• A double-digit lead and a 70-point first half wasn’t enough for the Kings as they dropped their third straight game.

    The Pelicans took advantage of a cold Sacramento second half to win 114-106.

    After the offense shot 56 percent in the first half, they lost heat in the second as they shot just 35 percent from then on.

    It didn’t help that the Pelicans, playing without their star big man Anthony Davis still had a three-time All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins to look to. And Cousins feasted on a smorgasbord of Kings’ big men as he dropped 41 points, 23 rebounds and six assists in his long-anticipated return to Sacramento.

    Fans who gave the once Sacramento-franchise player a standing ovation had to witness Cousins and his team dismantle an inept defense for the latter 24 minutes of the game.

    The Kings led 48-29 with 9:22 left in the second quarter before being outscored 85-to-58 to close out the contest.

    In the first half Sacramento could do no wrong as they moved the ball well and found the easy bucket. Their aforementioned field goal percentage and 19 assists to seven turnovers were an obvious sign of that.

    However, in the second half, it was a different story. The Kings had just six assists to an even six turnovers.

    Coach Dave Joerger had the tough assignment of figuring out a rotation to slow down the Pelicans offense in the secondd half, but he never did find the answer.

    After trying various combos, Joerger went to the vets to close out the game, but a lack of a closer did the Kings in as the ball was passed around with little off-ball movement to show for it which led to contested, forced jumpers.

    Rookie De’Aaron Fox had 14 points on 13 shots as he shot 30 percent for the game. Skal Labissiere finished with 11 points in just 15 minutes off the bench as well.┬áBut Labissiere wasn’t able to crack the court much in the second half as Joerger went to Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein.

    In addition to the defensive struggles the Kings lost their long ball in the second half. After going 6-of-12 in the first, the team made just one of eight attempts in the second.

    An implosion of this magnitude shouldn’t come as much of a surprise with a team as young as the Kings, but what is worrisome is the lack of closing out games. The Kings looked like a team down double digits when there were still a couple minutes to play and just a points to make up.

    Lucky for the team, they stay home for their next game as they take on the Wizards on Sunday.

    NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

    Skal Labissiere – 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 BLK (4-of-6 FG)

    As mentioned, Labissiere found himself on the bench when the dust settled and the Kings headed to the locker room. He had a plus-1 +/- but wasn’t given much of an opportunity in his limited minutes.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic – 10 PTS, 4 AST (4-of-7 FG)

    Not only did Bogdanovic hit a clutch couple of shots and nice passes, but he showed the most confidence he had shown since joining the Kings. Although he is 25, he’s still just a rookie in a fast-paced league that shows little mercy on rookies and he held his own.

Fantasy News

  • Austin Rivers - G - Houston Rockets

    Austin Rivers (sore right elbow) is being listed as probable for Friday's tilt vs. the Lakers.

    Rivers has taken a step back ever since Chris Paul came back from his injury and has been posting value outside the top-200. As long as the Rockets' starting guards are healthy, Rivers can be left on the wire.

    Source: Julian Andrews on Twitter

  • Tyus Jones - G - Minnesota Timberwolves

    Tyus Jones, who is expected to practice on Thursday, says that he won't have restrictions once he's back, which could be on Friday vs. the Knicks.

    Jones' return is something to watch especially by managers in deep leagues. He's been known to be a viable stream target for steals. That said, as long as Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are healthy, Jones is not an option in standard leagues.

    Source: Julian Andrews on Twitter

  • Trey Lyles - F - Denver Nuggets

    Trey Lyles hobbled off the court during the Nuggets' practice on Wednesday, so consider him questionable for Friday's game vs. the Mavs.

    Lyles has not held much value while Paul Millsap is healthy and active and this news does not help his short-term outlook. You can consider dropping him in deep leagues for a more promising FA.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter

  • Gary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets

    Gary Harris, who has missed the Nuggets' last seven games due to a right adductor strain, is available to play vs. the Mavs on Friday.

    Harris has had a rocky 2018-19 season to say the least, dealing with an assortment of injuries that have kept him off the floor for multiple games. Hopefully, he can finally stay healthy for the second half of the season. He has a top-30 upside when at 100 percent health, so feel free to slot him in your active lineups.

    Source: Christian Clark on Twitter

  • Emanuel Terry - PF - Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed undrafted D2 All-American forward Emanuel Terry to a 10-day contract.

    Terry played in nine games for the Heat's G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season and posted averages of 16.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He's currently not someone worth picking up in fantasy leagues.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter

  • Troy Brown Jr. - F - Washington Wizards

    According to Candace Buckner, Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr., who missed the last several games due to an ankle injury, has been looking "fresh and spry" while going through a shooting drill.

    Brown has not made much of an impact in fantasy this season, but with the Wizards out of the playoff race, we could see Brown get some run. He's worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues for now.

    Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Coach David Fizdale said that he's open to Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) and Dennis Smith Jr. together in the backcourt.

    This would make for an interesting albeit the most inefficient scoring backcourt in the league. Even if Mudiay does share the floor with DSJ, he's not going to bring enough fantasy juice to worth an add outside of very deep leagues.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Robin Lopez - C - Chicago Bulls

    Coach Jim Boylen said "We have not discussed a diminished role for him at all" in reference to Robin Lopez, who was shut own post-ASB last season.

    Lopez looks like he'll be sticking it out with the rest of the Bulls starters until further notice. He's good for some points and boards with reasonable field goal shooting but that's about it. As long as you're not expecting to be wowed, Ro-Lo is a decent pickup in 16-team leagues or deeper. Cristiano Felicio is a drop as he won't hold value while Lopez is in play.

    Source: KC Johnson on Twitter

  • Kris Dunn - G - Chicago Bulls

    Kris Dunn (back contusion) is on track to play on Friday after going through Wednesday's practice.

    Dunn missed the last game before the All-Star break but wasn't expected to miss any further time. Ryan Arcidiacono will move back to a bench role going forward.

    Source: Mike McGraw on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) will return to the lineup on Friday against the Wolves.

    Mudiay won't be usurping Dennis Smith Jr.'s starting role, so he'll likely have to settle for battling with Frank Ntilikina for backup minutes. He's safe to cut in the vast majority of fantasy leagues.

    Source: Zach Braziller on Twitter