Kings

Gameday: Kings look stay hot, build off monster win with Suns in town

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USATSI

Gameday: Kings look stay hot, build off monster win with Suns in town

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings started their six game homestand with a bang Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ll get an opportunity to make it two in a row Friday evening when the Phoenix Suns roll into Golden 1 Center.

Vince Carter was the man of the evening against the Cavs, scoring a season-high 24 points off the bench for Sacramento. Willie Cauley-Stein and Bogdan Bogdanovic put up big numbers with the second unit as well, helping to the Kings’ bench mob to score 68 of the team’s 109 points.

The Suns have four of their last six games, including a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. Phoenix averages 105.6 points per game, which is good enough for 13th best in the league. But they are the league’s worst defensive team, yielding 112.4 points a night.

LINE

Kings by 2.5

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 12-22 fourth in Pacific

Suns: 13-23 third in Pacific

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Frank Mason III vs. Tyler Ulis -- Mason started the first game of his career versus the Cavs on Wednesday night. He might get a second start against Ulis on Friday as Dave Joerger mixes and matches his lineups. Mason has struggled with his shot as of late, but it could just be a case of hitting the rookie wall. Ulis has started the last 23 games for the Suns after starting the season as a reserve. Eric Bledsoe is gone, as is Mike James. For now, it’s Ulis’ show in Phoenix.

INJURY REPORT

Kings:  PG De’Aaron Fox (thigh tear) out, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) is out until January at the earliest.

Suns:  PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season, G Davon Reed (knee) out, PF Alan Williams (knee) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Bogi the Point -- The Suns tried to get Bogdanovic to come over from Europe multiple times before dealing him to the Kings on draft night 2016. The Serbian rookie is finding his game and playing a lot of point guard for the Kings with Fox on the shelf with a thigh injury. He posted 16 points and eight assists against Cleveland. He creates open looks for his teammates and has an incredible basketball IQ.   

Free Buddy -- Buddy Hield has found a niche with the Kings, but he’s struggled to get to the free throw line. Hield has failed to shoot a single free throw in eight of his last 10 contests. He hasn’t gotten to the line in 17-of-32 games this season. If he wants to be an elite scorer, he has to figure out how to draw contact and get to the stripe.   

Time for Skal? -- Skal Labissiere has been the forgotten man over the last three games, drawing the dreaded DNP-CD (did not play - coach’s decision). The 21-year-old big hasn’t crested the 15 minute plateau since late November, but he’s played well against the Suns in the past. Will Joerger give him a shot or keep the second-year power forward on the bench?

SERIES HISTORY

After a 99-92 Kings win at Golden 1 Center on Dec. 12, these two teams are all knotted at 1-1 in the season series. Phoenix leads the all-time series 132-91 and they hold an 85-52 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE

“I feel great. I prepare myself for it.” -Vince Carter after playing 30 minutes Wednesday against the Cavs

Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery

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AP

Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery

The Sacramento Kings’ win over the Houston Rockets in the season finale has officially cost the team a spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. After posting identical 27-55 records, Sacramento and the Chicago Bulls were part of the NBA’s coin flip rule Friday afternoon at the Board of Governors meetings. 

Unfortunately for the Kings, the Bulls picked up a victory in the game of chance and now sit in the sixth spot in the pre-lottery standings. Sacramento holds the seventh position, but both teams have an equal opportunity to move up into the top three positions when the lottery is officially held on May 15. 

Once the top three selections are drawn, the draft goes in order of worst remaining record, taking coin flip results into consideration. If the Kings do not move into the top three and no one slated behind them in the draft move up, they will draft No. 7 overall. 

There is also a small chance that Sacramento doesn’t move up and one or more lottery teams behind them in the standings jump up. In this scenario, the Kings could draft as low as 10, but the statistical probability of them falling that far is astronomical. 

Here are the odds for the potential draft positions for the Kings this season. Both the Kings and Bulls have an 18.3% chance of moving into the top three picks.

No. 1 overall selection: 5.3%
No. 2 overall selection: 6.0%
No. 3 overall selection: 7.0%
No. 7 overall selection: 57.3%
No. 8 overall selection: 22.6%
No. 9 overall selection: 1.8%
No. 10 overall selection: less than 0.0%

Kings finish tied for sixth worst record, coin flip could decide their NBA Draft fate

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USATSI

Kings finish tied for sixth worst record, coin flip could decide their NBA Draft fate

SACRAMENTO -- Wins matter. With the Sacramento Kings’ victory over the Houston Rockets in the season finale Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center, the team finished the campaign at 27-55. Clearly that’s not good enough to move onto the playoff portion of the NBA season, but it places the Kings in a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the sixth worst record in the NBA.
 
It’s a slightly complicated procedure for deciding how many ping pong balls the Kings will have in the draft lottery. Both Chicago and Sacramento will have equal odds of moving into the top three of the draft. The two teams have a 5.3 percent chance of landing the top spot, a six percent chance of choosing at No. 2 overall and a seven percent chance of selecting third. 
 
Per NBA rules, a coin flip will determine which team falls in the sixth position and which will select seven if they don’t move up into the top three. The coin flip is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 13. 
 
The Kings and Bulls aren’t the only teams placing their fate in the hands of a shiny piece of metal. Dallas and Atlanta finished the season tied for the third and fourth worst records. The Bucks and Heat are tied for the 16th and 17th spot in the draft. San Antonio and Minnesota will flip for picks 18 and 19 and there is a complicated formula between the Pacers, Pelicans, Thunder and Jazz for picks 20-23, since all four teams finished the regular season with a 48-34 record.