The Sacramento Kings return to action Tuesday evening after falling apart Monday against the Brooklyn Nets. They'll face a shorthanded, but dangerous Toronto Raptors team, trying to avoid a two game skid.
After leading at the half in Brooklyn, the Kings fell apart in the third quarter and completely collapsed in the fourth quarter.
The Nets outscored the Kings 68-34 after the intermission, sending Sacramento away with a disappointing 123-94 loss. Bogdan Bogdanovic posted a 22-point, 11-assist double-double, but it was an off night for Sacramento's core group.
The Raptors are riding a two-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games. They are fresh off a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, but they will play shorthanded against the Kings.
Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 3:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 4:00. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.
Sacramento continues their six-game road trip Friday in Memphis against a struggling Grizzlies team. They'll finish the trip on Sunday with a stop in Los Angeles, before returning home to face the Atlanta Hawks next Wednesday.
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Kyle Lowry
SG Fred VanVleet
SF Danny Green
PF Pascal Siakam
C Serge Ibaka
No injuries to report.
SF Kawhi Leonard (load management) out, SF OG Anunoby (personal) out, C Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) out.
Kings: Dave Joerger has the tough job of managing minutes, while keeping his players healthy. Don't be surprised if he goes heavily to his second unit on the second night of a back-to-back.
De'Aaron Fox has struggled in the month of January, posting 14.8 points, 6.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 30.2 minutes per game for Sacramento. He's shooting 42 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range over the stretch.
Veterans Nemanja Bjelica and Iman Shumpert have hit a wall as well, with both seeing significant drops in the production since the new year began.
If Joerger decides to go away from his standard starting five, expect to see players like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Jackson and Marvin Bagley to step in and play major minutes against the Raptors.
Raptors: Like Sacramento, Toronto is balancing players minutes and trying to avoid potential injuries. All-Star Kawhi Leonard is expected to rest against the Kings. OG Anunoby is out due a personal issue and Jonas Valanciunas continues to miss time with a thump injury.
Despite playing shorthanded, first-year coach Nick Nurse continues to push the right buttons for Toronto. He has his team in the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff chase at 35-13.
The Raptors rank sixth in the league in points per game at 113.9 a night and they hold their opponents to 108.3 points, which ranks ninth overall. Toronto ranks 17th in pace, but they are in the top 10 in most categories, including field goal percentage, 3-point makes, rebounding, steals and blocks.