Indianapolis, IN. - The Kings would hang tough until a 10-2 2nd overtime ended their night and a shot at their first victory of the season. Sacramento dropped to 0-3 after a 106-98 loss at the hands of the Pacers.
Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 and 21 points respectively. It was the best the Kings have played yet this year and they showed moments of flash and youth that could make this team very dangerous over the next few months.
"I thought they competed at a really high level and we just didn't pull it out," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said.
George Hill and David West led Indiana with 18 points apiece, all 5 starters for the Pacers scored in double figures.
"This was a very tough, gut-it-out game," Pacers forward David West said. "These are the types of games you have to win in the NBA if you want to be successful."
The Kings travel back to Sacramento and will host the Golden State Warriors Monday evening.
Minneapolis, MN - The Timberwolves played without star Power Foward Kevin Love and dynamic Point Guard Ricky Rubio, but on Friday night it didn't matter as Sacramento came into town and lose 92-80. Guard J.J. Barea led Minnesota with 21 points and 5 assists in 28 minutes.
The Kings had trouble with fouls all night as they committed 34 to just 17 by the Twolves.
"Very frustrating. It's even more frustrating when the types of fouls that you're getting aren't really physical fouls," DeMarcus Cousins said, adding: "It's just tough for me because the time I am able to play, I'm just all out of whack."
Cousins finished the game with just 11 points and 4 rebounds playing only 25 minutes due to his 5 personal fouls. Guard Tyreke Evans had an off night, scoring just 6 points on 3-14 shooting. Down 9 at half-time, Sacramento never really recovered from the deficit.
"Part of growing up with this team is not to take the quick shots at that particular point, to focus on what you need at that moment, and obviously it didn't happen," Kings coach Keith Smart said.
The Kings will look to get their first victory of the year on Saturday as they travel to Indiana to play the 1-1 Pacers.
Oakland, Ca. - The Warriors (1-1) home opener started off as most would expect, with a BANG! The pre-game introductions and excitement from the Bay Area crowd was extremely palpable. That hope and exuberance quickly turned to moans and ew's as the sell-out crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena would watch a hard foul by Memphis Forward Zach Randolph up end Guard Brandon Rush, sending him hard to the floor in what was a very scary fall. Rush would be helped off the court by trainers and teammates, but by the looks of it could be in for some serious rehab time given the results of his MRI which is scheduled for today. The Warriors never really recovered after Rush's fall as Memphis would hold off Golden State in the second half beating them 104-94.
"I think that took a little bit out of us," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
"When you see one of your brothers go down like that, emotionally, it was pretty tough," Warriors Guard Steph Curry said.
Curry had an all around good game bouncing back from a dismal shooting night in the Warrior's season opener. He ended Friday night with 26 points and 7 assists, while Carl Landry looked strong coming off the bench once again, chipping in 20 points of his own. Center Andrew Bogut has yet to find his game with the Dubs as he scored just 4 points to go along with 3 rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. Bogut is still being eased back from left ankle surgery and should continue to see more minutes as he gets healthier.
The Warriors will travel to L.A. and play high flying Blake Griffin, Guard Chris Paul and the Clippers Saturday at 7:30 pm.
The Kings, trying to put together a winning season for the first time in 6 years started off on a sour note as they would commit 21 turnovers on route to a 93-87 loss at the hands of the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls. Rose, the 2010-11 NBA MVP, tore an ACL during the first round of the playoffs last year and is not expected back till sometime in 2013.
Bulls Forward/Center Jokiam Noah would pick up the slack in Rose' absence scoring 23 points, 10 rebounds and career high 5 steals. "It's one game out of 82," Noah said. "Good start. But we have a lot of basketball to be played."
Sacramento showed flashes of what could be an exciting year for the Kings as their tandem of Guard Tyreke Evans and Center DeMarcus Cousins combined for 35 points and 15 rebounds. Evans would hit a bucket with 41.2 seconds left to cut the score to 86-83, but that would be as close as the Kings would get as Chicago would hold on for the victory down the stretch.
The Kings struggled with turnovers all night which ultimately derailed them from having any chance of winning.
"Unacceptable," Sacramento SG Marcus Thornton said. "I know it was our first game, but we can't use that as an excuse. Twenty-one turnovers against this team is too much. They're too good on defense and turning them into transition points. Can't give them those."
