NBA Gameday: Youth takes center stage against Suns

NBA Gameday: Youth takes center stage against Suns

UPDATE (5:26pm PT on Wednesday): Roughly 90 minutes before tip-off, the Kings announced that PG Darren Collison and SF Anthony Tolliver will miss Wednesday's game due to planned rest. SG Tyreke Evans is listed as probable with a sore left ankle.


After dropping eight straight games, the Sacramento Kings bounced back on Monday night against the Orlando Magic, coming away with the 120-115 win at Golden 1 Center. They travel to Phoenix trying to make it two in a row Wednesday evening against the young, but erratic Suns.

Seven players scored in double-figures for the Kings against Orlando, including a team-high 19 from both Darren Collison and Anthony Tolliver. The young core of Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere all started for Sacramento and chipped in a combined 46 points and 22 rebounds in the victory.

Phoenix is buoyed by a pair of scoring guards in Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker. Bledsoe bull rushes at opposing defenses, while Booker loves the 3-ball. Each player is averaging 21.1 points per game on the season for a team that sits near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. 


Suns by 6


Kings: 26-41, third place Pacific

Suns: 22-45, fourth place Pacific


Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss -- Vlade Divac drew the ire of plenty of fans and NBA talking heads when he traded down from the the no. 8 spot in the 2016 NBA Draft in a deal with Phoenix that included the No. 13 and No. 28 picks plus the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. The jury is still out on Georgios Papagiannis, the 13th overall selections, and Bogdanovic is currently playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish league, but the 28th pick yielded Labissiere, who is quickly showing his value. 

Since the All-Star break, Labissiere is averaging 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game. Divac passed on Sacramento-native Marquese Chriss, who is averaging 8.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game on the season for Phoenix. Both of these young forwards have tremendous potential going forward and should see each other plenty of times over the next decade.


Kings: SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Suns: C Alex Len (hip) questionable, F Dragan Bender (ankle) out.


The season series between these two teams is all tied up at 1-1. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-88 and they hold an 84-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.


“It’s a good group and they get along and they go play hard. That’s kind of the identity that we’re hoping to have going forward. Whoever plays, this is how we do it here. We have great fans, a wonderful arena and we go out and and we play really hard.” -Dave Joerger following the win over Orlando

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.