Garrett Temple scored a career-high 34 points as the Kings ended a season-worst eight-game skid with a 105-99 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at Amway Center.
Sacramento also got 21 points and nine rebounds from Willie Cauley-Stein.
Evan Fournier led the Magic with 22 points and Elfrid Payton had 21 points and seven assists.
Sacramento and Orlando are tied for the worst record in the NBA at 14-33.
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De’Aaron Fox left the game with abdominal tightness in the second quarter and did not return.
That left the Kings with Temple starting the second half at point guard. George Hill (rest) and Frank Mason III (heel) were not available.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Temple is the Kings’ best perimeter defender, but he showed off his scoring ability against the Magic, along with his defense.
Until the Feb. 8 trade deadline passes, the Kings’ more experienced players will be subject to trade inquiries as the team plans to focus on youth.
There are several teams that could Temple. He showed why Tuesday.
Temple has not complained about having to sit out games in favor of young players. But after signing with the Kings in 2016 to help them work toward becoming a playoff team, a trade is the only way he’ll get there season.
Forget the points
Cauley-Stein has shown he can be an effective scorer this season, but his ability to affect the game with his rebounding and defense might mean more to his overall development.
The third-year center is an inconsistent rebounder, but had grabbed at least 10 in three consecutive games, his longest such streak this season.
Cauley-Stein had not had back-to-back games with double-digit rebounds since the first two games of the season before his recent stretch.
Along with his nine rebounds Tuesday, he had four assists and five blocks.
Much-needed confidence boost
It’s no secret the Kings’ front office is not going to fret too much over losses, as a worse record puts the Kings in better position to win the NBA draft lottery in May.
But after losing eight in a row and 11 of 12, a victory was needed for the morale of the team.
By sitting out players, the Kings will lose their share of games. Some wins along the way will make the plane rides a little more enjoyable.