Kings

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

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USATI

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

SACRAMENTO -- After snapping their four-game losing streak Monday evening against the Magic, the Sacramento Kings hopped a jet a for Phoenix where they'll play the Phoenix Suns on the second night of a back-to-back.

With a win, Sacramento would cement a .500 record at the midway point of the season for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

De'Aaron Fox shook off a string of bumps and bruises to post 20 points and five steals in just 23 minutes of action. Bogdan Bogdanovic stuffed the stat sheet and Willie Cauley-Stein dropped in a double-double in 17 minutes as the Kings finished off the Magic early.

Phoenix currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings at 9-32. They've lost six straight and will likely be without leading scorer, Devin Booker.

Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 5:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 6. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.

Following the game in Phoenix, the Kings return home where they'll start a three-game homestand beginning Thursday against the Detroit Pistons. They'll host the Hornets and Trail Blazers before heading out on a season-long, six-game road trip.

Line

Kings +3.5

Projected Lineups

Kings

PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Bogdan Bogdanovic
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein

Suns

PG De'Anthony Melton
SG Josh Jackson
SF Mikal Bridges
PF T.J. Warren
C Deandre Ayton

Injury Report

Kings 

PF Marvin Bagley III (return from injury management) out, SF Iman Shumpert (finger) out.

Suns

SG Devin Booker (back) gametime decision.

Rotation Outlook

Kings: Marvin Bagley was active and ran the floor well in his first game back from injury against Orlando, but the Kings plan to hold him out on the second night of a back-to-back. His absence opens the door for Harry Giles to potentially get a longer look. Giles has strung together a handful of quality outings and is starting to look extremely comfortable on the court.

Shumpert will miss his third straight game with a finger issue. Dave Jeorger has turned to Bogdan Bogdanovic as his starter in Shupert's absence.

Hield is on fire from the perimeter over his last five games, knocking down 25-of-47 from behind the 3-point line.

Suns: Phoenix is struggling. They rank 26th in the league in both points scored and points allowed. The Suns turn the ball over at a high clip, rank near the bottom in rebounding and lead the league in fouls per game.

If Booker can't go, Igor Kokoskov will turn to a combination of players to fill the void at the two, including Josh Jackson and veteran Jamal Crawford.

Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets

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USATSI

Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets

When you think of De'Aaron Fox, you think of a superstar. But a bigger stage isn't something he desires.

Recently, Fox was hanging out in a rented, beachside condo in San Clemente, Calif. talking to One37pm's Corban Goble. The Kings guard was playing on a grand piano. And despite being in Southern California, playing some keys from John Legend's "All of Me," he likes where he's at, cozy in Sacramento.

“I don’t crave to be in a big market,” Fox said. “After last season, there was a buzz in Sacramento. Everyone in Sacramento is a Kings fan. If we start making the playoffs, or if we become a championship contender, the entire city is going to go nuts. That’s the difference between a big market and a small one.”

The Kings finished the 2019-20 season 39-43 due to an impressive sophomoric outing from Fox who averaged 17.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

If Fox continues on his superstar trajectory, he might have to put those low-key desires to the test. 

But Fox's go-with-the-flow mentality is one to be admired.

[RELATED: How Fox celebrated contract signing with agent]

He could have gone to Los Angeles or San Diego to be in the middle of it all, but San Clemente was the "laid-back" way Fox prefers.

It appears Fox not only loves the idea of playing for Sacramento but for the people of the city as well.

Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt

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USATSI

Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game is an honor, but it's certainly not one of the easiest tasks.

Just trust us on this one. 

It adds excess pressure to the situation when you're an athlete. Perhaps you feel your inherent athletic ability will make it easy for you to throw in there for a strike ... right? Well, when it comes to Bobby Jackson, that's not the case.

The former Sacramento Kings player turned assistant player development coach threw out the first pitch for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats recently, and well ...

He bounced it and it went way outside (or inside to a lefty batter). He also lost his sunglasses. Clearly, there was a lot going on.

[RELATED: Fox, Barnes have 3-point contest after USA practice]

And despite the way the pitch went, the torment wasn't over. Harry Giles, Buddy Hield and Kyle Guy all made sure to chime in after witnessing the display, and they weren't too nice about it. 

It's not as easy as it looks, folks.