Preview: Sacramento Kings aim for third-straight win vs. Cavaliers
Nov 13, 2023, 9:55 AM
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Two brutal performances in Houston have been put in the rear-view as the Sacramento Kings have won two straight games since returning to Golden 1 Center.
Friday’s NBA In-Season Tournament opener ended with the Kings (4-4) picking up an important win against the Oklahoma City Thunder–important for Sacramento’s place in the Group Play standings, but also important for a team that is searching for its identity without star guard De’Aaron Fox (ankle sprain).
After missing five straight games, Fox logged a full practice on Sunday and appears to be closing in on a return to action.
While it’s unknown if Fox will suit up for Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Kings will have their hands full with Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and more when these two teams take the floor in Sacramento.
Cleveland (4-5) has had a similar start to the 2023-24 season as the Kings, as offensive struggles (24th in offensive rating) have plagued a team that held a top-ten offensive rating one season ago.
In the final contest at Golden 1 Center for 15 days, Sacramento–with Fox potentially back in the lineup–will look to hit the road boasting a three-game win streak, which would be their longest of the young season.
KEEGAN PUT CHET ON A POSTER 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/2BJhCxqkWz
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 11, 2023
Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game Info
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night
Line: Cavs -2.5, O/U 221.5
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Cavaliers coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.
Tickets: Click here
Waiting On The Shots To Fall
Last season, the Kings sprinted toward the NBA Playoffs thanks to a record-setting offense and top-ten three-point shooting.
As good as the offense was, Sacramento was not immune to poor shooting performances. It happens to every team in the NBA, and at times, the Kings hit rough patches when it came to knocking down the long ball.
Sacramento shot 29 percent or lower in consecutive games twice last year. During both of those two-game streaks, the Kings lost each game (0-4 record).
Fast forward to Monday night as Sacramento prepares to face Cleveland. Over the past two games (both wins), the Kings have shot 29 percent (vs. Portland) and 27 percent (vs. OKC) from beyond the arc.
Somehow, some way, the ‘Beam Team’ has found a way to win games while amid a horrific stretch from three-point land.
Clutch triple from Red Velvet pic.twitter.com/Cxoit9GDn9
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 11, 2023
In the five games that Sacramento has played sans Fox, they have shot 30 percent from deep on a whopping 40 attempts per game.
One thing that this offense had been waiting for was the emergence of Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter as threats from the three-point line, and both players found their offense on Friday night.
Huerter scored a season-high 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field (four-of-ten from deep), while Murray also racked up a season-high 24 points while knocking down eight of his 17 field goal attempts.
The Cavs might hold a top-15 defense (12th in defensive rating), but they have been unable to slow down opponents from three-point range.
Over nine games played this season, Cleveland has allowed opponents to shoot 38 percent from three (25th in the NBA). Sacramento has yet to shoot higher than 37 percent from downtown this season, and they haven’t finished a game higher than 35 percent from deep since the season-opener in Salt Lake City.
Could we see the Kings finally break through from three-point land on Monday?
De’Aaron Fox (right ankle sprain) logged his first full practice on Sunday and is progressing toward a return to action.
The All-Star guard has been upgraded to doubtful for Monday night’s game, though it seems as if Sacramento will get its starting point guard back sooner rather than later.
Trey Lyles (left calf strain) will miss his ninth-straight game and has not appeared in a game this season. Lyles is also without a clear timetable but has been seen doing on-court work with the Kings’ training staff.
- Ricky Rubio – OUT (not with team)
- Isaac Okoro – OUT (left knee injury management)
- Ty Jerome – OUT (right ankle sprain)
- Sam Merrill – QUESTIONABLE (illness)
- Monday, November 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:00 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 15th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST
- Friday, November 17th – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs – 4:30 PM PST
- Sunday, November 19th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 4:30 PM PST
- Monday, November 20th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 22nd – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play