Thornton's gaffe leads to OT loss for Kings

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Thornton's gaffe leads to OT loss for Kings

BOX SCORE
DENVER (AP) Arron Afflalo hit three free throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation, Ty Lawson made a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 119-116 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Monday night.Afflalo finished with a career-high 32 points for the Nuggets, who improved to 4-0 since the All-Star break.Lawson came up with the clutch basket for the second straight night, finishing with 16 points and 13 assists.Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each had 27 points for the Kings, who dropped their fourth straight on the day they announced they had extended the contract of coach Keith Smart through the 2012-13 season.Thornton also had the foul on Afflalo in the closing seconds that allowed the Nuggets to get the game into overtime and pull out an improbable win.The Kings trailed by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, only to storm back and take a 96-93 lead on a 3-pointer by Francisco Garcia with 4:23 remaining.From there, it was an exchange of 3-pointers between the teams, as Lawson hit one to tie it up, only to have Thornton answer right back. Evans gave the Kings some breathing room with a short jumper, extending the lead to 103-98 with 1:16 remaining.The cushion didn't last.Afflalo hit a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game.After Isaiah Thomas hit two free throws to extend the lead to 108-105, the Nuggets held the ball for one final shot.Just before the buzzer sounded, Afflalo launched a deep 3-point attempt, with Thornton grazing his arm. Afflalo drained the first two free throws and then had to patiently wait after the Kings called timeout.He returned to the line, where he made the final one to tie the score at 108.Jimmer Fredette's desperation heave was offline and the game went to overtime.In overtime, the Kings jumped out to an early lead, but the Nuggets quickly responded.Lawson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give the Nuggets the lead. Garcia's final shot fell short.Once a banged-up bunch, the Nuggets are steadily returning to health. Leading scorer Danilo Gallinari was back after missing 13 games with a left ankle sprain. So was Brazilian center Nene, who sat out 10 games with a calf strain.Not surprisingly, Gallinari and Nene both showed some early rust from their long layoffs.Gallinari didn't hit his first basket until swishing a 3-pointer with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter. He had just four points on the evening.Nene finished with six points in just over 15 minutes.When Gallinari hobbled off the court on Feb. 6, it appeared as if he might be sidelined for quite some time after tests revealed a chip fracture in his left foot. But further examinations later showed the fracture wasn't caused by his stumble and may have actually occurred before he joined the NBA in 2008.The versatile Italian forward proved to be a fast healer, returning nearly to the day the team had predicted.The Nuggets were 6-7 without Gallinari, one of the players they're counting on to deliver big shots at crunch time.But with the game on the line the healing Gallinari was on the bench, not the floor.Even with the return of Gallinari and Nene, the Nuggets are far from full strength. They were missing swingman Rudy Fernandez (back) and center Kosta Koufos (left knee).However, Timofey Mozgov played Monday despite an ailing left ankle. He had eight early points before appearing to hurt his ankle again. Mozgov didn't play in the second half.The Nuggets trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, only to go on an 8-0 run to close out the half and tie the game at 53.Notes: Kings F J.J. Hickson missed the three-game road swing with a hip pointer. ... The Kings will begin a franchise-record nine-game homestand on Wednesday against New Orleans. ... Lawson was named the Western Conference player of the week Monday. ... The Nuggets are 13-3 against the Kings at home since 2003-04.

NBA Gameday: New-look Kings get first shot at I-80 bragging rights

NBA Gameday: New-look Kings get first shot at I-80 bragging rights

The Sacramento Kings make the 90 mile commute to Oakland for a match up against the first place Golden State Warriors Friday evening. The Kings have lost three straight and are just 2-11 over their previous 13 games as they transition to a youth movement.

Buddy Hield tied his career-high with 21 points versus the Milwaukee Bucks last time out. He’ll face a different beast against the Warriors. Klay Thompson is one of the best two-way shooting guards in the league. He can light you up from long range and shut you down with physical play on the other side of the ball.

Matt Barnes joined the W’s after being waived by the Kings during the All-Star break. The 37-year-old forward has played nearly 20 minutes per night for Golden State, averaging 5.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 11 games.  

OPENING LINE

Warriors by 17.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Buddy Hield vs. Klay Thompson -- Hield is averaging 14.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 27.6 minutes over 14 games with the Kings. The rookie shooting guard is shooting 50 percent from the field, 44.9 percent from 3-point range and posted double-figure scoring in all but two games since coming over via trade during the All-Star break. Thompson is one of the premiere player at his position, posting 22.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. The Kings have been on the receiving end of plenty of his scoring outbursts over the years.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 27-44 third place in Pacific

Warriors: 57-14, first place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SG Malachi Richardson (torn hamstring) status unknown at this time, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season. Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Tolliver are all out for planned rest.

Warriors: SF Kevin Durant (tibial bruise, knee) out.  

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors lead the season series at 2-1 with a 109-86 victory at Oracle Arena. Golden State holds a 199-186 lead over the Kings all-time and a 71-65 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTABLE

“I’m trying to kill ‘em, plain and simple. Things didn’t go well there. They’re the enemy now, so we’re trying to kill ‘em - beat them by 50.” -Matt Barnes on his approach against his former team

 

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.