January 23, 2018, 2:02 pm
On the heels of an eight-game losing streak, the Kings head to Orlando to face the Magic.
Two games into the team’s six-game road trip and Sacramento is looking like a team plummeting towards a top-three pick in the NBA Draft come the summer.
Sacramento lost by just five to the Hornets on Monday, but the game was out of reach for much of the second half as the Kings entered the fourth quarter down 17 before their rally came up short.
Skal Labissiere led the way for the Kings with a season-high 23 points on a red-hot 10-of-15 shooting in 29 minutes off the bench. Labissiere was one of six Kings players to put up double-digit points. Buddy Hield added 18 points off the bench as well and De’Aaron Fox led all starters with 16 points of his own. Sacramento’s bench outscored their starters 54-to-53 in the loss.
The Kings’ attempted comeback was a slight sigh of relief for fans since the team had lost back-to-back games by 15 points or more but it was still simply chalked up as another loss. During the team’s season-high losing streak the Kings have lost five of the games by double digits and have given up 106 points or more on six occasions.
Sacramento’s defensive rating is the worst in the league at 112.2 and, to make matters worse, their offense is also at the bottom of the NBA at 97.9, according to Basketball Reference.
The Kings and Magic split the season series last year with both teams winning in their respective homes, but Orlando has won two of the last three games on their home court against Sacramento.
The Kings will look to slow down a Magic team that has won two of their last three games. Although Orlando is just 2-3 in their last five, all five of their most recent games have come against teams in playoff position right now. Their two wins came against the Timberwolves and Celtics. To show just how close the Magic’s last five games were, the team has a plus-minus of zero during that stretch.
Big quarters for opponents has haunted the Kings this season and if the Magic’s last game is any indication, it’ll be something Sacramento will have to stop. Orlando pulled away from Boston in the third quarter of their matchup by out-scoring the Celtics 32-to-12.
Kings’ rookie Fox will have his hands full with Elfrid Payton, who dropped 22 points in the Magic’s last victory.
The Kings will also need to keep their eye on Evan Fournier, the Magic’s second leading scorer, who is averaging just under 23 points per game in his last three contests.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Vince Carter
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Harry Giles (knee) – OUT
Skal Labissiere (shoulder) – PROBABLE
Zach Randolph (knee) – QUESTIONABLE
HOW TO WATCH
Where: NBCS California
When: 4:00 p.m. PST (7:00 p.m. ET)