Rewind: Kings should burn film from 132-98 loss to Rockets

Rewind: Kings should burn film from 132-98 loss to Rockets

Some game tapes you burn. That is what the Sacramento Kings will likely do with the film from Wednesday night’s 132-98 blowout loss on the road to the Houston Rockets. Drop it in a metal waste can, hit it with some lighter fluid and toss in a match.

Although they sit at just 9-16 on the season, the Kings haven’t had many stinkers this year. They’ve fallen behind early in games, fought to catch back up and run out of gas down the stretch in multiple contests. But outside of the Nov. 5 drubbing at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento has been competitive.

Without DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore, Dave Joerger and his staff had to know coming into the Toyota Center that they were in for a long night. But there is no excuse for allowing the Rockets to shoot 22-for-42 from behind the 3-point line and 58.8 percent from the field overall.

“Certainly they shot well,” Joerger told media members following the game. “I think they were shooting 65 percent from three on us for most of the night. Once they got ahead of us, it became three and easy.”

Seven different Rocket players hit two or more 3-balls led by Trevor Ariza’s 5-for-7 performance. Houston missed tying the NBA record of 23 makes by just one, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Despite the big lead, they continued to hoist until the final buzzer.

“It’s fun to play in,” veteran Matt Barnes said of Mike D’Antoni’s style of play. “They’re shooting 50 3’s a game  and moving the ball like that. I’ve been in a system like that before and it’s fun.”

While it might be fun to play in a system like D’Antoni’s, it doesn’t feel all that good to be on the other end of a beating like what the Kings took on Wednesday evening. Sometimes you run up against a buzzsaw and there is very little you can do to change the outcome.

“They’re a very good team, they shot the heck out of it and hats off the them,” Joerger added.

Of course the Kings came into the night missing three starters, including their first and second leading scorers. Gay and McLemore missed the game due to injury, but Cousins was held out by the Kings for scheduled rest.

“It is what it is,” veteran Matt Barnes told reporters following the loss. “I think throughout the season teams are either going to rest people or have people hurt. Like I said before, it’s going to give other people a chance to step up and kind of get a rhythm.”

This was the first game this season that Cousins missed. The two-time All-Star is averaging 34.5 minutes per game on the season, but he is also second in the NBA behind only Russell Westbrook in usage percentage at 36.8 percent. He’s carried a tremendous amount of the load for Sacramento this season and the team is looking out for his long term health.

“We’ve got to weather the storm until Ben and Rudy get back, I think DeMarcus is playing in our next game,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to pick up the pieces, man, and continue to try to play hard and improve.”

Both Gay (hip flexor) and McLemore (thigh contusion) are listed as day-to-day. Their availability for Friday night’s game in Memphis is unknown at this time, but the NBA schedule stops for no man.


With 60 percent of his starting lineup unavailable, Joerger gave two of his rookie first rounders some burn late Wednesday night. Malachi Richardson played the entire fourth quarter for Sacramento, while Skal Labissiere joined the lineup for the final six minutes in the loss to Houston.

“I think it was a confidence booster for me,” Richardson told reporters following the game. “Being here for the first few games and not really playing, and going in there and playing and doing well, I think it helped my confidence a lot.”

Richardson scored seven points on 2-of-5 shooting, including a smooth looking 3-pointer. He added three rebounds, two assists and a steal in just his third appearance in an NBA game.

“It’s definitely different, the speed of the game is different, guys are bigger and faster, so it’s definitely an adjustment, but I think I’m doing pretty well with it,” Richardson said.

Labissiere scored two points and grabbed a rebound in six minutes of action. This was the second time this season that Labissiere has seen action for Sacramento after being drafted out of Kentucky with the 28th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.

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.