Pacific Notes: Kings, Lakers, Paul, Bol

The Kings savored their comeback win over Golden State Tuesday night, and not just because it gave them a spot in the knockout round of the in-season tournament, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Sacramento would have won the West’s Group C by staying within 11 points, but it felt better to claim a victory over the Warriors, who knocked the Kings out of the playoffs in April.

“We want to win. Obviously, our fans want us to beat Golden State,” De’Aaron Fox said. “A game this close, coming back from down 24, you want to win regardless of if it’s a tournament game or not.”

Malik Monk finished off Sacramento’s frantic rally by hitting a tough bank shot in traffic in the final seconds. Monk also delivered a message to the coaching staff midway through the fourth quarter, Andrews adds, telling them to stop complaining to the officials and let the players take care of business.

After breaking a 15-year playoff drought last season, the Kings have a chance to make more history by reaching the tournament’s semifinals in Las Vegas.

“We want to get to Vegas and be one of the first teams to advance to the final four,” Fox said.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Two days after LeBron James said “a lot” needs to be fixed following a 44-point loss in Philadelphia, the Lakers looked like a different team in beating Detroit, observes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Coach Darvin Ham didn’t address Monday’s embarrassment apart from a Wednesday morning film session in which he told his players that one bad night doesn’t define their season. “The biggest thing with (James), he’s a competitive, fierce competitor like myself, and that (loss to the Sixers) was a tough one to experience,” Ham said. “It’s okay to be frustrated because you’re passionate about the game, but we can’t get emotional and lose our focus, lose our way.”
  • Warriors guard Chris Paul suffered a nerve contusion in his lower left leg and will miss Thursday’s game against the Clippers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Sources tell Woj that Paul is considered day-to-day.
  • Suns coach Frank Vogel told reporters after tonight’s game that Bol Bol will eventually get a chance to prove he can help the team (video link). A free agent addition this summer, Bol has played just seven total minutes in three games.
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