The Sacramento Kings venture into Madison Square Garden looking for a rare road win against the New York Knicks. Tyreke Evans is expected back (for real this time!), but the Knicks are vastly improved over recent years in which the Kings had some fun games in the Garden.
Last year, Evans, Omri Casspi and Kevin Martin led a wild fourth quarter comeback to beat the Knicks in overtime at MSG. The season prior, the Kings scored 121 points on their way to a route of the Knicks in New York. The Kings won at MSG in 2008-09, too, with John Salmons going for 30 points.
STARTING LINEUPS & INJURIES
If Tyreke sits, Pooh Jeter may again get the start for the Kings; Sacramento played just fine in the first quarter against the Celtics. Either 'Reke or Jeter will join Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins, barring a surprising alteration.
The Knicks seem to be digging the line-up of Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf. Shawne Williams, Bill Walker and Roger Mason should play off the bench. If foul trouble becomes an issue, Timofey Mozgov may make an appearance.
Check out HighTops' scouting report, if you haven't already.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Stoudemire vs. Cousins. The pair won't be matched up explicitly -- I take it Mike D'Antoni will opt to use Turiaf on Cousins on defense, and Thompson would be the apparent defender of Stoudemire. But that said, Cousins and Stoudemire will play more minutes (fouls willing) than their counterparts, and barring a Mozgov bomb, there will be some overlap. How the refs call the game will be key.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Omri Casspi. Playing in New York is going to remain special for him, I feel, because of all the extra attention he gets there. Luckily for us, he thrives in the spotlight. We'll see if that's the case in this one.
4:30 PM on Comcast and KHTK 1140 AM. Game threads at 4:30 and 6. Let's go Kings.