MIAMI For most of Tuesday night's 120-108 loss to the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena, Kings coach Keith Smart stuck with an eight-man rotation.
Smart has routinely used as many as 10 players in games. But until the game was well out of reach in the fourth quarter, the only reserves who played were Francisco Garcia, Donte' Greene and Chuck Hayes.
"I wanted to keep this game in close range," Smart said. "Within five, maybe eight points, in striking distance
.trying to go any deeper than that was going to be difficult trying to just get a guy on the floor." J.J. Hickson and Jimmer Fredette were two players that normally play that didn't see any action.
It was Hickon's first time not playing this season and the third time for Fredette.
John Salmons would normally have come off the bench ahead of Garcia, but Salmons was inactive because of a sore hip.
"I like the rotation that we have," Smart said. "Eight-men to nine men maybe but this is where we are with this team right here. I wanted to get around to 10 but I couldn't put too many guys on the floor because the game never really had control (by one team) until late in the basketball game.
From deep The Kings made a season-high 13 three pointers Tuesday. The Kings entered the game 25th in three-point field goal percentage (30.5 percent) but made 13-of-27 against Miami (48.1 percent).
Late run With Salmons inactive second-year center Hassan Whiteside and rookie forward Tyler Honeycutt were both active.
Whiteside and Honeycutt entered the game with 1:27 to play and the Kings down 18 points.
Giving up a lot In losing the first five games of their six-game road trip, the Kings are allowing 109.6 points per game.
Miami was the second team to reach 120 points on the Kings. Chicago had 121 points last Tuesday.
The Kings finish their season-long trip tonight at Washington.
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