SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings return to their home floor Friday night looking to get back on the winning track. They’ll face a quality Los Angeles Clippers team that is coming off a disappointing loss against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
The Kings remain four games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings with 26 games remaining in the season. They will need to figure out a way to slow Los Angeles’ offense, especially on the perimeter, if they hope to pick up a win.
The Clippers have played well without star big man Blake Griffin, going 20-7 without their leading scorer. Nine-time All-Star Chris Paul has carried the load and showed no signs of slowing in his 11th NBA season. The addition of veteran forward Jeff Green at the deadline give the Clippers one more weapon to game plan for.
Clippers by 4
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 24-32, third place in Pacific
Clippers: 37-20, second place in Pacific
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. DeAndre Jordan -- Cousins struggled a bit against the Spurs on Wednesday night, but still managed to post 22 points and 10 rebounds. The last time these two teams faced off, Cousins dropped in 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and the Kings came away with a 110-103 victory. Jordan missed the last matchup against Sacramento and he struggled in two games against the Kings early in the season. Cousins hates the Clippers and would love nothing more than to have a huge night and pick up a victory. He will have his hands full trying to slow Clippers big man on the glass and off the lob.
Kings: PG Rajon Rondo (right thumb tendinitis) out.
Clippers: F Blake Griffin (hand) out, G Austin Rivers (hand) out.
The Clippers lead the season series 2-1, but the Kings hold a 113-85 lead in the all-time series and a 69-62 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“You’ve got to make it as difficult as possible, play with great physicality and make every shot tough for him. He’s a hell of a player. He’s going to be tough, but it’s a team effort.” -DeAndre Jordan on DeMarcus Cousins