The 10-8 Sacramento Kings are brining their two-game win streak to Oakland to face off against the Golden State Warriors, can they keep their streak alive?
The Sacramento Kings are going to face another major test Saturday night, as they prepare to take on the Steph Curry-less Warriors in the Bay. So can they steal a win? Or will the Warriors run them off the court like they did in the preseason?
Last season the Sacramento Kings went 2-1 against the Warriors, going 2-0 in Oracle. While it’s unreasonable to expect the Kings to sweep the Warriors at home again, the Kings are catching the Warriors in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have dropped five of their last six.
Contrarily, the Kings are riding a two-game win streak with wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz, but are just 3-3 over their last six games. The Kings haven’t been without their own drama, however.
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While nothing coming out of Sacramento can compare to the KD-Draymond drama coming out of the Bay, the Kings have dealt with rumors Head Coach Dave Joerger might be on the hot seat, despite a winning record through 18 games. While these reports have been summarily dismissed by several outlets, it’s hard to discount the impact that could have on a young team playing well.
The Kings, for their part, responded in the best way possible: with wins. Winning cures all ills in sports and Sacramento has done a good job of that since those reports came out. It’s also worth noting that these rumors came, reportedly, because the Kings young players weren’t seeing enough court time.
Since these reports came out Marvin Bagley III has seen an uptick in playing time, averaging 26.5 minutes per game over the last two games, compared to his season average of 23.1. Harry Giles has also seen a slight uptick in playing time, playing 11 minutes per game over his last two, compared to his 9.9 minute season average.
Saturday night, offers a golden opportunity for this Kings team to continue their Cinderella-type run so far this season. The Kings are over .500 through 18 games for the first time since the 2004-05 season (a playoff season) and are getting ready to play a team that may be without two of their top-three players.
While the Warriors still have two superstars in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, they’ll likely be without All-World talent Steph Curry and may also be without fellow All-Star Draymond Green. Curry has dealt with a groin strain, while Green has missed five of the Warriors last seven games because of a sprained toe.
The Sacramento Kings are likely going to be at full-strength, giving them a great shot to get a win Saturday night. They’ll obviously need De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield to continue their hot starts to the season if they want to have any chance in this one, but not having a defender to lock down one of KD or Klay Thompson could be their undoing.
In their preseason meeting in Seattle, the Kings allowed Durant (26p) and Thompson (30p) to combine for 56 points in 49 minutes of play time. Harry Giles was the Kings leading scorer in that game and Fox and Hield combined for just 14 points. Obviously that’ll have to change, but that was then and this is now.
In the preseason, the Sacramento Kings looked like a 20-win team, now, we’re talking about the Kings potentially finishing the season above .500 or pursuing a playoff spot, however unlike that may be.
If the Kings high-scoring backcourt can get on track early, Sacramento should come out with a win, but if they struggle things could get ugly fast.
Final: Sacramento Kings ,111 – Golden State Warriors, 98