Kings

Kings vs. 76ers watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

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AP

Kings vs. 76ers watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

Searching for answers the Sacramento Kings head back out onto the hardwood Friday evening for a clash against the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers. They'll need a big showing from every player that steps on the floor if they hope to pick up their fourth straight victory over a quality Sixers team.

Sacramento is coming off a disappointing loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday. De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes all posted big numbers. The trio also played major minutes, which might come into play on the second night of a back-to-back.

[RELATED: How to watch Kings-Sixers online and on MyTeams app]

Philadelphia has won two straight and is building towards what they hope will be a long postseason run. They have a star-studded roster, including current and former All-Stars Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, as well as Kings' killer, Tobias Harris.

Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 3:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 4:00 p.m. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.

The team will return home following the game where they'll kick off a four-game homestand beginning with the Bulls on Monday evening. The Kings will host the Nets, Mavs, and Suns before heading back out on the road for another five-game trip.

Line

Sixers by 9.5

Projected Lineups

Kings
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Harrison Barnes
PF Nemanja Bjelcia
C Willie Cauley-Stein

76ers
PG Ben Simmons
SG J.J. Redick
SF Jimmy Butler
PF Tobias Harris
C Joel Embiid

Injury Report

Kings 
No injuries to report.

76ers
PG Ben Simmons (illness) probable, PF Mike Scott (illness) probable, SF Furkan Korkmaz (knee) out.

Rotation Outlook

Kings

Dave Joerger made a lineup change against the Celtics on Thursday, moving Nemanja Bjelica back into the starting lineup at the four and shifting Harrison Barnes back to the small forward spot. The change helped Sacramento get off to a fast start, but it didn't help them come away with a much-needed win.

With Barnes starting at the three, Bogdan Bogdanovic moved back to the second unit. He struggled with foul and turnover issues, as well as missing all three of his 3-point attempts. The Kings could use a bounce-back game from their super-sub.

[RELATED: Bogdan Bogdanovic continues to struggle, prompting questions about fit]

Marvin Bagley returned to action after missing five straight games and he is not listed on the team's injury report heading into Friday. Joerger limited him to just 19 minutes of play against Boston, but that didn't stop the rookie from dropping in 14 points and six rebounds.

76ers

Philadelphia is an offensive juggernaut with five players that can hit you for 30 points on any given night. They present matchup problems at multiple positions for Sacramento, including the point guard position where  Simmons has a seven-inch height advantage over Fox.

Under head coach Brett Brett Brown, the Sixers have the fifth highest scoring offense in the NBA and rank eighth in pace. They allow 111.5 points per game, which is 16th in the league and their defensive rating is slightly better, coming in at 11th overall.

Philly ranks fourth in both rebounding and assists, but they turn the ball over a lot, which could play into the Kings' hands.

Skal Labissiere learning from Trail Blazers' bench in NBA playoff run

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AP

Skal Labissiere learning from Trail Blazers' bench in NBA playoff run

With the clock winding down, Damian Lillard measured Paul George and stepped into a 37-foot game winner to push the Portland Trail Blazers into the second round of the NBA playoffs.

It was bedlam. In a single moment, Lillard transformed from All-Star to something more. A superstar? Maybe. A legend in Portland? For sure.

As his teammates stormed the court, a photo was taken which captured a deadpanned Lillard staring into the lens as his teammates piled on.  

“That was the craziest shot I’ve ever seen in person,” Skal Labissiere told NBC Sports California. “It was great, just the atmosphere and the moment, the magnitude of the moment. It was the last game of the series and being against OKC. It was just a great shot.”

Labissiere’s huge smile lights up the picture. He’s in the upper right hand corner embracing his star guard.

One of the biggest moments of the 2018-19 playoffs and somehow Skal Labissiere makes the picture? This is the NBA life. One moment you can be wasting away on the Sacramento Kings' bench preparing for a 13th straight year without a postseason appearance and the next thing you know, you are in the Western Conference finals.

The 7-footer was dealt at the trade deadline from Sacramento to Portland in a swap for Caleb Swanigan. While he hasn’t found a spot in the rotation quite yet, the Haitian-born big was in desperate need of a career reboot.

Selected by Sacramento with the 28th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Labissiere played 106 games in a Kings uniform before the trade. With the focus shifting to young players like Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, the 23-year-old center was a spare piece.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Labissiere said of the trade. “Since I’ve been here I’ve been learning a lot from all the veterans here and the coaches. I’ve been learning a lot - the culture, the game, the guys here, they welcomed me with open arms. I’ve gotten a lot better since I’ve been here.”

Labissiere played in just nine games for the Blazers as they fought for playoff positioning down the stretch. In the season finale against his former team, the smooth shooting big dropped in 29 points and 15 rebounds in 41 minutes, reminding the Kings what could have been.

While things didn’t go as planned for Labissiere in Sacramento, he has no ill-will towards the franchise. If anything, he was gracious for the experience.

“Thank you for everything,” Labissiere said of his two-plus years in Sacramento. “Thank you to Vlade (Divac), Vivek (Ranadivé) for taking a chance on me on draft night. Even coach Joerger, giving me a chance to play in my rookie year and after the (DeMarcus Cousins) trade and in my second year in the league, just believing in me and cheering for me.”

Even when he wasn’t playing major minutes, Labissiere said he appreciated the cheers he received from the fans. He’s starting over in Portland with the hopes that he can find a permanent spot in the league.

He’s also getting an incredible experience of playing deep into the playoffs. He’s made three appearances in the postseason so far, but he’s taking it all in and trying to absorb as much as he can from the opportunity.

“This is a first time for everything, so I’m very excited to be here, just getting to experience this, even though I’m not playing a whole lot,” Labissiere said. “I’m still watching and learning how the guys approach every game and just supporting. Hopefully at some point I’ll get out there and be able to help the team, but as of right now, I’m satisfied with just learning and watching from afar.”

There’s a lot you can learn about the game of basketball by sitting back and watching. There is also a lot you can learn by walking into a new environment.

“I could tell when I first got here just the closeness of this group,” Labissiere said. “Everybody is for each other. They all care about winning, no matter what it takes. Whatever they have to do, sacrifice, as far as their roles, they’ll do it just for the betterment of the team.”

[RELATED: Should Suns forward Jackson be trade target for Kings?]

Labissiere has a guaranteed contract next season in Portland and a summer to show that he can fit into the system and be part of the Blazers' family. For now, he’s trying to take it all in and enjoy the ride.

He isn't the only former Kings player still alive in the postseason. Seth Curry, George Hill, Eric Moreland and DeMarcus Cousins are all still playing as the playoffs inch towards the Finals.

NBA draft 2019: Kings to bring in first six prospects for workout

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AP

NBA draft 2019: Kings to bring in first six prospects for workout

The Sacramento Kings don't have a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but they do have three second-round picks.

In possession of the No. 40, No. 47 and No. 60 overall selections, the Kings will be looking for lower-level talent -- players that might take a few years to develop.

With that in mind, the Kings have invited six players for a pre-draft workout that will take play Monday, May 20 in Sacramento.

[RELATED: Fox a Most Improved Player finalist]

The Kings' 2019 first-round pick belongs to the Boston Celtics. Back in 2015, Sacramento included the future first-round pick in a salary dump trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Two years later, the 76ers traded the rights to that pick to the Celtics in order to move up from No. 3 to No. 1 in the 2017 draft to select Markelle Fultz.