Defense leads as Kings silence Magic
The magic touch
SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to the stretch run. The shorthanded Sacramento Kings faced off with the shorthanded Orlando Magic Friday evening at Golden 1 Center. It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the Kings managed to come away with their 21st win of the season by a final of 94-88.
Big man Kosta Koufos went for a big double-double for Sacramento. Garrett Temple added 23 points and Vince Carter went for 15 points off the bench to help lift the Kings to victory.
Jonathan Simmons dropped in a game-high 25 for the Magic, but with leading scorers Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier sitting out, the team from Orlando had little opportunity to compete.
Playing with a beat up right hand, Koufos put in work. The veteran center limited Nikola Vucevic to 13 points and five rebounds. On the offensive end, Koufos dropped in a season-high 18 points to go with 13 rebounds in the win.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Temple loves to play against the Magic. After hitting Orlando for a career-best 34 points last time these two met up, Temple went for 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from long range.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Two-way players are all the rage in Sacramento. Playing just his second game in Kings uniform this season, Jack Cooley gave the crowd a reason to stick around. The 26-year-old out of Notre Dame tied his career-high with eight points off the Kings bench and added three rebounds in eight minutes of work.
Sacramento came out firing in the third quarter to push their lead to double-digits. Without two of their three leading scorers, Orlando couldn’t keep up.
Skal Labissiere took a huge spill in the first half. He returned to action, but eventually the Kings shut him down with a bruised left hip. De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein both missed the game due to lower back strains. Iman Shumpert continues to miss games due to plantar fasciitis and Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings travel to Denver on Saturday afternoon where they’ll take on the Nuggets Sunday afternoon. Following the game at the Pepsi Center, the Kings travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back.