Programming note: Spurs-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Kings Pregame Live on CSN California, and streaming live right here (territory restrictions apply).
SACRAMENTO – Losers of five straight, the Sacramento Kings look to get right against the 4-2 San Antonio Spurs Monday night.
DeMarcus Cousins took part in shootaround and is expected to play after missing the team’s previous four games with a strained right Achilles.
Cousins’ return looks imminent at this point, but Sacramento will have to adjust to life without third leading scorer Darren Collison who is down with a strained left hamstring. Collison injured himself in the fourth quarter of the Kings 116-110 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
San Antonio is still working on integrating All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge into its system. The former Portland Trail Blazer is averaging 15 points and 9.2 rebounds in 30.2 minutes per night.
Forward Kawhi Leonard is having a breakout first month of the season, leading the Spurs at 21.8 points per game.
Spurs by 7.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Rudy Gay vs. Kawhi Leonard -- Gay is off to a slow start, averaging just 17.1 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the field. He welcomes the return of Cousins as the defensive focus will shift from him to the big fella. Leonard is a lock down defender who stuffs the stat sheet. His 21.8 points leads the Spurs, but he is also dropping in 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks in 33.3 minutes per game. Gay has his work cut out for him tonight.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 1-6, last place in Pacific
Spurs: 4-2, first place in Southwest
Kings: C Demarcus Cousins (right Achilles) probable, Seth Curry (ankle) questionable, G Darren Collison (left hamstring) out
Spurs: No injuries to report
San Antonio took the season series from the Kings last year 3-1, with Sacramento’s only win coming on Nov. 15 at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings trail the overall series 109-55 and 81-39 in the Sacramento-era.
"He's one of the good young bigs. He's got a lot skills. He's continued to develop over the years, adding stuff. His jump shot's gotten better over the last few years. It makes him a tough guard." -- David West on DeMarcus Cousins