SUNDAY AT RAPTORS
Time: 3 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: The Kings’ defense will be tested by Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, who is off to a hot start.
Raptors players to watch: Along with DeRozan, the Raptors have All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, whose numbers are a bit down from last season, and Jonas Valanciunas, who is averaging 11 rebounds a night.
Last meeting: Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 13 assists for his fourth consecutive double-double to help the Kings beat the Toronto Raptors 104-94 on Dec. 20 of last season and snap a four-game road skid.
Hometown take: From Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun, “That’s historic because this is the first time in franchise history a Toronto player has led the league in scoring (other than Vince Carter on opening night, 2003). ... DeRozan is probably going to end up averaging roughly 10 fewer points per game by the time April concludes, but it is a nice little footnote to what has been by far the best start of his career.”
TUESDAY VS. PELICANS
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, NBA, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Injuries have slowed New Orleans but Anthony Davis remains one of the league’s premier talents.
Pelicans players to watch: Davis is fifth in the league at 30 points per game entering Saturday and averages 11.7 boards per. Tim Frazier is second on the team at 13 points a game and averages a team-high seven assists.
Last meeting: Anthony Davis had 31 points and 10 rebounds, and host New Orleans rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit to beat the Kings 115-112 on March 7 of last season. DeMarcus Cousins had 40 points, 16 rebounds and four steals, but also committed five turnovers.
Hometown take: From William Guillory, The Times-Picayune, “After another inexplicable loss on Friday night, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis tried to find the words to explain where his mind was after his team’s rough start to the year, but he couldn’t come up with anything. ‘I mean, I don’t know what to say. It just sucks,’ Davis said. ... Davis’ sentiment was the same as many of his teammates, who are searching for answers after the Pelicans let what could’ve been the team’s first win slip away in a 112-111 overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns.”
THURSDAY VS. LAKERS
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV/radio: TNT, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: New coach Luke Walton has improved Los Angeles’ offense.
Lakers players to watch: Point guard D’Angelo Russell leads the team in scoring (16.7) and assists (4.7), and is one of five Lakers to average double figures in points. Julius Randle’s 8.3 rebounds per night leads Los Angeles.
Last meeting: Darren Collison had 22 points in his ninth start of the season, DeMarcus Cousins also scored 22 and the Kings completed its first four-game season sweep of Los Angeles with a 106-98 road victory on March 15 of last season.
Hometown take: From Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, “With a new core, a new coach, and mere months removed from the worst record in franchise history, the Lakers are not yet great again. But quickly, stunningly, they are fun again, and, man, did they have a blast Friday night at Staples Center in beating up on The Greatest Team Ever. The breathtaking final score was 117-97, the Lakers beating the mighty Golden State Warriors from start to finish.”
FRIDAY AT TRAIL BLAZERS
Time: 7 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are each capable of big scoring nights.
Trail Blazers players to watch: Lillard’s 34.2 scoring average was tied for second in the NBA entering Saturday. Al-Farouq Aminu leads Portland in rebounds, steals and blocks, and has also made eight 3-pointers.
Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins scored 30 points, and Rajon Rondo had his sixth triple-double with a season-high 27 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 115-107 home loss to Portland on April 5 of last season. McCollum made five 3-pointers and scored 30 points for the Trail Blazers.
Hometown take: From Joe Freeman, The Oregonian, “Over the last 30 years, only five players have scored 200 or more points in the first six games of the season: Lillard, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry. Lillard is the first player since O’Neal in 1994 to score at least 27 points in each of his first six games.”
Compiled by Noel Harris