The Sacramento Kings will head to the AT&T Center on Saturday evening as they get set for a Western Conference clash against the San Antonio Spurs.
Times have been tough for the Kings, who have lost four of their last five games to come into the weekend with an 8-12 overall record. Sacramento has been ravaged by
injuries this season, which has played a role in their slow start. Meanwhile, the Spurs are in the midst of a lost season after winning just eight of their first 22 games. Can San Antonio sustain its recent momentum by covering the spread at home against the Kings on Saturday night?
Richaun Holmes continued his strong early-season play, finishing with 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 127-116 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Buddy
Hield chipped in 23 for the Kings and Nemanja Bjelica added 17 points and seven boards for the Kings, who allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 56.0 percent from the field and 16-for-32 from 3-point range in the loss.
Getting healthy has been an issue for the Kings since Marvin Bagley III left the season-opener against Phoenix with a thumb injury. Since then, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic have been among the other Kings to miss significant time due to injury. The Kings continue to play without Fox, who remains out with an ankle injury but Bagley and Bogdanovic could return to the floor soon. Bogdanovic missed Wednesday’s game with a knee injury and his status is up in the air for Friday’s contest in San Antonio.
Meanwhile, Bagley is close to returning to action but unlikely to join the Kings on the floor on Friday night, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.
Thanks to having some of their key guys on the bench, the Kings have sputtered on offense to start the season. They come in ranked 21st in the NBA in offensive efficiency with a 106.2 rating and 109.9 defensive rating ranks 19th in the league.
Lonnie Walker IV came alive with a career-high 28 points, including eight straight points in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs erase a 22-point third-quarter deficit in a 135-133 double-overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. The win didn’t come without controversy though, as the referees disallowed a James Harden dunk that went through the hoop in the fourth quarter with the Rockets up 13 points. Bryn Forbes added 25 points while DeMar DeRozan chipped in 23 for the Spurs, who also got 15 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks from center Jakob Poetl, who started in place of LaMarcus Aldridge.
Late-game collapses, poor defense, and inconsistent 3-point shooting have plagued the Spurs through the early part of the season. After starting out with a 4-1 record, San Antonio proceeded to lose 12 of its next 15 games before beating the Rockets on Tuesday. However, they’ve been showing signs of life as of late with a pair of victories over Western Conference contenders (Clippers & Rockets).
Defensive miscues have been a major issue for the Spurs, who rank 12th in the NBA with an offensive rating of 109.4 through their first 22 contests. Getting stops has been a problem for San Antonio, especially late in games. The Spurs have surrendered 113.0 points per 100 possessions for the season, which ranks 24th in the league.