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Kings will rest Haliburton in last two games before break

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Tyrese Haliburton dunks

It's better to be safe than sorry.

The Kings have decided to sit rookie Tyrese Haliburton for the next two games leading up to the All-Star break to make sure he's100 percent healthy heading into the second half of the season. 

"We're going to play it safe with him," Walton said in a video conference following practice on Tuesday. "There is a lot of basketball left and he is getting much better, but with a back-to-back coming up right before All-Star, it just feels like the right move is to make sure we have him healthy for the second half."

Haliburton, 21, missed the previous two games due to left calf soreness, although the injury is not considered serious. 

Fresh off his second straight Western Conference Rookie of the Month award, Haliburton has been a fresh of breath air for the Kings. The former Iowa State star is averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. 

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The Kings have desperately missed Haliburton's scoring and play-making off the bench. They've split the last two games, but the second unit has just 21 total points.  

In addition to Haliburton, Buddy Hield also missed Tuesday's practice. The veteran shooting guard rolled his right ankle late in Sunday's loss to the Charlotte Hornets. He was able to return to the game, but he is questionable to play when the Kings host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. 


"We held Buddy out of practice with the ankle," Walton said. "We're hoping he'll be able to go tomorrow, but we'll see how he feels."

According to Walton, the Kings only had eight bodies on the court for practice as they limp into the break. Hield has missed a total of two games since joining the Kings nearly four years ago. He's one of the most durable players in the league, and it would be a surprise if he isn't in the starting lineup against LA.