Kings

Kings lose 113-96 in Memphis

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Kings lose 113-96 in Memphis

BOX SCORE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Grizzlies wanted to put the blowout loss from their last game behind them, and the Sacramento Kings paid the price for Memphis' recovery.Rudy Gay scored 23 points, Sam Young added 20 and the Grizzlies beat the Kings 113-96 on Tuesday night.Memphis' performance was a big improvement from its lackluster 104-64 loss at Chicago on Sunday."We had to get it out of our mind," said guard Mike Conley, who scored 14 points in his return from an ankle injury. "That was a terrible way to lose. We just didn't put forth the effort. But I think we did a good job of putting it in the back of our mind. New day, new game."O.J. Mayo had 16 points, Marc Gasol also scored 14 and Tony Allen had 10. Gasol also had 15 rebounds as Memphis outrebounded Sacramento 49-41."The crazy thing about (Chicago), we didn't even do any partying or anything the night before to celebrate the New Year," Mayo said. "We tried to keep it professional, and still came out and got beat by 40. This definitely was a great win to get coming back home."Jimmer Fredette scored 17 points and fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas had 15 to lead Sacramento as the Kings' reserves got extended minutes with Memphis leading by double digits for a bulk of the second half."(I did it) for two reasons," Kings coach Paul Westphal said of playing the bench. "One is that we had a lot of offensive firepower on the floor with Jimmer and Isaiah and (Francisco Garcia). We were able to spread to floor and have a lot of 3-point shooting and get penetration. I thought the best chance to get back in the game was to crack open a few steals and get some threes."If that did happen, we would have our starters fresh for the last 5 or 6 minutes. If it didn't happen, they would be rested for dinner."J.J. Hickson was the only Sacramento starter to reach double figures, scoring 12 points. Travis Outlaw added 11. The Kings' starting backcourt of Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton combined for only 14 points on 6 of 18 shooting.Memphis finished 55 percent from the field, led by Gasol's 7 for 10, Mayo at 8 of 11 and Gay 10 for 16. Part of that came from Memphis controlling the paint 72-46.The Kings shot 41 percent.DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench, as expected, after missing Sunday's game against New Orleans when Westphal told him to stay away from the team. Cousins finished with four points on 1-for-5 shooting in 22 minutes."I thought we were coming off the bench well," Cousins said. "Once I got a little sweat, I was into it. I don't know why I'm missing all these little putbacks. I am missing them, so I have to keep working."The Kings were down 17 points early and rallied to tie the score at 50-all in the final minute of the first half. However, Gay's tip at the buzzer gave the Grizzlies a two-point lead at the break."I thought Rudy Gay was a double handful for us throughout the first half and into the next quarter," Westphal said.Gay scored 15 points in the first half, and no Kings player was in double digits. Both teams committed eight turnovers, but the Kings shot 12 for 18 in the second quarter to get back into the game."In the first half, we went up, we let back up. We went up, we let back up," Young said. "In the second half, it seemed like we were more focused and played our way of basketball with more consistency."Memphis then had a 9-0 run in the early minutes of the third quarter and the Kings never threatened the rest of the way.The Grizzlies got their offense back on track, scoring off turnovers and getting out on the break. They also started controlling the boards as they extended the lead to 23 late in the third quarter, eventually holding an 87-68 advantage heading into the fourth."In the second half, we ran off a 35-18 lead (in the third quarter), and we kept getting stop after stop," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "When we do that and rebound, we are able to run."NOTES: Before the game, Westphal said of the Cousins situation, "I wouldn't say it's resolved. We will see how it plays out. I think DeMarcus has to continue to show maturity and a desire to go the same direction as his teammates. We're all hoping that happens." . Conley returned after missing two games with a sprained left ankle he injured in the second game of the season. .The Kings were playing the opener of their only stretch of three games in three days during the compressed season. It was also the third of five games in six nights. .During the game, it was announced that Gene Bartow, who served as president of Hoops LLC, the parent company of FedExForum and the Grizzlies, and a Hall of Fame college coach, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

SACRAMENTO -- The fans came to watch De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball square off for the first times as professionals Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. They ended up being treated to a breakout performance by Sacramento’s second team.

“It’s not all about Fox and Ball, it’s about Kings and Lakers,” Frank Mason said after another solid performance. “I’m just happy we got the win as a team.”

Coming into Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings ranked first in the league in bench scoring at 48.1 points per game. The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t far behind, posting 40.6 a contest, good enough for fourth in the NBA.

Sacramento received solid contributions from almost every player that stepped on the floor, including 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from starter Zach Randolph. But the group that came off the bench put on a show, outscoring Los Angeles 67-38.

