The Sacramento Kings look to make it two in a row Friday evening at Golden 1 Center, but standing in their way is LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The Kings are 1-3 on their season-long seven-game homestand and currently sit a half game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Dave Joerger turned to veterans Garrett Temple and Anthony Tolliver next to Darren Collison, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins in his starting lineup over the past two games. Will he stick with the same group for a third straight game? He was noncommittal on Tuesday following the win over Detroit and continued to dodge the question following practice on Thursday.
Cleveland has lost two straight, including a 102-86 drubbing in Portland on Wednesday night. They are four games into a six game road trip and have a Finals rematch on Monday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.
Cavs by 6.5
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 16-22, third place in Pacific
Cavs: 28-10, first place in Central
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Rudy Gay vs. LeBron James -- James is one of the more decorated players in NBA history. The four-time league MVP and 12-time All-Star is nearly impossible to stop. He's posting 26.1 points, 8.1 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game, leading the Cavs to a three game lead in the Eastern Conference standings. Gay has had a nice season, but struggled in his last outing against the Detroit Pistons, shooting 3-of-11 from the field while turning the ball over seven times. Sacramento will need their starting small forward to play major minutes and limit the damage done by one of the best in the game.
Kings: No injuries to report.
Cavs: SG J.R. Smith (thumb surgery) out, C Chris Andersen (right knee) out.
This is the first of two meetings between the Kings and Cavs this season. Cleveland owns a 57-56 advantage in the all-time series and 37-22 lead over the Kings during the Sacramento-era.
"I think that guys are believing and they're competing. The Detroit game was the most disappointing thing I've seen all season. I thought for two or three quarters, that was awful. That was awful. Am I happy we came back and won? Yeah, but we've got to get it together for 48 minutes." --Dave Joerger on his team's performance against the Pistons on Tuesday night