Tagged in: Sacramento Kings

Kings send Warriors to 7th straight home loss

The Sacramento Kings came out of the All-Star break knowing they had little margin for error if they wanted to make a playoff push.

Three straight victories to begin the stretch run has them creeping back into contention.

Harrison Barnes and De’Aaron Fox each scored 21 points and the Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors 112-94 on Tuesday night for their ninth victory in the past 13 games.

”It’s a big goal,” coach Luke Walton said about making the playoffs. ”But the way you achieve a big goal is by focusing on the present and what we’re working on, and showing up and playing a certain style every night. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a better chance to achieve the big goal at the end of the day.”

The Kings still have plenty of work to do to reach that level, as they still trail Memphis by four games in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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But after losing 15 of 18 games during a stretch in December and January, even having a shot at it is an achievement.

”I think we’re playing well on both sides of the ball,” Fox said. ”Things have been going good for us. We’ve been able to get stops when we needed them. … We’re playing our best basketball of the season.”

Buddy Hield made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter on the way to a 19-point night and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 17 to give the Kings their third straight win.

Marquese Chriss scored 21 points and Andrew Wiggins added 16 for Golden State.

The Warriors have lost seven consecutive overall and seven in a row at home for the first time since dropping the final seven home games in the 2000-01 season.

The Kings raced out to an early lead behind 14 points in the first quarter from Barnes and never trailed on the way to their third win in as many meetings this season with the Warriors.

This is the longest winning streak in the Northern California series for Sacramento since winning 15 in a row from 2000-03.

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LA Clippers hold out Kawhi Leonard with back tightness

After feeling lower back tightness that developed during pregame warm-ups, LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for Thursday night’s matchup versus the Sacramento Kings after halftime.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he found out Leonard would not start the game “literally five seconds” before tip. Leonard then spent half the game, a 124-103 Clippers loss, trying to get his back to loosen up. “His back just locked up,” Rivers said.

“I think he was shooting before the game and his back locked up. He was in stretching and trying to do everything he could to get on the floor, and he just couldn’t.”

Rivers said he did not know the severity of Leonard’s back injury. The Clippers play again Saturday afternoon at home versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later that night, Leonard will have his jersey retired by San Diego State during the Aztecs’ game against Utah State.

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Without Leonard, the Clippers were routed by Sacramento. 

Paul George returned from a nine-game absence due to a strained left hamstring and missed 8 of 10 shots, finishing with eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 19 minutes.

Rivers said George and Patrick Beverley, who returned after missing three games with a sore groin, were on a minutes restriction and that it was hard for George to get a rhythm.

George, who has played in six All-Star games, was not named among the Western Conference reserves this year and will not play with Leonard in the Feb. 16 All-Star Game at Chicago.

“The fact of the matter is, I didn’t deserve to be an All-Star,” said George, who has played only 27 games so far this season while dealing with various injuries and his recovery from offseason shoulder surgeries.

“I didn’t play enough games and I wasn’t out there enough. So, honestly, it’s nice to have those three extra days. I’ll take it with a smile on my face, and I’ll root Kawhi on from whatever beach we decide to go to.”

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New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings

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The New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings do battle tonight at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Pelicans have lost six of their last seven games and are currently on a four-game losing streak after losing to the Lakers by 95-91 last night. Tyreke Evans led the scoring with 21 points, Ryan Anderson had 15 points while Eric Gordon added 14 as the Pelicans lost their second straight game in the absence of Anthony Davis who sat out with discomfort in his back. Davis remains without a timetable for his return so his status for tonight is currently listed as questionable. New Orleans is now 11-26 on the season and 4-17 on the road.

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The Kings have won three of their last five games but are coming off a 128-116 loss to the Warriors. DeMarcus Cousins led the team with 33 points, Rudy Gay added 23 points while Darren Collison had 16 off the bench, but it still wasn’t enough for the Kings as the Warriors had Stephen Curry who poured in eight 3-pointers to scorch them for 38 points. Overall, it was still somewhat of a moral victory for the Kings as they matched it with the Warriors for a majority of the game, but they were never good enough defensively as the Warriors finished with 56 percent shooting from the field. With the loss, Sacramento drops to 15-22 on the season and 10-10 at home.

