• The Kings were facing an uphill battle trying to snap a 17-year losing streak in Miami, but the team’s strongest defensive performance of the year propelled them to a 89-88 victory.

    Sacramento started the game with a great energy on the defensive end of floor and held the Heat to just 40% shooting in the opening half.  The team still gave up more than a few open looks from behind the arc, but they did a much better job of denying easy shots in the paint.  The Kings were able to bother most of the Heat roster early on, but Goran Dragic was a clear exception.  Dragic finished the first half with 16 points on just nine shots as the Kings seemed to have no answer for him.

    On the other end of the floor the Kings struggled to get into a rhythm, but Buddy Hield kept the team competitive with 15 points in the first two quarters.  Hield was aggressive looking for his shot off the bench and was the clear go-to option for the Kings early on.

    The Kings had struggled to separate early in the game, but a hot start to the third quarter from De’Aaon Fox allowed the Kings to open up a eight point lead, their largest to that point. Sacramento had managed to swing the momentum in their favor, but some sloppy defense allowed Miami to tie the game at 64 with less than three minutes left in the third.  The Kings appeared to be taking control of the game again heading into the fourth, but Wayne Ellington caught fire and kept Miami in front.

    The Kings opened up the fourth quarter with their coldest stretch of the game and allowed the Heat to open up an 11-point lead.    The defense wasn’t great to start the fourth, but the much bigger issue was the team’s careless play on offense.  The Kings committed four turnovers in the first six minutes of the quarter and appeared to be heading toward another tough loss.

    Sacramento regained their focus in the last six minutes and were able to put themselves in a position to win down by just one point with just 21.1 seconds to go.  The Kings elected to have Bogdan Bogdanovic take the final shot, but it was Fox that gave the team an 89-88 lead with just 3.3 seconds left on a put-back dunk.

    The Kings then finished with a great defensive possession to seal the win.

    Sacramento appears to be recovering after a month long slump sent them to the bottom of the Western Conference, but a game against the Spurs in San Antonio Saturday night still figures to be quite a challenge for the young team.

    GAME NOTES

    • Justin Jackson received his seventh start of the season and he certainly did not disappoint.  Jackson was aggressive looking for his shot, but even more impressive was his ability on the defensive end of the floor.  Jackson doesn’t have elite athleticism, but he can still cause problems on the perimeter with his length:


      Jackson hasn’t been able to find much traction this season, but if he can string together a few more games like this, he should be able to carve out a decent role for himself in the second half.
    • De’Aaron Fox’ speed makes him a threat to blow by just about any defender, but he will be able to take an even bigger step forward developmentally if he’s able to expand his game off the dribble.  Fox has shown flashes with his handle this season, but plays like the one below show how dangerous he could be as he gets more comfortable on offense:
    • The Kings’ field goal percentage (46.9%) and lack of turnovers (13) were positives for the team offensively, but they struggled to do much damage at the free throw line (8-for-14) or from behind the arc (5-for-12).  Their defense was able to keep them in the game tonight, but the team’s inability to break down opposing defenses puts a ceiling on their offense.

Fantasy News

  • Romeo Langford
    SG, Boston Celtics

    Romeo Langford (illness) is probable for Monday's game.

    Langford has only seen action in three games this season but may come into minutes with Gordon Hayward out. He's someone to monitor in 20-team leagues and is already on the dynasty radar.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Jeremy Lamb
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Jeremy Lamb (sprained left ankle) was not able to practice on Monday.

    Lamb has been out for about a week now with no real signs of progress reported publicly. Aaron Holiday will continue to start, with minutes also opening up for TJ McConnell, Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott. There's no great pickup here in standard formats, but McConnell is the option for dimes, McDermott has the best scoring upside, Justin Holiday is the best bet for steals and threes, while Aaron offers the most balance as the player who is likely to chip in across the board.

    Source: Nathan Brown on Twitter

  • Myles Turner
    C, Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner (right ankle sprain) went through drills in Monday's practice but didn't "go live."

    It means that Turner didn't complete a full practice and skipped the full-contact stuff, but he may still be able to play tomorrow if he responds well to today's work. A return looks to be coming soon, which will bump JaKarr Sampson from the starting five.

    Source: Nathan Brown on Twitter

  • Goga Bitadze
    C, Indiana Pacers

    Goga Bitadze (concussion) was unable to practice on Monday.

    It's safe to rule Bitadze out of Indiana's next game, and there's no timetable for his return. While it'd be great to hold onto the talented rookie so we can see what his minutes look like when Myles Turner is also healthy, he's getting harder to hang onto if you don't have an open IR spot.

    Source: Nathan Brown on Twitter

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green (sprained left index finger) says he'll play on Monday against the Jazz.

    Green missed all of last week with the injury but is returning relatively quickly considering initial reports had him potentially missing more time than that. Get him back into all lineups as one of the few bankable players left on the Warriors. It'll be interesting to see how his return affects Eric Paschall.

    Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter

  • Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Otto Porter (left foot sprain) will not play on Tuesday.

    Porter was last spotted using crutches to get around and the fact that he's being ruled out a day ahead of time doesn't bode well for a speedy return. He remains worth holding onto in all formats, despite his slow start to the year. Chandler Hutchison will continue to start in his absence.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Lauri Markkanen (sore oblique) sat out Monday's practice but will be good to go on Tuesday against the Knicks.

    Markkanen dealt with a vague "side" injury earlier in the year but didn't miss any time, so it sounds like something he'll just have to manage. Keep him in your lineups, as always.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Derrick Jones Jr.
    SF, Miami Heat

    Derrick Jones Jr. (hip) will remain sidelined on Tuesday.

    Jones sat out Friday's game with a groin strain and had just returned from an absence the day prior, so we're guessing the diagnosis is moving over from groin to hip. He's a deep-league play with standard-league upside, though the injuries have really put him behind the eight ball so far.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter

  • Kelly Olynyk
    C, Miami Heat

    Kelly Olynyk (knee) is questionable to play on Tuesday against the Pistons.

    There aren't any more specifics out there at the moment but it's concerning since a left knee injury kept Olynyk out for much of the offseason. The big man is sitting around top-180 value right now and should be able to climb his way into the top-125 over time, but he's not currently a must-own player.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter

  • Justise Winslow
    SF, Miami Heat

    Justise Winslow (concussion) will miss Tuesday's game.

    Winslow has been in concussion protocol since last week and there's no timetable for his return. As a late-round player when all the stars align, Winslow can be dropped in most 12-team formats — he's outside the top-200 in 9-cat leagues and is only a top-145 guy in 8-cat.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter