Kings

Wade, Heat too much for Kings in 120-108 win

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Wade, Heat too much for Kings in 120-108 win

BOX SCORE
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat knew what was coming from Sacramento. Eventually, they handled the Kings' challenge.Dwyane Wade had 30 points and 10 assists, Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh each scored 20 points and the NBA-leading Heat stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 120-108 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night."It was a good game for me, just trying to be aggressive and was able to get my teammates some shots," said Wade, who shot 11 for 16 and has tied his career-best with 11 straight games of shooting 50 percent or better, matching a run from his rookie season. "And I was also able to continue do what I've been doing the last couple games, just taking high-percentage shots and making them."

LeBron James scored 18 points, Norris Cole had 12 and Udonis Haslem added 10 for Miami (26-7), which has won each of its games during this streak by at least 12 points.Next up for Miami: The New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin come to town Thursday."It's going to be fun," James said. "It's going to be electrifying. ... It could be one of the most-watched games that we've had in a long time."Isaiah Thomas scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter for Sacramento, which dropped its sixth straight. Marcus Thornton scored 23, Tyreke Evans finished with 21 points and 10 assists, and Jason Thompson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.The Kings were without guard John Salmons, a late scratch with a sore right hip."You needed to play a perfect game to win this game against this team and we were pretty close to the perfect game," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "We had moments, but when you give up 25 points off turnovers, you're not going to beat many teams."Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he didn't expect Sacramento to come out and play like a team with one of the NBA's worst records, and he was right. Thompson had 10 points and six rebounds in the opening quarter and Evans' buzzer-beating 3-pointer from near midcourt gave Sacramento a 32-26 lead after 12 minutes.Maybe the biggest surprise of the first half was that it took Miami - a team that had led by 20 points at some time in each of its six previous outings, but never enjoyed better than an 18-point margin Tuesday - nearly a full hour after tipoff to get the highlight reels cranking."I don't think we came out flat," said Chalmers, who matched a career-best with six 3-pointers. "I just think they knew how to get out early on us."Late in the second quarter, James blocked a drive by Thomas, the Heat controlled the rebound, and took off running. James got the ball to Wade, who leaped, stayed airborne long enough to draw contact from Cousins and then made an acrobatic layup while falling to the floor. The three-point play put Miami ahead 49-47 and the Heat kept the lead - such as it was - the rest of the half.Another spectacular James-to-Wade connection helped.Wade forced Donte Greene into a miss, and Francisco Garcia grabbed the rebound and tried to lay the ball in, all in the same motion. James blocked Garcia's shot - the Kings wanted goaltending - and moments later threw a 70-foot chest pass to Wade for an alley-oop layup at the other end, part of a late mini-flurry that sent Miami into halftime leading 57-53."They played very well and they have some weapons, some young weapons on that team that you saw," Spoelstra said.The Heat kept the lead for the entirety of the third quarter, despite Thomas' best efforts.Thomas' 20 points came in a 10-minute span of that quarter, a 5-for-6 effort from 3-point range and 5-for-5 from the foul line, the last three there coming when he was fouled by Cole while trying about a 25-footer in the final seconds of the third and getting Sacramento to 93-88."I've always been a scorer my whole life," Thomas said. "I score in bunches but we didn't get the win. That's the most important thing."Early in the fourth, the Heat seemed to decide enough was enough.A 15-5 run, mostly from the Heat reserves, provided the long awaited breathing room. Cole had four points and an assist in the early stages, and after Mike Miller missed a 3-pointer, Haslem capped the flurry with a one-handed putback dunk that sent Wade running about 15 feet onto the court at the other end in celebration."We know teams are going to play better than they usually play against us and that's OK," James said. "If it takes four quarters, which we're capable of playing, we just continue to weather the storm and continue to do what we need to do."NOTES: Haslem (now with 4,549) passed Rony Seikaly (4,544) for second place on Miami's all-time rebounding list. At his current pace, Haslem would have a chance to catch Alonzo Mourning (4,807) by the end of the season. ... Thomas' third-quarter barrage was the biggest one-quarter scoring effort by a Kings player since Kevin Martin scored 24 in the fourth against New Orleans on Feb. 23, 2009. ... A number of fans chanted throughout the night that they wanted to see Jimmer Fredette in the game. Fredette did not play. ... Boxer Floyd Mayweather was in attendance, seated near the Kings' bench.

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