Kings

Stuckey too much for Kings in loss to Detroit

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Stuckey too much for Kings in loss to Detroit

BOX SCORE
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Lawrence Frank loves defense. His Detroit Pistons managed to play just enough of it Friday night.After allowing 88 points through the first three quarters, the Pistons outscored the Sacramento Kings in the fourth to win 114-108."That was fun," Frank said after the Pistons scored 28 points compared to the Kings' 20 in the final quarter. "It wasn't exactly the kind of the grind-it-out defensive epic you used to see here in the 80s, but our guys made just enough stops at the end to win it."

Rodney Stuckey scored a season-high 36 points and rookie Brandon Knight added 23 points and 10 assists."I love playing with Brandon, and he is improving every day," said Stuckey, who missed a career high by four points. "We're going to have a lot of years together, and it is only going to get better."Detroit has won six of its last eight games after a 4-20 start."There's been a lot of improvement since Christmas," Knight said. "Our offense has been pretty good all along, but we're playing a lot better on the defensive end."Tayshaun Prince finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Stuckey was 12 for 20 from the floor and 11 for 12 from the free-throw line."We were getting easy buckets just by pushing the ball," Stuckey said. "We were getting out on the break, Brandon was pushing the ball, and I was getting rim attacks. That's my game."DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Marcus Thornton added 24."We did everything well until late in the game," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "We made some critical mistakes - just plays that we're not thinking the game all the way through. This was a tough loss, because we played so great and then gave it right back."The Kings threatened to pull away several times in the first three quarters, but couldn't stop Stuckey. His pair of free throws at the end of the third gave him 31 points and pulled Detroit within 88-86.Knight's layup put the Pistons ahead with 10:15 to play. After the teams traded the advantage several times, the rookie had a three-point play to make it 102-100 Detroit with four minutes left.The Kings scored the next four points, but Knight came through again, hitting a 3-pointer to put the Pistons up 105-104 with 2:17 left.Stuckey followed with a triple of his own on Detroit's next possession to make it a four-point game."That was just great teamwork all around," Knight said. "Tayshaun found me for a 3, and then Body (Ben Wallace) laid two perfect screens to open up the next two baskets. Everyone was doing their thing."Cousins and Knight traded baskets, and the Pistons clinched the game from the free-throw line."That was tough, man," Tyreke Evans said. "We have to learn to clean our game and close teams out. That's what good teams do."Notes: Isaiah Thomas made the first start of his career in the building where his namesake won NBA titles with the Pistons in 1989 and 1990. Thomas finished with 13 points and four assists. Isiah Thomas had 31 points in his first start, back in 1981. ... Cousins decisively won the battle of the second-year post players, as Detroit's Greg Monroe finished with three points and eight rebounds. Cousins was picked fifth and Monroe seventh in the 2010 draft.

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

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AP

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

Dave Joerger likes to think outside the box. He’s a coach that loves to talk hoops and he’s always looking for a fresh approach. In preparation for the 2017-18 season, he reached out to friends in the college and high school ranks with the hopes of gleaning a some small bit of information about coaching an extremely young roster. 
 
When it came time to assemble his staff, Joerger brought back his entire coaching group from last season and even added local product Phil Ricci to the mix to aid in the development of the team’s 10 players with two years of NBA experience or less.
 
It’s a deep bench of basketball lifers, including Elston Turner, Bryan Gates, Duane Ticknor, Bob Thornton, Jason March and Larry Lewis. On Friday, that staff grew by one with the announcement that former WNBA player and coach, Jenny Boucek, is coming aboard as an assistant player development coach.
 
Boucek visited the team multiple times last season and has been a fixture in the Kings practice facility for most of training camp. With a young an inexperienced roster, Joerger and the front office made the decision to bring her on full-time.
 
“We have a lot of really good young talent that is really hungry to learn and be in the gym,” Boucek told NBC Sports California. “I know a big part of my role is going to be helping to develop this talent, to just work with this staff and to fill in wherever is needed.”
 
Joerger and Boucek have known each other for years and share a similar passion for game. Over time, they have used each other as sounding boards for ideas and have a strong respect for one another.
 
Boucek is no stranger to Sacramento. She coached the Monarchs from 2007-2009, compiling a 40-41 record over her two plus seasons with the team and she spent the last three seasons at the helm of the Seattle Storm. 
 
“I couldn’t be more excited to get back in this basketball city that just loves and lives for basketball and try to bring an exciting team to this fanbase,” Boucek said.
 
With the hiring, Boucek becomes the third female assistant coach in NBA history, joining Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman. Hammon currently works as an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio and Lieberman spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant for George Karl in Sacramento before taking leave for family reasons last season. 

Gameday: First of many battles between De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr

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USATI

Gameday: First of many battles between De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr

After falling to the Houston Rockets in the home opener, the Sacramento Kings hit the road for a three game trip beginning Friday night in Dallas. They’ll face a Mavericks team that is also looking for their first win of the season following a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday evening.

Dave Joerger’s Kings gave the Rockets all they could handle at Golden 1 Center before an error by the officiating crew cost them a valuable possession late. The effort and intensity was present, but Sacramento’s lack of experience makes late game situations an adventure.

Coach Rick Carlisle is trying to balance the old with the new in Dallas, starting veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Wes Matthews alongside Yogi Ferrell, Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes. Seven players scored in double-figures in the Mavs opener as they enter the season without a true number one scoring option.

BETTING LINE

Mavs by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Dennis Smith Jr. -- Fox worked his way up the draft board, hearing his name called with the fifth overall selection by Sacramento. He’s the future and maybe even the present for a Kings team looking to rebuild. Smith had to wait a little longer for his moment on draft night. Taken with the ninth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the former NC State guard is an incredible athlete and may have found the perfect landing spot for his skill set. Smith sports a 48-inch vertical leap and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. This is the first of many battles between these two top-tier talents.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 0-1

Mavs: 0-1

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) is out, PF Zach Randolph (oral surgery) is probable, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Mavs: G Seth Curry (leg) out, F Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) out

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings took the season series over the Mavs last year 2-1. Dallas hold a 92-66 advantage over the Kings all-time, and a 75-54 lead during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

ALL HANDS ON DECK? - Zach Randolph and Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the opener due to injury. Randolph has had a few days to recover from oral surgery and might be ready in time to retake his starting power forward spot. Bogdanovic is nursing an ankle injury, but is getting close to a return. If Bogdanovic is healthy, he’ll play and possibly even start for Joerger.

WILLIE FIND CONSISTENCY? - Willie Cauley-Stein put up 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the opener. If Randolph returns, Cauley-Stein’s role will change slightly, but the Kings need the same effort and energy every night from their third-year big.

TEMPLE TIME - Garrett Temple struggled with his shot, hitting just 1-of-7 from the field off Joerger’s bench on Wednesday. That didn’t stop the veteran wing from putting on a defensive show. He finished the night with four steals and countless deflections as he faced off with James Harden and Eric Gordon. The young players could learn a lot from the eight-year vet.

QUOTE

“These young guys play hard, they want to be good, they want to win and they want to learn.” -Vince Carter on the Kings’ young core