Yogi Ferrell

Kings Under Review: Balanced attack leads Sacramento to much needed win

kingsbagleyusa.jpg
AP

Kings Under Review: Balanced attack leads Sacramento to much needed win

SACRAMENTO -- Nothing like a little home cooking to get back on the winning track. The Sacramento kings handled their business Thursday evening at Golden 1 Center, pounding the Detroit Pistons for a wire-to-wire 112-102 win.

The final score doesn't tell the entire story. Sacramento led by as many as 23 points and the Kings held a double-digit lead from the 8:25 mark of the second quarter on.

Coach Dave Joerger received contributions across the board as they bounced back from a very disappointing loss on Tuesday to the cellar-dwelling Phoenix Suns.

The win jumped Sacramento back to the .500 mark at 21-21. Here are the positives and the negatives from the victory.

POSITIVE

Centers Gone Wild

Willie Cauley-Stein set the tempo early and Harry Giles played big minutes as well, as the Kings' two centers worked hard to keep Andre Drummond, the NBA's leading rebounder, off the glass.

Drummond finished the night with 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven turnovers for the Pistons. He looked frustrated for much of the night and did most of his damage after the game was decided.

Cauley-Stein put in a complete effort for the Kings, finishing the evening with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. He was active and focused on slowing the Pistons All-Star from the opening tip.

Giles came off the bench to add 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals. If Sacramento can get anywhere near this kind of production from this tandem going forward, they're going to win a lot of games.

[RELATED: Dave Joerger thrilled with Harry Giles' impact]

POSITIVE

Balanced Attack

Seven players scored in double figures for Sacramento. Buddy Hield led the way with a quiet 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but Sacramento shot an impressive 51.2 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from long range.

The second unit made a huge impact on the final score, combining to score 48 of the team's 112 points. Giles led the bench scoring with 14, but  Joerger got plenty of solid contributions across the board.

Yogi Ferrell chipped in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Marvin Bagley added 10 points and seven rebounds in the win.

NEGATIVE

Trouble with the Turnovers

For the second straight game, the Kings finished the night with an unacceptable amount of mistakes. It wasn't a complete breakdown, like the 26-turnover game against the Suns on Tuesday, but 20 turnovers Thursday night is more than enough to cause concern.

Giles led the way with five gaffs, including four in the fourth quarter when the game out of reach and turned sloppy. Eight other Kings turned it over at least once, with five of those players giving it away two or more times.

If this is a trend with this team, that's an issue. They've done a nice job playing a crazy pace and not turning the ball over all season.

POSITIVE

Crashing the Boards

Sacramento isn't a great rebounding team, but against the Pistons, you wouldn't have guessed that. They boxed out and rebounded as a team Thursday evening, winning the battle of the boards 47-37.

Detroit isn't a great rebounding team, but they came in ranked ninth in the league on the offensive end. The Kings held them below their average of 11.8 offensive boards per game, limiting Drummond and Co. to just nine offensive rebounds and six second-chance points.

Pistons star Blake Griffin didn't make the trip and might have impacted the overall rebounding totals, but then again maybe he wouldn't have. The All-Star forward grabbed a total of two rebounds over his two previous games in a combined 75 minutes of action. 

Kings Under Review: Yogi Ferrell takes advantage coming off bench

yogi.jpg
AP

Kings Under Review: Yogi Ferrell takes advantage coming off bench

If you can't stop them, outscore them. It's a mantra the Sacramento Kings live by on most nights and against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the policy was in full effect.

In an epic battle of offensive production, the Kings outscored the T-Wolves 141-130 Wednesday night to pick up their second straight victory and their fifth win in the last six opportunities. They shot the ball incredibly well, got an unexpected boost off the bench and gave their fan base another incredible evening of entertainment. 

[RELATED: Takeaways from Kings record night]

Sacramento currently stands at 15-12 on the season with the win. Here are a few positives and negatives from the game:

POSITIVE

Yogi Earns a Chance

Yogi Ferrell has sat quietly on the sidelines waiting for his opportunity. Out of the rotation due to a glut in the backcourt, the 25-year-old was told before the game he would play. When he stepped on the floor in the first quarter, he gave the Kings everything they needed and more.