In his fourth game in a reserve role, Willie Cauley-Stein scored a game-high 26 points in 28 minutes, including 13 in the fourth quarter as the Kings pulled away. He drew a crowd around his locker during post game, but he was the direct beneficiary of some stellar play by others.

Mason and fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic broke down the Lakers defense countless times and found Cauley-Stein for the poster dunk. According to the official scoresheet, nine of Cauley-Stein’s 10 made baskets were assisted, including five alley-oops from Bogdanovic.

“We talked about it yesterday when we were icing,” Cauley-Stein said of his Serbian guard. “We were both sitting in the cold tub and exactly what happened is what we were talking about.”

Cauley-Stein is gifted athletically and he’s extremely long. He was a star receiver in high school and he knows how to go up and get a ball.

“I think he realizes, (he’s) just got to get it up there and I’m going to go get it,” Cauley-Stein said of Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic hit his first two 3-point attempts and it seemed to open the floor up for Sacramento. With defenders going over screens to defend the long ball, Bogdanovic used his dribble to get free.

When the Laker’s bigs stepped in to stop his dribble, Bogdanovic tossed the ball near the rim and Cauley-Stein finished with authority.

“It’s easy to play with Willie, because he can catch,” Bogdanovic said. “I didn’t pass perfectly those alley-oops, but he likes to be a little higher than usual.”

Both Bogdanovic and Mason set new career-highs in assists, finishing with seven dimes apiece off Dave Joerger’s bench. Bogdanovic dropped in 14 points and picked up two steals. Mason added 11 points and five rebounds.

The smallest player to step on the floor, Mason brings a physicality the Kings have lacked early in the season. Since earning rotational minutes four games ago, the 23-year-old is posting 9.8 points and 4.3 assists in 22 minutes a game.

“That’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been,” Mason said when asked about his toughness. “I take a lot of pride in someone scoring on me and I play every possession like it’s game point.”

With the win, the Kings improved to 4-4 on their home floor and 5-13 overall this season. They’ll take Thanksgiving off, but return to practice Friday in preparation for the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday evening. They’ll need another big evening from the bench unit if they hope to build momentum going forward.

Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

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USATSI/AP

Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings were treated rudely by the Denver Nuggets to open their three-game homestand on Monday. They’ll get another shot to pick up a win Wednesday when the upstart Los Angeles Lakers swing into Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento has struggled to find consistency this season on the road, but they’ve been able to ride their home crowd to impressive wins over Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Portland. If they can knock off the Lakers, they improve to .500 at home on the season. 

The Lakers are coming off a come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and have to play Sacramento on the second night of a back-to-back. They are a young and exciting team, that present plenty of matchup issues for the Kings.

BETTING LINE 

Lakers by 1

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball -- Let the games begin! The drama surrounding these two dates back to college. Fox ran over Ball at the NCAA level, outscoring the former UCLA Bruin in both games last season, including a 39-point outburst during a tournament game. Ball missed the summer league matchup between the two, causing a bit of a stir on social media. Wednesday night is nothing more that a pair of 19-year-olds playing hoops against one another while hundreds of thousands of people watch intently. No pressure, kids.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 4-13, fifth place in Pacific

Lakers: 8-10, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SG Buddy Hield (sprained ankle) probable, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Lakers: PF Larry Nance Jr. (hand) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BRIGHT LIGHTS -- The world is watching. Sacramento doesn’t draw the attention of the national media all that often, but plenty of eyes will be on the Kings/Lakers matchup on Wednesday. Will the Kings bring the defensive intensity that helped them knock off the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday or will they fade like they did against Denver last time out?   

REBOUND -- The Kings are one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA and they’ll face a team that knows how to hit the glass. Dave Joerger needs his guards to get involved if they hope to avoid another lopsided rebounding deficit. 

CONTAIN KUZMA -- Ball gets all the pub, but it’s the late first rounder out of Utah that is turning heads. Fresh off a 22-point performance Tuesday against the Bulls, Kyle Kuzma is posting nearly 17 points per game while starting at power forward for the Lakers. He’s a player that plenty of teams are now regretting passing on in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

SERIES HISTORY 

These two teams split the season series 2-2 last season, with each team winning one at home and one on the road. Los Angeles owns a huge 270-153 lead in the all-time series and a 92-44 advantage during the Sacramento-era 88-47. 

QUOTE

“It’s fun. Sometimes there’s too many haters out there. It is what it is. Smile and enjoy it. I think it will be a great opportunity for those two guys to begin their careers.” Dave Joerger on the Fox/Ball matchup