SACRAMENTO -- The NBA schedule keeps rolling on. For the third time in four nights, the Sacramento Kings will host a team at Golden 1 Center. A struggling Chicago Bulls team comes in beat up and short-handed Monday evening, trying to snap a six-game losing streak.
Sacramento looked great through three quarters Saturday night against the Mavericks, shooting over 63 percent from the floor over the game’s first 36 minutes. Then they seemed to run out of gas. A long road trip followed by a back-to-back at home has the Kings “mentally fatigued.” They’ll have three days off after playing Chicago to try and hit the reset button.
The Bulls have lost six in a row coming into Monday’s matchup. They will play without rookie phenom, Lauri Markkanen and they traded leading scorer, Nikola Mirotic, to the Pelicans last Thursday.
Kings by 2.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Bogdan Bogdanovic vs. Zach LaVine -- Bogdanovic looks like a keeper in his first season in the NBA. After putting up big numbers in January, the 25-year-old Serbian has struggled to score over the last week, scoring in double-figures in just two of his last six games. He’ll be tested Monday night when the high-flying LaVine rolls into Golden 1 Center. Since returning from a devastating knee injury, LaVine has started 10 games for the Bulls. He’s posting 14.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game as Chicago attempts to bring him back slowly after nearly a year off.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 16-36, fifth place in Pacific
Bulls: 18-34, fifth place in Central
Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (shoulder strain) out 1-2 weeks, PG Frank Mason (plantar fascia tear right heel) out, Malachi Richardson (ankle) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.
Bulls: PG Kris Dunn (concussion) out, Lauri Markkanen (personal) out, PG Cameron Payne (foot) out, PG Jameer Nelson (newly acquired) questionable, C Omer Asik (newly acquired) questionable SG Tony Allen (newly acquired) questionable.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Home Cooking -- The Kings have dropped the first two games of the four game homestand and their fans could use a little love. They played well through three quarters against Dallas, but the fourth was abysmal and fans headed for the doors early.
Take Advantage of a Wounded Opponent -- For one reason or another, the Bulls are without three of their top four scorers. They’ve lost six straight and they are finishing a three game road trip on the west coast. This is a winnable game on their home floor for the Kings.
Toughen Up -- In a reoccuring theme for the season, head coach Dave Joerger said the Mavs out physicaled his team Saturday night. The Kings have to learn how to push back as they develop in the second half of the season.
The Kings snapped their five game losing streak to the Bull on the first of December, coming away with a 107-106 win to take a 1-0 advantage in the season series. Chicago holds an 82-76 lead in the all-time series and a 35-29 advantage during the Sacramento-era.