Kings

Kings in Memphis to battle Grizzlies

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Kings in Memphis to battle Grizzlies

(APCSN) -- The Sacramento Kings were able to win just hoursafter DeMarcus Cousins was told to stay away from the team for apparentlydemanding a trade. However, the Kings' chances of remaining competitive in theWestern Conference likely increase with the second-year center in the lineup.
REWIND: Kings say DeMarcus Cousins demands a trade
The Memphis Grizzlies' hopes of making a second straightplayoff appearance could be dashed if Zach Randolph can't stay healthy. Cousins could miss a second consecutive game Tuesdaynight when the Kings try to avoid a fourth straight road loss to the Grizzlies,who could be without an injured Randolph.UPDATE: Report -- Cousins on team plane to Memphis
The Kings (2-3) have received solid production fromCousins, who is averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 11.3 rebounds, but he wastold to stay home Sunday by coach Paul Westphal after the team said he asked tobe traded following Saturday's 114-92 loss to New York. It wasn't the first outburst from the 21-year-old since Sacramento drafted himfifth overall in 2010. "Maybe it takes him a couple of more years toreally get it," veteran forward Chuck Hayes said after Sunday's 96-80victory over New Orleans."As good as he is talented, that's how emotional he is as well. You haveto have a short-term memory in this game. That's my young fella, my teammate.If he wants to come back everyone on his team would love to have him." Westphal said in a statement before Sunday's victorythat Cousins' return is "pretty much up to him," but it's uncertainwhen, or if, he'll be back in the Kings' lineup.
"He's a good player and we need him," guardTyreke Evans said after Sacramentowas outrebounded 60-41 on Sunday. On Monday, Cousins issued a statement, claiming he never demanded or requested a trade:
"I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."
The Grizzlies (1-3) need Randolphin the lineup after they were outrebounded 55-40 in Sunday's 104-64 loss at Chicago. Randolph finished with two points and threerebounds after leaving late in the first quarter with a bruised right knee. "This loss had nothing to do with Zach goingdown," coach Lionel Hollins said following the team's most lopsided defeatsince falling 111-66 in Chicagoon Jan. 13, 2007. "We were getting beat up then." The Grizzlies could use Randolphon Tuesday after he averaged team highs of 26.5 points and 13.8 rebounds as Memphis took three of four from Sacramento in 2010-11.
Even if he doesn't play, the Grizzlies could get a niceboost with the return of starting point guard Mike Conley, who has missed thelast two games with a sprained left ankle. Conley averaged 9.8 points and 6.0 assists last seasonagainst the Kings.
RELATED: NBA standings
In Sacramento's last game at FedEx Forum, Randolph had27 points and 15 rebounds and Conley added 12 points with eight assists as theGrizzlies clinched the West's final playoff spot with a 101-96 victory April 8.Memphishad its best offensive performance of the season in the Kings' previous visit,a 120-92 win Feb. 26. Evans, who played one season at the University of Memphisbefore being drafted fourth overall by Sacramentoin 2009, scored a season-high 27 points Sunday. He is averaging 22.0 points,6.5 boards and 5.0 assists in two games visiting the Grizzlies. Memphis has won 11 of 14at home against Sacramentosince the beginning of the 2003-04 season.
STATS LLC and the Associated Press contributed to his report

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

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Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

BOX SCORE

Opportunity lost. The Sacramento Kings had a game handed to them on a silver platter Monday night in Phoenix and they couldn’t take advantage. Playing for a new head coach and without their star point guard, the Suns manhandled the Kings early and held them off late to come away with the 117-115 win and pick up their first win of the season.

Garrett Temple is known for his defensive prowess, but on Monday night in Phoenix, he was an offensive juggernaut. With the Kings falling behind early, the veteran wing hit 6-of-8 from long range to post 23 and keep the Kings in the ballgame late. He had a look at 3-ball to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.

It took Bogdan Bogdanovic less than a quarter to get comfortable with the NBA game. Phoenix drafted the rookie with the 27th pick back in 2014, but they abandoned their efforts to bring him over from Europe. He lit the Suns up 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but struggled to get it going after the break.

