Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 129-102 blowout win over Bulls

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 129-102 blowout win over Bulls

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- Just what the doctor ordered.

After a tough East Coast road trip, the Sacramento Kings returned home to Golden 1 Center looking to get back on track against a struggling Chicago Bulls team.

The Bulls played tough through the first quarter, but the Kings outscored their guests 32-17 in quarter No. 2 for a considerable halftime lead. The second half was more of the same, with Sacramento blowing out Chicago by a final of 129-102.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings moved back toward the .500 mark at 34-35 on the season. This is the most wins for the Kings franchise since the 2007-08 season.

Bagley wants more

Still battling a minutes restriction, rookie Marvin Bagley is making the most of his opportunities. The rookie power forward looks 100 percent healthy and ready to dominate down the stretch.

Against the Bulls, the 6-foot-11 leaper dropped in 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go with nine rebounds and a block in just 21 minutes of play. 

Sacramento is taking the cautious approach to his recovery, which is the right move. He has star potential and should be a fixture in the Kings’ lineup for the next decade. 

Giles Takeover

Bagley isn’t the only rookie big the Kings are throwing at teams. Harry Giles is earning more minutes every time he steps on the floor. 

The 20-year-old center went to work in the second quarter, blocking shots and running the floor for putbacks. He even finished the half with a technical foul for jawing with Robin Lopez.

Giles’ confidence is at an all-time high on the court. He finished the evening with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks off the bench. 

Fox and Hield

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield make the Kings’ machines go. The duo played limited minutes due to the score, but they were dominant when they were on the floor. 

Fox torched the Bulls for 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 25 minutes. Hield added 16 points, four assists and three steals in 24 minutes. 

These two set the table, and the rest of the team followed suit. A blowout victory is exactly what this team needed to open their four-game homestand.

Luke Walton's lawyer responds to assault allegations from Kelli Tennant

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AP

Luke Walton's lawyer responds to assault allegations from Kelli Tennant

Sports broadcaster Kelli Tennant and her attorney, Garo Mardirossian, laid out sexual assault allegations against Kings coach Luke Walton on Tuesday afternoon.

Now, in a statement obtained by NBC Sports California, Walton’s attorney, Mark Baute, has responded with a strongly worded statement of his own.

“These claims are false and Luke’s innocence will be proven in court," Baute said Wednesday. "Yesterday's press conference was a poorly staged attempt to portray the accuser as a viable spokesperson for an important movement. Her lawyers want to create a public circus to distract from their complete lack of evidence to support their outrageous claims. We will not try this case in the media or pay them a dime.”

The Kings have been quiet on the subject of Tennant's accusations against Walton since releasing a short statement Monday after the initial news broke.

“We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time,” the Kings said in an official statement.

The NBA released a similar statement on Wednesday: “We are coordinating with the Kings organization and are in the process of gathering more information.”

Kelli Tennant, lawyer publicly allege Luke Walton sexually assaulted her

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USATSI

Kelli Tennant, lawyer publicly allege Luke Walton sexually assaulted her

Sports broadcaster Kelli Tennant, one day after filing a lawsuit alleging Luke Walton sexually assaulted her in 2014, sat alongside attorney Garo Mardirossian on Tuesday afternoon and held a press conference to further state her allegations against the Sacramento Kings coach.

“I am no longer comfortable being silent about the things that have happened to me," Tennant told an assembly of reporters in Los Angeles, "and although this may come as a shock to many of you in this community, this is a reality that I have been living in for years, and I can no longer stand to not tell the story of what has profoundly affected my life in all of the events that we have alleged in our complaint."

According to Tennant, she has known Walton and his wife, Bre Ladd, for many years through ties with volleyball. In 2013, Tennant and Walton became colleagues at Spectrum SportsNet and developed a friendship. She also looked to him as a mentor.

Tennant was writing a book and asked Walton to write the foreword for her, which he agreed to do. They met and worked together on the book, and when she eventually published it, she wanted to give him a copy of the finished work. 

Tennant alleges the two agreed to meet up at his hotel in 2014, when Walton was in town to face the Lakers as part of the Warriors' coaching staff. But when she arrived at the hotel to give him a copy of the book, Walton told her that he didn’t want to hang out in the lobby because the players were around.

He then brought her up to his room, where Tennant claims an aggressive attack occurred.

“Out of nowhere, he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed and held my arms down with all of his weight,” Tennant said. “He kissed my neck and my face and my chest. As I kept asking him to please stop and get off, he laughed at me.”

After the initial encounter, Walton allegedly grabbed her a second time from behind and started kissing Tennant’s neck. 

“I thought he was going to rape me,” Tennant said.

During the press conference, Tennant explained how she eventually was able to leave the hotel room, but that wasn’t the last encounter she had with Walton. 

Walton joined the Lakers as head coach in 2016, which resulted in Tennant working with him on a daily basis. According to Tennant, Walton was inappropriate with her on multiple occasions, including unwanted hugs and kisses.

“Every interaction with him that I had over that time made me incredibly uncomfortable and feel unsafe,” Tennant said.

Their last encounter was at a charity event in 2017, when Walton allegedly made a comment about her dress, followed by an uncomfortable hug. 

“Every feeling I had from that first experience of feeling disgusted and betrayed, came back,” Tennant said.

According to Tennant, she had been working for Spectrum SportsNet for just under one year when the initial incident occurred with Walton at his hotel. She was 25 years old at the time and feared for her job.

“I was scared,” Tennant said. “When someone assaults you and you think you’re going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing. I have spent years now dealing with this. Trying to forget about it. Hoping I could push it to the side and bury it, and hoping that time would heal. That was not the case.”

According to Mardirossian, they haven’t taken the case to law enforcement, and outside of Tennant’s account, they have no other further evidence to support the claim. Tennant told family members of the event but did not discuss it with anyone in human resources at Spectrum or with either the Warriors or the Lakers.

The Kings, who hired Walton as their coach last week, have not released anything other than their initial statement, “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”

The NBA added this statement, per multiple reports: “We are coordinating with the Kings organization and are in the process of gathering more information.”

According to league sources, Kings general manager Vlade Divac did not know of pending allegations when he signed the 39-year-old coach to a four-year contract.