Programming note: Spurs-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here
The Kings (20-35) could be without two starters entertaining the Spurs (34-23), who have lost four straight and are playing their eighth straight road game Friday at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings, now 2-1 under George Karl’s tutelage, will be without starting point guard Darren Collison, who is is likely headed for surgery to repair a core muscle injury, while DeMarcus Cousins is doubtful with an ankle sprain and hip contusion sustained in Wednesday’s win over Memphis.
Friday is game two of Sacramento’s three game homestand before embarking on an eight game road trip.
Spurs by 4.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Tony Parker vs. Ray McCallum/Andre Miller -- The Kings point guard combo of McCallum and Miller must contain Parker.
In the Kings' Nov.15 win over the Spurs, Parker scored 11 points and had six assists. And in sharp contrast, in San Antonio’s Nov. 28 win over Sacramento, Parker scored 27 points to go along with eight assists.
1. Pick-and-roll coverage –- Sacramento must contain Tony Parker and company and be decisive defending the notoriously tough Spurs pick-and-roll game.
2. Rudy Gay –- Gay was the best player on the floor putting up 28 points against Memphis on Wednesday, and without Collison and perhaps Cousins, the Kings need an encore from the 6-foot-8 forward to topple the Spurs
3. Fourth quarter execution –- Karl likes to say that crunch time is not necessarily about scoring but getting stops, not turning the ball over and making free throws.
In the final stanza in Wednesday’s win, the Kings held Memphis to 13 points, while committing five turnovers and shooting 9-11 from the free throw line to seal the deal.
Sacramento first needs to put itself in position to contend in the fourth quarter and then execute in similar fashion over the final twelve minutes.
Kings -- G Darren Collison (right hip flexor strain), and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) are out while C DeMarcus Cousins (left ankle sprain and left hip contusion) is doubtful.
Spurs -- None to report.
The Kings and Spurs meet for the third of four games this season after splitting the first two affairs with each protecting its home court. San Antonio swept the season series last year (3-0) and leads the overall series 107-55, including 79-39 in the Sacramento era.
“I don’t even want to see that locker room in a four game losing streak. They’re going to be ready to play. They know that they’re in a situation that every game is going to be meaningful in their playoff situation." -- Kings coach George Karl on the Spurs four game losing streak
Watch Insider Bill Herenda tonight offer up “Herenda’s Agenda” on Kings Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California.