The Kings will look to bounce back Friday as they travel to Minnesota to face Forward Derrick Williams, Guard Brandon Roy and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Phoenix, AZ - To say this was an ugly win for the Golden State Warriors would be an understatement. It took a 12 point fourth quarter from reserve forward Carl Landry to narrowly escape Phoenix with a 87-85 win in the Warriors season-opener. Point Guard Stephen Curry who earlier in the day signed a 4 year 44 million dollar extension on his contract had trouble putting the ball in the basket, shooting just 2-14 which included missing his first ten shots of the game. Power Forward David Lee wouldn't fair any better as he would shoot just 2-16 totaling 6 points and 9 rebounds.
The Warriors played sloppy, often embarrassing ball but showed resilience toward the end of the game as they tightened up their defense to squeak out the victory.
"If you would have told me coming in that David Lee and Steph Curry would go 4 for 30, I'd say we'd be in trouble," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
"It was one of those games," Curry would say, "but it was a crazy day."
Curry missed two key free throw's down the stretch to give the Suns a chance to make the game winning shot. Phoenix Guard Sebastian Telfairs' 3 pointer came after the buzzer and was a misfire.
"That was a sign on how my night went," Curry said. "Thankfully there was not enough time to get a shot off and we were able to walk off with a win."
Shooting Guard Klay Thompson was the only Warriors starter to score in double digits posting a 16 point 8 rebound night. Last years big mid-season acquisition, Center Andrew Bogut, started the game but played just 18 minutes. Bogut finished his night scoring 8 points and pulling down 6 boards.
"It's just about how he feels, basically," Jackson said of Bogut. "That's pretty much the way were going to go for right now, being patient and staying true to the process."
Landry would prove to be the warriors Savior down the stretch as he would hit two go ahead baskets within the final 2 minutes of the game. He finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.
The Dubs will look to improve on there teamwork, shooting and cohesiveness as they host Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night at Oracle.
The Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement with their young star point guard Steph Curry, the extension will be 4 years and an estimated 44 million dollars. Curry tweeted his appreciation to Warriors owner's and management Wednesday saying, "#Dubs Gameday baby. And thanks to Joe Lacob & the Warriors, hopefully I can say that for the next 4 yrs. agreed on extension."
Although injuries to his ankles have kept Curry from reaching his full potential as a player, he has still been a standout in the NBA and will only get better entering just his 4th year. The 7th overall pick out of Davidson has averaged 17.5 points per game, 5.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds.
The Warriors will start their season tonight as they face off against the Suns in Phoenix. Golden State will have what I consider their strongest team in both talent and depth in quite sometime. The off-season acquisitions of PG Jarrett Jack and PF Carl Landry along with a strong draft which included SF Harrison Barnes, C Festus Ezeli, and PF Draymond Green should put the Dubs in the playoff hunt this year.
How about a 5 bold predictions? 1. The Warriors will make the playoffs in the 2012-13 season. 2. Harrison Barnes will emerge as an upcoming star and win Rookie of the Year honors. 3. Klay Thompson will be among the top 15 scorers in the league. 4. Andrew Bogut regains his status as an elite NBA center. 5. Mark Jackson finishes in the top 3 for Coach of the Year.
So those reports of Alex Smith losing his confidence were unnecessarily hyped and quickly put to rest as the 49ers QB completed 14 of 15 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns in just the first half of Monday night's 24-3 demolishing of the Arizona Cardinals.
"I was kind of in a good rhythm, the whole offense was." Smith said.
Alex finished his amazing day in Arizona 18 of 19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
"Eighteen of nineteen, I have never seen that." coach Jim Harbaugh said. "How important is it for your quarterback to play well? It is very important and I don't know how you play much better. It was a fantastic game by him."
What did Smith have to say about the so called "lost confidence in himself" rumors that have been floating around the past couple of weeks? He jokingly said, "It was in my closet, I found it."
49ers receiver Michael Crabtree was the recipient of two of Smith's TD passes and veteran Randy Moss caught the other. Crabtree finished the game pulling in 5 catches for 72 yards while Moss' lone catch was a 47 yard score.
The Niners defense nearly matched Smith's perfection, allowing a miniscule 7 yards rushing for the entire game. A Jay Feely field goal is all that stood between the Niners completely shutting out Arizona.
San Francisco strolls into the bye week with a 6-2 record, a full 2 games up on Seattle (4-4) and Arizona (4-4). The St. Louis Rams are 3 games back (3-5) in the NFC West. The team will spend the bye week rejuvenating themselves and getting ready for a tough second half of the season in which they will face the likes of Chicago, New Orleans, and New England.