Kings

Instant Replay: Kings outpaced by T'Wolves in 48th loss

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Instant Replay: Kings outpaced by T'Wolves in 48th loss

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SACRAMENTO -- One more game. After Thursday night’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, that is all that is left to be play in storied Arco/Sleep Train Arena before it’s shut down for good this summer and replaced with the Golden 1 Center.

Kings fans showed up in force, filling up the 28-year-old building to watch a spirited, but short-handed Sacramento team fall for the 48th time this season, this time by a final of 105-97. With the win, the Timberwolves swept the season-series against Kings 4-0.

Minnesota has plenty of star level players developing, but that’s not who made the difference against the Kings. Third-year big man Gorgui Deng quietly scored 18 and grabbed 13 rebounds and Serbian sharpshooter Nemanja Bjelica hit for 18 on 6-for-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc off the T-Wolves bench.

The last time these two teams played, Zach LaVine looked like he was sleeping through the first half before dropping all 23 of his points after the intermission. He didn’t need to wait 24 minutes before torching the Kings Thursday at Sleep Train Arena.

LaVine scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting before the two teams could get back into the locker room. He scored just three points in the second half to finish with 18.

Karl-Anthony Towns is a runaway winner for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award and he didn’t disappoint. The 20-year-old big struggled from the field, but hit enough to scored 15 points. He added eight rebounds and played solid defense against his former Kentucky teammate Willie Cauley-Stein.

Andrew Wiggins chipped in 15 points and four rebounds and Shabazz Muhammad added 10 in the win.

Darren Collison has no interest in resting down the stretch. He plays every game like it was his last and Thursday night was no different. Starting for the resting Rajon Rondo, Collison attacked the T-Wolves, finishing the game with a team-high 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting.

Quincy Acy provided the punch off the Kings bench, hitting 7-of-12 shots for 17 points. He added six rebounds and a blocked shot in 28 minutes.

Cauley-Stein struggled with foul trouble early, but still managed to play 33 minutes as the Kings' starting four. He held his own against Towns, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

Rudy Gay got off to a slow start, but he kept with it and ended up having a solid 13-point, 13-rebound game.

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Bjelica can flat out shoot and the Kings left him wide open on the perimeter to let it fly. The Timberwolves have plenty of weapons, but you can’t sag off of players known for one thing.

TURNING POINT -- With .02 remaining in the third quarter, Bjelica hit a huge 3-pointer to give Minny a seven point lead going to the fourth. The Kings never recovered and the Timberwolves came away with their 26th win of the season.

INJURY UPDATE -- Omri Casspi missed his third straight game with a strained right hamstring and he is doubtful to play Saturday night as well. Marco Belinelli sat for the seventh straight game with a sore right foot. DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo took the night off to rest.

WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings play the final game in the history of Sleep Train Arena Saturday night when they host Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Kings launch 'In this Together' campaign to support active community

Kings launch 'In this Together' campaign to support active community

With the NBA season on hiatus, the Sacramento Kings are shifting gears as a franchise. On Monday morning, they announced a new initiative aimed at helping the community that has supported them for the last 35 years.

According to the team’s official press release, the “In this Together” program is a “new effort to engage and connect through online activations, health awareness, physical and educational activities, business support and more.”

The program has a four-pronged approach, which aligns with what the NBA is doing as a whole. Those four initiatives are Know the Facts, Acts of Caring, Expand Your Community and NBA Together Live.

Through their social media platforms, the team hopes to educate and promote information from the California public health officials, the American Red Cross Gold Country and Sacramento County. 

The team has also posted videos from owner Vivek Ranadivé, as well as players like Marvin Bagley and Bogdan Bogdanovic on staying healthy and active while under directives from the state and local governments to remain in your home. 

Under the acts of caring banner, the Kings have donated nearly 5,000 pounds of perishable foods to the Sacramento Food Bank and the Sacramento County Office of Education. They are also working with team partners like Xfinity to provide free educational resources and First 5 California to create coloring sheets and downloadable activities through Kings.com/Together.

The team plans to release at-home workout videos from Nike featuring Kings game night host Katerina Kountouris, as well as at-home basketball drills for kids featuring Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson and G League coach Ty Ellis. 

They are also going to launch a contest where fan-submitted videos will get Kings broadcaster Grant Napear’s famous “If you don’t like that, you don’t like Kings basketball!” call.

[RELATED: Sleep Train Arena could convert into COVID-19 hospital]

Partnered with NBC Sports Bay Area and California, the Kings will continue running classic games from the 2017-20 campaigns through April 15. The team is also encouraging fans to watch Pay It Forward LIVE, a digital concert series from Verizon that benefits small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Kings plan on doing more in the community as their fans are isolated in their homes for the foreseeable future. You can find out more information by going to Kings.com/Together.
 

Five moments to remember from Kings' buzzer-beating win over Rockets

Five moments to remember from Kings' buzzer-beating win over Rockets

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Kings’ victory over the Houston Rockets from Dec. 9, 2019 today at 3 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California.

The NBA has closed its doors indefinitely, but we have been able to dig into the archives and come away with some of the best games from the last few seasons for your viewing pleasure.

In our sixth installment, we go back to earlier this season, when the Kings went toe-to-toe with the Houston Rockets and came away with a huge game-winner from Nemanja Bjelica.

While we know the final outcome of the game, sometimes the details become murky over time. Here are five things to watch from the Kings’ 119-118 buzzer-beating win over the Rockets at the Toyota Center.

“F--k it, we deserved this win.”

Bjelica usually is quiet and stays away from the media when he’s given the choice. After drilling a 32-footer as time expired to give his team a huge win, Bjelica stopped by to speak with the Kings’ broadcasting team of Grant Napear and Doug Christie and he let loose with an F-bomb that has since been made into t-shirts.

The veteran stretch four has been very good for the Kings since signing as a free agent in the summer of 2018. He has hit plenty of long range 3-pointers, but none was bigger than the dagger against Houston.

“Game over. Game over.”

Star point guard Russell Westbrook put up 34 points and eight assists against the Kings in this game, including nine of the Rockets' final 12 points in regulation. With one second remaining on the clock, he put in a layup to give the Rockets a 118-116 lead and wouldn’t stop talking.

Westbrook's shot was huge, but Bjelica outdid him with the buzzer-beater. Sometimes it’s best to wait until the clock strikes zero before proclaiming victory.

Buddy Buckets

Where would the Kings be without Buddy Hield and his ability to knockdown the triple?

While Bjelica gets the fanfare in this one, Hield’s 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining tied the game and gave the Kings a shot. 

Hield scored a team-high 26 points in this game, including 6-of-13 shooting from long range. In a hostile environment, he came up huge for Sacramento.

It’s raining 3s

Hield tied the game late with a 3-pointer and Bjelica hit the game-winner while wading in the Gulf of Mexico, but these shots were part of a larger trend in this game.

Sacramento went a stunning 20-for-45 from behind the arch, outscoring the high-powered Rockets 60-51 from deep. Only eight players stepped on the court for coach Luke Walton in this game and seven of them knocked down a 3-ball.

Back-to-back

The Kings got off to a rough start to the 2019-20 season, dropping their first five games. They bounced back, but came into this stretch in dire need of some wins.

[RELATED: Sleep Train Arena could be converted into COVID-19 hospital]

They dropped the first two games of the road trip in Portland and San Antonio, and then had to finish the trip with a back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks and Rockets on Sunday and Monday.

Sacramento almost blew an eight-point lead in the final three minutes in Dallas, but held on for a 110-106 victory. With the win in Houston, the Kings returned home with a .500 trip and then beat the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center for their third win in four days against high-level teams.