Instant Replay: Kings snap four-game skid with win over Raptors

Instant Replay: Kings snap four-game skid with win over Raptors


The road is a lonely place, but not when you come away with a huge win. After dropping four straight on their eastern swing, the Sacramento Kings shocked the Toronto Raptors on their home floor by a final of 96-91 to improve to 3-5 on the young season.

Rudy Gay shook off a rib injury to give Dave Joerger’s club a huge boost. The former Raptor dropped in nine of his 23 in the fourth quarter and grabbed five rebounds in 35 minutes.

Despite playing against a group of no-namers in the post, DeMarcus Cousins struggled with his shot for Sacramento. He finished the night just 7-of-21 from the floor for 22 points. But he added 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as the Kings snapped their four-game skid.

Arron Afflalo had a nice game, scoring 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting. The veteran shooting guard has had a rough start to the season, but he found his rhythm both from the inside and outside on Sunday afternoon in Toronto.

Kosta Koufos had a breakout night for the Kings, scoring 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting and grabbing six rebounds starting alongside Cousins. With Koufos playing 25 minutes, second-year big Willie Cauley-Stein drew the healthy scratch.  

Ty Lawson shot 0-for-6 from the field, but managed to hand out 11 assists and Garrett Temple led the second unit with eight points in 20 minutes and his defensive effort on Lowry was impressive.

DeMar DeRozan came into the night leading the league in scoring at nearly 36 points per game. He was effective in his 36 minutes, dropping in 23 points on 7-for-20 shooting.

With Jonas Valanciunas out with a knee contusion, Raptors coach Dwane Casey turned to Pascal Siakam for his post presence. The rookie out of New Mexico State played well, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.

All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry struggled from the field, but still managed to score 15 points and hand out 10 assists. Terrence Ross provided a spark off the Raptors bench, chipping in eight points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Rib injuries are brutal, but Gay fought through the pain and led his team to a must needed victory. Others stepped up big, but Gay was doubtful to play coming into Sunday and showed up big for the Kings when they needed him most.

TURNING POINT -- Cousins’ huge block on DeRozan with under two minutes remaining in the game kept the Kings’ lead at four and set the stage for a victory.

INJURY UPDATE -- Rudy Gay returned to action despite having a rib cartilage injury that kept him out of action on Saturday night. Anthony Tolliver missed his second straight game with a right knee contusion. Darren Collison served his eight game suspension and will return to action Tuesday when the Kings take on the Pelicans at the Golden 1 Center.

WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings returned home following the game where they will take on the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night and then the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday after five games on the road.

Report: Former Kings star offers to pay for Stephon Clark's funeral

Report: Former Kings star offers to pay for Stephon Clark's funeral

Former Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins reportedly reached out to Stephon Clark's family and offered to cover the cost of his a funeral, according to The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones

Sacramento police shot and killed Clark, a 22-year-old African-American father of two, on Sunday while he was holding a cellphone in the backyard of his grandmother's home. Clark was unarmed. 

During his six-and-a-half year tenure in Sacramento, Cousins was not only the face of the Kings on the court, but the face of outreach efforts off of it. He paid for the funeral of Sacramento-area high school football player Jaulon "JJ" Clavo, who was shot in 2015, and ran free children's basketball camps for the city's children during the summer.

He continued to run a camp last summer following a midseason trade to the New Orleans Pelicans, and has spoken at length about how much he treasures maintaining strong ties to Sacramento. He told The Sacramento Bee last February that he "still consider[s Sacramento] a home."

“It’s very important to me,” Cousins told The New Orleans Advocate in October. “I’ve built relationships in a lot of the different places I’ve been. My biggest thing is helping those kids and helping families in need. I was once in their position, and it would’ve done wonders if I could’ve had a little bit of help coming up. I’m just doing my part.”

Bodycam footage from the officer-involved shooting was released on Wednesday, setting off protests on Thursday. Protestors blocked traffic on Interstate 5 both ways, according to NPR, before locking arms and surrounding the Golden 1 Center ahead of Hawks-Kings that night. Those protests delayed the start of the game by 15 minutes, and an estimated 15,000 fans were unable to enter the arena. 

