Kings

Kings push late, fall to Bulls 108-98

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Kings push late, fall to Bulls 108-98

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- Derrick Rose had 19 points and eight assists and the Chicago Bulls earned a 108-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.The Bulls ran off 15 straight points early in the game and never trailed again in defeating the youthful Kings, the NBA's youngest team.Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls (2-1). Richard Hamilton also had 16 points, while reserve Ronnie Brewer led a productive Chicago bench with 12 points. Luol Deng also scored 12 points.Marcus Thornton had 20 points and Tyreke Evans had 19 for Sacramento (1-2). DeMarcus Cousins, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Jimmer Fredette scored 14 points and John Salmons had 12.Trailing by 12 points, Fredette hit a 3-pointer and Evans followed with an uncontested dunk, cutting the Chicago lead to seven with 2:53 left. But the Kings could never get closer than that against the veteran Bulls, who made free throws in the closing minutes to secure the win.Rose was in foul trouble in the second half and picked up his fifth at the 7:46 mark in the fourth quarter after fouling Fredette. Joakim Noah followed him to the bench with his fifth less than a minute later with Chicago ahead 96-86.Foul trouble sidelined both Noah and Rose in the third quarter as well. Noah picked up his fourth foul at the 8:01 mark and several minutes later Rose walked slowly to the bench after also getting his fourth foul.But with two of their stars on the bench, the Bulls were still able to stretch their lead to 85-75 heading into the fourth quarter behind the scoring of backup point guard C.J. Watson and the veteran Boozer.Urged by coach Tim Thibodeau to play at a faster pace, the Bulls were on the run early, scoring 15 fast-break points in the first 16 minutes.Chicago had a number of fast-break layups in the opening half when it led 60-53. Rose had 11 points and five assists for the Bulls, while Thornton had 11 points for the Kings.The Bulls open the season with four straight road games, the final one coming Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.Last season, the Bulls led the NBA in opponents' shooting percentage, and were the second-best team in terms of points allowed.Notes: The Kings opened the game by missing 12 of 13 shots. ... The Bulls shot 56 percent in the first half and were aided by their bench, which made a combined 7 of 9 shots. . The Kings entered the game shooting 61 percent from the free-throw line. They made 20 of 34 attempts against the Bulls. . The Bulls took control early, scoring 15 unanswered points for a 19-5 lead midway through the opening quarter. But the Kings scored the final nine points of the quarter to cut the margin to 30-24.

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.

Gameday: Kings open homestand against shorthanded Nuggets

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AP

Gameday: Kings open homestand against shorthanded Nuggets

SACRAMENTO -- Home cooking. For the first time this season, the Sacramento Kings will play three straight games at Golden 1 Center, beginning Monday evening against the Denver Nuggets. In a scheduling anomaly, the Kings have already played three three-game road trips and 10 of their first 16 games away from home.

Denver is coming off a 127-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. They’ll take on a young Kings team on the second night of a back-to-back and they’ll have to do so without both of their starting forwards.

Expect plenty of small ball, three guard sets as the Nuggets try to turn up the pace and run the Kings off the floor.

BETTING LINE

Nuggets by 6

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Since being relegated to the bench two games ago, Cauley-Stein has become a monster. He’s posted 20 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last two outings and seems to have found himself with the second team. After a slow start to the season, the Joker has found his game. He’s posting 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and a team-high 4.5 assists. Jokic is one of the best passing bigs in the NBA and he’s knocking down 41.5 percent of his three-balls.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 4-12, fifth place in Pacific

Nuggets: 9-7, third place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SG Buddy Hield (sprained ankle) out, F Vince Carter (kidney stones) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Nuggets: SF Wilson Chandler (low back) out, PF Paul Millsap (left wrist) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

FINDING THE BOTTOM OF THE NET -- While Cauley-Stein has flourished with the reserves, Skal Labissiere has fallen on hard times with the starters. The second-year big has taken plenty of high quality shots, they just don’t want to settle in. He’s too talented of a player to continue missing shots, but over his first two starts, he’s hit on just 1-of-15 from the field and scored three total points. The Kings could use a breakout performance from their starting power forward.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR OPPORTUNITY -- Frank Mason has played roughly 21 minutes per night since Dave Joerger shook up his lineup last Friday. He’s done a nice job of holding down the reserve point guard minutes while George Hill has shifted to the shooting guard spot. The Kings need their rookie to continue to grow into his role and supply leadership with the second unit.

CONTINUE TO BUILD ON THE DEFENSIVE END -- For stretches over the last two games, the Kings have looked like a defensive juggernaut. They are long, quick and athletic. They need to find a way to hit shots to stay in ball games, but the effort has been there, especially on the defensive end.

SERIES HISTORY

Denver leads the season series 1-0 after an early season win at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets hold a slim lead the all-time series 89-88, but the Kings are up 65-64 during the Sacramento-era.