• Offensive rebounds and second chance points were the deciding factor for the Nuggets 96-79 win over the Kings.

    Dave Joerger looked all the way down his bench for an answer to the lack of energy, but found none as the altitude was too much for the jet lagged Kings who dropped their second game of the season.

    Frank Mason, Malachi Richardson and Jakarr Sampson got some minutes as Joerger went deep into his bench, but it was too little, too late.

    Mason and Sampson both scored their first buckets of the year; Mason’s on a basket in the paint and Sampson on an emphatic put back dunk.

    Mason finished the game with seven points in 17 minutes of action, but shot just 2-of-9.

    The Kings were out-rebounded, out-hustled and possibly out-lucked as some bounces didn’t go for Sacramento the way they did for Denver.

    De’Aaron Fox had himself another solid outing as he finished with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Fox was able to a provide spark for the Kings each time he entered the game, but still finished with a +/- of minus-six. Fox was one of only three Kings players to finish in double digits. The others being Skal Labissiere with 13 points and Zach Randolph with 11.

    Aside from Randolph, no other starter for the Kings had more than five points as the starting unit shot a combined 10-of-38.

    Additionally, Labissiere was the only King to finish with a positive +/- of plus-five.

    Buddy Hield went just 1-of-10 for the Kings, but it wasn’t just Hield that struggled, as the Kings went through multiple droughts that cost them.

    The Kings shot just 37 percent from the field and had just 15 assists, along with 14 turnovers.

    A deciding factor in the contest was the battle in the paint. The Nuggets out-rebounded the Kings 58-to-39 and scored 52 points in the paint, as opposed to 36 for Sacramento.

    The Nuggets finished with just six more offensive rebounds than the Kings, but with each second chance, the Kings’ hopes became a little more bleak.

    While the Nuggets did have three more turnovers than the Kings, Sacramento wasn’t able to make them pay as they were outscored in points off turnovers 19-to-13.

    The Kings never found a rhythm and after holding the lead to end the first quarter, the Kings were outscored 79-to-61 for the remainder of the game.

    Joerger attempted to stifle the Nuggets with different lineups, even running with Fox, Mason and George Hill all on the floor at the same time at one point, but the Nuggets kept them at bay for all of the second half.

    Sacramento wraps up their three-game road trip in Phoenix against the Suns on Monday before heading home for a Thursday match-up against DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans.

    NOTABLE PERFORMANCES:

    De’Aaron Fox – 18 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST (8-of-13 FG).

    Skal Labissiere – 13 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST (6-of-12 FG).

    Zach Randolph – 11 PTS, 9 REB (5-of-13 FG).

Fantasy News

  • Pau Gasol - C/F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Pau Gasol made it official by confirming that he won’t be playing for Spain at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup due to his foot fracture.

    “I would have loved playing with Spain, with my teammates. It has been always important playing for my National Team”, Gasol said. The big man added that he would love to end his international career by playing in the Olympics in Tokyo but after finishing the worst statistical season of his NBA career we have to wonder whether injuries will allow him to continue competing at the highest level.

    Source: ACB

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that Kyrie Irving is open to joining the Lakers but they aren’t as high on his list as a few other teams.

    Irving will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and he has the Celtics, the Knicks and the Nets all ahead of the Lakers as potential destinations. Joining the Lakers would mean reuniting with LeBron James, his former teammate with the Cavs. Kyrie and LeBron overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors to win the championship in 2016 but their relationship went south leading to Irving’s trade to the Celtics last year.

    Source: ESPN

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Warriors star Kevin Durant has not made a decision on where he’s taking his talents next season, according to his manager Rich Kleiman.

    “Kevin is 100 percent undecided,” Kleiman told the Wall Street Journal. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” KD has strongly been linked to the Knicks, while the Clippers and the Nets seem to have increased their odds as well, but it’s hard to know what Durant really has in his mind.

    Source: Wall Street Journal

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    FS1’s Chris Broussard suggested that the Nets could be a dark horse when it comes to landing Anthony Davis.

    Brooklyn could offer the Pelicans a package that includes D’Angelo Russell (as part of a sign-and-trade), big man Jarrett Allen and their two first-round picks in the June 20 NBA Draft, the No. 17 and No. 27 overall selections. The Nets’ hope is to bring both AD and free agent-to-be Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn as Sean Marks seems determined to build a contender. AD and his agent Rich Paul are expected to meet with David Griffin in Los Angeles soon, so we should know more about the All-Star’s’ future once this meeting finally takes place.

    Source: FOX Sports

  • Tobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Keith Pompey of the Phily Inquirer is reporting that Tobias Harris will be on the radar of at least five teams, including the Kings, the Mavs, the Jazz, the Nets and the Pacers, all of which have room to add a maximum-salary free agent.

    The Sixers will have a full plate this offseason as they have three starters headed toward unrestricted free agency this summer in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Philadelphia owns Harris’ Bird rights, meaning they can offer him the most-lucrative deal, a five-year, $188 million pact while the most another team could offer would be a four-year deal at $141 million. Harris will soon be turning 27 and entering his prime and his services will absolutely be in demand even thought he averaged just 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 12 playoff games this year.

    Source: Phily Inquirer

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Marc Stein of the New York Times wrote on his newsletter on Tuesday that the Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Kevin Durant away from the Warriors.

    KD is expected to enter free agency this offseason by declining his $31.5 million option for 2019-20. The 30-year-old All-Star will be in high demand once he hits the open market, and the Knicks, the Nets and the Clippers all have more than $50 million in practical cap space this summer. Durant will likely consider how well each team is set up for success, which would seem to favor the Clippers and the Nets, both of whom made the playoffs last season. Meanwhile, Warriors owner Joe Lacob remains confident about the team re-signing KD and Klay Thompson this summer.

    Source: New York Times

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry went for 25 points (6-of-11 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), five rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers and just one turnover in 34 minutes in Tuesday's 120-102 win over the Bucks.

    Lowry was feeling it and getting wherever he wanted most of the night. He's had a couple huge games in this series now and the Raptors will likely need another one if they're going to pull out a series win. Their next shot at the Bucks will come in Thursday night's Game 5 in Milwaukee.

  • Serge Ibaka - F/C - Toronto Raptors

    Serge Ibaka double-doubled with 17 points (7-of-12 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs) and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes on Tuesday as the Raptors evened the series with a Game 4 home victory over the Bucks.

    Ibaka provided some energy with some early dunks in traffic. This was his best game of the series by far, and it'll be interesting to see how the Bucks try to slow the Raptor's big men in Game 5 on Thursday.

  • Marc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol had a great all-around performance with 17 points (6-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), five rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two blocks, three treys, zero turnovers and some excellent defense over 31 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Bucks.

    Gasol looked great out there, making life in the lane tough for Giannis Antetokounmpo and causing Bucks turnovers on the perimeter. That's two straight quality performances from Gasol after two duds to begin the series. We'll see if he can keep it up as the Raptors return to Milwaukee on Thursday night.

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard toughed out 19 points on 13 shots in Tuesday's Game 4 win over the Bucks, adding seven rebounds, one assist, four steals, two blocks and a three in 34 minutes.

    Leonard looked stiff and cautious for much of this game, though he still hit 6-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Kawhi said that he feels good in response to a question about fatigue and his apparent leg injury. He has until Thursday night to recover a bit, but the Raptors will need as much of him as they can get as the series returns to Milwaukee.

    Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter