An­other pop­u­lar player is back

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Steve Her­rick The As­so­ci­ated Press

De’Aaron Fox and the Kings found their stride in the sec­ond half.

The Cava­liers just couldn’t keep up.

Fox had 30 points and 12 as­sists, and the Kings beat the Cava­liers, 129-110.

“We played with a lot more com­mu­ni­ca­tion and phys­i­cal­ity in the sec­ond half,” Sacra­mento coach Dave Jo­erger said, “and we knew we needed to.”

Buddy Hield added 25 points for the Kings, who led by as many as 25 af­ter the game was tied at 66 at half­time. Marvin Ba­gley III scored 17 points on 8-for-9 shoot­ing af­ter miss­ing two games due to back spasms.

Sacra­mento led by 15 mid­way through the first quar­ter, but a lack of de­fense and some hot shoot­ing by Cleve­land changed the mo­men­tum.

“It was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hield said. “It’s the NBA and teams are good. They’ll make their runs. We have to find a way to stay locked in.”

Fox and Hield each hit two 3-point­ers in the first five min­utes of the third quar­ter, help­ing Sacra­mento open an 84-73 lead.

“I kind of let the game come to me,” said Fox, who fell one point short of his ca­reer high. “Some­times I do know that it starts with me so I took the ini­tia­tive to make that hap­pen.”

Jor­dan Clark­son scored 26 points for Cleve­land, and rookie point guard Collin Sex­ton had 23. But the Cava­liers couldn’t keep up

with the Kings’ fast pace.

“I felt like they re­ally ex­posed us in ev­ery area,” coach Larry Drew said. “I haven’t felt like that all year as far as op­po­nents are con­cerned.”

Cleve­land was short­handed af­ter it agreed to a three-team trade with Mil­wau­kee and Wash­ing­ton. The Cavs got Matthew Dellave­dova back from the Bucks, who also parted with for­ward John Hen­son and two draft picks in 2021. Guard Ge­orge Hill went from Cleve­land to Mil­wau­kee as part of the deal, and Sam Dekker was traded from the Cavs to the Wizards.

The Cavs then lost Rod­ney Hood to a right foot in­jury. He didn’t play in the sec­ond half.

The Kings (13-11) have won three straight, in­clud­ing the first two on their four-game trip.

Sacra­mento came out

with a hot first quar­ter for the sec­ond straight game. Drew used a time­out 86 sec­onds into the game af­ter the Kings hit their first three shots and led 7-2. Sacra­mento made 17 of 26 shots in the pe­riod.

Sacra­mento outscored Phoenix 36-9 in the open­ing quar­ter Tues­day.

The Cava­liers (5-20) re­grouped in the sec­ond quar­ter. Sex­ton scored 14 points and Clark­son’s 3-pointer at the buzzer tied the game.

No word

Drew didn’t know if Hood will be avail­able when the Cava­liers host Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day night.

Good duel

Fox is in his sec­ond sea­son while Sex­ton, the eighth pick in the draft, played in his 25th ca­reer game.

“He’s a good player,”

Sex­ton said. “I’ve known De’Aaron, so it was good match­ing up with him.”

“It was a ter­rific young point guard matchup,” Jo­erger said. “I’m sure that was very en­joy­able to watch.”

Tip-ins

CAVA­LIERS >> Alec Burks scored 22 points off the bench . ... Hill’s ab­sence caused Drew to jug­gle his start­ing lineup. Hood was moved from small for­ward to shoot­ing guard. Cedi Os­man moved to small for­ward while Larry Nance Jr. started at power for­ward. Burks was the shoot­ing guard in the third quar­ter af­ter Hood was in­jured.

Up next

KINGS >> Visit In­di­ana on Satur­day. CAVA­LIERS >> Host Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day.

TONY DEJAK — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Jor­dan Clark­son (8) drives past the Kings’ Wil­lie Cauley-Stein dur­ing the first half Dec. 7.

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