Cavs acquire 49th pick from Kings

The Cleveland Cavaliers added another pick before the draft.

Cleveland acquired the Sacramento Kings’ pick at 49 for the rights to Sasha Vezenkov, the team announced Thursday.

With the move, Cleveland has four picks in the draft(14, 39, 49 and 56).

The 26-year-old Vezenkov was acquired on January 14, 2021 from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team trade that brought Jarrett Allen to Cleveland. He was drafted 57th overall by Brooklyn in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The NBA Draft is Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Kings’ Haliburton showed out against 76ers

Over the past few weeks, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in trade talks surrounding Ben Simmons. However, according to reports, the Kings ended discussions with the 76ers.

If Philly fans and maybe even Daryl Morey had any doubts about Haliburton, that might have been put to rest Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. 

Haliburton scored a career-high 38 points (11-19 FG, 5-9 3FG, 11-12 FT) to go along with game-high-tying seven assists. Haliburton scored the final 14 points for the Kings, but they would fall short when Harrison Barnes missed a three at the buzzer as the 76ers defeated Sacramento 103-101.

76ers F Danny Green was impressed by what he saw from the 21-year-old Haliburton.

“Woo! I think that describes enough of it right there,” Green, who scored 11 points off the bench, said postgame. “That side-step, step back fadeaway over the backboard in the corner, I thought that was, for sure, gonna come off hard. It didn’t touch anything but the net, and that kind of shows the night he [Tyrese Haliburton] had. He was getting the free-throw line a lot, though. He was very active; he was getting to the paint. He made some adjustments. But the fact that he was getting downhill and getting to his floater opened up the game a lot for him and them. So, we tried to get him off the free-throw line, but when he started hitting the three-ball, he had a good rhythm. He kept them in the game.”

Kings head coach Alvin Gentry added on Haliburton:  “Well, you know, I think he’s progressing every day from the standpoint of getting better, learning more… just doing the things that he needs to do to show improvement and stuff. I was happy with his game, very happy.”

Haliburton has struggled in the past two games, where he combined for 18 points, and while he was happy to break out, he does not want to get too high or too low.

“I’m just learning every night, through the good and bad. Obviously, last two games, I’ve been awful,” Haliburton said. “Tonight, I was pretty good, but you know, just not getting too high, not getting too low, it’s the NBA, it’s 82 games, it’s a grind, and you’re really going to mess yourself up mentally if every time you’re playing well you get too high and every time you are playing bad you get too low so for me, I’m just trying to stay even keel, stay mellow and just come to work every day and be ready to compete and I think tonight obviously I played pretty well, but I think that the guys around me put me in a position to succeed so just keep going from there.”

Haliburton has a ton of talent; he might be a guy the Kings make untouchable in any trade talks and use as a building block going forward. However, he sure made an impression on the Philly fans Saturday night. 

 

 

Mavs’ Kidd on ‘Logo Luka’: ‘It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down’

The Dallas Mavericks(4-2) continued their early-season dominance at home when they defeated the Sacramento Kings(3-3) 105-99 at American Airlines Center on Sunday.

Dallas took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch to defeat the Kings.

The Mavericks have started 3-0 at home for the first time since 2013-14. Dallas won their first seven home games in 2013-14.

Here’s is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ win over Sacramento.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic led the Mavs in points, assists, and rebounds for the second time this season (including ties) after recording 23 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists. This also marked Dončić’s 128th career game with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists, which sets him two such games away from tying Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise record of 130 games of 20-5-5.

Late in the game, with Mavericks leading 92-89, we saw “Logo Luka” when he hit a 36-foot three-point shot with the shot clock winding down that helped Dallas close out the game.

It was Doncic’s only made three of the game.

“Great recovery then good offense by a good player,” Mavericks head coach said about Doncic’s shot. “It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down; we all know he has the type of range. It was a big basket too. If I recall, I think that’s the only three he made. It was needed.”

Doncic added: “More confident than all my threes and my free throws. That shot goes in, and then all my normal shots can’t go in. I’ve got to work on those normal shots.”

First-quarter: For the first time this season, Dallas led after the first quarter. The Mavericks led 31-22 after the first. Maxi Kleber led the way with 7 points in the quarter on 3/3 shooting.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. This is his third game of the season with 15+ points, and the Mavericks are 3-0 in those games.

-Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 points and six rebounds tonight. Finney-Smith has recorded 6+ rebounds in five of his six starts.

-Dwight Powell compiled 12 points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks were 10-2 last season when Powell finished in double figures and are already 3-0 when he scores 10+ this season.

-Frank Ntilikina went 4-6 from the field, including 2-2 from deep, as he finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Ntilikina finished a point shy of tying his season-high from last season (13, accomplished twice).

