Kings

Instant Replay: Kings can't close Wizards out, fall in OT as losing streak reaches seven

Instant Replay: Kings can't close Wizards out, fall in OT as losing streak reaches seven

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- A familiar feeling. After blowing a 28-point lead Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, the Sacramento Kings stumbled down the stretch again Friday night against the Washington Wizards. Sacramento squandered a 15-point fourth quarter lead as the Wizards forced overtime. In the end, Washington was too much for the home team, coming away with the 130-122 victory to send the Kings to their seventh straight loss.

The high-powered backcourt of the Wizards put on a show. John Wall broke the Kings defense down off the dribble and found open teammates for easy buckets. The All-Star point guard finished the night with 25 points and 12 assists in the win.

Bradley Beal found his rhythm in the second half, scoring 28 of his 38 points after the intermission. Beal knocked down 5-for-9 from long range and chipped in 10 rebounds.

Otto Porter hurt Sacramento from the perimeter, scoring 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic went off for 17 off Scotty Brooks’ bench and veteran big Jason Smith added nine points and six boards.

Welcome to the starting lineup Buddy Hield. Getting his first opportunity with the first unit after coming over from the New Orleans Pelicans, the rookie shooting guard put on a show early, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first half.

Willie Cauley-Stein hammered home one pick-and-roll dunk after another on his way to 20 points. He added a game-high 13 rebounds while picking up the start at the power forward spot.

Darren Collison worked well with Cauley-Stein, handing out 10 dimes, many of which came at the rim. The veteran point guard added 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Arron Afflalo started at the small forward spot and managed to score in 18 points on an efficient 6-for-10 shooting.

Ben McLemore got it going after the half, scoring 8 of his 11 points in the third quarter and Anthony Tolliver hit 4-for-5 from the field for 10 points.

Rookie Skal Labissiere continued his strong play, finishing the night with eight points and five rebounds in 14 minutes off Dave Joerger’s bench.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Beal went nuts in second half. The sharpshooting wing is a tough guard for most teams, especially with Wall drawing all of the attention, but he was special in the second half Friday at Golden 1 Center.

TURNING POINT

Sacramento took a 97-82 lead into the fourth, but they couldn’t hold off the charging Wizards. The Kings held their own early in the overtime session, but they couldn't get the stops they needed to come away with the win.

INJURY UPDATE

Rookie Malachi Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear, but hopes to return before the season is finished. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings take on the Denver Nuggets Saturday night at Golden 1 Center in the second night of a home-and-home back-to-back.

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suspended for game against Kings

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USATSI

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suspended for game against Kings

Michael Malone won't be on the sideline when his Nuggets take on his former team on Monday night.

The NBA announced Monday afternoon that Malone has been suspended without pay for the game against the Kings.

The suspension stems from Malone "entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official" during Denver's game against the Lakers on Sunday. The incident occurred midway through the second quarter.

Malone was hired as head coach of the Kings prior to the 2013-14 season. He was fired just 24 games into the 2014-15 season.

Coverage of the Nuggets and Kings gets underway at 6:30pm on NBC Sports California and streaming on the NBC Sports App.