Kings

Bogdanovic, Kings look to beat Warriors at Oracle for second time this season

bogdanovic-bogdan-draymond.jpg
USATSI

Bogdanovic, Kings look to beat Warriors at Oracle for second time this season

No rest for the weary. The Kings hit game four of their five games in seven nights stretch. They’ll draw a beat up, but dangerous Golden State Warriors team Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Sacramento is coming off a wild overtime win against the playoff bound Miami Heat on Wednesday. De’Aaron Fox hit a floater as time expired to push the game to overtime and fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic drilled a late 3-pointer to put the game away late in the extra session.

Golden State trails the Houston Rockets by two games for the top overall seed in the Western Conference playoff chase. They’ve already clinched another Pacific division title, but they are at risk for missing out on the top seed. Every game counts as they hit the stretch run.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 12

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Zaza Pachulia -- It might not be the matchup people bought tickets to see, but it’s the matchup they’re going to get. With the Warriors banged up, Pachulia has stepped up and filled a valuable role in the middle. He’s strong as an ox and does all the dirty work. Cauley-Stein is getting his legs back under him after missing 10 days with a back strain. He’s improved in year four, but still needs to work on his consistency.  

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 22-47, fourth place in Pacific

Warriors: 52-16, first place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (hip contusion) questionable, SF/SG Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Warriors: PF Jordan Bell (ankle) probable, PG Quinn Cook (hand contusion) probable, PF David West (arm cyst) probable, SF Kevin Durant (ribs soreness) out, PG Steph Curry (ankle) out, SG Klay Thompson (thumb) out, SG Patrick McGaw (wrist) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Wounded Warriors -- Golden State will play without three of their four All-Stars. The Kings took advantage of the Warriors early in the season when they were the similar situation of missing All-Stars. Sacramento needs to stay the course and continue to play with effort as they finish the schedule, regardless of who suits up for their opponent.

Big Moments -- If there is one thing that stands out in the 2017-18 season for Sacramento, it’s the clutch plays by the young players. Fox has four shots in his rookie season that either won or tied a game in the final seconds. Bogdanovic, Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield have come through with big shots as well.  

Come Out Firing -- The best way to beat the Warriors is to make them work for their shots. The best way to make them work for their shots is to score baskets and set up the defense. If the Kings can put up an efficient offensive night, they have a shot of dethroning the shorthanded champs.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings and Warriors are all knotted at one game apiece in the season series. Golden State holds a 201-187 lead in the all-time series and a 73-66 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

Kings trio puts on a show at 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge in Charlotte

Kings trio puts on a show at 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge in Charlotte

If you like defense, then you probably didn’t enjoy Friday night’s 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. If you’re all about highlight reel dunks and ill-advised alley-oop passes, then bring on the rookies and sophomores.

In a wild up-and-down game, Team USA ran away from the World Team for a 161-144 victory to help open up the first day of NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte, N.C. 

If you needed a quote to describe the action on the court, 40-year-old honorary coach for the World Team Dirk Nowitzki had you covered.

“Our transition defense is like I’m out there,” Nowitzki said during the broadcast. 

Kings star De’Aaron Fox picked up the start for the American team at point guard, and looked to set up his teammates. He scored just two points, but chipped in a game-high 16 assists in the win, including a clean look to Sacramento teammate Marvin Bagley III. 

After taking home the MVP hardware last season, Kings sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic started for the World team and finished with 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting from long range. He added six assists and five rebounds in the loss.  

Bagley, meanwhile, brought his jumping shoes, and put on an aerial assault on the rim. 

The 19-year-old made an impact on the offensive end, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. He and Fox both missed a pair of crazy dunks in the final minute, but Bogdanovic threw his rookie a bone to finish the night.

[RELATED: Fox sdends message on potential Kings-Warriors series]

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kyle Kuzma dropped in 23 of his 35 points in the first half for Team USA, and came away with MVP honors. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons scored 28 points on 14-for-17 shooting to lead the World Team.

Fox will return to the Spectrum Center to compete in the Skills Challenge on Saturday. He’ll likely stick around to cheer on Kings teammate Buddy Hield, who is scheduled to compete in the 3-point contest later that night.

Kings icon Chris Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist for third time

webberap.jpg
AP

Kings icon Chris Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist for third time

For the third straight year, former Kings great Chris Webber is a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The five-time All-Star forward was one of 13 names announced on Friday afternoon.

Webber, 45, was the first overall selection in the 1993 NBA Draft out of Michigan. After winning the Rookie of the Year award, the Warriors traded the star big man to the Washington Bullets (now Wizards), where he spent four seasons.

Before the 1998-99 lockout shortened season, Sacramento traded All-Star shooting guard Mitch Richmond and veteran big man Otis Thorpe to Washington in exchange for Webber. Richmond is the lone Kings player from the Sacramento era to gain entrance to the Hall of Fame.

Once with Sacramento, Webber flourished. He led the Kings to six straight playoff appearances, including a run to the Western Conference Finals during the 2001-02 season.

The talented power forward made four consecutive All-Star teams as a member of the Kings, and another during his time in Washington. Webber made the All-NBA team five straight years in Sacramento, including a first team selection during the 2001-02 season.

After a devastating knee injury in May of 2003, Webber struggled to regain his status as an elite player. He was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February of 2005, where he spent a year-and-a-half before moving on to the Detroit Pistons. Webber returned to where it all started, and finished his career with the Warriors.

Webber retired with 17,182 points, 8124 rebounds, 3,526 assists, 1,197 steals and 1,200 blocks in 831 regular seasons games. He posted career averages of 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists during his 15 year career. The 15-year veteran appeared in 80 playoff games, including 53 as a member of the Kings.

In addition to Webber, former Kings head coach Paul Westphal was also named a finalist for his playing career.

Westphal is a first-time finalist after making it onto the ballot multiple times. He spent a little over two seasons coaching the Kings, beginning in the 2009-10 season and ultimately tallying a 51-121 record with Sacramento.

[RELATED: Kings look to make splash at 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend]

As a player, Westphal was known as an elite scorer during his 12-year career. Like Webber, he made the All-Star team five times. a. He also made the All-NBA first team three times. and was a named the NBA’s Comeback Player of the Year in 1982-83.

Webber and Westphal join former NBA players Marques Johnson, Jack Sikma, Ben Wallace, Sidney Moncrief and Bobby Jones on the ballot, as well as WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon. Coaches Bill Fitch, Leta Andrews, Eddie Sutton and Barbara Stevens, as well as 28-year NBA referee, Hugh Evans, round out the list.

The Class of 2019 will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota in early April. According to the official press release, “a finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.”