The Sacramento Kings are displaying signs of life under interim coach Alvin Gentry, and they look to score third straight victory Wednesday night when they host the Orlando Magic. Sacramento has yet to win three games in a row this season.
The Kings swept a home-and home from the Los Angeles Clippers to improve to 4-3 under Gentry. The pair of wins followed two setbacks by an average of 26 points.
The swift turnaround has changed the mood on the team.
“It feels like everybody’s going out and everybody’s having fun,” second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton said after Saturday’s 104-99 win over the Clippers. “It definitely feels good for us, and we’ve just got to keep this momentum going.”
One of the contributors was forward Marvin Bagley III, who had 12 points and a season-best 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
Bagley was buried on the bench in the early portion of the season as his defense didn’t meet the expectations of then-coach Luke Walton. But the firing of Walton has served as a reprieve for Bagley, who has three double-digit scoring efforts in his five appearances since Gentry became coach.
“To kind of be out there again and playing and smiling and helping my teammates and cheering my teammates on, that’s what it’s all about for me,” Bagley told reporters. “Everything else will come. That’s how I’ve always played the game and that’s how I will continue to play the game.”
Another strong contributor against the Clippers was Terence Davis, who averaged 25.5 points in the two games. He made 11-of-20 3-pointers while scoring 23 and 28 points, his two highest outputs of the season.
“I think he’s getting a little more comfortable in stuff,” Gentry said. “I think with him, the whole idea is behind what is a good shot and what is not, or when do you shoot it and when do you not shoot it. I think he did a good job of picking those opportunities.”
Orlando has dropped nine of its last 10 games, including the first two contests of a five-game road trip. A weekend of games in Los Angeles against the Clippers and Lakers follows Wednesday’s game.
Monday night, the Magic lost by more than 30 points for the fourth time this season when they were trounced 126-95 by the Golden State Warriors. Orlando committed 23 turnovers, regularly leading to easy points for the Warriors.
“They had 38 points off turnovers and that is the game right there,” Magic guard Gary Harris said.
First-year coach Jamahl Mosley pointed to the miscues for why Orlando was the recipient of another blowout.
“It was our inability to take care of the ball,” Mosley said. “(The Warriors) turned the heat up. We need to continue to look at it and see where we can better.
“This one is going to sting, and they need to understand that. We need to find a way to get better from this.”
Harris scored 17 points to reach double digits for the fifth straight game. Big man Wendell Carter Jr. had 14 points and 12 rebounds and has reached double figures on the boards in seven of his past eight games.
Second-year guard Cole Anthony scored a season-low nine points against Golden State after averaging 25 over the previous two games. He has scored 20 or more 10 times this season.
The teams split their pair of games last season.