Kings

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

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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.

Kings guard Bogdanovic named to All-Rookie Second Team; Fox falls short

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AP

Kings guard Bogdanovic named to All-Rookie Second Team; Fox falls short

Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic was named to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, the league announced today.

Bogdanovic finished the season with averages of 11.8 points (.446 FG%, .392 3pt%, .840 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 27.9 minutes per game in 78 contests (52 starts), earning MVP Honors of the 2018 Mtn Dew Kick Start Rising Stars game as a member of Team World.

The Serbian native ranked in the top-10 among rookies in several statistical categories, including eighth in scoring, 10th in field goal percentage, eighth in assists, fourth in 3-point percentage, and third in free throw percentage.        

Bogdaonovic becomes the 17th player in Kings franchise history and the 12th during the Sacramento era to earn All-Rookie Team distinction, a list that include teammates Buddy Hield (2016-17 All-Rookie First Team) and Willie Cauley-Stein (2015-16 All-Rookie Second Team).   

He is joined on the All-Rookie Second Team by Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, Atlanta Hawks forward/center John Collins, Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr.

De'Aaron Fox received 34 Second Team votes and Frank Mason got one vote.
 

2017-18 NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Player, Team

1st Team (2 Pts.)

2nd Team (1 Pt.)

Total Points

Donovan Mitchell, Utah

100

--

200

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia

100

--

200

Jayson Tatum, Boston

99

1

199

Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers

93

7

193

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago

76

21

173

 

 

2017-18 NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

Player, Team

1st Team (2 Pts.)

2nd Team (1 Pt.)

Total Points

Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas

9

78

96

Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers

7

73

87

John Collins, Atlanta

5

66

76

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento

6

63

75

Josh Jackson, Phoenix

1

43

45

 

Sacramento Kings media services
 

Kings' Bogdanovic congratulates Doncic after winning EuroLeague title, Final Four MVP

Kings' Bogdanovic congratulates Doncic after winning EuroLeague title, Final Four MVP

BOX SCORE

Luka Doncic had quite the weekend.

On Saturday, he was named regular season MVP of the EuroLeague. On Sunday, he helped lead Real Madrid to the EuroLeague title and was named MVP of the Final Four. 

Doncic finished with 15 points, four assists and three rebounds in Real Madrid's 85-80 win over Fenerbahce.

During Real Madrid's celebration, current Kings guard and former Fenerbahce guard Bogdan Bogdanovic was on the court and congratulated Doncic on his accomplishments.

Earlier in the day, Bogdanovic was reportedly asked about the possibility of the Kings drafting Doncic with the No. 2 pick.

"It will be nice to have him, but you never know. He might go No. 1," Bogdanovic said according to David Pick.

With rumors swirling that Doncic might stay with Real Madrid next season, ESPN asked him about his future plans after the big win.

"I will tell about all at the right time. Right now I just want to celebrate with my team. Soon I will tell," Doncic said.