• The 2017-18 season for the Kings will be judged on the young player’s development rather than the team’s win total, but after eight straight losses the team desperately needed to turn things around. Sacramento managed to do both Tuesday night in a 105-99 win over the Magic.

    The Kings ended up sitting three of their veterans on the second night of a back-to-back, but the team was lucky to have Garrett Temple active against the Magic. Temple hasn’t enjoyed the success he did last season in Sacramento, but he was clearly the top player for the Kings in the win. Temple scored a career-high 34 points, and did so while shooting just 17 shots. Temple did a great job of not forcing anything offensively and also managed to control the pace while he was on the floor.

    The Kings were able to finish the first quarter with a small lead, but there was some reason to be concerned. Evan Fournier was able to get whatever he wanted to open the game, scoring 12 points in the first quarter alone and 16 points in the opening half. Fournier isn’t the most athletic player, but he does have a high skill level that enables him to find his way into the paint as well as score from the perimeter.

    For Aaron Gordon, a player that tends to use his size and athleticism to do his damage, the first half was not all positive. Gordon was able to make his presence felt on the defensive end of the floor, but he was out of control on a regular basis and the Kings did a good job of making him pay for it. Gordon finished the first half with five turnovers.

    Temple may have been the player of the game against the Magic, but Willie Cauley-Stein made a sizeable impact as well, bouncing back nicely after a tough game Monday night in Charlotte. He finished with a much more efficient line offensively after going 5-for-20 the night before, but the bigger surprise was his activity on defense. Cauley-Stein hasn’t been able to make much of an impact as a rim protector this season, but tonight was a different story. Cauley-Stein finished with five blocks, and generally did a good job of making his presence felt in the paint like he did on the play below:

     

    The Kings had some work to do heading into the fourth, but Temple’s 19 points in the final quarter sealed the deal for Sacramento. Sacramento can breathe easy knowing that they were able to put an end to their losing streak, but the team will need to prepare for a much tougher game Thursday night in Miami.

    GAME NOTES

    • The choice to start Cauley-Stein at power forward was mildly surprising, but Joerger’s decision to start Skal Labissiere at center was interesting to say the least. He did well as the team’s starting center, and his skill set may make that his best fit moving forward. Labissiere is probably the team’s best rim-protector at this point, and he’s able to cause problems on both ends of the floor when he gets into the paint. He will need to find a way to defends larger centers to stay at the position long term, but the potential is there for him to do it.
    • De’Aaron Fox exited early with abdominal tightness, and while he was originally listed as questionable it was later announced that he would not return. It is unclear if this will have any long-term impact on his availability.
    • Malachi Richardson’s stat line wouldn’t lead you to believe that he had much of an impact, but he really made his presence felt on defense when he was on the court. Richardson does a great job staying in front of his man defensively and he’s also one of the better off-ball defenders on the roster.

      Richardson’s ceiling may not compare to some of the other young players on the roster, but his defensive versatility and shooting could open up minutes for him in the second half of the season.

Fantasy News

  • Hamidou Diallo
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo (left knee sprain) is out for Monday's game against the Clippers.

    Diallo will be re-evaluated prior to Tuesday's game against the Lakers. Terrence Ferguson will get another start in his stead.

    Source: Erik Horne on Twitter

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    OG Anunoby went to the locker room after apparently catching an elbow in the eye on Monday, but he is expected to return.

    Anunoby has a career-high 24 points through three quarters and the Raptors lead is big. He may not be needed, but Anunoby would likely welcome the chance to add onto his big game.

    Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter

  • Josh Hart
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Josh Hart (left ankle sprain) will miss Tuesday's game against the Blazers.

    Hart will miss a fourth straight game. The Pelicans are missing quite a few players right now, so most players originally on the second unit are getting big minutes. E'Twaun Moore is the most direct beneficiary of Hart's absence.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Patrick Beverley
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverley (sore left calf) will play vs. the Thunder on Monday night.

    Beverley missed the past two games, but he won't have a minutes limit tonight. Deploy him as you normally would. Kawhi Leonard is once again out tonight, so there may be some extra shots for Beverley as well.

    Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter

  • Ricky Rubio
    PG, Phoenix Suns

    Update: Ricky Rubio (back spasms) is now doubtful to play on Monday.

    This came out of nowhere. Rubio could play but he won't be in there to start the game. Jevon Carter will start in Rubio's place. Carter could be a worthwhile spot-starter, especially if you're looking for steals.

    Source: Duane Rankin on Twitter

  • Hamidou Diallo
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo (left knee sprain) is listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Clippers.

    We should know his status for tonight shortly. Diallo missed the previous game and prior to that, he'd been getting solid minutes but the only thing of note that he'd been providing was steals.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Shabazz Napier
    PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) is listed as out for Monday's game vs. the Jazz.

    Napier will miss his eighth straight game. Having been first listed as doubtful for tonight, we still might not see him for a few games.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Buddy Hield
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    The NBA has fined Buddy Hield $25,000 for punting the ball into stands at the conclusion of the Kings win over the Celtics on Sunday.

    At least it wasn't a suspension of any sort. Hield is carrying some extra weight with De'Aaron Fox out for a while. He should have more than a few games worth celebrating in that span.

    Source: James Ham on Twitter

  • Josh Okogie
    SG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Josh Okogie will play on Monday despite some prior left knee soreness.

    Okogie was able to participate in shootaround, so this isn't too surprising. The move diminishes the values of Jarrett Culver and Jake Layman. Okogie can contribute steals but has shot poorly from long range this season.

    Source: Chris Hine on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out of Monday's game due to a left knee contusion.

    Leonard hasn't played since Wednesday. Doc Rivers expected him to participate in this one, but is no longer be the case. Paul George could have another big game in his absence.

    Source: Ramona Shelburne on Twitter