Giannis Antetokounmpo feels guilty for dropping hammer on Kosta Koufos

Giannis Antetokounmpo feels guilty for dropping hammer on Kosta Koufos

Greek on Greek crime. 

With just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter of the Kings’ blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon, superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo used a Brook Lopez screen to get around veteran Iman Shumpert. 

The 6-foot-11 forward got a full head of steam and ran at the rim. Waiting for Antetokounmpo was Kings big man Kosta Koufos and the scene played out very similar to what you would expect.

Antetokounmpo went up and over the top of Koufos, hammering a vicious dunk down on a player that he knows very well. 

“That’s my guy, that’s my countryman,” Antetokounmpo told reporters following then game. “I don’t talk bad about him.”

When asked if he felt guilty about dunking on Koufos, who like Antetokounmpo, is of Greek descent, the Bucks star acknowledged that he did.

“Definitely, he’s a great guy, he’s a great guy,” the All-Star forward said. “I’ve met his family, I’ve met his mother. It’s going to be kind of awkward when we go back to Greece and talk to him, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

While Koufos didn’t talk following the game, he would have said what he always does in these situations. This isn’t the first time that he’s been dunked on and it won’t be the last. It’s his job to step in and defend the rim and sometimes that means getting posterized.

Antetokounmpo finished the evening with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 11 rebounds in the Bucks 144-109 victory. The loss snapped Sacramento’s five game winning streak and sent them home 3-1 on their four game road trip.

Kings Under Review: Sacramento gets defensive in win over Blazers


Kings Under Review: Sacramento gets defensive in win over Blazers

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings took care of business on their home court Monday evening, posting a quality 115-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The win was the third straight and fourth in the last five games for Sacramento, who now head out on the road for a brutal 12-day trip across the country.

It wasn't a wire-to-wire success like Saturday's game against the Hornets, but the Kings took control in the first half and fended off a late charge by Portland. After a rough patch to start January, the Kings are showing a newfound ability to close out games.

The win pushed Sacramento two games over the .500 mark at 23-21. Here are the positives and the negatives from the win.



With time off between games all week, the Kings focused on shoring up their defense. The work paid dividends against a tough Trail Blazers team.

Sacramento held Portland to 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc to come away with the win.

The Kings made a concerted effort to slow both Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum and it paid off. After crushing Sacramento in the previous matchup, Nurkic finished with a modest six points and 11 rebounds. McCollum was limited to 2-of-14 from the field for six points.


Second Unit

In a continuing trend, the Kings are getting productivity up and down the lineup. Against Portland, it was a group of reserves that made a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game.

Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench, but he wasn't the only one of the bench mob to produce.

The young bigs went to work. Marvin Bagley posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double before fouling out late. Harry Giles scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added four rebounds, two assists and a block in 19 minutes.

Justin Jackson hit three 3-pointers, including a pair in the fourth quarter while the game was undecided. Yogi Ferrell chipped in six points to round out the production from the reserves.

Sacramento's second unit totaled 58 of the team's 115 points on the evening.


Lillard Goes Off

Damian Lillard is one of the better scoring guards in the league. He's a tough cover for any team, especially when he goes into attack mode late in a game.

Lillard finished with 35 points on 11-of-27 shooting from the field and 4-for-12 from behind the arc. He was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line and dished out five assists.

He attempted to take over the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points for Portland, but the Kings made life difficult, holding him to 2-of-7 shooting in the final 12 minutes of play.

While Lillard led the Blazers in scoring, he had an inefficient scoring output and turned the ball over six times.


The Homestand

Needing a solid showing at home before heading out for a season-long six-game trip, the Kings looked focused on the task at hand.

The Pistons, Hornets, and Trail Blazers were all playing on the second night of back-to-backs, but they are all quality veteran teams in the playoff hunt.

With the sweep at home, the Kings improved to 14-10 at Golden 1 Center this season. They'll take some momentum out on the road, where they are 9-11 through 20 games.

NBA rumors: Kings express interest in trade for Hawks guard Jeremy Lin


NBA rumors: Kings express interest in trade for Hawks guard Jeremy Lin

The NBA trade deadline isn't until Feb. 7, but the rumor mill already has begun.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Tuesday that the Kings have expressed interest in trading for Atlanta Hawks veteran point guard Jeremy Lin.

Sources also have told NBC Sports California's James Ham that Sacramento has been kicking the tires on bringing in a conventional backup point guard to help stabilize the second unit. Lin surely would fit that mold.

As Lin is an impending free agent and has a contract worth over $12 million this season, Stein indicates the Hawks likely would be looking for expiring contracts such as Zach Randolph or Kosta Koufos to complete the deal.

Lin, 30, is a Palo Alto native who's currently averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 assists in 19.5 minutes per game with the lowly Hawks (13-30). Given Atlanta's desire to rebuild around rookie point guard Trae Young, it isn't surprising that the team would be looking to move Lin to a contender.

Lin took over the sports world in 2012 with "Linsanity," when he initially burst on the scene with the New York Knicks. Although the highs of Linsanity were impossible to sustain, the veteran has established himself as a solid backup point guard across his eight-year NBA career.

[RELATED: Shumpert denies he tried to enter Blazers locker room]

If a trade to the Kings were to occur, Lin would join a crowded backcourt with De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Iman Shumpert, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Frank Mason III, Ben McLemore and Yogi Ferrell.