-Defense: Dallas held Sacramento to 39.6% from the floor and to 7/36(19%) from three-point range.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Maxi Kleber left the game in the first quarter with a back injury and did not return. Kleber was starting for Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the last four games with back tightness.

Bottom Line:

Good teams play well at home. Dallas got a solid victory over the Kings, and they had a balanced attack with five players in double figures. The goal for Dallas is to get one of the top spots in the West. To do that, they need to establish a true home-court advantage at American Airlines Center.

What’s Next:

Dallas hosts the Miami Heat in a nationally-televised game on Tuesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Richaun Holmes led Sacramento with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It was his fourth double-double of the season and the 49th of his career, and Harrison Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, marking his third double-double of the season.

Suns’ Crowder: ‘We have to get back to being the hunter instead of just being hunted’

The Phoenix Suns fell to 1-3 on this young season after losing to the Kings 110-107 at the buzzer on Wednesday night.

Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes hit a three at the buzzer to get the victory for the Kings. With the loss, the Suns fall to 0-2 at home. Last season, Phoenix lost only nine times in their building.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Suns’ loss to Kings.

The Great for the Suns:

-Devin Booker scored a game-high 31 points on Wednesday to go along with six rebounds and eight assists. It marked Booker’s 114th career 30+ point game, which ties for the 11th most 30+ point games in league history prior to a player’s 25th birthday. 

-Deandre Ayton notched his 96th career double-double, pouring in 21 points to go along with 21 rebounds, which matched his career-high. It marked Ayton’s second career game of 20+ points and 20+ rebounds.

-Mikal Bridges tallied 15 points, his fourth consecutive game of 10+ points, to go along with five rebounds and a team-high two blocks. It marks the first time in Bridges’ career that he’s scored 10+ points in each of the first four games to begin a season. 

Not So Great for the Suns:

-Chris Paul was 1/10 from the field and scored only six points, but he dished out eight assists.

Third-quarter: The Suns had a 61-53 lead at halftime, but they were outscored 29-15 in the third. Phoenix shot 7/22 from the field, including 0/6 from three-point range in the quarter. In addition, the Suns had six of their 11 turnovers in the third.

Bottom Line:

Teams will be gunning for the Western Conference. They will and do have a bullseye on their back. According to Jae Crowder, the Suns have to get back to being the hunter.

“We have to get back to being the hunter instead of just being hunted,” he said. “In each game, we talk about how teams are coming at us, and we’re stepping up the challenge, but not for 48 minutes. We have to find a way to take that challenge on for 48 minutes and quit talking when the game is over about how teams are coming, respecting us now, and we’re getting team’s best shots. We have to get back to being the hunter and stepping into the ring, and right now, we’re not.”

What’s next:

The Suns get back at it on Saturday night when they continue their five-game homestand against the Cavaliers

Best of the Rest:

Kings’ Buddy Hield knocked down a team-high seven three-pointers on 11 attempts in 27 minutes off the bench tonight en route to a team-high 26 points and five rebounds.

Barnes tallied 22 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

Mavs’ Doncic after loss to Kings: ‘We got bigger things ahead of us’

Fortunately for the Dallas Mavericks(36-28), they do not have to play the Sacramento Kings(27-37) again in the regular season or the playoffs as Dallas fell again to the Kings at home 111-99 on Sunday night.

This season, Dallas has lost three times to the Kings in less than a month, including two times in Dallas.

After the game, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who was ejected late in the fourth quarter after receiving his second technical foul, made no excuses for the loss.

“There’s no excuses,” he said. “On paper, forget Sacramento’s record. They’ve got some very talented guys down there. They’ve been a tough matchup for us, and we didn’t play well enough.”

Luka Doncic, who, like Carlisle, was ejected late in the fourth after he picked up two technicals on Sunday night, had 30 points, six rebounds and six assists against Sacramento, is not sure why the Mavericks can’t beat the Kings.

“I don’t really know,” Doncic said. “I guess it’s not a good matchup, but we just got to move to the next one. We got bigger things ahead of us.”

According to Jalen Brunson, who came off the bench and scored 17 points, Sacramento is a talented team.

“Unique team, a lot of talented guys,” Brunson said. “It’s really hard to pinpoint what exactly it is, but one thing I know for sure is we matched their energy a little too late. We had spurts where we matched their energy, but they had a lot of energy tonight. Part of that is one me coming off the bench being able to be a spark. I need to be able to match their energy. I messed up on the court. They are a unique team.”

Going forward, Dallas has to worry about Doncic. The two-time All-Star has 15 technicals this season, and one more technical means he will be suspended for one game. However, Doncic says that won’t happen.

“I won’t get another one,” Doncic said. “Don’t worry.”

