The Sacramento Kings take their show on the road beginning their four-game eastern swing Friday night in Brooklyn. They face a disappointing Nets team that has lost five straight and 15-of-17.
Sacramento hasn’t fared much better of late. Losers of five of six, the Kings are struggling to keep up in the race for the eight spot in the Western Conference. The Kings currently sit 2.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for eighth and the Portland Trail Blazers are up on them by two games for the ninth best record in the conference.
Since relieving Lionel Hollins of his head coaching duties last month, Brooklyn is just 2-11 under interim head coach Tony Brown. Rumors of potential trades and/or player buyouts are already surfacing as the Nets slide towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
Kings by 5.5
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 21-28, third place in Pacific
Nets: 12-38, third place in Pacific
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Brook Lopez -- Lopez is a gifted offensive player that has hurt the Kings in the past. He is just the sort of ground-based big that gives Cousins problems. The Kings All-Star comes into the night nursing an ankle, two knees and a shoulder. He is scheduled to play, but there are no promises on how effective he will be.
Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins (ankle, knees, shoulder) probable, PG Rajon Rondo (turf toe) probable, SG Ben McLemore (wrist) probable, F Eric Moreland (foot) out.
Nets: PG Jarrett Jack (knee) out, G/F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) out, F Chris McCullough (knee) out.
The Kings squeaked out a 111-109 victory over the Nets at Sleep Train Arena in mid-November. Sacramento carries a 46-36 all-time franchise lead into Friday night’s contest, but trail the Nets 30-28 in the Sacramento-era.