SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Kings seek first win over 76ers since 2019

Jan 12, 2024, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:29 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings talks to teammate...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

A five-game road trip will continue for the Sacramento Kings on Friday night when they come face-to-face with a team–and building–that has been seemingly impossible to beat over the past half-decade.

Sacramento (23-14) will face the Philadelphia 76ers (23-13) at Wells Fargo Center in a game that will see the home team take the floor without reigning NBA Most Valuable Player award winner Joel Embiid (knee).

The Kings haven’t had success against the 76ers for nearly a half-decade, with Sacramento’s most recent win against Philadelphia coming on February 2, 2019.

It gets even worse when you go back to the Kings’ last win on the 76ers’ home floor: December 19, 2017.

Zach Randolph led Sacramento with 27 points during Sacramento’s last win in Philadelphia, while a rookie-year De’Aaron Fox scored just two points over 11 minutes.

A lot has changed over the past six seasons, as the Kings enter play on Friday having won four of their past five games as they look to improve to a season-high ten games over the .500 mark.

Will the Beam Team rise to the challenge and take advantage of a 76ers team that holds a 2-7 record without Embiid this season?

Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers Game Info

When: 4:30 PM PST

Where: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA

TV: ESPN, NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 3:00 PM on Game Night

Line: 76ers -1.5, O/U 241.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. 76ers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from downtown Philadelphia.

Feed The Big Man

Domantas Sabonis is playing the best basketball of his career, and Sacramento would be wise to continue running through the All-NBA center–especially on a night that the 76ers will be without Embiid.

With Embiid out of action, Philadelphia will lean on reserves Paul Reed and Mo Bamba to fill the center minutes on Friday night. Sabonis should view this as a permanent green light, especially when it comes to attacking the paint.

The 76ers have allowed an average of 68 points in the paint over the past two games, a welcome sight for a Kings team that has scored 144 points over their past two contests (72.0 per game).

Sabonis has been a massive part of Sacramento’s recent success, and the big man is doing more than just rebounding and facilitating.

While Sabonis has never struggled to get involved in scoring the basketball, the Kings have seen an uptick in his production over the past month.

Dating back to December 14th (15 games), Sabonis holds averages of 22.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game on 65 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from three-point range (1.0 attempts per game).

Sabonis has been doing it all for a while now, and with Embiid sitting out, it’s fair to expect another big night out of Sacramento’s franchise center.

Fox vs. Maxey

We won’t get to see a Sabonis vs. Embiid matchup on Friday, but two former Kentucky guards will go head-to-head at Wells Fargo Center.

De’Aaron Fox will have his hands full with Tyrese Maxey, a fourth-year guard who is coming into his own as a rising star in this league. Over 35 games, Maxey is averaging 26.2 points and 6.7 assists on 45/37/86 shooting splits.

Maxey has taken a more significant scoring load onto his shoulders with Embiid out of action, as the 23-year-old has scored 25+ points in three-straight games, including 35 points during the 76ers’ loss in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Even though Embiid (the NBA’s leading scorer at 34.6 points per game) will not play, Fox and the Kings will have to keep Maxey in check as the guard has already proven that he can explode for 30, 40, or 50-point performances.

YouTube video

Fox has looked a step slower over the past five games, as the reigning Clutch Player of the Year holds averages of 17.4 points and 4.4 assists on 41 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.

During a limited showing as Sacramento delivered a blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Fox had his most efficient showing in over a week as ‘Swipa’ scored 19 points on eight-of-14 shooting (three-of-seven from deep) over 28 minutes.

If Fox can return to his explosive self against the 76ers, the Kings could be in a solid position to pick up their first win in Philadelphia in nearly seven years.

Notes

  • With a win, Sacramento will improve to 10 games over the .500 mark. Last season, the Kings didn’t reach that mark until February 26th last year (35-25).
  • The 76ers have lost three straight games. Philadelphia hasn’t lost four consecutive games since 2021.
  • Keegan Murray has averaged 22.2 points per game over the past five contests. The Kings hold a 21-2 record when Murray has scored 20+ during his NBA career.

Kings vs. 76ers Injury Report

Sacramento

  • Kevin Huerter – OUT (left ankle sprain)
  • Jalen Slawson – OUT (G-League)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)

Philadelphia

  • Joel Embiid – OUT (left knee inflammation)
  • Robert Covington – OUT (left knee inflammation)
  • Kenneth Lofton Jr. – OUT (left shoulder AC joint sprain)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, January 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, January 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Milwaukee Bucks – 4:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 6:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 PM PST

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