All-star Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox hasn't played since Oct. 29 due to an ankle injury, but oddsmakers clearly expected him to return Monday night against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers as the Kings opened as 1-point favorites on the SportsLine consensus after Fox took part in a full practice Sunday. However, reports indicate that the Kings will play it cautious and keep the 25-year-old out for one more game – he's listed as doubtful – and the Cavs are now 3-point favorites.
Fox has missed the past five games with a right ankle sprain and the Kings are 2-3 in that span. Coach Mike Brown said Fox "looked good" on Sunday. Fox was seen by reporters sporting a black practice jersey along with the team's other usual starters. The Sacramento Bee reports that Fox could be upgraded today at some point if the injured ankle responds well to Sunday's session.
"He looks great," fellow All-Star Domantas Sabonis said after Sunday's session. "I mean Fox is Fox. He looks great. Hopefully after today he doesn't feel sore tomorrow and he feels good, and we can see how it goes from there, but we were just happy we could be on the court with each other."
Fox was spectacular in the first three games, averaging 31.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 48.6% from the field, 37.5% from 3-point range and 81% at the free-throw line. Fox's 94 total points through three games were the seventh-most in team history to open a season.
Sacramento lost its first three games without Fox but has since beaten visiting Portland and Oklahoma City. Keon Ellis, formerly on a two-way contract, has been starting in Fox's spot but is averaging just 5.4 points per game. Sabonis comes off his first triple-double of the season in Friday's win over the Thunder. He passed Chris Webber (14) the for the most triple-doubles in the Sacramento era and ranks second in franchise history behind Oscar Robertson.
Cleveland is 1-1 on a four-game trip through the Western Conference and is listing no starters on the injury report. The Cavs were 118-100 upset winners at Golden State on Saturday, their first regular-season win against the Warriors since March 14, 2014. Cleveland had five players with at least 10 points in the first half alone, marking only the second time since 1997-98 that happened on the team.
The Cavs were 2-0 vs. the Kings last season. Fox missed one game and had only 15 points in the other. One SportsLine expert is already on Cleveland ATS, but I'll be waiting for official word on Fox before I make my play.
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