Kings run out of Denver 110-83

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Kings run out of Denver 110-83

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DENVER (AP) -- Leave it to the Denver Nuggets' reserves to steal the show.Al Harrington came off the bench to score 15 points, and reserve guard Rudy Fernandez had 12 points and eight assists in Denver's 110-83 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.Each of Denver's 12 players scored at least six points, including 11 apiece by Timofey Mozgov and Arron Afflalo as the Nuggets won their third in a row and improved to 4-0 at home. They beat the Kings in Denver for the sixth straight time."It's unique," said Kosta Koufos, who had his first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) while helping to fill in for the injured Nene. "In every position, we're deep. One person gets tired and another person comes in and plays just as well, and having that is a luxury for us. At the same time, we have the mentality to win as many games as possible and keep working hard and getting better as a team."While the Nuggets may lack superstars - the team traded away Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, its best known players - coach George Karl said Denver is fortunate to have a very deep roster. It has allowed him to shuffle his players in and out in waves and run the floor, often wearing down the opposition, as was the case against the Kings."We're going to go after teams with our intensity and, hopefully, the flow of flooding good players on to the court," Karl said. "I'm still kind of learning this team, too. It's fun to see them evolve and see where we go."Added Afflalo: "It's still early. We've been fortunate enough to gut-out some wins. We still have a lot of improving to do as a team and individually. Hopefully, we continue to stay on an upward pace and win at the same time."The Nuggets took the lead almost right away against a Kings team that was playing the second of three games in three days. Midway through the game, the Kings also lost guard Tyreke Evans after he became ill."That was a kick in our teeth. You can't hide from it," Kings coach Paul Westphal of his team's ragged performance. "I still think we have the makings of a good basketball team and I believe we will bounce back."They got on us early. I thought we were pressing. Our shooting, it's undescribable. The avalanche just fell on us."The Kings, who remained winless in three road games this season, got 26 points from DeMarcus Cousins and 23 from Marcus Thornton. Cousins was playing his second game since returning from a one-game ban for demanding a trade, according to the team. Cousins denies making any such demand.Up by 17 at the half, the Nuggets stretched the lead to 66-41 on a basket by Danilo Gallinari with 6:33 left in the third quarter. Sacramento scored 14 of the next 18 points, pulling to 70-55 on Thornton's 3-pointer, but wound up lagging behind Denver 85-64 going into the fourth quarter.Denver made it a runaway with a 9-0 burst to start the fourth. The run was punctuated by dunks from Chris Andersen, and rookie Kenneth Faried off a no-look alley oop pass from Fernandez.The Nuggets led 27-17 after the first quarter and began the second with a 14-2 run, pulling out to a 41-19 lead on a fast-break dunk by Corey Brewer with 7:14 remaining in the period. The Kings cut the deficit to 13 on a layup by Thornton but Gallinari pulled off a reverse layup and then got a steal to start a fast break that Harrington finished with a layup for a 56-39 lead at halftime.NOTES: The Kings conclude their only back-to-back-to-back set of the season at home on Thursday, when they host Milwaukee. ... Nuggets forward Nene missed a second straight game with a bruised left heel. ... Kings haven't won in Denver since April 5, 2008, a 118-115 decision. ... Thornton had his 44th career 20-plus point game. ... It was only the second time in franchise history that the Nuggets had 12 players score at least six points in a game.

Purge of veterans continues as Kings waive Arron Afflalo

Purge of veterans continues as Kings waive Arron Afflalo

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings continued their purge of veteran contracts Friday afternoon. NBC Sports California has confirmed that the team opted out of the second year of Arron Afflalo’s 2-year, $25 million deal. They will instead pay the shooting guard a $1.5 million buyout, saving $11 million and allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Afflalo, 31, posted 8.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game. The 10-year NBA veteran played in 61 games, including 45 starts for the Kings last season while shooting 41.1 percent from behind the arc.

