Sacramento Kings

Breaking down the Kings’ coming week

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, drives past Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams, right, during an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Lillard is the Blazers’ leading scorer, averaging 25.7 points per game.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, drives past Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams, right, during an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Lillard is the Blazers’ leading scorer, averaging 25.7 points per game. The Associated Press

MONDAY AT TRAIL BLAZERS

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Kings face the explosive backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Trail Blazers players to watch: Damian Lillard leads with team in scoring (25.7 points per game) and assists (6.9). C.J. McCollum is second on the team in scoring (20.7) and leads in steals (1.1).

Last meeting: The Kings lost 112-97 in Portland on Jan. 26. Cousins, who came in having scored 56 and 48 points in his previous two games, was held to 17 points on 17-of-21 shooting. McCollum led Portland with 18 points. Lillard had 15 points and 13 assists.

Hometown take: From Joe Freeman, The Oregonian, “The Trail Blazers on Thursday squandered a late-game lead, wasted another dose of LillardTime and blew a golden opportunity to reinforce their status in the Western Conference playoff race. Worse yet, they did it all against the Los Angeles Clippers.”

WEDNESDAY VS. WIZARDS

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: John Wall is quietly having a stellar season that could help Washington make the playoffs.

Wizards players to watch: Wall is the team leader in scoring (20.1), assists (10.1) and steals (1.9). Marcin Gortat averages 13.5 points per game and a team-high 9.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots.

Last meeting: The Kings lost 113-99 in Washington on Dec. 21 as Marcin Gortat led the Wizards, who suited up just eight players, with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Wall had a game-high 19 assists. The Kings were outshot 50.6 percent to 40.7.

Hometown take: From Gene Wang, Washington Post, “A 132-129 double-overtime loss during which the Wizards at times appeared apathetic toward their precarious postseason situation leaves Washington with virtually no room for error as it embarks on a season-long road trip that includes matchups against the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers, who are seeking a top four seed in the Western Conference.”

FRIDAY VS. HEAT

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Miami is a dark horse to upend Cleveland in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Heat players to watch: Dwyane Wade is averaging 19.1 points, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Hassan Whiteside averages 13.9 points and a team-high 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots per game. Chris Bosh has not played since Feb. 9 (calf strain).

Last meeting: The Kings lost 116-109 in Miami on Nov. 19 despite 18 assists from Rondo. Miami’s Wade led all scorers with 24 points. Bosh had 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Hometown take: From Manny Navarro, Miami Herald, “Nobody with the Miami Heat is denying they’re scoreboard watching these days. With three weeks left in the regular season and the race for third place in the Eastern Conference a four team battle, coach Erik Spoelstra said it’s only human for the Heat to see what Boston, Atlanta and Charlotte are doing. But nowhere at the Heat’s headquarters, Spoelstra said, is there a printed or posted copy of the standings around for players to peruse.”

SATURDAY AT DENVER

Time: 6 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Nuggets lead the Kings in the standings, which seemed unlikely before the season.

Nuggets players to watch: With leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (19.5 points per game) sidelined since Feb. 26 with an ankle injury, Will Barton leads the Nuggets with 14.7 points per game. D.J. Augustin averages 13.1 points per game. Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay averages 12.3 points and a team-high 5.6 assists.

Last meeting: The Kings won 114-110 in Denver on Feb. 23. The Kings, led by Cousins’ 37 points and 20 rebounds, are 2-0 against the Nuggets this season, having beaten them twice in a five day span last month.

Hometown take: From Christopher Dempsey, Denver Post, “Heading into his rookie season Mudiay wanted the big bang, a splashy first season. He knew there would be growing pains. But he would not shy away from any player, he would not back down from any challenge. He hasn't. But slower has been better, even if it took him a while to realize it. As Mudiay looks back on his rookie season ‑ which has 20 games remaining ‑ he's never been more clear on that.”

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