NBA Gameday: Kings look to play spoiler vs playoff-hungry Nuggets

NBA Gameday: Kings look to play spoiler vs playoff-hungry Nuggets

SACRAMENTO -- The slide has reached epic proportions. After giving up a 15-point fourth quarter lead to the Washington Wizards and falling short in overtime Friday, the Sacramento Kings have lost seven in a row.

They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team they trailed by just a game in the playoff standings a little over a week ago. Sacramento is now five games out of the hunt for the eighth seed and the postseason chattered has subsided.

Denver continues to lead the chase for eight in the Western Conference standings, but the Portland Trail Blazers are on their tail, sitting  just a game behind in the standings. The Nuggets are coming off a stunning 119-99 win over the Celtics on Friday night that included a 21-point, 10-rebound, seven-assist performance by big man Nikola Jokic.

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kings forwards vs. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler -- The last time these two teams met, Wilson Chandler set a new career-high in points with 36 and chipped in 12 rebounds, while Gallinari added 18 points on just 5-of-7 shooting. Sacramento has an issue with size at the small forward position and both Chandler and Gallinari will present a huge challenge.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 25-40, third place in Pacific

Nuggets: 30-35, third place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Nuggets: PF Kenneth Faried (back) out.

SERIES HISTORY:
Sacramento holds a 2-1 advantage over the Nuggets this year, but they lost the last meeting 108-96 less than a week ago at the Pepsi Center. The all-time series between these two teams is close, but the Kings hold an 88-87 lead after winning five straight and they are up on the Nuggets 65-62 lead during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“It doesn’t feel good when you miss shots down the stretch, it doesn’t feel good when you’re up 25 or 15 or whatever, but we’re maturing. We’ve got a lot of young guys and we’re still trying to learn how to win.” -Arron Afflalo following the Kings loss to the Wizards

 

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Sacramento Kings point guard Ty Lawson spent time in a Colorado courtroom Thursday to face allegations of potential probation violations. Lawson was granted a six-week stay in case and will reappear in court on May 4, CSN California has learned through a league source.

According to Jesse Paul of the Denver Post, Lawson, through his attorney Harvey Steinberg, entered a denial of probation violations. Lawson tested positive for alcohol three times in the past year, according to published reports. If true, it would be a violation of his probation. 

Lawson’s legal troubles stem from a 2015 DUI arrest in Denver. The eight-year NBA veteran signed a one-year deal with the Kings on Aug. 31, 2016. Through 63 games, including 21 starts, the 29-year-old guard has posted averages of 9.2 points and 4.7 assists in 25.1 minutes per game. 

He sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks for “planned rest.” Lawson is expected back in a Kings uniform Friday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

On May 7, 2016, the Grizzlies fired Dave Joerger.

Two days later, the Kings hired Joerger.

If he had not become available, Sacramento likely would have tabbed Patrick Ewing as their head coach, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ewing is currently the associate head coach of the Hornets.

He has been on Charlotte's staff since 2013.

Before that, he was an assistant coach with the Magic for six seasons.

After retiring from the NBA following the 2001-02 season, he was an assistant with Washington for one season before joining the Houston Rockets.

Ewing was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.