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Kings fire coach Luke Walton after losing seven of eight, including last three

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The Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Luke Walton the morning after the team's third consecutive loss, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday. 

The team confirmed the move later in the day and named associate head coach Alvin Gentry interim head coach. 

"After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position,” Kings general manager Monte McNair said in a release. “I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team.”

The Kings are 6-11 overall and lost seven of their past eight. The latest was a 123-105 loss to the Utah Jazz at home on Saturday. They're currently 12th in the Western Conference standings.

Walton's time with Sacramento closes

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Luke Walton of the Sacramento Kings looks on during a time out in the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Golden 1 Center on November 19, 2021 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Luke Walton is reportedly out as head coach of the Sacramento Kings after slightly more than two years. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Walton's job has been in jeopardy recently, a place he's used to being in after two nine-game losing streaks last winter. The team went 31-41 under Walton each of the past two seasons. He's 68-93 overall in his two-plus seasons as the head coach following his three seasons as Los Angeles Lakers head coach, where he went 98-148. 

Gentry joined the Kings ahead of the 2020-21 season. He's been the head coach of five different teams since starting in the league in 1988 and is 510-595 all-time. 

The Kings are 10th in offensive rating (108.9), but have struggled defensively, ranking 26th in defensive rating (110.5). Their recent losses have come against the Toronto Raptors (8-9), Minnesota Timberwolves (7-9), Oklahoma City Thunder (6-10), San Antonio Spurs (4-11) and Indiana Pacers (7-11). 

Sacramento is in a 15-year playoff drought, tied for longest in NBA history, and has had 10 head coaches in the span.