Instant Replay: Kings come up short in battle with Lakers

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Instant Replay: Kings come up short in battle with Lakers

BOX SCORE

It looked like a rookie/sophomore game Friday night at Staples Center as the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers faced off for the last time in the 2016-17 season. It was a spirited affair, but in the end, the Lakers found a way to win on their home floor, coming away with the 98-94 victory.

Julius Randle used his strength advantage to abuse the Kings in the post. The third-year big finished the night with 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting and added six rebounds for the Lakers. 

No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, Brandon Ingram, shook off a slow start to score 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting. Jordan Clarkson added 12 points and six assists and former King Thomas Robinson chipped nine points and five rebounds as the Lakers pulled away late.

Welcome to Tinseltown Mr. Cauley-Stein. Sacramento’s second-year big put on a show for the Kings, playing tremendous basketball on both sides of the court. The 7-foot center finished the night with 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes of action.

Rookie Skal Labissiere looked like he was trying out for the slam dunk contest. The smooth shooting big score 19 points on 8-for-13 from the floor and added three rebounds and two blocks in the loss.

Darren Collison started after sitting the previous game. The veteran point guard shot 5-for-7 from the field on his way to 15 points and a game-high 10 assists. 

Buddy Hield struggled from the field early, but still managed to drop in 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Georgios Papagiannis added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Ben McLemore went for nine off the bench as the Kings moved to 31-48 on the season.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Labissiere continues to show he’s ready for the NBA stardom. The 21-year-old forward has big league potential. 

TURNING POINT

The battle of NBA babies came down to wire. Los Angeles went for the win late, gaining the lead in the final three minutes and holding on for their 24th victory of the season. Larry Nance Jr. hit a free throw to give LA the two-point lead with five seconds remaining and the Kings couldn’t come up with the play to even the score late.

INJURY UPDATE 

Kosta Koufos sat for his fifth straight game for planned rest. Ty Lawson and Garrett Temple sat as well as the Kings’ season winds down. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

The Kings return home following the game where they’ll face off with MVP candidate James Harden and the high-scoring Houston Rockets Sunday afternoon at Golden 1 Center. 

Instant Replay: Shorthanded Kings persevere, hold off Mavericks for win

Instant Replay: Shorthanded Kings persevere, hold off Mavericks for win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- In a battle of two-shorthanded teams, the Sacramento Kings figured out a way to grind out a win. Riding the hot shooting of Ben McLemore and a huge rebounding night from Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento ran over the Dallas Mavericks late to come away with the 98-87 victory.

McLemore got hot in the second half to finish the night with 22 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from long range.

With nearly half the team sitting out, the youth movement was on full display. Center Cauley-Stein attacked former college teammate Nerlens Noel, finishing the night with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Langston Galloway picked up his first start as a member of the Kings and he went off. The third-year guard posted 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting and added seven rebounds.

Rookie big Georgios Papagiannis is developing with each minute he sees on the floor. The 19-year-old giant sets a mean screen to clear space for his perimeter shooters. On the offensive end, he managed to put up 13 points and he added five rebounds off Dave Joerger’s bench.

Buddy Hield hit 4-for-7 from long range to score 16 points and he chipped in four rebounds and Skal Labissiere shook off a slow start to score 11 points and grab seven rebounds.  

With most of Dallas’ starters sitting out the night, Harrison Barnes had plenty of opportunities to shine. The first-year Mav scored 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting, but sat late as the Mavericks turned to their bench.

Nicolas Brussino scored 13 points grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists. Dwight Powell finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and veteran guard J.J. Barea hit 3-for-5 from long range on his way to nine points and four assists.

Noel played well against Cauley-Stein early, scoring nine points on 3-for-4 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking two shots in 20 minutes of action.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

McLemore couldn’t miss in the second half. His five 3-pointers swung the balance of this game.

TURNING POINT

Dallas turned away from the veterans in the fourth and their inexperienced bench fell apart. Sacramento kept playing to come away with their 31st win of the season.

INJURY UPDATE

Kosta Koufos sat for his fourth straight game for planned rest. Arron Afflalo missed the game with a lower back strain and Anthony Tolliver was out of action due to a right hip strain. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings travel to Los Angeles where the 22-win Lakers will host them Friday evening at Staples Center.

Buddy Hield named Western Conference Rookie of the Month

Buddy Hield named Western Conference Rookie of the Month

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in March, the NBA announced today.

Acquired by Sacramento in a trade on February 19, the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft averaged 14.1 points (.483 FG%, .425 3pt%, .840 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.93 steals in 16 March appearances (12 starts), including career-highs with 22 points (7-14 FG, 4-9 3pt, 4-4), eight rebounds and seven assists at Golden State (3/24). The former Oklahoma Sooner registered 10-plus points in 14 of the Kings 16 games in March while posting 20 or more points on two occasions. 

The 6-4 guard and Freeport, Bahamas native ranks fourth among all rookies this season in scoring, seventh in field goal percentage and minutes played and fifth in 3-point percentage. He has made at least three-pointers in 19 contests and reached double-figures in scoring on 40 occasions. The accolade marks Hield’s second Rookie of the Month award this season after earning December honors as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.         

Hield is the sixth Kings player to earn Rookie of the Month honors and first since Ben McLemore won the award in November of 2013. 

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