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Kings vs. Spurs Preview: There's no place like home

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento's back home after a tough week on the road that has seen them lose three straight, including two in a row in which the Kings were up by at least 24 points in each game.  This homestand isn't exactly going to be a piece of cake either, as the first team they have to face are the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. Tonight's action tips off at 7:00 pm tonight on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. The Spurs do tend to rest some players on the second night of a back to back, but their game against the Lakers yesterday was so easy that their stars didn't have to play heavy minutes.  There's also the fact that the trip to Sacramento from Los Angeles isn't very long anyway.  As of yet, there's no word on whether or not any of the Spurs main guys will be sitting, but even if they are, this isn't a team to take lightly.  The Spurs make a living on beating other teams with their second unit, and it's just one of the reasons why they're so good.

2. The Kings need to come out strong and stay strong.  The starts in both of the last two games have been fantastic, but it's been the inability to maintain their big leads that has killed them.  I doubt the Spurs are going to let the Kings get the jump on them early like the Grizzlies and Mavericks did, and I fully expect this to be a close game throughout.  Sacramento's bench unit has to step up, as the Kings have routinely lost momentum when they've come into the game.  Hopefully the lessons of the last two game and the home crowd will energize this Kings team.

3. Aside from Tim Duncan, the Spurs don't really have anyone that can guard DeMarcus Cousins.  Even Duncan himself has struggled with Cousins in the past.  Tiago Splitter is out indefinitely, and Aron Baynes and Jeff Ayres are simply not strong enough to handle Boogie in the post.  This should be a good game for Boogie to assert his dominance.  He just needs to find a way to stay on the floor and not pick up cheap fouls.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Darren Collison vs. Tony Parker

Tony Parker is San Antonio's Point of Attack, and even though he's won so many games and so many championships, is still probably one of the more underrated stars in this league.  He's a very crafty player who also has the ability to make big time shots from almost anywhere.  This is a tough assignment for Collison (he's rarely had easy ones), but if he can slow Parker down, that will help immensely.  He will also benefit by giving Parker fits on the other end of the court, as Parker has never been known as a strong defender.

PREGAME LIMERICK

It's Sactown Royalty night,
where many of us will reunite.
Don't be afraid,
or even dismayed,
I've told section214 not to bite.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Spurs 107 as the Kings figure out that since a 24 point lead didn't work and a 26 point lead didn't work, a 28 point lead will work.