Programming note: Sixers-Kings coverage starts this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here.
The Kings (22-41) are attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time since November in the penultimate game of their eight-game road trip versus the struggling Sixers (14-50).
Sacramento, 2-4 on its current eight-game road trip which wraps up Saturday in Washington, is now 4-7 under coach George Karl after Wednesday’s 113-106 win over the Hornets.
Kings by 4
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Nerlens Noel vs DeMarcus Cousins -- In the battle of erstwhile Kentucky centers, expect Cousins to try to take Noel back to school.
Isaiah Canaan vs Ray McCallum -- As a Rocket, Canaan scored 24 points in a 102-89 Houston victory over Sacramento. McCallum and Miller must prevent the former Murray State Racer from going on a similar tear.
1. Energy early –- Sacramento has to bring it early with no expectation of just showing up and getting a win. No victories are easy especially on the road.
2. Remember Isaiah –- The Kings must not allow Canaan to go off, as he did as a Rocket against Sacramento with six 3-pointers or his recent 31-point effort against the Thunder.
3. Ben again –- With Cousins and Rudy Gay producing regularly, can the Kings leverage more from Ben McLemore coming off a season-high 27 points from Wednesday’s win in Charlotte? Sacramento would welcome a Cheryl Lynn, “Encore” type performance from the Kansas product.
[HERENDA: Kings' McLemore keeping priorities in order]
Kings -- C DeMarcus Cousins (left ankle sprain) is probable, while G Darren Collison (core muscle injury) and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) are out.
Sixers -- C Joel Embid (right foot) and G Tony Wroten (right knee) are out.
The Kings and Sixers meet for the first of two games this season. The second meeting will take place at Sleep Train Arena on March 24.
The squads split last season’s series 1-1 with each team winning on the road. Philadelphia leads the overall series 160-122, including 29-27 in the Sacramento era.
“I was just going out there competing, having fun and just playing my game. I let the game come to me. I knocked down shots when I was open, made plays for others and made plays for myself.” - Ben McLemore, after a season high 27-points in Wednesday’s 113-106 win in Charlotte.