Fox, Hield carry Kings to third straight win

The Sacramento Bee - - Sports - BY JA­SON AN­DER­SON jan­der­[email protected]

Here are three take­aways from the Kings’ 129-110 win against the Cleve­land Cava­liers on Fri­day night at Quicken Loans Arena.

FOX AND HIELD CARRY KINGS

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield turned in im­pres­sive per­for­mances for Sacra­mento. Good thing, too, be­cause the Kings’ de­fense was un­in­had spired 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 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-of-17 shoot­ing. He was 5 of 8 from be­yond the arc.

BACK TO ‘BELIEVELAND’

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.

CAVS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE

LeBron James is long gone. 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.

TONY DEJAK AP

Cleve­land’s Alec Burks (10) drives past Sacra­mento’s Bog­dan Bog­danovic (8) in the first half of Fri­day’s game in Cleve­land.

TONY DEJAK AP

Cleve­land’s Collin Sex­ton (2) drives on Sacra­mento’s De’Aaron Fox (5) on Fri­day.

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