Kings

Gameday: Things won't get easier for struggling Kings in Boston

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USATI

Gameday: Things won't get easier for struggling Kings in Boston

With the taste of defeat still fresh in their mouths, the Sacramento Kings face the Boston Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday.

Sacramento has lost five straight and are in desperate need of a win. They’ve lost their offensive mojo and look every bit the part of a newly assembled young club.

Despite a mostly new roster and a serious early season injury to Gordon Hayward, the Celtics sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. They are young, athletic and dangerous.

BETTING LINE

Celtics by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Kyrie Irving -- Fox continues to shine despite the struggles of the team. He’s leading the Kings in scoring at 13.4 points per game and coming off an impressive 18-point, five-assist, four-rebound performance in Indy. Irving is posting big numbers since coming over in an offseason deal with the Cavs. Fox likely won’t start the game against the four-time All-Star, but he’ll play plenty of minutes as the game evolves.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 1-6, fifth place in Pacific

Celtics: 5-2, first place in Atlantic

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Celtics: SF Gordon Hayward (ankle) out for season, F Marcus Morris (knee) questionable.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

A TRAIN OFF THE TRACKS -- Sacramento is lost in an early season slide and it doesn’t get any easier Wednesday evening in Boston. The Celtics are atop the Eastern Conference standings, despite the devastating injury to Gordon Hayward on opening night. The Kings need to find their offense quickly or risk falling for the sixth straight game.

CAN THE REAL GEORGE HILL PLEASE STAND UP -- Hill is a veteran coming off his best season in the NBA. So far in the 2017-18 campaign, he’s struggled in his new surroundings, averaging just 9.5 points, 2.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds. The Kings brought him in to show De’Aaron Fox the ropes and help solidify the backcourt. So far, Fox has far outshined his mentor.

ARE THE KINGS FINALLY RESTED? -- The decision has been made to rest veterans in each of the last two games and the available players haven’t responded well on the court. Sacramento’s scored 83 points in back-to-back games and they’ve been outscored by a combined 45 by the Wizards and Pacers. Balancing the development of young players while putting a quality product on the floor was never going to be easy, but avoiding a culture of losing is paramount.  

SERIES HISTORY

These two teams split the season series last year 1-1, with Sacramento coming away with a 108-92 victory at Golden 1 Center in February. Boston holds a 181-118 all-time lead over the Kings and a 36-26 advantage during the Sacramento-era. The Kings have lost nine straight in Boston, spanning back to January of 2007.

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Basketball season is just around the corner. Well, maybe not. We’re still nearly five weeks away from the opening of training camp for the 2018-19 season, and the regular season doesn’t begin until mid-October. 

On Friday, the NBA announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams, including the Sacramento Kings, who will open the season at home Oct. 17 against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts from this season’s campaign.

•    For the second season in a row, the Kings will play only one set of five-games-in-seven-nights, and that comes at the tail end of March and into early April. This is part of the NBA’s new plan of allowing players more time to rest. The league has eliminated the dreaded four-games-in-five-nights grouping from the schedule as well.

•    Sacramento will have 14 sets of back-to-backs, two shy of last season’s total of 16 sets. Of those 14 sets, one is home-and-home, seven are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.

•    After a balanced November and December schedule, the Kings will hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Charlotte, Detroit, Brooklyn, Toronto, Memphis and Los Angeles (Clippers) from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27. 

•    The Kings’ longest homestand will be six games and come on the heels of their longest road trip. From Jan. 30 through Feb. 10, Sacramento will host the Hawks, 76ers, Spurs, Rockets, Heat and Suns at Golden 1 Center. 

•    Sacramento will play seven of its first 10 games away from Golden 1 Center. With plenty of new faces expected to see time in the rotation, the young Kings will have to learn on the fly while traveling around the NBA landscape.   

[RELATED: Five most intriguing games on Kings' 2018-19 schedule]

There are plenty of games to look forward to as well, beginning with opening night. There are old faces in new places and plenty of intrigue.

•    Sacramento will match up with the two-time reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors four times this season. The initial battle is set for Nov. 24 at Oracle, with a follow-up three weeks on Dec. 14 at Golden 1 Center. The teams will meet again Jan. 5 at Golden 1 and then finish the series in the first game coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 21. It likely won’t happen early in the season, but at some point, former Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins will make his debut as a member of the Warriors, which should be fun to watch.

•    The Kings will face off with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers four times as well, beginning on Nov. 11 at home. The Lakers have made substantial changes to their roster, including the addition of LeBron James. These teams will play each other again twice in late December before completing the series March 24 in L.A. 

•    Isaiah Thomas joined forces during the offseason with former Kings coach Michael Malone in Denver. Sacramento will play the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 23 and then again on Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center and Feb. 13 back in Denver.

•    The Kings will have to wait until Dec. 4 to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton when they travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena to face the Suns. They’ll see No. 3 overall selection Luka Doncic on Dec. 16 when they stop over in Dallas for a game against the Mavs.

Below is the complete Kings 2018-19 schedule, with all times local to where the game is played:

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

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AP/USATSI

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

Second-year Sacramento Kings pro Frank Mason III is being sued by rap star Lil Wayne. Seriously. 

The 24-year-old guard is being sued for $92,000 and must give back his Young Money diamond chain, according to TMZ Sports.

Before the Kings selected Mason in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft, Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports Group, signed the former Kansas star. The agency reportedly gave Mason $40,000 in advance, paid his pre-draft expenses which totaled $52,000 and gave him an $11,000 diamond chain. 

However, Mason's contract reportedly stated if he left the agency, Mason would have to repay the money and give back the chain. This past April, Mason left the agency. 

Mason signed a three-year, $4,181,147 contract with the Kings after the 2017 draft. He is guaranteed $2,562,627.