Fox and Hield carry Kings to win over Cava­liers

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Ja­son An­der­son

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).

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