April 9, 2018, 5:10 pm
The Kings will be on the road for the final time this season as they square off with the Spurs in San Antonio.
Sacramento have won two of their last three games on the road, against the Lakers and Grizzlies, and were unlucky not the win a third in Phoenix. While some teams are limping to the finish line, the Kings are looking to finish strong and have shown some positive flashes over the past few weeks.
The offense is looking fluid, on the most nights, and the team is playing with pace; something that wasn’t evident earlier in the season. The more De’Aaron Fox is in control of the offense the better, as his ability to control the tempo of the game has been impressive down the stretch and it has normally led to success.
The Spurs have A LOT to play for tonight and there’s no doubt the Kings would love to play spoiler. A San Antonio win will secure them a spot in the playoffs, so they’ll come out motivated and seeking a big time win.
San Antonio have taken all three of the prior meetings between the two sides, however, the Kings have played well in at least two of those contests. Sacramento came within 10 points on two occasions, whilst the most recent matchup was somewhat of a blowout.
Containing talented forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be key for the Kings, as he’s dominated them this season with averages of 25.0 points and 9.7 rebounds on 54.2 percent shooting from the field. His size and shooting ability has troubled the Kings’ bigs, namely Zach Randolph, but it’ll be on the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein, JaKarr Sampson and Jack Cooley to try to slow him down.
Former King Rudy Gay will also be on the opposing side. He’s been playing well lately after dealing with injuries for much of the season, averaging 14.3 points per game over his last three outings. Unsurprisingly, he’s excited about tonight’s match up for a number of reasons:
Rudy on his play in the 4th, Manu’s play also asked about game vs #Kings Monday… #Spurs win, they’re in. “Me getting to the playoffs and beating the Kings all in the same day…” pic.twitter.com/ZZwsANv5P6
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) April 8, 2018
The Kings are currently 13-27 on the road, and if they manage to grab a win over the Spurs (and lose to the Rockets on Wednesday) they’ll finish with a better record on the road than at home for the first time since the 2010-11 season under coach Paul Westphal. Yeap.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – JaKarr Sampson
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Skal Labissiere (ankle) – OUT
Frank Mason (heel) – OUT
Garrett Temple (ankle) – OUT
Iman Shumpert (knee) – OUT
Harry Giles (knee) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
When: 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 ET)
Where: NBCS California
April 25, 2019, 11:00 pmJakob Poeltl - C - San Antonio Spurs
Jakob Poeltl shot 4-for-6 from the field for eight points with nine boards, two assists and one block in 28 minutes for a 120-103 win over the Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday.
Poeltl was not able to shut down Nikola Jokic (43 points) but it didn't matter, as the Spurs shot 57.1 percent from the field to blow out the Nuggets. The Spurs will head to Denver for a winner-take-all affair in Game 7 on Saturday.
April 25, 2019, 10:54 pmGary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris scored 14 points in Game 6 against the Spurs on Thursday night as the Nuggets fell 120-103.
Harris scored a few points in this one but didn't do a whole lot else. The Nuggets will probably need him to have more of a visible imprint on the game to make major noise.
April 25, 2019, 10:53 pmDerrick White - G - San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White shot 4-for-7 from the floor for 13 points with one rebound, two assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.
White wasn't particularly effective on the stat sheet in Game 6, but his grit and solid defense helped the Spurs secure a win on their home floor. He limited his turnovers to just one in this game. White will need to stay efficient in a decisive Game 7 on Saturday in Denver.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmPaul Millsap - F - Denver Nuggets
Paul Millsap was almost a non-factor on Thursday night scoring just 12 points and adding four boards in heavy minutes.
Millsap has to be better for this team to make any major noise deep in the playoffs. He just hasn't been back to his normal self for long stretches this year, so here's to hoping he can find form.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmRudy Gay - F - San Antonio Spurs
Rudy Gay shot 7-for-11 for 19 points with four boards, two assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.
After being a non-factor for much of the series, Gay played extra efficient as a savvy veteran on Thursday night. He led the bench in scoring and helped set the tone to force a Game 7. Gay will need another game like this if the Spurs want any chance of surviving in Denver.
April 25, 2019, 10:43 pmDeMar DeRozan - G - San Antonio Spurs
DeMar DeRozan shot 12-for-16 from the field for 25 points with seven assists and seven boards in 36 minutes to force a Game 7 against the Nuggets on Thursday.
DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points and 10 rebounds) took it to the Nuggets for their final home game of the opening round. For a team not making much noise in the regular season, all eyes will be on the Spurs and Nuggets Game 7 on Saturday. Never count out Pop and the Spurs.
April 25, 2019, 10:42 pmJamal Murray - G - Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray scored just 16 points (7-of-19 from the floor) on Thursday in the Game 6 loss to the Spurs.
Murray was quiet in this one as the Nuggets tried to close it out. He did manage six assists but Nikola Jokic is going to need some help from his supporting cast to cement a date with Portland.
April 25, 2019, 10:37 pmNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 43 points and approached a triple-double with 12 rebounds and nine assists in Thursday's Game 6 loss.
It was a waste of a great performance from Jokic as the Nuggets couldn't close out the Spurs in Game 6. Home cookin' might be just what the doctor ordered.
April 25, 2019, 10:34 pmLaMarcus Aldridge - F - San Antonio Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge shot 10-for-18 from the field for 26 points with 10 boards, five assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes to avoid elimination against the Nuggets on Thursday.
Aldridge was terrific all night, using home court advantage to play with energy. He took matters into his own hands, forcing a Game 7 on Saturday in Denver. Expect Aldridge to be giving his best effort on a winner-take-all affair.
April 25, 2019, 5:58 pmJeff Hornacek - Team - New York Knicks
The Kings have interviewed Jeff Hornacek for an assistant coach position.
The Kings have already hired their head coach, Luke Walton. However, with Walton's status up in the air with the recent allegations made against him, the Kings would do well to hire an assistant with head coaching experience. Hornacek last coached for the Knicks before being fired at the end of the 2017-2018 season. His overall record as head coach for the Knicks and the Suns is 161-216.
Source: James Ham on Twitter