Kings without Cauley-Stein, Labissiere vs. Cavs

Willie Cauley-Stein said the Kings will need to step up defensively after a porous effort against the Clippers on Tuesday night with the high-powered Cleveland Cavaliers coming to town tonight.

The Sacramento Kings will be minus two key big men for their game Wednesday at the Cleveland Cavaliers — forward/center Willie Cauley-Stein and forward Skal┬áLabissiere.

Cauley-Stein is listed as day-to-day after suffering a lower-back strain in the Kings’ loss at Milwaukee on Saturday. He did not travel with the team to Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Labissiere was assigned to the Reno Bighorns of the G League, where he will join Kings rookie forward Justin Jackson.

Cauley-Stein is in his third season and averaging 10.2 points and 5.9 rebounds this season. Labissiere averages 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in his second season.

Per the Sacramento Bee:

“Sending Labissiere to Reno at a time Cauley-Stein is out is an indication the Kings will lean on two-way player JaKarr Sampson, who filled in at Milwaukee when Labissiere quickly picked up three fouls.”

Sampson is a Cleveland native and played a portion of his high school ball at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, the same school that produced Cavs star LeBron James.

The Cavs (17-7) have won 12 straight and can tie the franchise record with 13 straight vs. the Kings (7-16).