After a thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in triple overtime, the Kings head out to the southeast to face the Memphis Grizzlies this afternoon.
The win over the Lakers was perhaps the most emotional game the Kings have played this season, so it will be interesting to see if there is any hangover either physically or emotionally heading into Sunday.
The Grizzlies will be without their best player, Ja Morant who exited their last game against the Atlanta Hawks with a knee injury. Luckily, Morant’s injury is just a left knee strain, much less serious than it could have been in the worst-case scenario.
For the Kings, not facing Morant is a major break, as he’s having an All-Star caliber season, averaging 24.1 points per game on the most efficient shooting splits of his young career.
Morant’s team has been extremely Jekyll and Hyde this season. This is evidenced most recently by their 43 point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which they followed up with a win on the road over the Utah Jazz.
The Kings, of course, are hampered themselves, and will likely be without two starters, Harrison Barnes or Richaun Holmes. Guys like Marvin Bagley III and Damian Jones have stepped up for Sacramento in their absence, so hopefully, that trend continues.
Can the Kings win a game with their opponent missing its best player?
This is the type of game that Kings teams of the last few seasons always seemed to lose. Sacramento lost recently in a more extreme version of this situation, as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers who were missing their entire starting lineup.
The Kings aren’t good enough to overlook anyone even if they are missing guys, so ideally that won’t happen on Sunday.
How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK
Opposing Perspective: Grizzly Bear Blues
Spread: Grizzlies -4
Moneyline: Grizzlies -170, Kings +150
SAC injuries/absences: Sacramento: Richaun Holmes Out (Illness) Harrison Barnes Doubtful (Foot), Maurice Harkless Questionable (Knee)
MEM injuries/absences: Ja Morant Out (Knee) Sam Merrill Out (Knee)