Kings

Manic loss a teaching moment for Kings: 'It’s a game of runs'

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USATSI

Manic loss a teaching moment for Kings: 'It’s a game of runs'

LOS ANGELES -- It was manic Tuesday at Staples Center. Two young teams desperately trying to find their way in the NBA played an erratic, wild and mostly entertaining game. In the end, the Los Angeles Lakers found a way to come out on top, besting the Sacramento Kings by a final of 99-86.

“It’s a game of runs,” De’Aaron Fox said. “We would go on a run, they went on a run, we went on a run, they went on a run - they made the last run and they kind of just sustained it.”

Those words flew out Fox’s math so quickly they almost blurred together. The 20-year-old point guard almost captured the entirety of the game in a two-second sound bite.

The Lakers came out firing in the first quarter, taking an 18-point advantage over the Kings before the players could even break a sweat. And then they gave it all back.

Sacramento trailed by just four going to the second quarter and then took a lead at the 7:51 mark of the period on a Bogdan Bogdanovic layup. Los Angeles surged ahead again, but escaped the half with just a 53-52 lead.  

“The whole game was a lot of changes on the scoreboard, but that’s something we got to learn,” Bogdanovic said. “First of all, we can’t start that bad. And second, when you’re in a tie game, you have to keep pressuring them and play like we (did) to tie the game.”

The Kings jumped all over the Lakers in the early third, using a 12-3 run to take a 64-56 lead. It was short-lived as veteran big man Brook Lopez started dropping in haymakers from behind the arc.

An eight-point lead turned into a 13-point deficit in less than seven minutes of game action. The Kings made strides to end the third, but they still trailed by 10 going to the final frame.

Sacramento bit into the Lakers lead on multiple occasions in the fourth, even pulling within five at the 9:16 mark of the quarter. But they spent too much energy chasing down the home team and didn’t have enough in the tank to complete the comeback.

“We are still young, we’re still learning,” Bogdanovic added. “This is also something new for us. I know we have some games that we play and we start bad. Some of the games, we never come back through the end of the game. So there is something positive from this game too.”

Bogdanovic has a point. The Kings have trailed big in plenty of games this season and folded up shop early. They put up a fight against the Lakers after falling behind big early.

Despite forcing 26 turnovers and coming away with 15 steals, the Kings couldn’t buy a basket, shooting just 34.5 percent on the night. All things considered, the score could have been much more lopsided.

Bogdanovic tied his career-high with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He and big man Kosta Koufos are the only players on the Kings roster to shoot above 50 percent on the night.

The Kings will look to snap their two-game skid Thursday evening when they host the Clippers at Golden 1 Center.

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Basketball season is just around the corner. Well, maybe not. We’re still nearly five weeks away from the opening of training camp for the 2018-19 season, and the regular season doesn’t begin until mid-October. 

On Friday, the NBA announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams, including the Sacramento Kings, who will open the season at home Oct. 17 against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts from this season’s campaign.

•    For the second season in a row, the Kings will play only one set of five-games-in-seven-nights, and that comes at the tail end of March and into early April. This is part of the NBA’s new plan of allowing players more time to rest. The league has eliminated the dreaded four-games-in-five-nights grouping from the schedule as well.

•    Sacramento will have 14 sets of back-to-backs, two shy of last season’s total of 16 sets. Of those 14 sets, one is home-and-home, seven are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.

•    After a balanced November and December schedule, the Kings will hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Charlotte, Detroit, Brooklyn, Toronto, Memphis and Los Angeles (Clippers) from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27. 

•    The Kings’ longest homestand will be six games and come on the heels of their longest road trip. From Jan. 30 through Feb. 10, Sacramento will host the Hawks, 76ers, Spurs, Rockets, Heat and Suns at Golden 1 Center. 

•    Sacramento will play seven of its first 10 games away from Golden 1 Center. With plenty of new faces expected to see time in the rotation, the young Kings will have to learn on the fly while traveling around the NBA landscape.   

[RELATED: Five most intriguing games on Kings' 2018-19 schedule]

There are plenty of games to look forward to as well, beginning with opening night. There are old faces in new places and plenty of intrigue.

•    Sacramento will match up with the two-time reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors four times this season. The initial battle is set for Nov. 24 at Oracle, with a follow-up three weeks on Dec. 14 at Golden 1 Center. The teams will meet again Jan. 5 at Golden 1 and then finish the series in the first game coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 21. It likely won’t happen early in the season, but at some point, former Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins will make his debut as a member of the Warriors, which should be fun to watch.

•    The Kings will face off with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers four times as well, beginning on Nov. 11 at home. The Lakers have made substantial changes to their roster, including the addition of LeBron James. These teams will play each other again twice in late December before completing the series March 24 in L.A. 

•    Isaiah Thomas joined forces during the offseason with former Kings coach Michael Malone in Denver. Sacramento will play the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 23 and then again on Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center and Feb. 13 back in Denver.

•    The Kings will have to wait until Dec. 4 to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton when they travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena to face the Suns. They’ll see No. 3 overall selection Luka Doncic on Dec. 16 when they stop over in Dallas for a game against the Mavs.

Below is the complete Kings 2018-19 schedule, with all times local to where the game is played:

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

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AP/USATSI

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

Second-year Sacramento Kings pro Frank Mason III is being sued by rap star Lil Wayne. Seriously. 

The 24-year-old guard is being sued for $92,000 and must give back his Young Money diamond chain, according to TMZ Sports.

Before the Kings selected Mason in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft, Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports Group, signed the former Kansas star. The agency reportedly gave Mason $40,000 in advance, paid his pre-draft expenses which totaled $52,000 and gave him an $11,000 diamond chain. 

However, Mason's contract reportedly stated if he left the agency, Mason would have to repay the money and give back the chain. This past April, Mason left the agency. 

Mason signed a three-year, $4,181,147 contract with the Kings after the 2017 draft. He is guaranteed $2,562,627.