Kings

Tyreke's 28 points not enough for Kings against Magic

636148.jpg

Tyreke's 28 points not enough for Kings against Magic

BOX SCORE
SACRAMENTO -- Having foul-plagued star Dwight Howard sitting on the bench for much of the first three quarters wasn't funny to Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy during the game.Afterward, the veteran coach could laugh about it.Jason Richardson scored a season-high 22 points, Glen Davis added a season-best 20 and Orlando beat the Sacramento Kings 104-97 on Sunday with Howard playing only a minor role.The All-Star center, who entered the game averaging 20.3 points and 15.9 rebounds, had five points and four rebounds in 20 minutes and spent most of the first three quarters in foul trouble. He didn't get his first rebound until 4 minutes into the fourth and was scoreless before converting a three-point play with 6:35 remaining, putting the Magic ahead 87-85."I got Dwight a lot of rest in the first half. That was a (good) coaching move," laughed Van Gundy, who received 42 points from his productive bench.Davis earned a big share of the credit. Nicknamed "Big Baby" for his 289-pound frame and style of play, Davis consistently hit jumpers from the perimeter and used his muscle to score inside and grab eight rebounds, including five on offense. He shot 8 of 13 and had two assists in 28 minutes."These types of games are a tell-all for a team when you have your best player in foul trouble," said Orlando forward Ryan Anderson, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds. "We had a lot of guys back (Howard) up tonight. Glen did an amazing job off the bench."Tyreke Evans had a season-high 28 points and eight assists for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins, also hampered by fouls, had 16 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Thornton scored 13 points.Guarding Cousins, Howard picked up his second foul at the 10:14 mark of the first quarter and promptly left the game. He was called for a third foul midway through the second quarter and had zero points and rebounds in 6 first-half minutes.Howard was whistled for his fourth foul at 9:57 of the third quarter. He also had a second-quarter technical for what he termed a harmless comment to the referees."I didn't curse and I didn't show them up," he said.Although Howard would have preferred playing with foul trouble, he said he understood Van Gundy's decision to sit him for more than half the game."It's smart. He didn't want me to pick up any more cheap fouls, especially early in the game," Howard said. "He would rather have me sitting than in the game and having to be tentative."With Howard on the bench, the Kings shot 52 percent to stay close throughout. But 17 turnovers and only 16 assists were partly to blame for the end to their modest two-game home winning streak."Obviously, he's the focal point of the team, an All-Star," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "It makes the game a little bit easier when the paint opens up and you don't have a guy shot-blocking and rebounding. So that was one of the keys to us staying in the game and having the lead. We just really couldn't hold onto it and extend it."Von Wafer made three 3-pointers and scored 12 points, and Hedo Turkoglu added 11 points for the Magic, who had 14 more field goal attempts than the Kings and committed only 10 turnovers.Turkoglu banked in a 3 with the shot clock running down to give Orlando a 93-89 lead with just less than 3 minutes remaining. Anderson's 3-pointer from the corner and Turkoglu's layup gave the Magic a 102-95 cushion with 35 seconds left.Even with Howard sidelined for a large portion of the game, Cousins also got into foul trouble. He picked up two fouls in just more than a minute in the third quarter and went to the bench at the 6:54 mark with five fouls."We've just got to get better with late-game situations," said Cousins, who had only four points and four rebounds in the second half when he was saddled with foul problems. "It's not something we can get overnight, but we have to continue to get better. We are taking steps forward."The game was the start of a four-game road trip for the Magic, which ends Jan. 16 against the Knicks.The Kings' next game is Tuesday in Philadelphia, the start of a five-game road trip in seven days.After struggling for much of the game, Anderson got going in the third quarter, scoring 11 points. Davis replaced Howard and proved to be trouble for the Kings again, scoring nine points as Orlando took an 81-79 lead into the fourth.Despite playing almost the entire first half without Howard, the Magic led 49-47. Davis and Richardson both scored 11 points, while Evans had 15 for the Kings and Cousins added 12. The Orlando bench had 28 first-half points.A slow starter much of the season, Cousins scored 10 points in helping the Kings to a 21-19 lead in the opening quarter.Notes: Anderson, who missed his first six shots, grew up in nearby El Dorado Hills, about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. He got tickets for a group of family and friends. ... Turkoglu argued a first-quarter foul and was given a technical. ... Thornton missed all seven shots in a scoreless opening half, but finally scored on a jumper early in the third quarter, when he had 10 points.

NBA fines Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins for incident with fan

cousins-ref-pelicans-grizzlies-usatsi.jpg
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

cauley-stein-jokic-usatsi.jpg
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.