TUESDAY AT NUGGETS
Time: 6 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Denver is right behind the Kings in the standings and will look to avenge Friday’s loss at Sacramento.
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Nuggets players to watch: Will Barton has been called a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. He averages 15.5 points and 6.1 rebounds off the bench.
Last meeting: The Kings defeated the Nuggets 116-110 on Friday at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 37 points and 20 rebounds to help Sacramento win its first game following the All-Star break. Danilo Gallinari had 27 points on just 11 shots for Denver.
Hometown take: From Christopher Dempsey, The Denver Post: If Friday night’s game at Sacramento meant more to Nuggets coach Michael Malone than any other, he won the award for Best Poker Face. “It’s just one of 82, my man,” he said. “Obviously, that team fired me. ... That’s their loss. I’m in a better place.”
WEDNESDAY VS. SPURS
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, ESPN, 950, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Kawhi Leonard is a big reason San Antonio is among the NBA’s best defensive units.
Spurs players to watch: Leonard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, leads the team in scoring at 20.2 per game. The NBA Finals MVP two seasons ago is the new leader of a team that still has longtime stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Last meeting: The Kings lost 106-88 on Nov. 9 at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 21 points and 12 rebounds but shot 5 of 20. Leonard was 10 for 13 and scored a game-high 24 points, and Duncan had a double double (11 points, 14 rebounds) for San Antonio.
Hometown take: From Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News: David Robinson, a Hall of Fame center who played for the Spurs, spoke on ESPN Radio recently about Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and Houston’s Dwight Howard, who most see as the best big men in the NBA today. “I think it’s a little bit of immaturity. Those guys haven’t learned how to get along with their coaches, their teammates. At some point you got to grow up. ... Obviously, DeMarcus Cousins, super talented guy, the guy can do so much. But if you can’t build a team, then what good are you?”
FRIDAY VS. CLIPPERS
Time: 7 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: The Clippers, led by Chris Paul, have played well while Blake Griffin has been hurt.
Clippers players to watch: Paul is second on the team in scoring average at 19.5 points a game. He also leads the team with 9.4 assists and 2.1 steals per contest. Blake Griffin leads the team in scoring (23.2) but hasn’t played since Christmas Day.
Last meeting: The Kings won 110-103 at Staples Center on Jan. 16 to earn consecutive road victories for the first time in more than a year. It also snapped Los Angeles’ 10-game winning streak. DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead Sacramento.
Hometown take: From Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: They are the last team to defeat both the Warriors and Spurs in the postseason. They have won big games in both places. They not only believe they still have a championship shot, they also believe it could be one of their two remaining championship shots with Paul and Griffin free to walk in the summer in 2017. This group’s title window is closing fast, so who can blame them for wanting to grab at every last breeze while they can?
Compiled by Noel Harris