Kings

Instant Replay: Kings' winning streak snapped at four in loss to Trail Blazers

Instant Replay: Kings' winning streak snapped at four in loss to Trail Blazers

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The streak is over. Sacramento rattled off four consecutive wins coming into Wednesday night’s contest against the Trail Blazers, but they came out lethargic against Portland and got smacked around.

With leading scorer Damian Lillard sidelined, multiple players stepped forward for Portland as they dispatched the Kings by a final of 102-89.

C.J. McCollum started at the point guard spot for Lillard and didn’t miss a beat. The former Lehigh star finishing with 20 points and seven assists in the win, but he struggled from the field, hitting just 6-of-17 for the game.

Meyers Leonard talked a big game after getting manhandled by DeMarcus Cousins last week, but he backed it up Wednesday against the Kings. Leonard got it going from the perimeter, hitting 3-for-6 from long range on his way to 16 points and five rebounds.

Allen Crabbe hit the Kings for 13 points starting alongside McCollum. Mo Harkless scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. Mason Plumlee flew in for a big 12-point, 14-rebound double-double and Evan Turner added 11 points to help the Blazers snap their six game losing streak.

Cousins couldn’t find a flow and neither could most of his teammates in a statement game in Portland. The Kings’ All-Star center finished the night with 28 points on 8-for-19 shooting. He managed to grab eight rebounds and hand out six assists, but Sacramento needed more from its star big.  

Garrett Temple played well enough to earn a second half start. The veteran wing scored 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting as one of the few Kings players that could find the hoop.

Matt Barnes added 13 points and five rebounds starting for the injured Rudy Gay and Ty Lawson chipped in eight points, but on 2-of-8 shooting  as Sacramento fell to 14-18 on the season.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Leonard was part of the group that allowed Cousins to go off for 55 points and 13 rebounds last week in Sacramento. Leonard looked like a completely different player on his home floor, coming away with 16 points and a huge win against one of the game’s best bigs in Cousins.

TURNING POINT

Sacramento came out flat and trailed the Blazer from the opening quarter. Portland kept the Kings at arms length for most of the night and finished off their Western Conference foe down the stretch.

INJURY UPDATE

Rudy Gay missed his seventh game in eight chances with a right hip flexor strain. The 28-year-old re-aggravated the injury in the waning moments of the 76ers game on Monday and underwent an MRI. Arron Afflalo missed his second straight with an elbow strain. Both players are listed as day-to-day going forward.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return home for a Saturday matinee at Golden 1 Center against the Memphis Grizzlies. They travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets Monday night, but then come home for seven straight.

Buddy Hield leads Kings over Suns, sets new franchise mark for 3-pointers

Buddy Hield leads Kings over Suns, sets new franchise mark for 3-pointers

SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield opened as the starting shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings this season as a replacement for the injured Bogdan Bogdanovic. 72 games later, Hield has not only cemented himself as team’s starter, but he’s the Kings’ leading scorer and now a record breaker.

It’s not often you see a player seize an opportunity like Hield has. He hit a 3-pointer less than five seconds into the the Kings’ win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday to move within one of Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record for most makes from behind the arc in a single season.

After heading to the bench to finish the first quarter, Hield returned in the second and in a span of 30 seconds tied and then surpassed Stojakovic’s mark of 240 makes.

“Getting the record from Peja, he left a mark on this franchise, it’s pretty big,” Hield said. “It’s something special. Hope I can keep it for many years, but who knows. There’s always going to be some other kid that’s going to come up and break records.”

Stojakovic works in the Kings front office as an assistant general manager supporting Vlade Divac. He’s also taken a vested interest in Hield and worked behind the scenes as a mentor to the 26-year-old shooting.

“He’s just calm and collect and I didn’t see it coming this year, but that’s how God works, when you don’t expect things, it just happens,” Hield said. “He’s been a big part of my success this year and hats off to him. He’s still going to continue to help me grow.”

A notorious trash talker, Hield will likely never let Stojakovic live down him passing his record. And with 10 games remaining in the season, Hield has a chance to push the record considerably higher.

“He finds them. We’re looking for him. He’s getting them up," head coach Dave Joerger said. "We’re happy about it and maybe the best part is, that everyday we all come to the gym, Buddy’s going to give it to Peja from now until never. I couldn’t be happier for him and he deserves to have that big smile that he has. That’s quite an accomplishment.”

Hield finished the game with 25 points and seven rebounds in the win. He knocked down 7-of-14 from deep and now has 245 makes on the year.

Following his record breaker, Bogdanovic fouled Devin Booker in the act of shooting, allowing the game to stop for a moment and the fans to show their appreciation.

Hield received a standing ovation from the Golden 1 Center crowd and then play resumed.

“It’s definitely cool to see what he was able to do for the team this year and to break a record like that,” rookie Marvin Bagley said. “It was definitely cool, to see the reaction of the fans and everything. I was happy for him.”

With the win, the Kings moved back to the .500 mark on the season at 36-36. This is a team that was predicted to win just 25.5 games this year by the Vegas oddsmakers and Hield is a huge reason the Kings were in the playoff race until recently.

“He’s having a terrific year and a large part of our success has been his ability at different points in games when we’re struggling to score, he can just go and create his own offense,” Joerger said.

Hield has another mark to focus on now. With 245 makes this year, he now has 569 makes through his first three season in the league. Damian Lillard owns the NBA record for most makes over the first three seasons of a players career with 599. If Hield continues on his current pace, he has a chance to crest the 600 mark.

Kings takeaways: What we learned from Kings' strong win over Suns

Kings takeaways: What we learned from Kings' strong win over Suns

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SACRAMENTO -- Needing a victory to finish the road trip strong and move back to .500 on the season, the Kings struggled with their shot and it almost cost them.

A big finish by rookie Marvin Bagley gave Sacramento some breathing room late, and an emphatic windmill dunk from De’Aaron Fox put the Phoenix Suns away.

Devin Booker put up a game-high 32-points and 10 assists and Deandre Ayton notched a double-double, but it wasn’t enough to shift the outcome in the Suns direction.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings pick up the 112-103 win to move to 36-36 on the season. 

Record Breaker

Buddy Hield loves to shoot the 3-ball. He loves it so much, he set a record doing it Saturday evening at Golden 1 Center.

Hield came into the night trailing Peja Stojakovic by two 3-pointer for the Kings’ all-time record for most makes in a single season. It took him just five seconds to knockdown his first triple and then he hit a pair in the second quarter to surpass the Kings legend.

Sacramento’s leading scorer didn’t stop there. He finished the night 7-for-14 from long range for 25 points on the evening.

The starting forwards

Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica are starting to figure out how to play together. Against the Suns, they both made major contributions.

Barnes got hot from long range, hitting 5-of-8 from behind the arc for 25 points. He added six rebounds and was responsible for slowing Booker for stretches.

Bjelica always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He struggles with quickler fours, but he seems to find a way to help the team. The veteran finished the evening with 13 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and five assists on the evening. 

Shooting woes

Sacramento pulled out the win, but it wasn’t easy. A big reason why was because of their shooting percentage. 

Bogdan Bogdanovic went 2-of-11 from the floor, with both makes coming from 3-point range.  Fox hit just 3-of-12, although he still managed to score 13 points and dish out nine assists.

As a team, the Kings recovered late to shoot 42.4 percent on the evening. They let the Suns hang around and it almost cost them.