Kings

Tyreke's late foul costs Kings in Cleveland

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Tyreke's late foul costs Kings in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (AP) Kyrie Irving was calm and confident when he stepped to the foul line with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock Sunday night."I imagined myself back in my backyard," he said. "I felt like it was a routine situation for me. There was a little bit of pressure, but I was prepared for it."Irving, looking like a seasoned pro instead of a 19-year-old rookie, hit two clutch free throws to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 93-92 win over Sacramento that extended the Kings' losing streak to five games.The Cavaliers bounced back from Friday night's embarrassing 111-87 home loss to LeBron James and the Miami Heat, after which Cleveland coach Byron Scott questioned his team's toughness. While the Cavaliers failed to hold a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter, they showed some much-needed grit down the stretch in a game that was tied 17 times and featured 19 lead changes."We got a little lucky tonight," Scott said. "That's all I can say."Irving, the No. 1 pick in the draft, won an unexpected duel with Kings rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas, the last pick in the draft. Thomas, making his second NBA start, scored a career-high 23 points and had 11 assists for the Kings."He was the No. 1 pick, I was the last pick," Thomas said. "Why not use that for extra motivation? He's a great player, so it was a lot of fun."Irving's foul shots came after DeMarcus Cousins' basket with 2.9 seconds left gave the Kings a 92-91 lead.Cleveland called timeout to get the ball at midcourt. Irving inbounded to Antawn Jamison, who gave the ball back to the point guard. Irving drove into the lane, where he was fouled by Tyreke Evans."Three seconds is a long length of time," Irving said. "I was going to shoot a jump shot or get to the basket. Luckily, Tyreke fouled me and I got to the free throw line."Irving was surprised when Evans reached in."Even if they didn't call a foul, I saw the lane open up a little bit and I was going to go for a layup," Irving said. "He fouled me. It was a unique situation."It was yet another frustrating night for the Kings, who weren't so sure Irving was actually fouled."I can't answer that, my wife will be mad (if I get fined)," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said when asked about the play. "I just saw a good defensive play.""We were switching everywhere, so I didn't know who was going to guard who," Evans said.The Kings had one last chance. After a timeout moved the ball to halfcourt, Evans' alley-oop pass hit the rim and the game appeared to be over. However, the officials ruled the clock started too early and Sacramento had another opportunity. Evans inbounded to Cousins, but his fallaway shot from the right side caromed off the rim and came after time expired.Sacramento is 0-4 on its six-game road trip and the Kings play at Miami on Tuesday."It's unfortunate how it ended," Smart said. "Our guys deserved to win this game, but it wasn't in the cards for us tonight."Cleveland built an 80-70 lead early in the fourth period, but the Kings rallied to go ahead. The lead changed five times before Tristan Thompson's tip-in tied the game at 90-all with 35 seconds left.The Kings missed three shots on their ensuing possession and Alonzo Gee was fouled trying to grab the rebound. He missed the first shot, but made the second.After a timeout, Cousins took the inbounds pass from Thomas, drove the baseline around Jamison and scored on an underhand layup.Marcus Thornton scored 21 points and Cousins had 19 for the Kings. Jamison scored 21 points for Cleveland.The Cavaliers are 3-3 on their nine-game homestand, the longest in franchise history.The teams were involved in an offseason trade that sent small forward Omri Casspi to Cleveland while power forward J.J. Hickson joined the Kings. Casspi scored six points and had a career-high 12 rebounds while Hickson was scoreless and had four rebounds off the bench. The Cavaliers also received a lottery-protected first-round draft pick.NOTES: The Kings, who are 3-16 on the road, play in Miami on Tuesday and in Washington on Wednesday. ... Smart went 9-31 as interim coach of the Cavaliers in 2002-2003, replacing John Lucas at midseason. ... Cavaliers G Daniel Gibson missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle. Scott said Gibson might return Tuesday against Detroit. ... Cleveland G Anthony Parker sat out his 10th consecutive game because of back spasms.

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

SACRAMENTO -- The fans came to watch De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball square off for the first times as professionals Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. They ended up being treated to a breakout performance by Sacramento’s second team.

“It’s not all about Fox and Ball, it’s about Kings and Lakers,” Frank Mason said after another solid performance. “I’m just happy we got the win as a team.”

Coming into Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings ranked first in the league in bench scoring at 48.1 points per game. The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t far behind, posting 40.6 a contest, good enough for fourth in the NBA.

Sacramento received solid contributions from almost every player that stepped on the floor, including 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from starter Zach Randolph. But the group that came off the bench put on a show, outscoring Los Angeles 67-38.

