Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 123-121 loss on Nets' unreal rally

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Kings takeaways: What we learned in 123-121 loss on Nets' unreal rally

SACRAMENTO -- Desperately needing a win over a tough Brooklyn Nets team, the Kings looked like world beaters in the third quarter.

Then it all fell apart Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Riding an incredible performance by D’Angelo Russell, the Nets erased the Kings' 25-point third-quarter lead. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got a flip to fall with eight-tenths of a second remaining, and Buddy Hield’s desperation heave came up short as Brooklyn pulled out a shocking 123-121 win.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped to 34-36 on the season, putting them seven games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot with just 12 to play.

The good run

Sacramento held a 66-58 lead going to intermission, and then the third quarter happened. The Kings came out on fire, punishing the Nets with a 20-0 run to open the second half.

Brooklyn slowed woke up to score 20 points in the quarter, but the damage was done. Sacramento outscored the visitors 37-20 to take a 25-point lead into the fourth.

The Kings shot 69.6 percent in the quarter, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Harrison Barnes scored 12 of his 17 points in the quarter, and Fox added nine as the Kings hit the jets and blew the Nets off the court.

The not-so-good run

An NBA game doesn’t end after 36 minutes, and the Kings learned that the hard way.

Led by an incredible fourth-quarter outburst from Russell, Brooklyn (37-36) stormed back in the final 12 minutes and maintained its position as the Eastern Conference's No. 7 seed.

Russell torched the Kings for 27 of his game-high 44 in the final period, single-handedly bringing the Nets to victory. He didn’t hit the game-winner, but with all of the attention focused on him, the Nets found a way to put the ball in the basket.


Bagley puts on a show

The rookie is growing by leaps and bounds every time he steps on the court. After dropping in 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds against the Bulls on Sunday, he destroyed the Nets' front line on Tuesday.

Bagley shot a perfect 8 of 8 from the field in the first half for 17 points. He backed that up after the break, finishing with a team-high 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go with seven rebounds.

The 20-year-old is looking to finish the season strong. He’s posted back-to-back 20 point games despite playing on a minutes restriction.

Kings, NBA announce joint investigation into Luke Walton allegations

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Kings, NBA announce joint investigation into Luke Walton allegations

SACRAMENTO -- The Luke Walton situation isn’t going away anytime soon.

After two days of back and forth between accuser Kelli Tennant and her attorney and Walton’s representation, the Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced a joint investigation into Tennant's allegations of sexual assault against Walton.

KINGS AND NBA ANNOUNCE JOINT INVESTIGATION
-- Team Hires Independent Investigator --

 

Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento Kings and the National Basketball Association announced today that they have commenced a joint investigation into the allegations contained in a civil lawsuit filed Monday against Kings Head Coach Luke Walton.
 
The Kings have hired Sue Ann Van Dermyden, founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, who is an expert on employment law with decades of experience in conducting investigations, and Jennifer Doughty, a veteran investigator and senior associate attorney at Van Dermyden Maddux. They will lead the Kings investigatory team.
 
The NBA's investigatory team will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Integrity and Investigations. Prior to joining the NBA, Ms. Maringer served 12 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including three as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.
 
The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.

It appears that the Kings are ready to wait out the process. Walton signed a four-year contract to become the team’s new head coach on April 15. A week later, Tennant, a former broadcaster for Spectrum SportsNet, filed a civil suit against Walton in a Southern California court.

The initial incident, which allegedly took place in 2014, occurred while Walton was an assistant coach on the Golden State Warriors staff. During Tennant's press conference on Tuesday, she alleged Walton engaged in continued inappropriate behavior all the way up to 2017, while he served as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to a league source, it is too early to give an estimation on how long this may last, but the investigation has already commenced.

Source: Kings interview Jeff Hornacek for assistant coach position

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Source: Kings interview Jeff Hornacek for assistant coach position

SACRAMENTO -- While chaos pelts down on the Sacramento Kings and newly hired head coach Luke Walton, the team continues to press forward.

NBC Sports California has confirmed through a league source that former NBA player turned head coach, Jeff Hornacek, was in Sacramento earlier this week to interview for a lead assistant coach job on Walton’s staff.

Known for his gritty play style over a 14-year NBA career with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz, Hornacek began his pro coaching career in Utah under legendary head coach Jerry Sloan during the 2010-11 season.

He spent three seasons as an assistant in Utah before heading to Phoenix to take over the Suns head coaching job in 2013. His Suns shocked the NBA in his first season, posting a 48-34 record and barely missing the postseason.

In his second season, the Suns took a step back, finishing the 2014-15 season with a 39-43 record. Hornacek dealt with an unbalanced roster that included three starting level point guards. At midseason, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas were dealt away in a three-team deal, leaving Eric Bledsoe and newly acquired Brandon Knight to finish the season.

The next season was more of the same. The team spent major money on aging free agent center, Tyson Chandler, which didn’t work out as planned. Bledsoe went down midseason with a knee injury and Hornacek was relieved his duties after a 14-35 start to the season.

[RELATED: Kings, NBA launch joint investigation into Walton allegations]

Following his experience in Phoenix, Hornacek coached the Knicks to a 60-104 record during from 2016-18. David Fizdale posted a 17-65 record this past season following Hornacek's departure.

A basketball lifer, the 55-year-old Hornacek has a career record of 161-216 record over five seasons at the helm. He spent last season away from the game, but he is ready to jump back into the game as an assistant.

The former All-Star guard would make a solid addition as an experienced voice on Walton’s bench.

Sam Amick of The Athletic was first with the news of Hornacek’s interview.