SACRAMENTO -- In a battle of two-shorthanded teams, the Sacramento Kings figured out a way to grind out a win. Riding the hot shooting of Ben McLemore and a huge rebounding night from Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento ran over the Dallas Mavericks late to come away with the 98-87 victory.
McLemore got hot in the second half to finish the night with 22 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from long range.
With nearly half the team sitting out, the youth movement was on full display. Center Cauley-Stein attacked former college teammate Nerlens Noel, finishing the night with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Langston Galloway picked up his first start as a member of the Kings and he went off. The third-year guard posted 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting and added seven rebounds.
Rookie big Georgios Papagiannis is developing with each minute he sees on the floor. The 19-year-old giant sets a mean screen to clear space for his perimeter shooters. On the offensive end, he managed to put up 13 points and he added five rebounds off Dave Joerger’s bench.
Buddy Hield hit 4-for-7 from long range to score 16 points and he chipped in four rebounds and Skal Labissiere shook off a slow start to score 11 points and grab seven rebounds.
With most of Dallas’ starters sitting out the night, Harrison Barnes had plenty of opportunities to shine. The first-year Mav scored 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting, but sat late as the Mavericks turned to their bench.
Nicolas Brussino scored 13 points grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists. Dwight Powell finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and veteran guard J.J. Barea hit 3-for-5 from long range on his way to nine points and four assists.
Noel played well against Cauley-Stein early, scoring nine points on 3-for-4 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking two shots in 20 minutes of action.
McLemore couldn’t miss in the second half. His five 3-pointers swung the balance of this game.
Dallas turned away from the veterans in the fourth and their inexperienced bench fell apart. Sacramento kept playing to come away with their 31st win of the season.
Kosta Koufos sat for his fourth straight game for planned rest. Arron Afflalo missed the game with a lower back strain and Anthony Tolliver was out of action due to a right hip strain. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.
The Kings travel to Los Angeles where the 22-win Lakers will host them Friday evening at Staples Center.