Pelicans probable starters

PG Tyreke Evans 6-6, 220 (16.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals SG Eric Gordon 6-4, 215 (15.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.9 spg) SF Dante Cunningham 6-8, 230 (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg) PF Anthony Davis 6-10, 253 (22.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.5 bpg) C Omer Asik 7-0, 255 (3.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 bpg).

Kings probable starters

PG  Rajon Rondo 6-1, 186 (11.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, 11.6 assists, 1.9 steals SG Ben McLemore 6-5, 195 (7.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 spg) SF Rudy Gay  6-8, 230 (18.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg) PF Quincy Acy  6-7, 240 (4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 bpg) C DeMarcus Cousins 6-11, 270 (25.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 bpg).

Injury report

Pelicans: Forward Quincy Pondexter (knee) out for rest of season. Forward Anthony Davis (back contusion) questionable. Kings: Forward Omri Casspi (back soreness) doubtful. Guard James Anderson (hamstring strain) questionable. Forward Duje Dukan (tibia bone contusion) out.

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Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

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The Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings square off Tuesday night at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Utah Jazz could use a strong road victory to get a game above a .500 record. The Utah Jazz are averaging 97.3 points on 44 percent shooting and allowing 95.9 points on 44.3 percent shooting. Gordon Hayward is averaging 18.6 points and 3.1 assists while Derrick Favors is averaging 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds. Rodney Hood is dishing 2.9 assists and Trevor Booker is grabbing 5.9 rebounds. The Utah Jazz are shooting 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 74.4 percent from the free throw line. The Jazz are shooting 40.6 percent from deep in their last five games and have won eight of their last 10 games when scoring 100 or more points. The Utah Jazz have split their last 10 road games

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The Sacramento Kings are desperate for a victory after losing five of their last six games. The Sacramento Kings are averaging 104.8 points on 44.9 percent shooting and allowing 108.8 points on 46.6 percent shooting. DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 25.2 points and 10.5 rebounds while Rajon Rondo is averaging 12.3 points and 10.9 assists. Rudy Gay is grabbing 6.7 rebounds and Darren Collison is dishing 4.1 assists. The Sacramento Kings are shooting 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 72.4 percent from the free throw line. The Kings are allowing 39.1 percent shooting from deep in their last five games and have lost 13 of their last 16 when allowing 100-plus points. The Sacramento Kings have split their last eight home games.

The Jazz are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Tuesday games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference. The Jazz are 3-1-2 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

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Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings

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The Boston Celtics will continue their five-game road swing Thursday night with a date in Mexico City against the Sacramento Kings, where they will look to post their first straight-up road win over the Kings in their last five attempts.

The Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings square off Thursday night at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Boston Celtics look for a strong road victory after splitting their last eight games. The Boston Celtics are averaging 102 points on 43.1 percent shooting and allowing 97.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 20.8 points and 6.2 assists while Avery Bradley is averaging 16.1 points and 2.5 rebounds. Jared Sullinger is grabbing 9.3 rebounds and Evan Turner is dishing 3.6 assists. The Boston Celtics are shooting 31.7 percent from beyond the arc and 78.5 percent from the free throw line. The Celtics are getting 41.1 points from their bench, which is nearly eight points above league average. The Boston Celtics have won 10 of their last 14 regular season road games

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The Sacramento Kings need this victory for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Sacramento Kings are averaging 105.3 points on 45.4 percent shooting and allowing 108.5 points on 46.9 percent shooting. DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 28.2 points and 11 rebounds while Rudy Gay is averaging 18.5 points and 2.1 assists. Rajon Rondo is dishing 10.7 assists and Kosta Koufos is grabbing 6.8 rebounds. The Sacramento Kings are shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 72.3 percent from the free throw line. The Kings have topped 100 points in eight of their last 11 games and are 6-6 overall this season when that’s the case. The Sacramento Kings have won four of their last five home games. Caron Butler is questionable with an ankle injury.

The Celtics are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games and 18-8-1 ATS in their last 27 vs. Western Conference. The Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 21-46-2 ATS in their last 69 games playing on 2 days rest. The Celtics are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Sacramento and 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings overall.

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