Kings

Ex-Kings coach Paul Westphal to be enshrined in Basketball Hall of Fame

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USATSI

Ex-Kings coach Paul Westphal to be enshrined in Basketball Hall of Fame

The Hall is calling.

After more than 30 years, the wait finally is over for former Sacramento Kings coach Paul Westphal. He will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday

The Hall confirmed the news Saturday.

Drafted by the Boston Celtics 10th overall in 1972, Westphal played 12 seasons in the NBA. The 6-foot-4 guard, who was a five-time All-Star, averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game while playing for four different teams.

Westphal won an NBA title with the 1973-74 Celtics, and he helped lead the Phoenix Suns to a Western Conference title in the 1975-76 season.

The former USC Trojan star posted his best career season with the Suns during the 1977-78 season. He averaged 25.2 points and 5.5 assists per game, and finished sixth in the NBA MVP balloting.

Westphal won the NBA’s Comeback Player of the Year following the 1982-83 season with the New York Knicks. He retired one year later after returning to the Suns for a second tour of duty.

Following his playing career, Westphal coached the Suns, Seattle SuperSonics and Kings. He compiled a 318-279 record over parts of 10 seasons, and led the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls during the 1992-93 season.

In Westphal's two-plus seasons coaching the Kings, he compiled a 51-120 record, but the team ran the lowest payroll in the NBA during that stretch under the Maloof family's ownership.

In addition to his NBA accomplishments, Westphal is in the USC Hall of Fame, Pac 12 Hall of Honor and the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor. He also coached at the collegiate level at Pepperdine and Southern Baptist Bible College, and led Grand Canyon University to an NAIA national title in 1988.

Joining Westphal in the Basketball Hall Class of 2019 will be Kings general manager Vlade Divac, former Bucks guard Sidney Moncrief, Warriors ambassador Al Attles, former 76ers forward Bobby Jones and basketball pioneer Chuck Cooper. Other honorees include Bill Fitch, Jack Sikma, Teresa Weatherspoon and the Tennessee A&I teams of 1957 to 1959.

Divac and Co. will be enshrined into the Basketball Hall on Sept. 5-7 in Springfield, Mass.

Kings in position to redeem themselves after playoff stumble last year

Kings in position to redeem themselves after playoff stumble last year

SACRAMENTO -- Is it too early to scoreboard watch? Not if you’ve missed the playoffs 13 consecutive seasons like the Sacramento Kings.

After an emotional road trip that included a brutal overtime loss followed by two incredible wins in the final seconds of games in Dallas and Houston, the Kings looked tired Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

And then they looked like someone reminded them what a win would do for the team in the standings.

Behind a lively crowd, the Kings stormed back against the Oklahoma City Thunder and pulled off a come-from-behind 94-93 victory to move to 11-13 on the season.

With the Phoenix Suns losing on Wednesday, the Kings caught them in the standings. After an 0-5 start to the season, Luke Walton’s squad is now locked in a three-way for the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings with the Suns and the Thunder.

“It was hard, the first five games, especially after the Charlotte game at home,” Bogdan Bogdanovic said after hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 17.3 seconds remaining. “It was really, really hard and we should never forget that feeling, especially right now when we feel good.”

Sacramento fans booed the Kings off the court following the team’s 118-111 loss to the Hornets on Oct. 30. There was confusion and anguish in the locker room, but the players accepted responsibility and came back out two days later and beat the Utah Jazz.

“We should use that as an experience, as an advantage and motivation,” Bogdanovic said of the dark times the team has already gone through this season.

The Kings aren’t counting their chickens before they hatch. They learned that lesson the hard way last year when they faded down the stretch in a season filled with promise.

After moving into the seventh and eighth positions on multiple occasions throughout the 82-game schedule, they dropped seven of their final 10 contests and finished nine games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

“Now we know how hard it is and how every game is important and we have to be locked in,” Bogdanovic insisted. “First game after a road trip was sloppy, like this one and we have to be locked in to play a much better game against New York.”

[RELATED: Fox feeling better, believes he's close to Kings return]

This is an important stretch of games for the Kings. They have climbed within two games of the .500 mark with games against the Knicks and Warriors on the docket. New York and Golden State have a combined 10-41 record on the season, but Sacramento is not in a position to look past anyone.

It’s really early to scoreboard watch. It was also really early when the Kings went winless to start the season.

Sacramento is motivated by the chase for the postseason. The Kings have a little taste of it now and a soft spot in the schedule. Let’s see how they react to the opportunity this time around.

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 94-93 last-minute win over Thunder

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 94-93 last-minute win over Thunder

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- After two stunning road victories over the Mavs and Rockets, the Kings looked tired and disinterested for the better part of three quarters against the Thunder on Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center. 

And then they woke up.

In another barnburner, Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down a 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds remaining to give the Kings the 94-93 lead.

Oklahoma City isolated Chris Paul on Richaun Holmes on the final play and the Kings’ center locked down the future Hall of Fame guard as Sacramento escaped with its third straight win in dramatic fashion.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings shook off the rough start to stun the Thunder late to move to 11-13 on the season.  

Keep shooting

Hield has been streaky all season long and it was no different against the Thunder. The Kings’ leading scorer missed his first six shots before finally knocking down a triple to get things started.

He was spotty throughout the game until late when he kept Sacramento in it with one big shot after another.

Hield finished the night with 23 points, six assists and six rebounds. He shot just 9-for-24 from the field and 5-of-14 from long range, but the Kings needed a scoring punch and Hield kept firing until he found it.

A shot and a stop

Bogdanovic watched his fellow countryman Nemanja Bjelica drop in a 33-footer for the win Monday in Houston. He had a little magic of his own against a veteran OKC team. 

With the shot clock winding down, Bogi got his defender in the air, took a dribble and knocked down a huge shot from the left wing to give his team a one-point lead.

Moments later, it was the defense by Holmes that sealed the victory for Sacramento. Holmes finished the night with 10 points and seven rebounds, but he made his money with the stop to win it. 

[RELATED: Fox feeling better, believes he's close to Kings return]

Bagley back

After a 22-game absence with a broken thumb, power forward Marvin Bagley returned to action and played with energy. 

It wasn’t the performance the second-year big was looking for, but he managed to score 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in 23 minutes of action. 

One of the highlights for the former No. 2 overall pick was a play in the second quarter where he took the inbounds pass on one end, went coast-to-coast and scored over Steven Adams for the And-1. 

The Kings need Bagley to quickly integrate into the system and find his game after the extended layoff.