SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings return home to take on the Memphis Grizzlies for a New Year's Eve matinee at Golden 1 Center on Saturday. After a disappointing loss in Portland on Wednesday night, the Kings have a chance to pick up one more win to close out 2016.
With the Nuggets' loss to the 76ers on Friday evening, the Kings come into Saturday's game with a half game lead for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff race. After playing the Grizzlies, the Kings travel to Denver where they face the Nuggets Tuesday night before returning home to begin a seven game homestand.
Memphis is hanging tough in the standings despite struggling with injuries through their early season schedule. The availability of Mike Conley Jr. is a major question mark after the veteran point guard missed the Grizzlies Thursday night 114-80 drubbing of the Oklahoma City Thunder with a toe injury.
Kings by 1
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Bench vs. Bench -- The Kings' second unit has kept them in plenty of games this season, but they'll need a big performance if they hope to outscore the powerful veteran bench from Memphis. Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and sharpshooter Troy Daniels give you a little of everything, but they like to keep the game at a snails pace. Ty Lawson's crew needs to push the tempo and stick with Daniels on the perimeter if they hope to come out on top.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 14-18, third place in Pacific
Grizzlies: 21-14, third place in Southwest
Kings: SF Rudy (hip flexor) out, SG Arron Afflalo (elbow strain) out.
Grizzlies: PG Mike Conley Jr. (big toe) questionable, F Brandon Wright (ankle) out, F Deyonta Davis (foot) out.
Memphis swept the season series against Sacramento 3-0 lead last year, but Sacramento took game one this season, knocking off the Grizzlies at home earlier in the month by a final of 96-92. The Kings hold a 44-35 record against the Grizzlies all-time.
"I take pride in going out there and trying to doing my job. But I feel like I haven't been as impactful the last four or five games or so. That's kind of been frustrating, but I know it will come." -Darren Collison on his recent struggles.