Instant Replay: Kings hold on this time, prevail over Hornets

Instant Replay: Kings hold on this time, prevail over Hornets


The Sacramento Kings continued their strong play Saturday night in Charlotte. They used a big performance from DeMarcus Cousins and plenty of help from the rest of the team to come away with a 109-106 over the Hornets.

Charlotte threw plenty of looks at DeMarcus Cousins and none of them worked. The three-time All-Star went to work against a bevy of bigs and still managed to post 35 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He added 18 rebounds and four assists, but he picked up his 13th technical of the season while jawing with Spencer Hawes.

Darren Collison got it going in the second half. The veteran point guard finished the night with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

The Hornets left Anthony Tolliver open and the Kings’ forward made them pay. Tolliver dropped in 4-for-8 from long range on his way to 14 points and he added seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action.

Willie Cauley-Stein ran to the rim and Sacramento’s guards found him in stride for plenty of easy looks. The second-year big scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Arron Afflalo hit for 13 points and Ty Lawson orchestrated the offense to come away with a team-high nine assists.

Kemba Walker got off to a slow start, but the shifty point guard scored 20 of his team-high 26 points in the third quarter.  

Nic Batum stuffed the stat sheet for head coach Steve Clifford. The veteran wing scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out seven assists.

Marvin Williams dropped in 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting and Spencer Hawes scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.

Cousins was a star. The Kings’ big man dominated the Hornets from start to finish and found a way to win it in crunch time.

With 14.3 seconds remaining, Cousins took the Hornets to the hole and got the bounce to give Sacramento the two point lead. On the other end, Kaminsky airballed a 3-pointer for the win and Cousins grabbed the rebound to finish the game off.

Omri Casspi missed his eighth straight contest with right a plantaris tendon strain. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

The Kings finish off their season-long eight-game road trip with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday. First up on the docket are the Philadelphia 76ers, followed by the Houston Rockets.

Marvin Bagley continues to showcase star potential in win vs. Mavs

Marvin Bagley continues to showcase star potential in win vs. Mavs

SACRAMENTO -- The Marvin Bagley III era of Sacramento Kings basketball is upon us. He can hit you with a spin move, rise over you for a half hook and on Thursday evening at Golden 1 Center, he starting dropping in 3-pointers.

At 20-years-old, there is no telling where the ceiling is for the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. Since returning from injury, five games ago, he’s been on fire, despite dealing with a minutes restriction.

“It was just a matter of time before I was able to show out and just go out and play,” a confident Bagley said following the Kings’ 116-100 victory. “Play without thinking and just play basketball. Whenever I’m playing like that I just play free and I’m not worried about mistakes.”

For the third straight game, the former Duke star posted 20 points or more for Sacramento, finishing with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He added 12 rebounds four the 14th double-double of his rookie campaign and blocked four shots as well.

Suiting up for the first time against fellow rookie, Luka Doncic, Bagley looked fresh and ready for the challenge. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Doncic looked every bit the part of a rookie who has had to carry the scoring load for his team all season. The Slovenian-born guard finished the night with just 13 points on 4-of-19 shooting to go with 10 rebounds.

Following the game, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle raved about the Kings’ rookie.

“Bagley is terrific,” Carlisle told reporters following the game. “He’s much improved. Shooting the three consistently, so he’s a big problem.”

While Bagley knocked down the 3-ball at the college level, it was in limited attempts. Since joining the Kings, he’s taken a cautious approach when it comes to hoisting from the perimeter, shooting just 69 3-pointers through his first 51 games.

Tuesday against the Nets, Bagley shot and made two 3-pointers. On Thursday versus the Mavs, he looked confident in his five attempts, hitting a career-best three makes from behind the arc.

“It’s just a progression,” coach Dave Joerger said. “I’ve never told him not to, I’ve asked him that I prefer if the ball comes from inside the line where you’re getting your momentum going forward.”

For Bagley to take the next step in his progression and move into the starting lineup, the Kings need him to at least be a threat from the perimeter. If opposing defenses have to stay with him behind the 3-point line, it keeps the lanes open for De’Aaron Fox to attack the rim.

“He’s a special talent, man,” Buddy Hield said. “Sometime you don’t even run a play for him. He just gets our misses and puts it back in. That’s what comes with a special talent. He’s just going to keep growing and getting better. He’s still not to his potential.”

[RELATED: What we learned from Kings' win over Mavs]

In 10 games since the All-Star break, Bagley is averaging 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds in 27 minutes per game. He’s quickly living up to the hype and showing improvement at almost every step.

With just 11 games remaining in the season, Bagley would like to end on a high note. The Kings need him to continue to develop his perimeter skills during his first real offseason and build some up his strength for the grueling 82 game NBA schedule.

Kings takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win over Mavericks

Kings takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win over Mavericks


SACRAMENTO -- Needing a win to move on from Tuesday’s epic collapse against the Nets, the Kings played with pace, shared the ball and hit their shots Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Buddy Hield hit his shots, De’Aaron Fox put on the jets and both Marvin Bagley and Willie Cauley-Stein posted doubles to help push the Kings to a 116-100 victory.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings moves within a game of .500 at 35-36 on the season.

Bagley vs. Doncic

The Kings took a beating in the national media when they selected Bagley with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. The rookie big continues to show why he was worthy of the pick.

The 20-year-old power forward struggled with his shot at times, but still managed to notch 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting to go with 12 rebounds and four blocks. He was active on both ends of the floor and made a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game.

Luka Doncic was the player many thought the Kings would select at two. When the Kings passed, Dallas moved up to select the talented guard out of Slovenia. Doncic struggled with his shot, shooting just 4-of-19 from the field to finish with 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

While they didn’t match up against each other often, both look like top-level young players.

Returning to form

After failing to break the 20 point mark in three straight games and posting just eight in the Kings’ loss to the Nets on Tuesday, Hield woke up against Dallas.

Sacramento’s leading scorer hit 7-of-13 from long range to finish the night with a team-high 29 points.

Hield is the barometer for this team. When he plays well, the Kings are tough to beat.

Revenge game

Justin Jackson played rotational minutes throughout the first half of the season with the Kings before heading to the Mavericks with Zach Randolph in exchange for Harrison Barnes at the trade deadline.

He returned to his old stomping grounds Thursday evening and looked pumped up against his former team. The 23-year-old wing was active and hit his shots, scoring 19 points on 9-for-16 shooting for Dallas in 32 minutes of action.