Kings find themselves in middle of protest as sports, politics collide: 'It has to stop'

Kings find themselves in middle of protest as sports, politics collide: 'It has to stop'

SACRAMENTO -- Basketball took a backseat Thursday evening at Golden 1 Center. Protesters surrounded the Sacramento Kings’ facility, locking arms and blocking the entrance to an estimated 15,000 fans. The game was delayed by nearly 15 minutes and the limited number of ticket holders that made it into the building were basically put on lock down and supplied with free food for the evening.

This issue at hand was the officer involved shooting death of Stephon Clark, a local South Sacramento man that was killed Sunday evening.

Video of the shooting was released by the Sacramento Police Department Wednesday afternoon, setting off community outcry in Sacramento.

In perhaps his finest moment as owner and chairman of the Sacramento Kings, Vivek Ranadivé took center court surrounded by his players to address the undersized crowd.

“On Sunday, we had a horrific, horrific tragedy in our community and on behalf of the players, the executives, ownership and the entire Kings family, I first of all want to express our deepest sympathies to the family. What happened was absolutely horrific and we are so very sorry for your loss.

I also want to say that we at the Kings recognize your people’s ability to protest peacefully and we respect that. We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously and we stand before you; old, young, black, white, brown and we are all united in our commitment.

We recognize that it’s not just business as usual and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting in our own community. We are going to work hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.”

Protests continued throughout the night in the courtyard adjacent to Golden 1 Center. Security and police stood guard at each entrance, trying to keep the events outside the building from spilling into the team’s two-year-old facility.

The locker room was quiet. Despite the 105-90 victory by the Kings, basketball was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

"I just want to say I 100 percent agree with the protest outside,” Garrett Temple said following the game. “If I didn't have a job to do, I probably would have been out there with them peacefully protesting, because what's going on has to stop. It has to stop.”

Sacramento’s leader behind the scenes, Temple has been active in reaching out in the community and fostering conversation with local youth. He wasn’t able to play in Thursday evening’s game due to a left ankle sprain, but that didn’t stop him from waiting around to field questions.

“I think the protest did what it was supposed to do, it brought a light to what’s going on, I think that’s what protests are for,” Temple added. “After that, something has to change. Us not playing a basketball game isn’t going to change the fact that police unfortunately view black and brown men as a threat, when they are certainly not.”

Temple said that he had viewed the video and admitted that it was dark. A split second decision by a police officer cost Clark, a 22-year-old African American, his life. According to published reports, Clark was holding his mobile phone and not a weapon as officers believed.

The tragic events played out in seconds, but it’s storyline that many communities around the country have had to face on countless occasions.

Temple isn’t one to sit by idly by and bite his tongue. He may have addressed the shooting on his own with or without the protest going on outside the arena. But with the events of the night, politics and sports intersected at 500 David J. Stern Walk, opening a door for Temple to express himself.

“To those that say politics and sports don’t intertwine, this is a democracy, people have a voice and we’re people at the end of the day,” Temple said. “Obviously, sports and politics definitely intertwined tonight. The protesters did what they wanted to do in terms of bring light to the situation.”

In addition to Ranadivé’s comments following then contest, the Kings put out two separate press releases. The first came out around 7 pm to update fans of the current status of the game.

"Tonight's game began with a delay. Due to law enforcement being unable to ensure ticketed fans could safely enter the arena, the arena remains closed and we ask fans outside to travel home. We will issue further information soon regarding a refund."

The second press release came later to insure fans that they would receive a refund.

“Due to law enforcement being unable to ensure ticketed fans could safely enter the arena, the arena remained closed as tonight’s game proceeded with a delay. In the coming days, guests who purchased tickets for tonight’s game directly through the Sacramento Kings or Ticketmaster will receive detailed instructions to facilitate a full refund.”

The Kings return to the court Sunday afternoon for a 3pm matinee game.