SACRAMENTO -- It doesn't get any bigger than this. Sitting just two games out of playoff contention in the Western Conference standings with 21 remaining on the schedule, the Kings host the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night at Golden 1 Center.
L.A. currently sits in a tie with the Spurs for seventh in the standings. A win by Sacramento would move the Kings within a game of Clippers with plenty of time remaining in the season.
Sacramento has dropped four of its previous five games, but the schedule was brutal. The Kings will be without rookie phenom Marvin Bagley III, who injured his left knee in the Kings' overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
The Clippers lost their last time out as well, falling on the road to the Utah Jazz. They are 4-4 since shaking up their roster at the NBA trade deadline, but hold a 3-0 advantage over the Kings in the season series.
Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.
The schedule doesn't let up for Sacramento. They'll gear up for the battle against the Clippers, and then host the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics next week before heading out on a four-game road trip.
Kings by 3.5
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Bogdan Bogdanovic
PF Harrison Barnes
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Patrick Beverley
SG Landry Shamet
SF Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
PF Danilo Gallinari
C Ivaca Zubac
PF Marvin Bagley III (knee) is out.
F Wilson Chandler (quad) and F Luc Mbah a Moute (quad) is out.
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Coach Dave Joerger is constantly adjusting his rotation for matchup purposes, but losing Bagley is a blow. The rookie has provided a big-time punch off the bench, posting 17.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in February.
Fellow rookie big Harry Giles stepped in against the Bucks, and provided a huge spark for the Kings. The 20-year-old posted 18 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. He'll likely get a shot at breakout big Montrezl Harrell on Friday.
Bogdanovic dropped in a 3-pointer at the buzzer against Milwaukee to score a career-high 28 points. He appears to waking up from a prolonged shooting slump.
Sacramento recalled Caleb Swanigan from the G League prior to Friday's matchup. He will be in uniform if Joerger needs another big to throw at Harrell.
Doc Rivers has done a masterful job of keeping his Clippers in the playoff hunt. They made major changes at the deadline, forcing Rivers to keep his team in the race without the services of both Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley.
The Clippers are ninth in both points per game and pace this season. They are third in the league in 3-point percentage, 10th in rebounding and first in free-throw attempts.
Sacramento has struggled to slow the Clippers' second unit. Harrell and Lou Williams are a wrecking crew, and the Kings will need to make adjustments.