With Bogdanovic manning the two, fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox put on the jets at the point guard spot. Fox attacked Phoenix on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Skal Labissiere scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds off Joerger’s bench. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, while rookie Justin Jackson chipped in a career-best 10 points.

Buddy Hield couldn’t buy a bucket early, but his defense fueled his offensive in the second half. Hield grabbed a career-high five steals and added 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Sacramento’s Marquese Chriss did damage against his hometown team. The second-year forward dropped in 19 points and six rebounds before fouling out late. 

Devin Booker added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mike James finished with 18 points and seven assists starting in place of the exiled Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson came off the bench to score 15.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Temple caught fire and the Kings kept feeding him. Not known for his offense, the veteran wing went off in a wild game at the Talking Stick Resort Arena

TURNING POINT

Phoenix put the Kings on blast to start the game, outscoring the Kings starters 36-17 in the first 12 minutes of action. Dave Joerger went to his bench in the second and the combination of Fox, Bogdanovic and Labissiere went to work. The trio helped cut the Suns lead from 21 in the first quarter to eight before the half. They stole the momentum of the game.

INJURY UPDATE

Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic returned from a sprained right ankle to make his NBA debut. Labissiere tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off under his own power and returned to the game late.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return home to host DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday at Golden 1 Center. They’ll stick around Sacramento to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday before heading back out on the road for three games.

Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

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Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

The Sacramento Kings finish their three game road trip Monday in Phoenix. Waiting for them is a team in complete disarray. After dropping the first three games of the season, Phoenix dumped head coach Earl Watson Sunday afternoon and are reportedly in trade talks to deal starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. Jay Triano will act as the interim head coach, but he’s taking over a runaway train.

Sacramento lost to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday evening to drop to 1-2 on the season. De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere came to play, but the rest of the roster struggled with their shot as the Kings finished with just 79 points on 36.5 percent shooting.

The Suns have been outscored by more than 30 points per game in their three contests this season. They have lost games by 48 and 42 points already and almost every player on the roster has underperformed.

BETTING LINE

Kings by 2

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 1-2

Suns: 0-3

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss -- Labissiere has been a breath of fresh air early in the season, posting solid numbers across the board as Zach Randolph’s backup. He posted a career-high 32-point, 11-rebound game against Chriss last season, which left a lasting impression. Chriss is off to a slow start, but he has plenty of potential. The Sacramento-native gets up and down the floor and loves the over the top block.

INJURY REPORT

Kings:  SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) probable, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) out.

Suns:  PG Eric Bledsoe (team decision) out, SF Jared Dudley (toe) questionable, PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season, G Davon Reed (knee) out, PF Alan Williams (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY

Sacramento dominated the season-series 3-1 last season, including a 129-104 win over the Suns in the finale. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-90 and they hold an 84-51 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BOGDAN’S DEBUT -- The Kings have used the cautious approach to Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ankle injury. He’s played a ton of basketball between league play and EuroBasket overseas and there is no reason to rush him into action. He’ll likely suit up to play Monday against the team that drafted him in the 2014 NBA Draft. Expect to see lots of the 25-year-old Serbian over the next few months. Word around the team is that he is one of the best players on the squad.

MORE FOX -- Sacramento hit a homerun with the addition of De’Aaron Fox on draft night. The rookie has put on a show in his first three games and is pushing coach Dave Joerger for more playing time. The Kings have plenty of guards and wings, but there hasn’t been a player that can stay in front of Fox.

REBOUND FROM A STINKER -- The Kings couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat against the Nuggets. Playing at elevation is tough, but scoring 79 points is unacceptable. Sacramento has a chance to improve to 2-2 on the season in Phoenix before returning home to face DeMarcus Cousins. A 2-1 road trip would go a long ways towards building the confidence of a young squad.

QUOTABLE

“Whatever coach wants me to do, that’s what I’m going to do out there. I’m just going to go out there and play hard and help this team get a win.” --Skal Labissiere