• The Kings headed to Cleveland Wednesday night looking to upset LeBron James and the Cavaliers, but the team was ultimately unable to finish off the upset in a 101-95 loss.

    The Kings struggled to get much going early on, but strong defense helped the team finish the first quarter on top. The second quarter started off rocky, but Sacramento was finally able to click offensively to finish out the half and took a 57-48 lead.

    The team was able to maintain their strong play early in the third, but a strong quarter from LeBron James brought the Cavaliers right back into it.  The Cavalier’s and Kings kept going back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, but the Cavalier’s were able to execute late to win it.

    The Kings will now look to turn things around Friday in a rematch against DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.

    NOTES FROM THE GAME:

    • JaKarr Sampson was added to the starting lineup at center as a replacement for the injured Willie Cauley-Stein, and while he didn’t take many shots he was able to make a big impact in just under 33 minutes. Sampson’s energy was a big boost on the boards, which resulted in him grabbing 16 rebounds overall, and his aggressiveness also helped solidify the defense. Sampson isn’t likely to stay in the starting lineup for very long, but if he can continue to play at this level he should be able to earn a regular spot in the rotation.
    • Buddy Hield had one of his better games of the season scoring 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting, but his defensive performance may have been even more impressive, finishing the game with three steals and a block despite playing just 25 minutes.  Hield was known as a great offensive talent heading into the season, but his defense was still a work-in-progress.  Hield has been much more effective on that end of the floor this season, and this game was another example of that.
    • Frank Mason had another great game off the bench, finishing with 15 points on only six shots in just under 20 minutes of play.  Mason looked very comfortable on offense against Cleveland and was able to finish with 10 of the team’s 13 attempts from the free throw line.  Mason’s recent play has earned a regular spot in the team’s rotation, and games like this should help him earn an even larger role.
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