Throughout the season, Sacramento has struggled to keep up their frenetic pace when starting point guard De'Aaron Fox steps off the court. Ferrell pushed the tempo and made a huge impact on the game as both a scorer and a distributor.

After playing a total of 81 minutes over the Kings' previous 20 games, the fourth-year guard tallied 17 points on 4-of-4 shooting from long range and added six assists in 16 minutes with the second unit. According to coach Dave Joerger, the plan is to give Ferrell a good 10 game look and then reevaluate the position.

POSITIVE

Make it Rain

After Wednesday evening's performance, the Kings now lead the league in 3-point field goal percentage as a team at 39.4 percent. They've stayed near the top all season long, but their performance against the Timberwolves was one for the record books.

Sacramento hit 19-of-38 from deep, setting a new franchise record for most makes in a game. Seven different players knocked down a triple, including five makes from Buddy Hield and four each from Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica.

The Kings played at an incredible pace. They moved the ball, finishing the night with 34 assists and just 11 turnovers. They found the open man and they hit shots, setting a new season high in field goal percentage at 58.1 percent.

NEGATIVE/POSITIVE

Freebies

Willie Caulie-Stein is struggling at the line and the Timberwolves took advantage of that fact. The Kings' starting center is a career 61.7 percent shooter from the line, but his percentage is down to 47.1 percent this season.

Minnesota honed in on the 7-footer's issue and began to institute a Hack-a-Willie strategy. They sent Cauley-Stein to the line nine times in the fourth quarter and initially, he didn't respond well.

Cauley-Stein bricked the first four attempts and appeared rattled by the strategy, but Joerger stuck with the big man. He responded by hitting four of his final five attempts, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.

With the pace that the Kings play at, this is a solid strategy to employ until Cauley-Stein proves he can hit his free throws. Joerger has other options he can use at the five in crunch time if Cauley-Stein continues to miss the freebies.

POSITIVE

Bjelica for the Win

Nemanja Bjelica didn't like his role in his three seasons with the Timberwolves. The former EuroLeague MVP felt underutilized in Minnesota's system and on Wednesday evening, he showed his former team what he's capable of.

The 30-year-old forward dropped in a team-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting and hit 4-of-9 from behind the arc in the win for Sacramento. In addition, Bjelica grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked a pair of shots. 

Kings fans have become accustomed to Bjelica's stat-stuffing ways. He's an extremely high basketball IQ player that has made an immediate impact with the Kings.

Kings set new record for 3-point makes in wild win over Timberwolves

foxus.jpg
USATI

Kings set new record for 3-point makes in wild win over Timberwolves

SACRAMENTO -- Let it fly. The Sacramento Kings run, they pass and on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center, they shot the lights out.

In a wild up and down game, the Kings hit a franchise record 19 3-pointers on 38 attempts in the team’s 141-130 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The leader in the clubhouse was Buddy Hield, who scored 20 points on 5-of-8 from long range. Nemanja Bjelica hit 4-of-9 from deep on his way to a team-high 25 points and Yogi Ferrell had a perfect 4-for-4 showing from 3-point range in 16 minutes of action.

Four other Kings players knocked triples to help the team improve to 15-12 on the season.

After Wednesday’s performance, Sacramento is the best 3-point shooting teams in the league. They hit 39.4 percent from deep, but their 28.5 attempts per game is just 25th best in the NBA.

“We play an uptempo, high-octane, fun brand of basketball,” De’Aaron Fox said. “We share the ball.”

Sacramento finished the night with 34 assists and just 11 turnovers. They moved the ball all over the court and found the open man. The Kings also set a new season-high for points in a half with 78, although they allowed Minnesota to score 80 after the intermission.

The Kings will likely need a similar offensive production on Friday evening when they host the Golden State Warriors at Golden 1 Center. If it becomes a track meet, the team’s record books could be rewritten again.