Instant Replay: Kings turn in gritty performance in win over Celtics

Instant Replay: Kings turn in gritty performance in win over Celtics


SACRAMENTO -- The Boston Celtics rolled into Sacramento expecting a short-handed Kings team to roll over. With DeMarcus Cousins watching the game from home while on suspension and more than half their team on the injured list, the Kings gave their fans a gritty performance, coming away with a the huge 108-92 win.

Already depleted at most positions, the Kings lost Ty Lawson in the early second quarter with a left hamstring strain, leaving  Darren Collison to carry even more of the load. Sacramento’s third leading scorer on the season attacked the Celtics backcourt, scoring 26 points on 11-for-21 shooting. He added five assists and grabbed four steals while playing 37 minutes of action.

Ben McLemore looked confident. The fourth-year guard caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the period. He started the second half for Lawson and put on an aerial show coming out of the break.  

Matt Barnes got hit from 3-point range, knocking down 3-of-6 from deep on his way to 14 points and 11 rebounds. Willie Cauley-Stein stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists and Anthony Tolliver chipped in 11 points in the win.

Welcome back to Sacramento Isaiah Thomas. The former Sacramento Kings second round pick didn’t score 40 or 50 like many predicted, but still managed to drop in a team-high 26 points and hand out seven assists. The Kings made him work for his shot all night long.

The Kings were a step slow on their rotations and Amir Johnson made them pay. The veteran big man dropped in 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 from long range.

Al Horford went for 10 points and six rebounds and Marcus Smart added 10 points off Brad Stevens’ bench.


All of the talk coming into the game focused on Thomas, but it was Collison and McLemore who put on a show. The two guards combined to 43 points for Sacramento in one of their bigger upsets of the season.


Sacramento hit the Celtics with a 12-0 run in the mid fourth quarter to open up a big lead on Boston. The Celtics didn’t know what hit them as the Kings pulled off the shocker.


Ty Lawson strained his left hamstring in the second quarter and did not return. Garrett Temple is out until after the All-Star break with a torn left hamstring. Omri Casspi missed his 13th straight contest with a right plantaris tendon strain, but he is holding out hope that he may return before the All-Star break. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.


The Kings return to Golden 1 Center Friday when they host the Atlanta Hawks for game five of their six-game homestand.

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic re-injures left knee, needs another procedure

Associated Press

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic re-injures left knee, needs another procedure

SACRAMENTO -- After a week of speculation, the verdict on Kings shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic’s knee is in.

For the second time this offseason, the Serbian is heading for a procedure on his left knee after an MRI revealed a minor injury. The timetable for his return is unknown at this time.

Bogdanovic re-injured his knee Monday while playing for the Serbian national team in World Cup qualifying. He felt discomfort in the knee during the first quarter against Estonia and left the game early. Once Bogdanovic was back in Sacramento, the Kings medical staff evaluated the 26-year-old wing this week and determined that action was needed.

According to the Kings, Monday’s procedure will be performed by Dr. Riley Williams in New York, and Bogdanovic is expected to make a full recovery. The team will send an update when more is known.

Bogdanovic averaged 11.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game for Sacramento in his rookie NBA season.

Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile


Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile

No one was more consistent on the offensive end for Sacramento than Zach Randolph last season. He fought back father time as long as possible and then finished the season as a spectator when the Kings went young.

Nothing is guaranteed in season two as a King for Randolph. The 37-year-old forward cashed in with the Kings, signing a two-year, $24 million deal in 2017. He’s owed $11.7 million this season, making him difficult to move via trade.  

The Kings plan to go young this year from the opening tip. That doesn’t bode well for Z-Bo, who is nearly twice the age of Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III. 


Randolph is a legendary tough guy that brings a grit and a personality to the floor. As he’s advanced as a player, he’s focused more on his perimeter game, extending all the way to the 3-point line where he shot an impressive 34.7 percent last season. 

Still a reliable scorer in the post, the Kings turned to the 17-year NBA veteran on countless occasions last season to help steady the ship. Randolph shot 63 percent at the rim and 50.9 percent inside of 10 feet last season. 

While he struggles to get off the floor, Randolph still managed to post 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes last season by positioning and using his strength on the blocks.

On the defensive side of the ball, Randolph’s physical limitations hurt the team in transition and against quicker players. He can still hold his position in the post, but as a defender, he’s not a great option.


The Kings went out and drafted a Ferrari to play the point guard and then paired him with a mack truck. Randolph is too slow to play in the uptempo offense the team hopes to transition to this season and would be better suited playing for a team that place a more methodical half court game.

As his game has moved away from the basket, Randolph’s field goal percentage and free throw attempts have steadily declined. He posted 2.2 assists per game last season, which is well above his career average, but he’s not a natural passer. 

Father time is undefeated. Randolph is stationary on both ends of the court. He can still score in bunches and get a rebound when you need it, but he can’t defend more athletic fours.

Path to Improvement

There is no way to turn back the hands of time. By adding the 3-point shot, Randolph extended his NBA career for few extra seasons, but even that has its limitations. 

The only path for improvement this season for Randolph is taking on an even larger role as a leader and locker room influence behind the scenes. With a fleet of young bigs, the Kings need Randolph to become more of a coach than a player and help teach the ins and outs of being a professional and the finer nuances of NBA post play. 


This is a complex situation. If the primary focus was just on wins, Randolph could still play 18-20 minutes per game and put up numbers. The Kings are going to run and gun and it’s hard to imagine Z-Bo keeping up. 

Bagley, Giles and Willie Cauley-Stein are the future and the present. Nemanja Bjelica fits the role of stretch four and Skal Labissiere is going to need some minutes as well. It’s a crowded front line and we haven’t even mentioned veteran Kosta Koufos. 

Z-Bo started 57 games and played 25.6 minutes per night last season for Dave Joerger. It would be shocking to see that again this year. Things can change, but Randolph’s court time should be limited this offseason barring a series of injuries or a complete collapse of scheme.