Marcus Thornton missed his fourth consecutive game Sunday evening with a bruised left calf, though Kings coach Keith Smart suggested the guard could return Tuesday against the Mavericks in Dallas.
Smart said he didn't want to use Thornton, the team's leading scorer, Sunday against the Houston Rockets after a week's layoff and risk a setback.
"We'll give him another day," Smart said. "We have a day in Dallas to kind of start working, another opportunity for him to have another day, do some three-on-three, four-on-four, and then hit the floor playing from there."
Thornton has not played since last Monday, when he left in the first quarter of the Kings' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Forward John Salmons, missing his eighth consecutive game with a sore right hip, and swingman Francisco Garcia (concussion) also were out against the Rockets.
After staying fairly healthy through the first half of the season, the Kings have seemed more susceptible to injuries since the All-Star break.
As of Feb. 29, three Kings had missed a total of 19 games because of injury and illness, the third-lowest total in the NBA at that time, according to information compiled earlier this season by the Philadelphia 76ers.
That number had increased to 46 entering Sunday. Thornton and Salmons each have missed a team-high 11 games because of injury or illness.
Though the Kings will miss the playoffs, Smart repeatedly has said he wants his team to build toward next season by staying competitive and continuing to develop down the stretch.
That becomes tougher when missing key players such as Thornton.
"That's the breaks of the NBA," Smart said. "You're going to have injuries at certain times of the year. You may have injuries when you're getting ready to move into the postseason, so someone else has to step up."
Down tempo The Kings' back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Clippers marked only the second time since Feb. 2 that they went consecutive games without scoring 100 points.
"We're not getting out running," Smart said. "Now, the lineup has changed a great deal, too, so we're not getting the ball to the open court right away like we had been.
"Also other teams we played, they slowed the pace down as well."
Forcing turnovers is key to getting the Kings into the open court, and Smart said the Kings have had fewer opportunities to do so recently because they have been playing more zone defense for matchup reasons.
Still, the Kings have had chances to score on the break. In their loss to the Clippers on Saturday, Smart said, the Kings had 39 transition opportunities but converted just 13 into points.