Kings

NBA Gameday: Kings to be tested by Warriors' long ball

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NBA Gameday: Kings to be tested by Warriors' long ball

A wild rain storm isn’t the force of nature looking to roll through Sacramento and wreak havoc Sunday afternoon. After a tough loss on Friday evening to the Clippers, the Sacramento Kings draw one of the league’s best in the Golden State Warriors in what should be an entertaining 48 minutes of basketball.

Sacramento has lost two straight, but still sit in a tie for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff race. Their late game execution has been on the fritz, which has cost them two straight and four of the last five. They compete, but they are still learning how to win consistently.

Golden State is fresh off a loss on their home floor and hoping to get back in the win column. Packed with All-Star talent, the Warriors can beat you in so many ways. They’ve had the Kings number for the last three seasons, owning a 12-game win streak against their closest geographical rival.

LINE

Warriors by 11.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kings vs. the 3-ball -- Golden State has All-Stars at four positions and plenty of depth. They love to shoot the 3-pointer, averaging 11.7 makes on 31 attempts per game. Sacramento is one of the worst team’s in the league at defending the long ball, allowing opponents to shoot 37.9 percent from deep. If the Warriors start hitting their shots early, this could be a long night for the Kings.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 15-21, third place in Pacific

Warriors: 31-6, first place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: No injuries to report.

Warriors: No injuries to report.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors swept the season series 4-0 last year and have a 12-game winning streak against the Kings. Golden State holds an 197-185 advantage all-time over the Kings and a 69-64 lead during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTABLE

“If we’re trying to make the playoffs, this is something we have to learn from. If we’re going to be able to make a run, we have to beat teams down the stretch. They’re not going to beat themselves. You’ve got to beat them. You’ve got to beat them by executing.” -Darren Collison following the Kings loss to Los Angeles on Friday night

NBA fines Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins for incident with fan

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USATSI

NBA fines Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins for incident with fan

Former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is in trouble with the league office again.

The NBA fined the Pelicans big man $25,000 for "directing inappropriate language towards a fan" during the final minutes of the team's season opener on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies.

The referee's heard the exchange between Cousins and the fan, and assessed a technical foul to Cousins. That technical foul was rescinded as part of the league's announcement Saturday.

After Wednesday's game, Cousins offered this explanation of the incident:

"That was pretty bogus, man. The ref, he sat there and heard (the fan) speaking to me in a very nasty way. I shouldn't have responded to it, but I'm a human being and I'm also a grown man. I'm not going to let another person just disrespect me. I felt (the ref) should have handled it, he decided not to, but he handled my end of it. I look forward to speaking to the league," Cousins told reporters, according to USA Today.

Cousins makes his first trip back to Sacramento since being traded by the Kings on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

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USATSI

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

With a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are feeling good heading into their first back-to-back on Saturday. They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team that lost their season opener to the Utah Jazz and is looking for their first victory of the season.

The combination of George Hill and De’Aaron Fox at the point guard position was too much for Dallas to handle on Friday. Hill poured in 21 points, including two huge shots down the stretch and Fox came away with his first 10-assist game of his career.

Denver added veteran Paul Millsap in the offseason to match with rising star Nikola Jokic. Jokic struggled in the opener, but still managed to post seven points, eight assists and 12 rebounds. The Kings will have their hands full trying to slow the 7-footer.  

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Cauley-Stein has posted back-to-back double-doubles to start the season and comes in averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 rebound and two blocks in 29 minutes per game. Jokic is one of the more versatile bigs in the game. He picks and chooses his spots to score, but his passing ability makes him a dangerous player.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 1-1

Nuggets: 0-1

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Nuggets: No injuries to report

SERIES HISTORY:
These two teams split the season series last year and hold an identical 86-86 record against each other all-time. The Kings lead the Nuggets 65-63 during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
MORE TIME FOR FOX - The Kings speedy young guard is showing that he’s ready to carry more of the load. In his first game, he posted 14 points and five assists. In Game Two, he set up his teammates for a team-high 10 assists while adding nine points and six rebounds. He’s averaged 25 minutes a game in the first two, but his play is already commanding more.

GIVING BUDDY SOME LOVE - Lost in the shuffle of the team’s first win was an nice all-around performance from Buddy Hield. The second-year guard was one of eight Kings to grab five rebounds or more against the Mavs, but Hield’s late board in traffic was probably the play of the night. If he can post more 13 point, six rebound, three assist games early in the season, he’ll find himself on the court more often than not.

MORE FROM SKAL NEEDED - Skal Labissiere has all the potential in the world, but he’s off to a quiet start through two contests. He needs to be more aggressive calling for the ball and continue to hit the glass hard. He’s averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game, but one of those came with Zach Randolph on the shelf. He’ll need to earn minutes like everyone else on this team.

QUOTE:
“My coach has that much confidence in me, a 19-year-old kid to stay on the floor in crunch time, and when he has that confidence in me, my confidence goes up that much more.” -De’Aaron Fox on coach Dave Joerger sticking with him down the stretch in the Kings’ first win.