Kings

Gameday: Kings begin challenging road stretch with a visit to OKC, Westbrook

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USATSI

Gameday: Kings begin challenging road stretch with a visit to OKC, Westbrook

Sacramento’s lost four straight and they begin a stretch of seven of the next eight games on the road. They start the gambit in Oklahoma where the star-studded Thunder await them on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Kings are coming off back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Clippers which sunk them to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Willie Cauley-Stein put up 23 points and 13 rebounds, but the Clippers jumped out to a big lead early and coasted home.

OKC is playing tremendous defense, but they still haven’t figured out how to put it all together. Russell Westbrook’s numbers are steadily climbing as he adapts to additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. This team is in the middle of the pack in the west, but they are one hot streak away from jumping up in the standings.

BETTING LINE

Thunder by 11.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Russell Westbrook: Take 2 -- Fox seems to have turned a corner since returning from injury. But the 20-year-old will guard one of the toughest assignments in the NBA. Westbrook is fresh off an MVP season and he’s getting dangerously close to averaging a triple-double on the season.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 13-29, fifth place in Pacific

Thunder: 23-20, second place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PG Frank Mason III (heel) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Thunder: SG Andre Roberson (knee) questionable.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Youth Movement -- Dave Joerger has slowly turned to his younger players as the season’s gone on. Fox is starting at the point and Cauley-Stein is playing a big role on the front line, but Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield are starting to see an increase in minutes as well. Players are developing, but it doesn’t always look pretty.

Get a Body on Him -- Steven Adams is a beast. The giant out of New Zealand plays physical and he’s strong as an ox. Someone is going to have to keep a body on him or he’ll dominate the glass all game long. Cauley-Stein, Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos and maybe even Georgios Papagiannis have their work cut out for them.

Live in the Moment -- Games like this against superstar players can be overwhelming for young players. The Kings need to stick to the game plan and play each possession like it’s their last.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings shocked OKC in early November, coming away with a 94-86 win at Golden 1 Center. The Thunder hold a 142-86 all-time lead over the Kings and an 85-50 advantage in the Sacramento-era.

After getting stitched up, De'Aaron Fox cleared to play in Rising Stars Game

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USATSI

After getting stitched up, De'Aaron Fox cleared to play in Rising Stars Game

De’Aaron Fox ran the gamut of emotions Wednesday. He got the call early in the day that he was added to the Rising Stars Game as an injury replacement for the Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball. But a spill late in Houston in front of his hometown crowd put everything on hold.

After being evaluated by the Kings medical staff this morning in Sacramento, the team has tentatively cleared their young guard for action in this weekend’s All-Star festivities. 

“Barring any changes in his condition, Fox is expected to play in the Risings Stars Game in L.A. on Friday evening,” the team said via text.  

With 34.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fox hit the floor hard, banging both his chin and forehead on the Toyota Center floor. The Kings starting point guard required stitches above his right eye and on his chin. 

The 20-year-old out of Kentucky is posting 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game for Sacramento. 

He, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield are scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Game together, giving the team three players in the event for the first time in franchise history.

De'Aaron Fox's All-Star weekend plans in limbo after late spill in Kings' loss

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USATSI

De'Aaron Fox's All-Star weekend plans in limbo after late spill in Kings' loss

Good news, bad news. De’Aaron Fox ran the gamut of emotions Wednesday. He got the call early in the day that he was added to the Rising Stars Game as an injury replacement for the Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball. But a spill late in Houston has everything on hold.

With 34.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fox hit the floor hard, banging both his chin and forehead on the Toyota Center floor. The Kings starting point guard required stitches above his right eye and on his chin. 

There is no word yet from the team on his availability going forward, including Friday’s Rising Stars game in LA. 

The 20-year-old out of Kentucky is posting 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game for Sacramento. 

He, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield are all scheduled to play in the Rising Stars game, giving the team three players in the event for the first time in franchise history.