NBA Gameday: Skal, Kings close home slate against Suns

NBA Gameday: Skal, Kings close home slate against Suns

SACRAMENTO -- With the 2016-17 campaign nearing a conclusion, the Sacramento Kings close down the inaugural season at Golden 1 Center Tuesday evening against the Phoenix Suns.

The Kings have dropped two straight, but they made a game of it Sunday against the Houston Rockets. Seven players scored in double figures for Sacramento, including 25 from rookie Skal Labissiere and an impressive 20-point, 11-assist performance from veteran point guard Ty Lawson.

Phoenix has rattled off two straight wins after dropping the previous 13 games. Like the Kings, they have turned to their young core down the stretch, featuring eight players 24-years-old or younger. Rookies Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss start alongside 20-year-old budding star Devin Booker and young bigs Alex Lin and T.J. Warren.


Kings by 4.5


Kings: 31-49, third place Pacific

Suns: 24-57, fifth place Pacific


Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss: The Rematch -- Labissiere came off the Kings bench and dropped a career-high 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added 11 rebounds in less than 30 minutes of action the last time these two faced off. Chriss shot 6-of-14 from the field for 17 points and added seven rebounds and five blocks in 32 minutes, but he was clearly overshadowed. These two will have plenty of battles against one another over the next decade in the NBA.


Kings: Arron Afflalo, Tyreke Evans and Kosta Koufos are out (rest), and Darren Collison (migraine headache) is also out.

Suns:  C Tyson Chandler and PG Eric Bledsoe shut down for the remainder of the season. PG Brandon Knight (back spasms) out, Leandro Barbosa (hamstring) out.


Sacramento leads the season series between these two teams 2-1 after beating the Suns on their home floor 107-101 last month. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-89 and they hold an 84-50 advantage during the Sacramento-era.


“There’s a level of experience that you have to have. They’re playing at a doctoral thesis level and here is a young guy in his first year and you’re trying to spit some words out of what coverage we should be in and it just takes experience. It’s not that they’re trying to mess up - they are trying to do the best they can.” -Dave Joerger on his young club following the loss to Houston

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away


Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.

Kings waive three players days before season opener


Kings waive three players days before season opener

SACRAMENTO The Sacramento Kings announced Sunday that the team has requested waivers on guards David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn.  

Stockton appeared in two contests for Sacramento during the preseason, averaging 11.5 points (9-13 FG, 3-4 3pt, 2-4 FT) and 5.0 assists in 16.3 minutes per game, including a game-high 23 points to accompany three rebounds, eight assists and two steals off the bench at Golden State (10/13).

Jones played in five exhibition games, posting 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 11.7 minutes per contest. 

Hearn appeared in one preseason game. 

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