The Kings will be without Garrett Temple at least until after the All-Star break in mid-February after the guard injured his left hamstring Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets.
Temple is expected to miss two to three weeks after an MRI revealed a partial tear, the team announced Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break; the Kings resume play Feb. 23.
7.7 Garrett Temple’s career-high scoring average this season
The Kings are already without forward Rudy Gay (Achilles) for the rest of the season and forward Omri Casspi, who has been sidelined since injuring his calf in practice Jan. 16.
Temple has been an important and versatile player in his first season with the Kings, first as a reserve before cracking the starting lineup in January. After Gay’s injury Jan. 18 against the Indiana Pacers, Temple shifted to the wing with Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo starting in the backcourt.
With Temple out, the Kings could insert Matt Barnes into the starting lineup with Ben McLemore and Malachi Richardson as reserve wings. Anthony Tolliver could also see some minutes at small forward as coach Dave Joerger adjusts his rotation.
Guys are going to step up. I have a lot of faith in Malachi (Richardson), Ben (McLemore), and when Omri (Casspi) gets back, we can still bounce back and hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later.
Garrett Temple, Kings guard
Temple, in his seventh NBA season, is averaging a career-high 7.7 points along with 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in a career-high 26.6 minutes per game. On Tuesday night, he told reporters in Houston he didn’t think this hamstring injury was as serious as one that caused him to miss four weeks with the Washington Wizards.
The Kings’ 105-83 loss to Houston ended a grueling trip of eight games in 12 days that included a makeup game against the Philadelphia 76ers postponed from November because of unsafe floor conditions.
After losing 122-119 to the 76ers on Monday, the Kings flew three hours to Houston, arriving in the early morning for their fourth game in five nights. Afterward, Temple suggested the schedule may have contributed to his injury.
“I definitely don’t think that helped with my situation, but it is what it is,” Temple told reporters. “Guys are going to step up. I have a lot of faith in Malachi, Ben, and when Omri gets back, we can still bounce back and hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later.”