In his fourth game in a reserve role, Willie Cauley-Stein scored a game-high 26 points in 28 minutes, including 13 in the fourth quarter as the Kings pulled away. He drew a crowd around his locker during post game, but he was the direct beneficiary of some stellar play by others.

Mason and fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic broke down the Lakers defense countless times and found Cauley-Stein for the poster dunk. According to the official scoresheet, nine of Cauley-Stein’s 10 made baskets were assisted, including five alley-oops from Bogdanovic.

“We talked about it yesterday when we were icing,” Cauley-Stein said of his Serbian guard. “We were both sitting in the cold tub and exactly what happened is what we were talking about.”

Cauley-Stein is gifted athletically and he’s extremely long. He was a star receiver in high school and he knows how to go up and get a ball.

“I think he realizes, (he’s) just got to get it up there and I’m going to go get it,” Cauley-Stein said of Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic hit his first two 3-point attempts and it seemed to open the floor up for Sacramento. With defenders going over screens to defend the long ball, Bogdanovic used his dribble to get free.

When the Laker’s bigs stepped in to stop his dribble, Bogdanovic tossed the ball near the rim and Cauley-Stein finished with authority.

“It’s easy to play with Willie, because he can catch,” Bogdanovic said. “I didn’t pass perfectly those alley-oops, but he likes to be a little higher than usual.”

Both Bogdanovic and Mason set new career-highs in assists, finishing with seven dimes apiece off Dave Joerger’s bench. Bogdanovic dropped in 14 points and picked up two steals. Mason added 11 points and five rebounds.

The smallest player to step on the floor, Mason brings a physicality the Kings have lacked early in the season. Since earning rotational minutes four games ago, the 23-year-old is posting 9.8 points and 4.3 assists in 22 minutes a game.

“That’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been,” Mason said when asked about his toughness. “I take a lot of pride in someone scoring on me and I play every possession like it’s game point.”

With the win, the Kings improved to 4-4 on their home floor and 5-13 overall this season. They’ll take Thanksgiving off, but return to practice Friday in preparation for the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday evening. They’ll need another big evening from the bench unit if they hope to build momentum going forward.

Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

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Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings were treated rudely by the Denver Nuggets to open their three-game homestand on Monday. They’ll get another shot to pick up a win Wednesday when the upstart Los Angeles Lakers swing into Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento has struggled to find consistency this season on the road, but they’ve been able to ride their home crowd to impressive wins over Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Portland. If they can knock off the Lakers, they improve to .500 at home on the season. 

The Lakers are coming off a come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and have to play Sacramento on the second night of a back-to-back. They are a young and exciting team, that present plenty of matchup issues for the Kings.

BETTING LINE 

Lakers by 1

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball -- Let the games begin! The drama surrounding these two dates back to college. Fox ran over Ball at the NCAA level, outscoring the former UCLA Bruin in both games last season, including a 39-point outburst during a tournament game. Ball missed the summer league matchup between the two, causing a bit of a stir on social media. Wednesday night is nothing more that a pair of 19-year-olds playing hoops against one another while hundreds of thousands of people watch intently. No pressure, kids.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 4-13, fifth place in Pacific

Lakers: 8-10, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SG Buddy Hield (sprained ankle) probable, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Lakers: PF Larry Nance Jr. (hand) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BRIGHT LIGHTS -- The world is watching. Sacramento doesn’t draw the attention of the national media all that often, but plenty of eyes will be on the Kings/Lakers matchup on Wednesday. Will the Kings bring the defensive intensity that helped them knock off the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday or will they fade like they did against Denver last time out?   

REBOUND -- The Kings are one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA and they’ll face a team that knows how to hit the glass. Dave Joerger needs his guards to get involved if they hope to avoid another lopsided rebounding deficit. 

CONTAIN KUZMA -- Ball gets all the pub, but it’s the late first rounder out of Utah that is turning heads. Fresh off a 22-point performance Tuesday against the Bulls, Kyle Kuzma is posting nearly 17 points per game while starting at power forward for the Lakers. He’s a player that plenty of teams are now regretting passing on in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

SERIES HISTORY 

These two teams split the season series 2-2 last season, with each team winning one at home and one on the road. Los Angeles owns a huge 270-153 lead in the all-time series and a 92-44 advantage during the Sacramento-era 88-47. 

QUOTE

“It’s fun. Sometimes there’s too many haters out there. It is what it is. Smile and enjoy it. I think it will be a great opportunity for those two guys to begin their careers.” Dave Joerger on the Fox/Ball matchup