The NBA schedule is not for the faint of heart. After a brutal two-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday evening, the Kings face the World Champion Golden State Warriors Monday on the first night of a back-to-back.
Buddy Hield put on a show in the fourth quarter against LA, scoring 16 of his season-high 27 in the final 12 minutes. The second-year guard hit 7-of-9 3-point attempts and is now shooting 44 percent from long range on the season.
Golden State is off to another solid start this season, but they are beat up and might have to play shorthanded against Sacramento. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are all listed as questionable but the injury bug hasn't really slowed the reigning champs.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Buddy Hield vs. Klay Thompson -- Hield has found a niche with the Kings' second team. He's a streaky shooter, but when he's on, his teammates need to feed him. Thompson could be a first or second option on a great team. With the Warriors, he's the best third option in the game. Golden State is banged up and Thompson may find himself in a leading role against the Kings.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 5-14, fifth place in Pacific
Warriors: 15-5, first place in Pacific
Kings: PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.
Warriors: SF Kevin Durant (left ankle), PG Stephen Curry (hand) are out. PF Draymond Green (right foot contusion) will play.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
RIDE THE HOT HAND -- Hield couldn't miss and the Kings kept feeding him on Saturday evening. But that has been a rarity for Sacramento for much of the season. With roles still undefined 19 games into the year, the young Kings need to realize when someone is heating up and funnel the ball in that direction.
48 MINUTES -- Good teams play as close to 48 minutes as possible. The Kings haven't been able to figure that one out quite yet. Sacramento outscored the Clippers in the first, second and fourth quarters on Saturday night and still managed to lose by two points. That's what happens when you get outscored 29-10 in the third.
DON'T GET CAUGHT TRYING TO PLAY WARRIORS BASKETBALL -- You see it too often with young teams. They see the style their opponent is playing and they try to match them blow for blow. While everyone wants to be the Warriors, they play a style that is unique to their skillsets. Last time we checked, the Kings don't have four or five All-Stars on their roster. It's best to stick to your game plan and try to disrupt what Golden State is doing.
Golden State won the season series 3-1 last year, with the Kings' only victory coming at Golden 1 Center on Feb 4. The Warriors hold a 200-186 lead in the all-time series and a 72-65 advantage during the Sacramento era.