for Sacramento this season, but his impact on the bench, in practice and behind the scenes as a leader and mentor to the young Kings has been immeasurable.

Carter hasn’t committed to retiring following the season. He will weigh his options, but there is a possibly he will look for one last run at an NBA championship.

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.