Kings

Kings hold court at home with OT win over Warriors

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Kings hold court at home with OT win over Warriors

BOX SCORE
SACRAMENTO The Sacramento Kings held the Warriors scoreless for the first three minutes and 43 seconds of overtime and wound up snapping Golden States two-game winning streak. For the Kings, the victory avenged their 93-90 loss to the Warriors on Tuesday at Oracle.Kings 114, Warriors 106 (OT)Player of the game: DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 points and 20 rebounds. He also knocked down a back-breaking straightaway 18-foot jumper which banked in with 2:06 left in overtime, giving the Kings a 109-102 lead.

We got manhandled on the boards, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. Their four and five positions just dominated the glass. We didnt step up to the challenge. At times its individual and at times its collective. Awfully frustrating when a guy like Dominic McGuire can tie for our rebounding lead (5) in a little under 15 minutes. Its a mentality, a mindset.Key stretch: The start of overtime did the Warriors in and nobody struggled more than Stephen Curry. He missed three shots in the first two minutes of the extra period and also committed a turnover.Curry wouldnt have started the overtime according to Jackson had Nate Robinson been back in the locker room nursing a groin injury.Robinson sustained the injury early in the fourth quarter but ended up playing until the end of regulation. At the end of regulation, he went back into the locker room to get treatment.(Robinson) went in the back and got taped and then said he was ready, Jackson said. In fairness to Steph, I told him I shouldnt have gone back to him even if Nate was not ready. It wasnt fair to him especially coming off ankle issues and all that. Obviously he wasnt going to be loose and clearly he wasnt himself when he went back in. Thats on me.Said Curry: Im not used to it, but if he calls your number youve got to do the best you can. My legs werent normally where theyd be on the shots I did take, but its one of those situations where Nate was injured a little bit, and I had to go in there and play. Tried to do my best.

Huge shot: Rookie Klay Thompson hit the biggest shot of his career, burying a corner 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining to tie the game 102-102.That was the play if I could get a layup, get a layup, said Robinson, who finished with 20 points. But we wanted a three, Klay was wide open, baseline drift, wide open. works every time.

Bench again: For the second time in the past two games, Warriors coach Mark Jackson played primarily his substitutes in the fourth quarter. That unit rallied from an 11-point deficit to force overtime.Our bench was incredible, Jackson said. Their effort was outstanding and I look forward to the day where Im not a coach standing over there thinking: Do I stick with these guys or do I get my starters back in the game? Thats not a good feeling. Youre supposed to have guys you can rely on that can pick it up when needed.

Thorntons third: Thornton really got it going in the third quarter, and it helped the Kings gain some separation from Golden State. Thornton had 18 points in the period, which was the big reason the Kings turned a one-point halftime deficit into an 87-76 lead after three periods.Wright on: Dorell Wright had a spring in his step and it seemed obvious. He had a terrific put back dunk off a rebound and also had his long-range game going.Wright had 19 points in the first half, going 6-for-7 from the field, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He finished with 24 points but didnt play in the fourth quarter or overtimeIts very frustrating because the No. 1 thing is Im a team player, Wright said. If guys are rolling theyre rolling. But me being a competitor I want to be in there. But youve got to roll with the coachs decision. Im a vet so Ive been there, seen it all. Im not worried. I just got to stay ready so that when he does call me Ill be ready. It is what it is.

Tight first half:Neither team led by more than five points through the first 24 minutes. The Warriors went into halftime up 54-53, and did so despite struggling on the glass.Sacramento had 27 rebounds to the Warriors 16. But the Warriors made up for that by shooting 50 percent to the Kings 40 percent.Bar raised: Jackson was asked before the game if he was concerned that by putting too much of an emphasis on Saturdays game he called it a big game on Friday that a loss would be more of a setback than a regular-old loss would be.Not all, Jackson said. It is a very important game for us and if we leave here with a loss we should feel like its a letdown, we should be disappointed, we should be upset and some of the air should be taken out of us. But were not looking forward to that feeling. We expect to accomplish what we came for.

Gameday: Can Kings slow down Rockets from beyond the arc?

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AP

Gameday: Can Kings slow down Rockets from beyond the arc?

Sacramento rebooted the franchise at the trade deadline last season and begin anew this season with veteran additions Vince Carter, George Hill and Zach Randolph to compliment a bevy of young players. 

Houston reloaded in the offseason, adding nine-time All-Star Chris Paul and a veteran defenders P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. They put on a show against the Warriors and look like one of the best the Western Conference has to offer once again. 

BETTING LINE 

Rockets by 8

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kings defense vs. The 3-pointer -- Houston launched an incredible 180 3-point attempts versus Sacramento last season, hitting a robust 75 (41.7 percent) of those shots. It’s a new-look roster for the Kings, but they’ve had very little time to develop defensive chemistry. Dave Joerger and his staff will game plan to slow the Rockets perimeter game, but Mike D’Antoni has a deep group that comes at you in waves.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 0-0

Rockets: 1-0

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) out, PF Zach Randolph (tooth) out

Rockets: PG Chris Paul (bruised right knee) questionable

SERIES HISTORY 

The Rockets swept the Kings last season 4-0, including a 135-128 victory in the final week of the season. Houston leads the all-time series 124-88 and they hold an 83-42 advantage during the Sacramento-era. 

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE ROOKIES - The Kings walk into the 2017-18 campaign with five rookies on the roster, four of which should see time early in the season. De’Aaron Fox is the headliner, but don’t be shocked if Justin Jackson, Frank Mason and Bogdan Bogdanovic play important roles on this team.

ROTATIONS - With 10 new faces on the roster, Joerger needed more than an abbreviated training camp and six preseason contests. Expect the coaching staff to try different looks throughout the first 20 games of the season as they search for answers.

BALANCING THE ROSTER - Joerger has five veterans and 10 players with two years of experience or less. If he goes with the vets, fans will call for the rookies. If he plays the rookies and the losses stack up, fans will call for his head. It’s an unenviable position that will require patience and a little faith.

QUOTE

“I’m expecting a high-paced game. I feel like our fans are going to come out, they’re going to give us a lot of energy, playing a team as good as Houston is.” -De’Aaron Fox

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

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USATSI

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.


Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.