Kings vs. Warriors Preview: Back in action

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings get ready to finish off the season with a visit from their Bay Area rivals. They'll have to do it without DeMarcus Cousins and possibly Marcus Thornton.

The All-Star break is over and now the Kings get ready to take on the Warriors (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) in the first of their 29 remaining games. DeMarcus Cousins is doubtful with a strained hip flexor, and Marcus Thornton might be out with a case of the traded to the Nets.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Rudy Gay vs. Andre Iguodala

Without Cousins, Gay is going to be the focal point of Sacramento's offense and he's going up against perhaps the best perimeter defender in the NBA.  If he gets shut down, the Kings have very little chance of winning this game.  Conversely, he'll have to work on the defensive end to make sure Iguodala doesn't contribute more offensively than is normal, since that's just a bonus for the Warriors.

3 THINGS

1. Golden State isn't fully healthy either.  Andrew Bogut is questionable for tonight, and Festus Ezeli and Nemanja Nedovic remain out.  Those losses aren't nearly as meaningful as the Kings playing without Cousins, but it;s still something, especially defensively where Bogut is an anchor.

2. The Warriors will come out looking to win this game at any cost.  At this point in the season they're not just worried about playoff seeding, they're worried about making the playoffs at all.  The Suns, Warriors, Mavericks and Grizzlies are all within a game of each other, and one of them will end up missing the playoffs.  For Golden State, every game is a must win, especially against bad teams like Sacramento.

3. When you think Warriors, you tend to think of incredible offense, but the Warriors have actually been a similar offensive team to the Kings this year.  They're just 12th in Offensive Rating (Kings are 13th).  Instead, the Warriors have been fantastic on defense with the 3rd best defensive rating in the league.  Bogut's a big part of that, but so is Andre Iguodala.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

The break is over.
The playoffs are out of reach,
but don't stop trying.

PREDICTION

Kings 118, Warriors 101 after a laundry mixup has the Kings and the Warriors wearing each other's jerseys.

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