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Kings vs. Warriors Preview: Sacramento goes for a needed ‘W’ against the Dubs

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The Kings try to snap their three game losing streak against the defending champs.

Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings have dropped three games in a row by an average of five points per loss, and things don’t get any easier on Saturday night when they face the four-headed monster that is the Golden State Warriors. The defending champions can both score and defend at a high-level, meaning the Kings will need to execute to near-perfection on both ends of the floor to have any hope of breaking their short-lived losing streak.

When: Saturday, January 5th, 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

The Golden State Warriors may be a bit tired coming into tonight’s contest after their one point loss to the Houston Rockets Thursday night. The game was close throughout, eventually ending in overtime, and the three Golden State stars all played significant minutes. Steph Curry recorded over 40 minutes, Kevin Durant played 42 of his own, while Klay Thompson finished with a smidgen over 43. The Kings were in a close battle of their own two nights ago, but their three best players saw far fewer minutes: De’Aaron Fox with 28, Bogdan Bogdanovic with 29, and Buddy Hield with 34. Sacramento’s run-and-gun offense should give them an extra boost against a tired and sore Golden State squad, especially with the home crowd in the Golden 1 Center behind them.

The Kings have faced the defending champions twice already this season, and while they lost both contests, the young superteam had a chance at a ‘W’ each time. Only six total points separated the two teams between the pair of defeats, including a late surge and collapse three weeks ago in which the Warriors ended the game on a 17 - 2 run over the final few minutes. De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Buddy Hield have shown no fear when facing Golden State, and a good showing from all three players should give the Kings a solid chance to win the game.

Rebounding problems have plagued the Kings all season, and their early season match-ups with the Warriors were no exception. Golden State has out-rebounded Sacramento 114 - 89 between those two games, a battle the Kings need to win if they want a shot at a victory. Dave Joerger’s squad is constantly facing a size advantage by starting a shooting guard at the small forward position, and below average rebounder in the front court, meaning every individual player must commit to boxing out and pursuing rebounds, especially on the defensive end of the floor. If they cant close out possessions against the deadly shooting of the Warriors, the game will spin out of control all too quickly.

The Kings are also in need of a win to stay over .500 and halt their second three-game winning streak of the season. A victory would place them in good position heading into a much easier portion of their schedule, with 7 of their next 8 opponents featuring a record of .500 or below.

Prediction

De’Aaron Fox scores more than 25 points and dishes out more than 10 assists, Buddy Hield hits more three-pointers than Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant declares his intention to join the Sacramento Kings in free agency after Golden State’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the youngest superteam in the West.

Kings 138, Warriors 120