Kings

Gameday: Things won't get easier for struggling Kings in Boston

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USATI

Gameday: Things won't get easier for struggling Kings in Boston

With the taste of defeat still fresh in their mouths, the Sacramento Kings face the Boston Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday.

Sacramento has lost five straight and are in desperate need of a win. They’ve lost their offensive mojo and look every bit the part of a newly assembled young club.

Despite a mostly new roster and a serious early season injury to Gordon Hayward, the Celtics sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. They are young, athletic and dangerous.

BETTING LINE

Celtics by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Kyrie Irving -- Fox continues to shine despite the struggles of the team. He’s leading the Kings in scoring at 13.4 points per game and coming off an impressive 18-point, five-assist, four-rebound performance in Indy. Irving is posting big numbers since coming over in an offseason deal with the Cavs. Fox likely won’t start the game against the four-time All-Star, but he’ll play plenty of minutes as the game evolves.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 1-6, fifth place in Pacific

Celtics: 5-2, first place in Atlantic

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Celtics: SF Gordon Hayward (ankle) out for season, F Marcus Morris (knee) questionable.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

A TRAIN OFF THE TRACKS -- Sacramento is lost in an early season slide and it doesn’t get any easier Wednesday evening in Boston. The Celtics are atop the Eastern Conference standings, despite the devastating injury to Gordon Hayward on opening night. The Kings need to find their offense quickly or risk falling for the sixth straight game.

CAN THE REAL GEORGE HILL PLEASE STAND UP -- Hill is a veteran coming off his best season in the NBA. So far in the 2017-18 campaign, he’s struggled in his new surroundings, averaging just 9.5 points, 2.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds. The Kings brought him in to show De’Aaron Fox the ropes and help solidify the backcourt. So far, Fox has far outshined his mentor.

ARE THE KINGS FINALLY RESTED? -- The decision has been made to rest veterans in each of the last two games and the available players haven’t responded well on the court. Sacramento’s scored 83 points in back-to-back games and they’ve been outscored by a combined 45 by the Wizards and Pacers. Balancing the development of young players while putting a quality product on the floor was never going to be easy, but avoiding a culture of losing is paramount.  

SERIES HISTORY

These two teams split the season series last year 1-1, with Sacramento coming away with a 108-92 victory at Golden 1 Center in February. Boston holds a 181-118 all-time lead over the Kings and a 36-26 advantage during the Sacramento-era. The Kings have lost nine straight in Boston, spanning back to January of 2007.

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.