Kings

Instant Replay: Kings close game on 22-3 run, stun Clippers

Instant Replay: Kings close game on 22-3 run, stun Clippers

BOX SCORE

Wins are getting harder to come by for the Sacramento Kings. On Sunday afternoon, they battled all the way down the stretch and it looked like they were headed for a fifth straight loss. And then Buddy Hield and his young teammates fought back to shock the Los Angeles Clippers by a final of 98-97.

Hield caught fire late, scoring 11 of his 15 points in a wild outburst during the fourth quarter. The Kings shooting guard added seven rebounds and brought his team back with a steal and pair of 3-pointers late.

Willie Cauley-Stein hit the glass hard, grabbing 14 rebounds while scoring eight points at the center position. His bucket with 1.8 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner.

Darren Collison went to work against his former Clipper teammates. The veteran point guard went in attack mode early, knocking down his first eight shots. He finished the night with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and four assists.

Anthony Tolliver sat in the corner and waited for the kick out from his teammates. The result was a 5-for-6 shooting night from long range and a solid 15-point performance.

Georgios Papagiannis came off the bench to support Cauley-Stein in the pivot and continued to show improvement. The rookie 7-footer out of Greece altered plenty of shots in his 21 minutes on the floor and finished the night with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Tyreke Evans started at the small forward spot and chipped in eight points and four rebounds and Ben McLemore added eight points in limited minutes.

The Clippers stars shined brightly Sunday at the Staples Center. Chris Paul set up his teammates from start to finished, dropping in 17 points and dishing out nine assists in the loss.

DeAndre Jordan went for 20 points and 11 rebounds. Blake Griffin shot 6-for-11 from the field for 17 points added six rebounds and Austin Rivers hit 2-for-7 from deep to finish with 10 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Hield was the hero. He struggled for the first three quarters, but came up big in the fourth to push his team over the top.

TURNING POINT:
Cauley-Stein grabbed a rebound and put it back in with 1.8 seconds remaining and Sacramento held on for the huge win.

INJURY UPDATE:
Ty Lawson was a late scratch with a knee issue and both Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
Following the game in Los Angeles, the Kings hopped a plane back to Sacramento where they’ll face the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night at Golden 1 Center.

Willie Cauley-Stein made one thing very clear at Kings Media Day: 'I'm ready to get paid'

steincauleypurplesmoke.jpg
USATI

Willie Cauley-Stein made one thing very clear at Kings Media Day: 'I'm ready to get paid'

SACRAMENTO -- Media Day is usually a lot of fluff and very little substance. It’s the equivalent of the first day of school. Everyone is wearing their favorite new outfit, which will soon be in the rotation and fade like every other garment in the drawer. 

Every once in a while you hear something decidedly unique that stands out and becomes worthy of writing. On Monday afternoon, Willie Cauley-Stein sat in the hot seat and bared his soul. In midseason form, the fourth-year center said exactly what was on his mind.

“I’m ready to get paid,” Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports California. “This is what we’ve got to do, that’s what type of focus I’m on.

“I’m ready for it. I’ve seen everybody else - all my peers. Alright, I’m ready for that. What do I got to do to do that? That’s what they’re doing? Alright, I’m going to go ahead and do this now. I was doing it this way, obviously it wasn’t working, so now lets do it this way.”

It’s unlikely an extension offer for the 25-year-old center is coming from the Kings. He’ll likely play out the 2018-19 season under his rookie scale deal and if Sacramento makes a qualifying offer, he’ll become a restricted free agent. 

A strong performance from Cauley-Stein could swing his future earnings by tens of millions of dollars, be it with the Kings or another team on the open market.

“Regardless of anything, I need this, right now, to change everybody’s lives that are believing in what I’m doing,” Cauley-Stein said. “That’s money. It’s richer than money, but I just need the money to do what I really need to do.”

The buzz word around the team is that they need to see consistency from the 7-footer if they are going to break the bank for his services. It’s a word that Cauley-Stein himself brought up in conversation.

“What I expect from Willie is to be consistent,” general manager Vlade Divac told NBC Sports California. “It’s a very important year for him.”

Cauley-Stein improved greatly in his third NBA season, posting 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 28 minutes a night. He started 58 games for coach Dave Joerger and played in 73 overall. 

The numbers are solid on paper, but there were nights when Cauley-Stein starred for the Kings and others when he disappeared almost completely. 

“Consistency, that’s the word of the decade for me,” Cauley-Stein said. “Consistency. That’s what’s going to get you paid. So I’m going to say it until it happens. That’s how it works these days. Just keep on talking about it, eventually it’s just going to happen.”

Cauley-Stein said that beginning two years ago when Joerger and his staff took over the team, he began investing in himself, hiring a mental coach, a physical coach and a nutritionist.  

“I just let myself go to the game, mentally and physically,” Cauley-Stein said of his preparation for this season. “Consistent work and that’s what I didn’t do in the past, was just consistently working on my game. I’d work on it for a while and then relax and kind of like, forget what I’m doing.”

Sacramento is loaded on the front line and has plenty of options if Cauley-Stein stumbles. If he plays to his potential, the Kings have an estimated $60 million in cap space to play with next summer. 

Through three seasons, Sacramento has been patient with the development of Cauley-Stein. Taken with the sixth overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, he’s been given every opportunity to figure out the pro game. If he wants to get paid, which clearly is a motivating factor this season, he’ll need to produce each and every night he steps on the floor.

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic to miss 4 to 6 weeks after knee procedure

bogdanusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic to miss 4 to 6 weeks after knee procedure

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings updated the health of one of its core players Monday night.

As his teammates ran through the team’s annual media day, second-year shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic underwent a procedure on his left knee. 

According to the team, the procedure performed by Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York was successful. Bogdanovic will need four to six weeks of recovery time, which likely will cost him the first few weeks of the regular season.

Bogdanovic injured himself while playing for the Serbian national team last week. He left the game early and eventually made it back to Sacramento, where an MRI revealed the extent of the damage.

This was the second procedure done by Dr. Williams on Bogdanovic’s left knee this summer. The first was a minimally invasive meniscus debridement on April 24, and he was given a timetable of a six-to-eight-week recovery.

During his rookie season, Bogdanovic averaged 11.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game for the Kings. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team and is expected to start at shooting guard for the Kings when he’s cleared for duty.