The former UCLA star is the second Kings veteran to have his option declined, joining Anthony Tolliver in the ranks of unrestricted free agents. Both Rudy Gay and Langston Galloway have chosen not to exercise player options with the team as the franchise turns to a youth movement.

Garrett Temple and Kosta Koufos are the only remaining players players on the Kings’ roster with more than two years experience in the league. Sacramento will enter free agency with upwards of $55 million to spend in free agency once they sign their four rookies from Thursday evening’s NBA Draft.

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings had a big draft night. The kind of night that might turn a franchise around. They entered the evening with three picks, including two in the top 10. With their first selection, they filled the franchise’s biggest need when they drafted De’Aaron Fox and then they went to work.
 
Vlade Divac and his team of front office execs jumped on an early trade, dealing the No. 10 overall selection to the Portland Trail Blazers for No. 15 and No. 20. North Carolina’s Justin Jackson was too appealing to pass on, and like Fox, he fit a major position of need. 
 
Sacramento came back with the 20th selection, taking one of the biggest risk/reward picks in the draft. Duke’s Harry Giles is playing on rebuilt knees, but before that, he was one of the top prospects in all of basketball. If he can stay healthy, the Kings may have drafted the biggest steal of the night. 
 
They topped off the evening with the selection of Wooden and Naismith Award winner Frank Mason III with the 34th overall pick. The Kings entered the night without a single point guard and they ended it with two very exciting options. 
 
“I’m very excited about the talent that we brought here tonight,” Divac said. “They’re going to just be an addition to what we’re trying to build here in the second half of the season.”
 
The Kings turned down overtures to move up to draft Fox. The 19-year-old speedster will step in and immediately compete for the starting point guard spot and he’s very excited to be a King.
 
“It’s just the vibe that I got when I was out there,” Fox told local Sacramento media via phone. “I felt like they really wanted me.” 
 
John Calipari is known for his bevy of All-Star bigs throughout the league, but he’s also produced a long line of big-time guards. Sacramento is hoping that Fox can live up to the billing of other former Calipari guards like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall. According to Divac, the Kings were so high on Fox, they would have taken him higher. 
 
“Screaming,” Divac said about the reaction in the room to Fox falling in their lap. “It was a guy that we all loved and in some way, if we had the number 1 pick, he would’ve been our guy.”
 
“De’Aaron is our future,” Divac added.
 
Without a perfect fit at 10, Divac made an adjustment on the fly to add more assets. The decision to trade 10 for 15 and 20 was very similar to the last season when the Kings dealt the eighth overall pick for No. 13, 28 and the draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. By splitting the pick in two, the Kings were able to land two talented pieces that mesh with the current roster build.
 
Jackson and Fox know each other well. The duo played AAU ball together and Fox says he considers Jackson an older brother.  He is friends with Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere from their Kentucky connection.
 
“I feel like we can grow together,” Fox said of the Kings’ young core. “Of course, it’s going to take some time, but every franchise takes time.”
 
Fox is the jewel of the night and Jackson will compete for time at the wing, but Giles is the wildcard. The 19-year-old big can play the four and the five and has elite potential. 
 
“I’m so excited he was there for us at the 20,” Divac said. “That kind of talent you can’t pass.”
 
The Kings have done their homework on Giles. The type of knee injury that he sustained is similar to former NBA players Danny Manning, Amaré Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Manning and Martin each played 15 years in the league and Stoudemire lasted 14 seasons before retiring in 2016. After meeting him in person in Sacramento and working him out, they are very confident that he will be able to overcome his injuries and have a successful career in the NBA. 
 
Mason III will remind Kings fans of Isaiah Thomas, another undersized point guard that fell to the second round. The Kansas star posted 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. He’s a hard-nosed leader that can jump out of the gym and will instantly become a fan favorite in Sacramento. 
 
It’s a huge haul. Sacramento added two points guards, a wing and a big from some of the best basketball schools in the country. More than that, they added high character winners to a changing culture. 
 
For the first time in a while, the Sacramento Kings have accumulated assets. They have hit the ground running in their attempted rebuild and for one night, they are the talk of the NBA.