Kings players react to Wednesday’s team trades
The Kings have been tough at home recently. For the first time since 2006, they won seven in a row on their home floor, including victories over playoff contenders in the Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs.
That successful run came to a screeching halt Wednesday.
Reigning NBA MVP James Harden scored a game-high 36 points on 13 of 26 shooting, including 8 of 13 from outside the arc, in leading the Houston Rockets (32-22) to a 127-101 victory. The Kings (28-26) were led by Buddy Hield, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
It was the Kings’ first loss at Golden 1 Center in a month. Sacramento fell 127-123 to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 5. Despite Wednesday’s loss, the Kings are 17-11 at home and already have three more victories on their floor than all of last season.
Earlier Wednesday, the Kings made two trades. In the first, a three-team deal, Sacramento acquired Alec Burks from Cleveland in a trade that sends Iman Shumpert to Houston. A few hours later, they sent Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph to Dallas for Harrison Barnes.
Upcoming schedule for the Kings
▪ Feb. 8 vs. Miami Heat – The Kings will seek their fourth consecutive victory over the Heat and a season sweep for the second year in a row. Willie Cauley-Stein scored a season-high 26 points in the last meeting, a 123-113 Kings win at AmericanAirlines Arena.
▪ Feb. 10 vs. Phoenix Suns – This will be the third meeting between the teams as the Kings close their six-game home stand. A 36-9 first quarter helped the Kings win 122-105 on Dec. 4, but a rough second half proved costly in a 115-111 loss Jan. 8.
▪ Feb. 13 at Denver Nuggets – The Kings will travel to the Mile High City for their final game before the All-Star break. Sacramento is 0-2 against Denver this season. In the last meeting, Jamal Murray scored 34 of his 36 points in the second half to rally the Nuggets to a 117-113 victory Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center.