The Sacramento Kings (27-44) will make a short trip to Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors (57-14) following a 98-116 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was their third loss in as many games, having also lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder (94-110) and the San Antonio Spurs (102-118). With only 11 games left to play and them lagging seven games behind the eight-placed Denver Nuggets, an NBA Playoffs spot is all but impossible now.
Meanwhile, it’s au contraire for their fellow Californian neighbours. After dropping three games in the beginning of the month without the injured Kevin Durant, the Warriors have bounced back to record five consecutive victories, most recently besting the Dallas Mavericks 112-87. The upcoming showdown with the Kings might seem like just another regular game for Stephen Curry and Co., but they cannot afford to let up especially with the Spurs being only 1.5 games behind in the Western Conference. On top of that, the Warriors will embark on a run of five straight games against teams above .500 afterward.
WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST TIME THEY MET?
They played against each other for the third time this season right before the All-Star break, with the Warriors emerging victorious with a final score of 109-86. Klay Thompson went 12-18 from the field (7-12 from three-point range) to record 35 points against the Kings.
Durant hasn't played for the home side since hyperextending his knee on February 28 and is not expected to be back yet, while Andre Iguodala could feature against the Kings after missing the Dallas game with a left hip strain. Other than that, Kevon Looney, who played four minutes on Wednesday, has joined Damian Jones in the D-League.
As for the Kings, they should have center Kosta Koufos (rest), point guard Ty Lawson (rest) and shooting guard Malachi Richardson (hamstring) available for selection. Langston Galloway could also be getting some game time after not getting any against the Bucks.
KEEP AN EYE FOR...
Buddy Hield. Since the trade, the Kings’ rookie guard has enjoyed better averages and higher percentages in most categories compared to his time with the New Orleans Pelicans. He also had one of his better games against the Bucks, equalling a career-high with 21 points and scoring 50% from the field.
FACTS & FIGURES
- The Warriors are 6-0 against Pacific opponents at home this season.
- Since Steve Kerr took charge, the Dubs are 10-1 against the Kings. Incidentally, he was ejected in his only defeat so far.
- The Kings last bested the Warriors at the Oracle Arena on March 27th 2013, winning 105-98.
- The Kings are 9-26 against teams above .500 this season.
- Since DeMarcus Cousins (and Omri Casspi) moved to New Orleans, the Kings won only 21.43% of their games compared to 42.11% before the trade.
Watch Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors on Astro Channel 817 or HD Channel 836 at 10:30am this Saturday (March 25th). Alternatively, you can watch it on Astro on the Go.