With the loss, Dallas is now tied with the Lakers and Blazers for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. However, because Dallas holds the tiebreaker, they are still the fifth seed.

This was a bad loss for Dallas, but as Doncic said, they have to move forward, which starts on Tuesday night when they travel to Miami to battle the Heat.

Mavs’ Carlisle was not happy with team’s performance against Kings

The Dallas Mavericks(33-27) came into Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings(25-36) with revenge on their mind, These two teams met last Sunday in Dallas, and the Kings, who led by as many as 17 points in the first half, defeated Dallas 121-107.

On Monday night, both teams came into this game looking a little different. The Mavericks were without Kristaps Porzingis(ankle), Josh Richardson(hamstring), and JJ Redick(heel), while the Kings were without their leading scorer De’Aaron Fox(Health and Safety Protocols), but the Kings had just a little more as they defeated the Mavericks 113-106 at Golden 1 Center to snap the Mavericks’ three-game winning streak.

Richaun Holmes led Sacramento with 24 points, Harrison Barnes added 19, and rookie Tyrese Haliburton had 14 points and 10 assists. Luka Doncic’s 24 points paced Dallas, and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke chipped in with 19 points apiece.

Just like in their previous matchup, the Kings got off to another good start. Sacramento led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter and had a 59-52 lead at halftime. Dallas would take two-point leads in the third and fourth quarters, but Sacramento would pull away late.

According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, the bad start led to the loss on Monday night.

“Another poor start really did us in,” Carlisle said after the game. “Just gotta be way better to start the game. The last three quarters were obviously better, but this is very disappointing tonight. We got a quick turnaround and a tough game tomorrow.”

With all that Dallas is playing for right now, keeping the sixth seed and the possibility of the fifth seed, this loss with unacceptable, especially when Sacramento does not have one of their best players. 

Dallas has an opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday night as they continue their three-game road trip against the Warriors.

Mavs’ Finney-Smith: ‘We can compete with anybody; we have the talent’

For the first two quarters, the Dallas Mavericks(30-26) did not bring the energy necessary to defeat the Sacramento Kings(23-34) on Sunday night. Dallas allowed the Kings to score 45 points in the second quarter, and they could not recover as Sacramento would go on to defeat the Mavericks 121-107 at American Airlines Center.  

“Really just a poor performance from the beginning,” Mavericks head Rick Carlisle said after the game. “They really came out with force, had us on our heels. We got down big early [and] fought back. It was two at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was a killer, 45-30.

Sacramento led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, but then the Mavericks finally woke up. Dallas went on a 15-2 run to cut the lead to eight and would trail 87-77 entering the fourth quarter.

“The third quarter, we had a group in there with really just hard, unselfish play that went on a strong run — I think it was 15-2 — and got us within eight,” Carlisle said. “We had some chances to get it under six a couple of times, I think and were unable to do it. A lot of what we’ve been talking about is that it’s a 48-minute game, and we’ve got to start stronger. “

Luka Doncic, who had 22 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, had a little duel with the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, who scored 12 of his 30 points in the final quarter. However, for Doncic and the Mavs, it was too little, too late.

“We didn’t come out playing hard,” Doncic said. “That is what has happened the last couple of games now. I have to be way better. We have to play harder. I have to play harder. It starts with me, so I have to play way better.”

According to Carlisle, the Mavericks, who have lost two straight and four of their five games, have to figure out ways to get back on track.

“There’s been some soul searching over the last five games,” he said. “We’ve talked about some things. We haven’t had much practice time. We’ll be able to have a practice on Tuesday. Of course, there’s concern. I think this game brings the issues into a sharper focus. We’ve got to get ourselves back on track just from a process standpoint. Forget about wins and losses; we’ve got to win games. That’s our job is to win games.”

Despite their struggles, Dorian Finney-Smith, who had 22 points on Sunday night, thinks the team has everything it needs to compete with anyone in the league. They just have to give more effort.

“We just have to go out there and play hard,” he said. “We can compete with anybody; we have the talent; it is just the energy.”

Dallas is in a bit of a rut right now, and the last two games, the defense, the energy, and the effort have not been there for this team. That has to improve if they want to get back on track. 

Notes:

Kristaps Porzingis struggled with his shot on Sunday night. He was 3-14 from the field and finished with nine points. Porzingis did have a game-high 11 rebounds.

Jalen Brunson came off the bench for 20 points on 8-10 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Kings’ Terence Davis came off the bench for 23 points (9-12 FG, 5-5 3FG) to go with three rebounds and three assists. His 23 points were his second-most this season.

Dallas has lost four straight games at American Airlines Center, and continue their five-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Photo: @Mavs/Twitter