Kings Blog

Breaking down the Kings’ week ahead

Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green gestures during an NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Oakland.
Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green gestures during an NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Oakland. The Associated Press

SUNDAY VS. BLAZERS

Time: 6 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Kings have to be aggressive in defending C.J. McCollum, who has shown this season he can be a prolific scorer.

Trail Blazers players to watch: Damian Lillard leads Portland in scoring (24.6 points per game) and assists (6.8), but he has sat out the past three games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. C.J. McCollum averages 20.4 points per game. He had 19 points and seven assists in Wednesday’s loss to New Orleans. Mason Plumlee leads Portland in rebounds (8.2).

Last meeting: The Kings won 110-99 on March 1 despite 31 points from Lillard. The Kings, who were without DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle, bruised left hip) were led by Rudy Gay’s 24 points.

Hometown take: From Joe Freeman, The Oregonian, “The three-game absence is the first of Lillard’s three-plus season career. He started his first 275 games, the second-longest consecutive-games played streak in Blazers history and the longest starting streak to begin a career in NBA history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.”

MONDAY AT WARRIORS

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Kings want to play fast, but the Warriors are the NBA’s best at that.

Warriors players to watch: Well, everybody, but specifically, Stephen Curry (NBA’s leading scorer with 30.8 points a game. He’s made 134 three-point shots, but is only 9 of 32 his past five games. Draymond Green leads in rebounds (9.0) and assists (7.1).

Last meeting: The Warriors improved to 18-0 with a 120-101 win on Nov. 28 in Oakland as Curry played fewer than 30 minutes. Sacramento’s Rudy Gay led all scorers with 20 points and Draymond Green had 12 assists.

Hometown take: From Diamond Leung, San Jose Mercury News, “The Warriors might have impressed in the showcase game on national television against a revenge-seeking Cavaliers team but took more pride in their 28-1 record rather than the one regular-season win (over the Cavaliers on Christmas day).”

WEDNESDAY VS. 76ers

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: After playing the NBA’s best team, the Kings cannot afford a letdown against the league’s worst.

76ers players to watch: Rookie Jahlil Okafor leads hapless Philadelphia with 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds, but he sat out Saturday’s game against Phoenix. Robert Covington is averaging 12.3 points per game.

Last meeting: The Kings erase an 18-point deficit and win 114-107 on March 22 at home with DeMarcus Cousins going for 39 points and 24 rebounds.

Hometown take: From Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer, “Several 76ers are excited that former NBA players Chuck Hayes and John Lucas III recently met with coach Brett Brown as the team possibly looks to add much-needed veteran leadership.”

SATURDAY VS. SUNS

Time: 2 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, NBATV, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Phoenix figures to be a team the Kings will need to best to make the playoffs.

Suns players to watch: Eric Bledsoe leads Phoenix with 20.9 points, 6.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Brandon Knight averages 19.8 points per game and 5.2 assists.

Last meeting: The Suns won 118-97 on Nov. 4 at home as Eric Bledsoe had 19 points and eight assists. Phoenix shot 60.6 from three-point range (14 of 23).

Hometown take: From Paola Boivin, The Arizona Republic, “Approximately 300 players suited up for NBA games Wednesday night. Many surely were frustrated by their playing time. Only one threw a towel at his coach. Congratulations, Markieff Morris, you win. You’ve put the Suns in the challenging position of having to trade you, and they will probably have to package young talent to do it.”

Compiled by Jeff Caraska

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