April 1, 2018, 3:53 pm
After going just 1-5 on their six-game homestand, the Kings will travel to Los Angeles for a duel with the Lakers, looking to tie the season series 2-2.
The Kings managed to dismantle the Lakers in the first meeting of the season, 113-102, but the Lakers have since won the previous two meetings. Los Angeles currently sit 11th in the Western Conference, sporting a record of 33-42. To make life a little tougher on the Kings, the Lakers have a respectable 19-17 record at Staples Center, too.
The Lakers, however, won’t be at full strength tonight as Brandon Ingram and Isaiah Thomas have been sidelined. Thomas is out for the season after undergoing hip surgery, and Ingram is currently in the concussion protocol. Wanting to see a Lonzo Ball-De’Aaron Fox rematch? You may be out of luck as Ball is doubtful to play with a knee issue.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be looking to fill the void, again, after dropping a career-high 34 points in the most recent matchup with Sacramento. In three games against the Kings this season, Caldwell-Pope is averaging 23.3 points per game. KCP was ejected against the Bucks on Friday, but received no further penalty and will be playing tonight.
Julius Randle has been a dominant force down low against any opponent in his way. Over the past month he’s averaging 22.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 56.8 percent shooting from the field. The combination of Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein may struggle trying to contain Randle. Deploying frequent double teams and forcing Randle away from the basket is probably their best bet.
The Kings showed flashes of success during their 112-96 loss to the Warriors last night. Fox scored 10 first quarter points to help the team to an early lead, playing with poise and pace, but the Warriors clamped down and cruised to victory from there. Sacramento are at their best when Fox dictates the pace of the game, so that’s something to keep an eye on tonight.
Following tonight’s game, the Kings will have just four games remaining this season; three of which are on the road.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Garrett Temple (ankle) – OUT
Zach Randolph (personal) – QUESTIONABLE
Iman Shumpert (foot) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
Where: NBCS California
When: 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. ET)