Instant Replay: Kings beat Magic, make losing streak disappear

Instant Replay: Kings beat Magic, make losing streak disappear


SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings sat four veterans Monday night at Golden 1 Center, suiting up just nine players against the Orlando Magic. It didn’t matter. Behind a ruckus crowd, seven Kings scored in double-figures as the home team snapped their eight-game losing streak by a final of 120-115.

The Thin Towers put on a show. Starting together on the frontline for the first time, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere gave fans a glimpse of the future in Sacramento.

Cauley-Stein went to work in the post, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Labissiere produced on both ends of the floor, coming away with 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 20 minutes of action.

Veteran point guard Darren Collison orchestrated the offense, hitting the Magic for 19 points and 13 assists. His work with Cauley-Stein in the pick-and-roll opened up the perimeter shot for Sacramento’s shooters.

Anthony Tolliver made it rain from downtown, dropping in 5-of-7 from behind the arc on his way to 19 points and six assists.

Buddy Hield let it fly. The rookie shooting guard isn’t shy about hoisting up shots. Against the Magic, he finished with 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the field and added six rebounds.

Veterans Garrett Temple scored 14 points and grabbed two steals and Ben McLemore scored 14 on 3-for-6 shooting from long distance.

During the 2014 NBA Draft, the Kings chose Nik Stauskas over Elfrid Payton. Payton went two picks later to the Magic and in his third season in the league, he’s growing into a solid pro for Orlando. Monday against Sacramento, he pushed the tempo, finishing the night with a 13-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double.

Nikola Vucevic hurt the Kings in the post. The veteran big dropped in 23 points and added nine rebounds as the Magic fell to 24-44 on the season.

Evan Fournier got hot from the perimeter, scoring 21 points on 4-of-11 from deep. Aaron Gordon finished with 17 points and three rebounds and Mario Hezonja added nine off the Magic bench.

Sacramento dropped in 16-of-30 on the night, including makes from six different players. The ball movement was good and so was the spacing.

The short-handed Kings put on a gritty performance, using all 48 minutes to come away with the win and snap their eight-game losing streak.

Tyreke Evans missed the game with a sore left ankle. Kosta Koufos, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo all sat for “planned rest.” Rookie Malachi Richardson is out another week or two with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

The Kings travel to Phoenix following the game where they’ll take on the Suns Wednesday in the first of three on the road.

After upsetting Warriors, Kings battle schedule with fifth game in seven days


After upsetting Warriors, Kings battle schedule with fifth game in seven days

No break. After a surprising win Friday night on the road over the Warriors, the Kings hopped a flight to Utah where they’ll face the Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday evening. 

Buddy Hield came out firing off the Kings bench against Golden State, scoring 22 points on 5-of-10 shooting from long range. The shooting guard added seven rebounds and seven assists in one of his more complete games of the season.

Utah is in a fight for playoff position. They are currently tied with the Spurs for the seventh spot in the Western Conference chase, just a half game behind the Pelicans for the six seed. The Jazz have won eight straight and 20 of their last 22 games. 


Jazz by 15.5


Kings vs. The Pick-and-Roll -- Utah is one of the better pick-and-roll teams in the league. Rookie Donovan Mitchell is explosive and patient at the guard position and Rudy Gobert is a monster rolling to the rack. The Jazz have shooters all around the perimeter waiting for the kick out. This is a very good team playing at an elite level right now.


Kings: 23-47, fourth place in Pacific

Jazz: 39-30, fourth place in Northwest


Kings: SG/SF Iman Shumpert (plantar fasciitis) out, F Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Jazz: PG Ricky Rubio (knee) probable, C Tony Bradley (concussion) questionable, PG Raul Neto (wrist) out, SF Thabo Sefolosha (knee) out.


Rookie Watch -- Mitchell has been spectacular this season for Jazz. The Kings will combat the high-flying rookie with a pair of first-year guards of their own in Fox and Bogdanovic. It’s not often that a player comes into the league and makes an impact on a franchise like Mitchell has in his first NBA season.

The Gobstopper -- Gobert is a monster in the post. He plays the pick-and-roll to perfection with Mitchell and he is an absolute force on the defensive end. Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos will have to make his work on both ends of the court if the Kings have a chance of upsetting the Jazz. 

Put up a Fight -- This is the fifth game in seven nights for the Kings. It’s also a brutal back-to-back, with less than 24 hours between games. The key to this game is to escape with the team’s health intact, but it would be nice if they could make a strong showing in a difficult situation.


The Jazz hold a 2-0 advantage in the season series and they’ve won four straight over the Kings. Utah leads the all-time series 104-82 and holds a 81-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

Bogdanovic, Kings look to beat Warriors at Oracle for second time this season


Bogdanovic, Kings look to beat Warriors at Oracle for second time this season

No rest for the weary. The Kings hit game four of their five games in seven nights stretch. They’ll draw a beat up, but dangerous Golden State Warriors team Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Sacramento is coming off a wild overtime win against the playoff bound Miami Heat on Wednesday. De’Aaron Fox hit a floater as time expired to push the game to overtime and fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic drilled a late 3-pointer to put the game away late in the extra session.

Golden State trails the Houston Rockets by two games for the top overall seed in the Western Conference playoff chase. They’ve already clinched another Pacific division title, but they are at risk for missing out on the top seed. Every game counts as they hit the stretch run.


Warriors by 12


Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Zaza Pachulia -- It might not be the matchup people bought tickets to see, but it’s the matchup they’re going to get. With the Warriors banged up, Pachulia has stepped up and filled a valuable role in the middle. He’s strong as an ox and does all the dirty work. Cauley-Stein is getting his legs back under him after missing 10 days with a back strain. He’s improved in year four, but still needs to work on his consistency.  


Kings: 22-47, fourth place in Pacific

Warriors: 52-16, first place in Pacific


Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (hip contusion) questionable, SF/SG Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Warriors: PF Jordan Bell (ankle) probable, PG Quinn Cook (hand contusion) probable, PF David West (arm cyst) probable, SF Kevin Durant (ribs soreness) out, PG Steph Curry (ankle) out, SG Klay Thompson (thumb) out, SG Patrick McGaw (wrist) out.


Wounded Warriors -- Golden State will play without three of their four All-Stars. The Kings took advantage of the Warriors early in the season when they were the similar situation of missing All-Stars. Sacramento needs to stay the course and continue to play with effort as they finish the schedule, regardless of who suits up for their opponent.

Big Moments -- If there is one thing that stands out in the 2017-18 season for Sacramento, it’s the clutch plays by the young players. Fox has four shots in his rookie season that either won or tied a game in the final seconds. Bogdanovic, Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield have come through with big shots as well.  

Come Out Firing -- The best way to beat the Warriors is to make them work for their shots. The best way to make them work for their shots is to score baskets and set up the defense. If the Kings can put up an efficient offensive night, they have a shot of dethroning the shorthanded champs.


The Kings and Warriors are all knotted at one game apiece in the season series. Golden State holds a 201-187 lead in the all-time series and a 73-66 advantage during the Sacramento-era.