Looking for a little luck. The Sacramento Kings have dropped eight straight and there appears to be no end to their season-long road trip. Next up on the docket is the Orlando Magic.
Sacramento made a game of it Monday night in Charlotte before falling late to the Hornets. They Kings' youth movement is in full swing, but it's been a bumpy ride. Skal Labissiere had a breakout 23 point game and De'Aaron Fox added 16 points and seven assists, but it wasn't enough to snap the losing streak.
The Magic are coming off their biggest win of the season Sunday against the Celtics. They started the year 8-4, but Orlando is just 6-28 since. They are young and have plenty of pieces to build around, but they just can't seem to put it all together.
Magic by 6.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Aaron Gordon -- In his fourth season in the league, Gordon is blowing up. The high flier is finally living up to his billing coming out of college, even showing newfound range from the outside. Cauley-Stein is finding his game as well. He's a year behind Gordon in NBA experience, but this should be a fun matchup against two extremely long athletes.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 13-33, last place in Pacific
Magic: 14-32, last place in Southeast
Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain) probable, PF/C Zach Randolph (sore left knee) out for season, PG Frank Mason III (right heel) out, Harry Giles (knee rehab) out for the season.
Magic: SF Jonathan Isaac (ankle) out, SG Terrence Ross (knee) out, C Nikola Vucevic (hand) out.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Youth on Display -- Both of these teams are loaded with young talent. They are both struggling through the dog days of the NBA schedule, but they can beat anyone on any given night. It's frustrating, but it's the mark of a young team.
Build on Success -- The Kings haven't had a lot of success as a team, but individually, we are seeing signs of growth. In the first 10 games of 2018, the minutes have increased and so have the numbers for the young core. It's about team in the end, but the Kings need to see what they have.
Go for the Win -- Eight straight is brutal. Young players need to see that their hard work is paying off. Numbers are one way to judge improvement, but a win would do a lot to help the growth of this team.
The Kings and Magic split the season series 1-1 last season. Sacramento holds a 29-27 lead all-time over Orlando.