Kings

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

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USATSI

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

SACRAMENTO -- Keep it rolling.

The Sacramento Kings have strung together six straight victories on their home court, but they'll draw a tough test Monday evening at Golden 1 Center. They'll host a veteran San Antonio Spurs team that is right in the thick of the playoff chase, where they've been for the better part of four decades. 

Sacramento shocked the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday evening, beating one of the beasts of the east by a final of 115-108. Buddy Hield scored 34 points on 7-of-13 shooting from behind the arc and Willie Cauley-Stein stepped up against All-Star Joel Embiid.

The victory pushed the Kings two games over the .500 mark at 27-25, which matched their win total from last season. 

San Antonio is still cruising. They've made it to the playoffs 22 straight seasons under head coach Gregg Popovich, and a shocking 38 out of 42 seasons since joining the NBA for the 1976-77 season. They rely heavily on a group of 30-somethings to deliver night in and night out, including former Kings, Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli.

Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:00. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.

Sacramento continues their six-game homestand Wednesday with a battle with the Houston Rockets. Miami, and Phoenix will follow, before the Kings finish their pre-All-Star break schedule with a stop in Denver.

Line

Spurs by 2

Projected Lineups

Kings
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein

Spurs
PG Bryn Forbes
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF Dante Cunningham
PF Rudy Gay
C LaMarcus Aldridge

Injury Report

Kings 
No injuries to report.

Spurs
PG Derrick White (heel) and PG DeJounte Murray (knee) are out.

Rotation Outlook

Kings

Dave Joerger's crew is fresh off a quality win over the Sixers. They survived Philly's big three of Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons, who combined to score 80 points, grab 29 rebounds and dish out 13 assists.

Hield continues to shine in a scoring role for Sacramento. The third-year guard set a new career-high for 3-point makes in a season with 180. He is on pace to set an NBA record for most 3-point makes in the first three years of a player's career, which is currently held by the Blazers' Damian Lillard (599 makes).

Despite a 29-point, 17-rebound outburst from Embiid, Cauley-Stein played one of his better all-around games of the season. With the game on the line heading to the fourth quarter, the 7-footer held Embiid to just two points and three rebounds in the final frame to help the Kings come away with the win.

Spurs

Popovich is one of the greatest coaches the game has ever seen. He's amassed 1,229 regular season wins and has five championship rings in his 23 seasons leading the Spurs.

San Antonio ranks in the middle of the NBA in both points per game (112.6) and points allowed (110.1). They play at the league's 23rd-fastest pace and lead the NBA in 3-point percentage at 40.8 percent, although they are 29th in attempts per game.

Aldridge and DeRozan combine to score over 42 points per game for the Spurs, but it's a deep squad with plenty of players that can hurt you.

Buddy Hield breaks mentor Peja Stojakovic's record in 'special' moment

Buddy Hield breaks mentor Peja Stojakovic's record in 'special' moment

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

BOX SCORE

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.