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Kings vs. Spurs Preview: Win this one for Vlade

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The Kings will try to win their second in a row while preventing San Antonio from winning their 12th.

The Kings are coming off a thrilling overtime win against the Wizards, but tonight they face a tougher test in the San Antonio Spurs (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140).  The Spurs have once again taken the best record in the NBA, as they do seemingly every year, and are on an 11-game winning streak with an average margin of victory of 12.0 during that span.  On a bonus note, Kings legend Vlade Divac will be in attendance for this game!

VLADE INFO

If you purchased tickets through our StR ticket offer, you should have received an e-mail with instructions for your group photo-op with Vlade Divac.  Instructions should also have been e-mailed to you about picking up your free Kings T-Shirt if you were one of the first 200 to purchase.  Make sure to be at the arena by 6:00 p.m. or sooner in order to make sure you can participate.  If you didn't receive an e-mail with instructions and think you should have, e-mail Michael Payton, our excellent ticket rep, at mpeyton@kings.com.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Tim Duncan

Cousins has shown a lot of respect for Tim Duncan in the past, both in game and in the media.  For good reason too, as Duncan remains one of the best bigs in the league even now.  Athletically, he's lost a step, but he's as sound fundamentally as ever.  The Kings need Cousins to be at the top of his game and to outplay Duncan if they want a chance to win.  Cousins didn't play in the last matchup against the Spurs, and the Kings put a scare into San Antonio then.  With Cousins, will they be able to stop the Spurs streak? Probably not, but they'll have a better chance than without him.

3 THINGS

1.  The Spurs are always seemingly resting a couple guys at a time or dealing with some sort of injury but their depth is such that they don't miss a beat.  Perhaps the biggest reason for their latest success then is that they're fully healthy, and a fully healthy Spurs team is terrifying.  Their current winning streak started as soon as Kawhi Leonard came back from injury.

2.  San Antonio doesn't take a whole lot of threes at just 18th in the league, but the threes they do take usually go in as they're 1st in the league in 3P% at .401.  They've got 5 players hitting over 40% of their threes, and 3 more hitting more than 36%.  For reference, the Kings highest three point shooters are Ray McCallum at 37.9% and Isaiah Thomas at 35.2%.

3.  I've always wondered with San Antonio.  Is the reason they keep finding gems because they're incredibly good at finding talent, or is it because they're system and the structure around them allows for optimal development?  I lean towards the latter, as they've had the same coach, the same front office and the same main stars for over a decade now, which makes it easier to bring guys and encourage them to play a role.  It's a cycle the repeats itself too, as those young guys become part of the system in place. It's quite amazing what they've managed to do over there.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

It's Vla-deh Dah-de,
But does he like to party?
Scot Pollard says yes.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Spurs 115 as the Kings play a surprisingly tough game but lose in the final quarter. Pretty much like every other time we play the Spurs.