Rewind: Joerger happy as Kings get 10th win over tough team


Rewind: Joerger happy as Kings get 10th win over tough team

Dave Joerger had to have a smile on his face Friday night when he boarded a plane for Dallas. No, it wasn’t because his team stuck it to his former employer that let him go over the summer after nine-years of service, although that likely felt good.

Joerger is likely beaming because his shorthanded Kings played 48 minutes of basketball against a very good opponent and came away with their 10th victory of the season by the final of 96-92.

“From a personal standpoint, very difficult day for me,” Joerger told reporters during postgame. “To come in here having spent as much of my love and time and family in this community and we love it.”

After six years as an assistant in Memphis and the last three seasons leading the Grizzlies to a 147-99 record as the head coach, the Grizzlies went a different direction in May. Sacramento quickly seized the opportunity, signing Joerger to a long-term deal just days later.

“I love all those guys and I wish them all the best, and we kind of caught them on a tough night for them, but our guys deserve some credit too,” Joerger said.

They don’t call it the grind house for nothing. Memphis’ FedEx Forum is one of the tougher spots to play. The Grizzlies came into the night with a six-game home win streak and winners of seven of their last eight games overall.

At 18-10, Memphis currently holds the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoff race and before tip off, they learned that starting point guard Mike Conley Jr. would return after missing the previous nine games with a back injury. The Grizzlies appeared poised to come away with another win.

Sacramento on the other hand was coming off an embarrassing loss Wednesday in Houston and they were without the services of both Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi. When DeMarcus Cousins got off to a rough start, Joerger’s role players stepped forward to carry the load.

“This is definitely a team effort, it might have been our best team game all year,” veteran Anthony Tolliver told media members following the win. “We didn’t shoot it great, but we kept fighting, kept figuring it, kept making plays when we needed to.”

Joerger turned to a tight eight-man rotation for most of the game and everyone he put on the floor contributed in some way. Garrett Temple started off the game shooting the lights out, scoring 12 of his 17 points in the first half, but when his shot wasn’t falling late, he found his teammates for open buckets and came up with big rebounds.

Cousins managed to post 22 points and grab nine rebounds, but he shot just 7-of-20 from the field and fouled out with a little over a minutes.

With the game on the line and no Cousins or Gay to rely on, the Kings pulled together instead of falling apart like they have done so many times this season.

“We just grinded it out,” big man Kosta Koufos told reporters following the game. “We knew they’re an experienced team, they were going to fight through the whole game for all 48 minutes. For us, just trying to execute as much as possible, efficiently as possible and we did that today.”

Koufos aggressively attacked a very good defensive frontline, using his baby hook to drop 16 points on his former team. He added 14 rebounds and three blocks while limiting big man Marc Gasol to just 6-of-18 shooting.

“I’ve been consistently working on them everyday and fortunately tonight, they were falling,” Koufos said of his jump hook. “I’m going to keep working at it. The most important thing is we won tonight.”

Point guard Darren Collison added 11 points and six assists in 38 minutes while turning the ball over just once. Tolliver, Ben McLemore, Ty Lawson and Matt Barnes each found a way to positively impact the outcome of the game.

With the victory, Sacramento improved to 10-16 on the season. They face an injury riddled Dallas Mavericks team on Sunday that sits at just 6-20 on the season.

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.