Programming note: Kings-Magic coverage starts today at 1:30pm with Kings Pregame Live on CSN California, and streaming live right here.
The Sacramento Kings hit the midway point of their season-long five-game road trip Saturday afternoon. They are looking to snap a two-game losing streak and pick up their first road win of the season when they visit the Orlando Magic.
DeMarcus Cousins returns to the court after missing Thursday’s loss to the Miami Heat due to suspension. After battling some of the best bigs the Eastern Conference has to offer, Cousins faces off against Nikola Vucevic who comes in averaging 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 29.4 minutes a night.
Rajon Rondo handed out a season-high 18 assists on Thursday. The veteran guard currently sits just 0.2 of an assist behind Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook for the lead league in assists per game at 10.2.
Orlando touts the talented young backcourt of Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo, but the tandem is struggling mightily from the field early in the season. Through 12 games, the duo has shot a combined 36.7 percent from the field and 29.0 percent from behind the arc.
George Karl has used 10 different starting lineups in the Kings’ first 12 games. With Rudy Gay ailing, we may see yet another look from the veteran coach.
Orlando by 2.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ben McLemore vs. Victor Oladipo -- McLemore is shaking off his early season struggles and giving Karl solid production at the two. He matches up against a fellow 2013 top 10 pick in Oladipo. Like McLemore, the 23-year-old Oladipo is struggling early in the season, but he’s too good to play this poorly for much longer.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 4-9, fourth place in Pacific
Magic: 6-6, last place in Southeast
Kings: F Rudy Gay (left shoulder strain) doubtful.
Magic: PG C.J. Watson (calf) questionable.
Orlando swept the two-game season series with Sacramento last season, but the Kings hold a 27-25 advantage over the Magic all-time.