Keith Smart  asking for clarity from the Sacramento Kings sidelines against the New York Knicks. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Tonight, the Sacramento Kings will try to stop the bleeding and end a four-game losing streak when they welcome in the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Cavs arrive in the capital city on the back end of a back-to-back, having lost 113-93 to the Los Angeles Lakers last night at Staples Center.

The Kings have had to reintegrate Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans back into the fold after the two missed significant time due to injury.  But according to Kings coach Keith Smart, defense has been a bigger issue than rebuilding team chemistry.  In their last four games, they’ve let their opponents average 125.9 points per 100 possessions.

More importantly, our defense has suffered also.  We’ve given up 117 points over the last four games.  Obviously, some teams came in and played very, very well and (Saturday) night’s game didn’t help that. So we had to restart again, go back to basics again and get back to the coverages we need to do.

Kyrie Irving will play his first and possibly last game in Sacramento.  The Cavaliers point guard will match-up against Isaiah Thomas, who has familiarized himself very well with last season’s Rookie of the Year.

I’ma try to pressure him and just make it tough for him.  He’s a guy that when I watch film, he has like a wow factor.  He makes tough shots.  I’ve seen a lot of his games.  You would think watching the first few of his games that it was lucky shots.  But every time I watch him, he makes very tough shots.  So you just gotta make it tough on him and just crowd him.

Tip-off between the Kings and Cavs is set for 7 pm at Sleep Train Arena.  Follow Cowbell Kingdom for continued pre and postgame coverage throughout the day.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.