March 16, 2018, 2:48 pm
Coming off of a heart-pounding victory at home, the Kings now head west to face the Warriors in Oakland.
However, Sacramento likely won’t face much of the defending champion’s core unit. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant could miss the third meeting between the teams. In the first contest, the Kings got the better of Golden State but when the teams met up for a second time in February, the Warriors came out on top.
Now, the Pacific Division rivals will see each other twice in just over two weeks and although the Kings don’t have much to play for, a win against a team of the Warriors’ caliber is always a plus.
The Kings on Wednesday beat the Heat after De’Aaron Fox’s heroics sent the game to overtime. Fox finished the game with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Buddy Hield also played a large role in the victory as he dropped a team-high 24 points off the bench (12 of which came in the fourth quarter).
A heavy dose of Zach Randolph, who had 22 points on the night, helped get the Kings to a lead as big as 16 in the fourth quarter before Sacramento nearly collapsed. The Heat took the lead with 3:18 left to play in regulation before the Kings pulled out the win.
The Kings have been a mostly non-effective unit on the defensive side of the ball and their past three games have been no different. They’ve gone 1-2 in the contests and have given up an average of over 118 points. However, the team’s offense has also done well in those games averaging 108 points per game, which is significantly higher than their 99 points per game they average on the year.
The offense has looked to rookies Bogdan Bogdanovic and Fox who have for the most part answered the call. Both players have shown impressive ability to hit big shots in big moments and both look comfortable in games down the stretch.
Comfortability will be something the Kings may not have when they compete with the second-best team in the west. Golden State on the year are averaging the most points in the league (115.7) but are also allowing the 10th most points (107.7). They also average the most assists per game (30.1).
It’ll mostly come down to the defense, though, and that’s something the Kings have to improve on. With the Warriors missing the bulk of their normal starting lineup, the Kings will have to keep Golden State from setting up beyond the arc; something the Lakers did well in the Wednesday contest. The Warriors made just 6-of-20 3-point attempts although they still pulled out the win.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Zach Randolph
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Skal Labissiere (hip) – PROBABLE
Iman Shumpert (knee) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
When: 7:30 p.m. PST (10:30 ET)
Where: NBCS California