NBA Gameday: Kings' young bigs face tough task in Towns

NBA Gameday: Kings' young bigs face tough task in Towns

After facing an All-Star frontline in New Orleans on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are back at it on Saturday when they travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves. 
Former Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins ran roughshod over the young Kings, finishing the night with 37 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the win. With four veterans sitting out for either planned rest or for personal reasons, coach Dave Joerger showcased his young core, including big minutes for Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis and Willie Cauley-Stein on the frontline.
Minnesota is fresh off a drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Ricky Rubio put on a show, scoring 33 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing five rebounds. Since the All-Star break, the veteran point guard is averaging 16.8 points, 10.5 assists and shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc.

Timberwolves by 11.5

Skal Labissiere vs. Karl-Anthony Towns -- One night Labissiere draws All-Star Anthony Davis, the next night he gets another star big in Towns. These two might not start out defending each other, but they’ll be on the floor at the same time for much of the game. Labissiere scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss to New Orleans on Friday night. Towns is coming off a 32-point, nine-rebound performance against the Lakers.

Kings: 29-47, third place in Pacific

Timberwolves: 30-44, last place in Northwest


Kings: G/F Tyreke Evans (planned rest) out, G/F Garrett Temple (planned rest), C Kosta Koufos (planned rest), SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Timberwolves: SG Zach LaVine (knee) out, C Nikola Pekovic (Achilles, ankle) out, PF Adreian Payne (illness) out, Nemanja Bjelica (foot) out.

Sacramento holds a 2-1 lead in the season series this year, including a win at the Target Center in December. The Timberwolves hold a slight 54-52 all-time advantage over the Kings.

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.