Win the games you are supposed to win. After running over the Phoenix Suns for their second straight victory, the Sacramento Kings venture to Cleveland where the 5-19 Cavs will play host Friday evening.
If the Kings want to be considered a playoff contender, they have to beat struggling teams, whether it's on the road or at the friendly confines of Golden 1 Center.
Willie Cauley-Stein set the defensive tone against Phoenix and Buddy Hield caught fire to help propel the Kings to a 35-point second quarter lead on Tuesday. Sacramento needs to bottle that mixture and take it with them as they continue a four game road trip across the country.
With the win over the Suns, the Kings moved back over the .500 mark on the season at 12-11. The schedule is tightening up to finish the month of December. Sacramento needs to pick up a few more games on the trip to pad their record if they hope to stay even heading into the new year.
Rookie Marvin Bagley III is listed as probable after missing the previous two games with lower back spasms. There is no word if the 19-year-old will have a minutes restriction, but with the Kings playing a back-to-back, he might not play extended minutes.
Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay California begins at 4:00 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams app.
Following the game, the Kings travel to Indiana where they'll play the Pacers Saturday evening. They'll make a stop in Chicago on Monday before returning home on Dec. 12 to host the Timberwolves.
Line: Kings by 3
PG De'Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Collin Sexton
SG Rodney Hood
SF Cedi Osman
PF Larry Nance
C Tristan Thompson
*George Hill was expected to start, but the former Kings guard has been traded to the Bucks.
No injuries to report.
PF Kevin Love (toe) is out, SG J.R. Smith (personal) is out, F Sam Dekker (ankle) is out, SG David Nwaba (knee) out, C Ante Zizic (knee) is questionable.
Kings: It appears that Marvin Bagley will return to action after missing the previous two games with a back injury. He gives coach Dave Joerger another weapon in the post. In Bagley's absence, veteran Kosta Koufos has played solid minutes off the bench for the Kings.
Sacramento is well rested after the starters played limited minutes in Phoenix on Tuesday. De'Aaron Fox led the way with just under 27 minutes of action and all 13 active players got a chance to play for the Kings in the lopsided victory.
Cavs: Like Phoenix, the Cavs are a mess. They've lost five of their last six and already have losing streaks of three, four, five and six on the season. Larry Drew is 5-13 since taking over for Tyronn Lue. His injury report is long and his depleted squad is averaging just 102.9 points per game, which ranks 29th in the league.