With Tyreke back in fold, Kings look to double up on Magic

evans_tyreke_kings.jpg

With Tyreke back in fold, Kings look to double up on Magic

Programming note: Magic-Kings coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet California at 7 p.m. Territory restrictions apply.

With Tyreke Evans back in the lineup and getting the job done from 3-point range, the Sacramento Kings just returned to the win column.

Orlando Magic rookie coach Jacque Vaughn knows that Evans and the Kings are improving from beyond the arc, but he's more concerned about stopping them from getting into the paint.

Sacramento will try to win two in a row for just the second time this season Friday night when the Magic look to bounce back from one of the worst 3-point shooting efforts in franchise history.

After missing the previous two contests with a bruised left knee, Evans hit two late 3s and finished with 23 points Wednesday as the Kings ended a three-game slide with a 107-100 home victory over Toronto.

The fourth-year guard has never been known for his outside touch - he's a career 25.8 percent 3-point shooter - but he's 7 for 15 from beyond the arc while averaging 20.3 points in his last seven games.

"I'm happy for (Evans), especially on his outside shooting," said center DeMarcus Cousins, who finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday. "If Tyreke gets confidence in that shot he's going to be an incredible player."

Getting to the basket with more regularity could also help Evans raise his career-worst 15.5 scoring average. He went to the foul line a season-high 12 times Wednesday - hitting seven - as Sacramento (5-12) shot a season-high 34 free throws.

The Kings, 5-2 when they take 22 or more foul shots, also extended their streak of games with six or more 3s to nine.

Vaughn, though, is focused on protecting the lane, as Sacramento scored 56 points in the paint against the Raptors.

"Our ability to contain penetration - it boils down to that," Vaughn said. "They have guys who can, at the end of the day, break you down one-on-one and score the basketball, whether it's Aaron Brooks, Tyreke Evans, you can go down the line, John Salmons and even Cousins at the center position doing it one-on-one."

The Magic (7-11) don't have the same type of athletes on their team, and the result is a league-low 17.0 free throws per game.

Orlando has taken a different offensive approach under Vaughn, shooting 16.1 3-pointers per game compared to a league-high 27.0 a season ago, but the team's success still has much to do with its ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.

The Magic are 0-8 when hitting four or fewer 3s after missing 14 of 15 in Wednesday's 87-81 loss at Utah.

It was the lowest 3-point percentage ever by Orlando when it had at least 15 attempts. The team opened its five game trip by hitting 8-of-23 3s against both the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State in a pair of wins.

The Magic have won two straight and seven of eight in this series, averaging 112.0 points during that stretch.

Joerger: Rebuilding Kings hope to make the playoffs in...

Joerger: Rebuilding Kings hope to make the playoffs in...

The Kings' playoff drought is at 11 years and according to head coach Dave Joerger, it's going to last a few more years.

Speaking on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Tuesday, Joerger was asked about the differences between his coaching gigs with Sacramento and Memphis, and outlined the Kings' timeline for reaching the postseason.

"It's different. It's been a great learning experience for me. It's going to be an interesting process. You know, three years from now we hope to be in the playoffs. And so how do we do that? We were just talking about Memphis and it's the same thing. So if you're management, there's a couple times a year, two or three times that are really hot. Trade deadline, draft, free agency, boom, boom, boom. We're in Memphis sitting there getting 50 wins a year. Okay, maybe the trade deadline came and went, maybe we got a guy, maybe not, not too stressful. Get the 23rd, 24th pick in the draft," Joerger said.

"It's different now. In this situation, it's a higher pick, now free agency has a little bit more focus on it. So how we execute in free agency, how we execute our draft picks and how we execute at the trade deadline as this thing builds, you try to go too fast, you can make mistakes. But I think slow and steady wins the race," Joerger concluded.

So Kings fans can look forward to the 2019-20 season when the team returns to the playoffs.

Joerger is at the helm of a Kings team that is in full rebuild mode. The team traded center DeMarcus Cousins during the All-Star break and turned the team over to several first and second-year players. They posted a 32-50 record during the 2016-17 season, good for a third-place finish in the Pacific Division.

The Kings hold the No. 5, 10 and 34 picks in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft and will add to their stable of young players.

 

Kings to host six players in first 2017 Pre-Draft workout

Kings to host six players in first 2017 Pre-Draft workout

With the NBA Draft Lottery in the books, the Kings can now start hosting players and will bring in six prospects for a workout on Thursday, May 18.

Here are the six players that will participate in the workout in Sacramento.

Wesley Iwundu (G – 6’7” 205 lbs.) Kansas State
Brynton Lemar (G – 6’4” 195 lbs.) UC Davis
Landen Lucas (C – 6’10” 240 lbs.) Kansas
Eric Mika (C – 6’10” 233 lbs.) BYU 
Naz Mitrou-Long (G – 6’4” 203 lbs.) Iowa State
Tai Webster (G – 6’4” 188 lbs.) Nebraska

The Kings hold the No. 5, 10 and 34 picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday, June 22.