Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns: Opening Night Preview

A majority of the NBA will tip-off their seasons on Wednesday evening, including the Sacramento Kings.

The Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns have been cellar dwellers in the Western Conference standings for most of recent memory, and both teams will look to get off to a fast start this year in order to avenge those demons.

Wednesday night’s game is the first for both teams and will be played in Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.

The Suns won just 19 games last year and were tied for the second-worst record in the NBA. They went 2-2 in the preseason, including a 17 point loss to these same Kings on October 10th. Phoenix has some solid young pieces on its roster, including second-year center Deandre Ayton who was the first overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

While there are certainly no must-win games in October, the Kings could use a good showing in their first contest. Their next three games are against three of the elite teams in the Western Conference: Trail Blazers, Jazz, and Nuggets.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s contest:

Tip-off: 7:00 PM PT
Radio: 1140 KHTK
Watch: NBC Sports California, or stream live on Fubo.tv

Betting Info: Sacramento is a 1.5 point favorite, though the line opened at 2.5 (courtesy of the Action Network)

Injury Report:

Kings:

De’Aaron Fox – Probable (back)

Harry Giles – Doubtful (knee)

Cory Joseph – Probable (calf)

Trevor Ariza – Probable (back)

Suns:

Cameron Johnson – Out (calf)

Ty Jerome – Out (ankle)

Last 5 Meetings:

3/23/19 – Kings 112, Suns 103

2/10/19 – Kings 117, Suns 104

1/8/19 – Suns 115, Kings 111

12/4/18 – Kings 122, Suns 105

4/3/18 – Suns 97, Kings 94

Matchup To Watch:

The Kings and Suns are two teams that match up pretty well with each other, though there are a couple of battles that the Kings will need to exploit. New Suns point guard Ricky Rubio is on the other side of his best days, while De’Aaron Fox of the Kings looks to continue his ascent. But Rubio has the slight edge in production in their seven career matchups, averaging 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds to go up against Fox’s 4.7 and 3.1. Fox will need to set the tone early to give boosts of confidence to the rest of the team.

The other matchup to follow is the one between starting small forwards. Kelly Oubre had a breakout half-season with Phoenix after being traded away from the Washington Wizards in midseason. His numbers are similar to those of the man who will be guarding him in Harrison Barnes, and he could be one of the Suns leading scorers this season. The winner of this matchup could very well decide which team gets the victory.

Prediction:

Despite it being just a preseason game, the Kings showed just last week that they can handle the Suns. This time it means something, and the Kings are relatively healthy and ready to compete.

Kings 108, Suns 101