Sacramento Kings Monday game wrap: Kings use 3-ball to snap skid 120-115 over Orlando

March 13, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver, left, goes to the basket against Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 13, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 120-115. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Jeremy Harness

SACRAMENTO – There is a new kind of feel to this Kings team these days, and that was on full display Monday night.

The Kings have not been a very good 3-point-shooting team, but they found the long ball to be quite an effective weapon for them, making 16 of their 30 shots from 3-point territory, which is good for 53 percent and propelled them to a 120-115 win over the Orlando Magic in front a fully-energized crowd at the Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento also shot 54 percent from the field overall, often finding easy layups and, in Willie Cauley-Stein’s case, going to a jump hook in the lane from about 10 feet out.

That victory could not have come at a much better time, as it broke a debilitating eight-game losing skid.

The Kings rested four of their regulars in Kosta Koufos, Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo and Tyreke Evans on Monday, and not having to worry about being subbed out seemed to really help guys like Willie Cauley-Stein and Darren Collison.

With Koufos out of the lineup, Cauley-Stein settled in and found the aforementioned short jump hook to be a great shot for him, using that to the tune of 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.

Collison certainly benefited without having to look over his shoulder, Collison showed his entire skill set against the Magic. He scored 19 points and also handed out a season-high 13 assists and only turned the ball over three times, and he was especially big down the stretch.

His four-point play gave the Kings a 75-73 lead with about 5:30 left in the third quarter, a lead that Sacramento would never relinquish.

He also had a big hand in the Kings keeping that lead. After Orlando erased a one-time 10-point lead to tie the game with 4:50 remaining, he came back down the floor and fed Cauley-Stein for an alley oop to give the lead right back to Sacramento.

Collison was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, including key free throws in the final minute when Orlando was forced to play the foul game.

Anthony Tolliver also came up huge down the stretch for the Kings, hitting a gigantic 3-pointer with 43.3 seconds left to give the Kings a 116-112 lead, en route to a 19-point, six-board night. He was particularly feeling himself from behind the 3-point line on Monday, making five of his seven 3-pointers.

The Kings entered Monday’s game with an eight-game losing skid, and they fought back gallantly at the end of the first half to tie the game at 58-58 at the break.

Center Nikola Vucevic scored a game-high 23 points for the Magic, including knocking down all three of his 3-point attempts, giving the true definition of a stretch-five. Even Fournier chipped in with 21 points and nailed a series of corner 3-pointers to help erase Sacramento’s double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

The game was not really secured until the Kings were able to locate Fournier and make sure that he did not get a decent look at long range in the final minute.

If they didn’t out-shoot Orlando, the other stats, which did not favor the Kings, would have made it a difficult game for Sacramento to win. The Kings were out-rebounded 44-40 and turned the ball over twice more. However, the Kings converted Orlando’s 13 turnovers into 18 points while the Magic only got 10 points out of Sacramento’s 15 miscues.

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