Fox and Hield carry Kings to win over Cavaliers
CLEVELAND — De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield turned in impressive performances for the Sacramento Kings Friday in a 129-110 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Good thing, too, because the Kings’ defense was uninspired and their bench offered very little in terms of production until late in the fourth quarter.
Fox and Hield came out gunning, combining for 13 points in the first 6:10 to help the Kings (13-11) race out to a 24-9 lead in the opening period. The Cavaliers (5-20) battled back and took the lead on a couple of occasions in the second and third quarters, but Fox and Hield had an answer every time Cleveland made a charge.
Fox finished with 30 points and 12 assists. He made 12 of 16 field-goal attempts and 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
He was one point shy of his career high for scoring when he left the game for good with 6:22 to play in the fourth quarter and his team leading 113-95. Fox joined James Harden, Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday as the only players to have two games with at least 30 points and 10 assists this season.
Hield scored 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.
Iman Shumpert enjoyed a triumphant if unspectacular return to Cleveland, where he spent parts of four seasons and played a key role in helping the “Believeland” Cavaliers win the first NBA championship in franchise history in 2016.
Shumpert appeared in 54 games that season, averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. In 2016-17, Shumpert started 31 of his 76 games for Cleveland, posting 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Shumpert has emerged as a leader this season in Sacramento on and off the court, where he has started 19 of the 21 games in which he has played, averaging 9.4 points and 3.2 rebounds. He has also been the team’s best defender, often drawing difficult assignments against the opposition’s most dangerous wing player.
“He’s been good,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “(He) gives you a guy to put on somebody. It’s a tough matchup for him every single night, and a lot of times he might be at a height difference, but he goes out and fights like crazy and leads with his professionalism.”
Shumpert finished with six points and four rebounds Friday.
LeBron James is long gone and Kevin Love has been out of the lineup since late October with a toe injury. Still, it’s stunning to see how fast the Cavaliers have fallen to the depths of the Eastern Conference after reaching the NBA Finals each of the past four years.
The Cavs might have gone from bad to worse — at least in the short term — shortly before tipoff Friday night when they traded away former Kings point guard George Hill and Sam Dekker in a reported three-team deal
involving the Washington Wizards. In return, Cleveland received Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson and two future draft picks.
The Cavaliers acquired Hill last season in the trade that sent Shumpert to Sacramento. Hill averaged 10.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 43 games for the Kings.
Warriors use three-pointers to top Bucks
MILWAUKEE — The Golden State Warriors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 105-95, for a three-game winning streak after losing the first two in a five-game trip.
The Warriors entered Friday's game ranked 20th out of 30 NBA teams in 3-point shots attempted (29.5), a vast difference from the second-ranked Bucks (40.6). On Friday, the Warriors went 19-of-46 from 3point range while the Bucks shot only 7-of-39 from the perimeter.
Unsurprisingly, Klay Thompson (20 points, 4-of-9 from 3-point range) and Stephen Curry (20 points, 4-of9 from 3-point range) helped with the Warriors' outside shooting. But so did Andre Iguodala (15 points, 3-of-6), Jonas Jerebko (12 points, 4-of9) and Alfonzo McKinnie (nine points, 3-of-7).
The Warriors made plenty of 3-point shots at a time when they needed it most. Warriors forward Kevin Durant had 11 points while shooting only 3of-14 from the field and committing seven turnovers to overshadow his eight rebounds and six assists.
The Warriors also committed 18 turnovers, including a few from Curry (three) and Thompson (three). The Bucks also scored 56 points in the paint, including double-digit efforts from their starting lineup in Giannis Antetokounmpo (22), Malcom Brogdon (15), Eric Bledsoe (14), Brook Lopez (14), and Khris Middleton (10).