SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings return to Sleep Train Arena Saturday night looking to extend their win streak to five games. They take on the Indiana Pacers who are fresh off a loss at Golden State Friday night and are finishing up a four-game road trip out west.
After a slow start to the season, the Kings are just four games under .500 and they hold a half-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings. Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein has strung together back-to-back double-doubles and he’s making a tremendous impact on the defensive end of the court.
Cauley-Stein draws fellow 2015 draftee Myles Turner who dropped in a career-high 31 points against the Warriors and has averaged 23.7 points per game over his last three outings. Indiana boasts the league’s second best defensive rating, holding their opponents to just 101.9 points per 100 possessions.
Kings by 3
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 19-23, third place in Pacific
Pacers: 23-20, fourth place in Central
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Big vs. Small -- The Pacers love to go small, using All-Star Paul George at the power forward position for much of the game. The Kings will start out big and try to make Indiana adjust. If Sacramento can keep George at bay and get DeMarcus Cousins going early in the paint, they have a good shot of keeping their win streak alive.
Kings: F Rudy Gay (left heel) out, F Eric Moreland (foot surgery) out, F Duje Dukan (lower leg) out.
Pacers: C Ian Mahinmi (ankle) out, G Rodney Stuckey (right ankle sprain/bruise) out.
The Kings hold a 1-0 advantage on the Pacers this season, but Indiana holds a 44-38 lead over the Kings all-time and a 33-25 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“We’re playing really well; we’ve got a good winning streak. I think we’ve just got to keep going and we’ve got a good test on Saturday again, so we’ve just got to keep playing well. We know how this thing can go but like we all said, we’re not just shooting for the eighth spot, we want to move up in the playoffs.” --Darren Collison