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Kings vs. Jazz preview: Can Sacramento continue strong play without De’Aaron Fox?

It’s going to be a tough task for Luke Walton’s squad against the Western Conference leaders.

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings will go for their third win in four games when they take on the team with the best record in the NBA, the Utah Jazz.

Sacramento is coming off an impressive 113-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Although the Kings are all but eliminated from the play-in race, it was encouraging to see the team come together without leader De’Aaron Fox.

Game Information

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

When: Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. PT

How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM

Opposing perspective: SLC Dunk

Projected Starting Lineups

Kings (25-36): Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Richaun Holmes

Jazz (44-17): Mike Conley Jr, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert

Injuries/Absences

Kings: Marvin Bagley III (hand), Robert Woodard II (low back soreness) — OUT

Jazz: Donovan Mitchell (ankle) — OUT

Tyrese Haliburton has looked great over the past two games without Fox in the lineup. The rookie has stepped up as the team’s primary playmaker and is averaging 19 points, nine assists and four rebounds, with Fox missing the last two games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Head coach Luke Walton is also mixing up his rotations. The newer Sacramento players (Moe Harkless, Terence Davis and Delon Wright) have all been meaningful contributors over recent weeks as they try to make an impression on general manager Monte McNair.

The Jazz have been without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell for the previous six games. Mitchell will miss at least another week due to an ankle injury. Utah initially won three of four games without Mitchell but wound up losing back-to-back games to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.

Still, it will be a tough test for the Kings. The Jazz have the best point-differential of any NBA team and give up the fourth-fewest points in the league.

With only 11 games left on the schedule, Sacramento remains mathematically alive in the play-in race, but it will need a miracle to get in. The Kings are four games up on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it seems unlikely Sacramento ends up in the top-six in terms of lottery odds.

This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Jazz beat Sacramento 128-112 on April 10.