Game 19 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard breaking down the Kings' defense. (Photo: Steven Chea)
Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where:  Rose Garden, Portland, OR.

Broadcast Information: Click here.

For Blazers perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Portland Roundball Society.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (6-12)

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Francisco Garcia
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Portland Trail Blazers Probable Starters (8-11)

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: J.J. Hickson

Three questions to ponder

1. Will Tyreke Evans play tonight?

The Kings starting shooting guard has finally found his game recently.  But unfortunately, a recurring knee injury is hampering Evans’ progress.  The 23-year-old swingman sat out yesterday’s win against the Magic after posting 23 points in the Kings’ victory over the Raptors on Wednesday.  An MRI on his knee came back negative and the Kings are hopeful that they’ll have one of their best players on the floor this evening in Portland.  How his body responds to the rigors of travel may be the determining factor in whether Evans suits up tonight.

2. How much will rest or lack there of it factor into this evening’s match-up?

For a third consecutive Friday and Saturday, the Kings are facing a second game in as many nights.  Last evening, Keith Smart received key contributions from his bench, using an uptempo game to beat the Magic at Sleep Train Arena.  DeMarcus Cousins was the only player that played more than 30 minutes in yesterday’s win, so the Kings might have more energy than your typical team facing the back end of a back-to-back.  The Blazers, meanwhile, come into this game well-rested.  After a seven-game road trip that concluded with a loss in Indiana on Wednesday, Portland enters tonight’s contest on two-days rest.  The Blazers have to be considered as heavy favorites in this evening’s match-up because of that.

3. Can the Kings contain the Blazers from beyond the arc?

Last time out, the Blazers torched the Kings from 3-point land.  Portland set a season high in 3-point makes, converting on 14-of-27 from beyond the arc in a 103-86 victory in Sacramento.  The Kings have done a good job of limiting their opponents success from 3-point land in their last two games.  Orlando and Toronto shot a combined 10-of-38 for a tenous 26.3 percent from beyond the arc.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.