Game 60 Preview: Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs

Updated: 2:49 pm PT

DeMarcus Cousins makes his move against Tim Duncan. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 5:30 pm PT

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX.

Broadcast Information: TV – News10, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Spurs perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate 48 Minutes of Hell.

The book on the Spurs: After close to a month on the road, the Spurs played their first game at home on Wednesday and laid an egg.  San Antonio had an 18-game home winning streak snapped by the lowly Phoenix Suns, who beat the Spurs 105-101 in overtime.  Despite the loss, San Antonio remains the best team in the league with their 45-14 record.

Did you know? John Salmons has been a revelation in the Kings’ last three games.  He’s averaged 18 points per contest and shot 55.9 percent from the field on 19-of-34 attempts.  He’s also missed only three times out of his last 16 attempts from 3-point land.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (20-39)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

San Antonio Spurs Probable Starters (45-14)

PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tiago Splitter
C: Tim Duncan

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 98.1
  • Offensive Rating: 104.7
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 104.8
  • Defensive Rating: 111.9
  • Pace: 92.7

San Antonio

  • Points Per Game: 104.2
  • Offensive Rating: 109.3
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 96
  • Defensive Rating: 100.7
  • Pace: 94.2

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will the Kings keep up the ball movement?

In their last two games, the Kings have veered away from hero ball and it’s paid off.  Against the Miami Heat, they recorded a season-high 33 assists in four quarters plus two overtime periods.  They followed that up Wednesday with a 31-assist effort in a 24-point rout of the Orlando Magic.  The Kings scratch the surface of their potential when they move the ball.  In their 20 wins this season, Sacramento averages 23.1 assists per game, five dimes better than the 18.7 they’ve averaged in their 39 losses.

2.  How will the Kings bench follow up their performance against the Magic on Wednesday?

The Kings bench had no trouble picking up where the starters left off in the win over Orlando.  Six reserves saw action in the game and combined to score a season-high 64 points.  Marcus Thornton followed up his outstanding performance in South Beach with another 20-point effort while Patrick Patterson made an impact for the first time as a King, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

3.  Can the Kings the limit the Spurs’ effectiveness from outside?

The Spurs are masters at creating great shot opportunities on offense.  With Tony Parker, they have the ability to drive and kick out to open shooters, who make shots more than they miss.  When these two teams met last week, the Kings avoided a blowout simply because San Antonio missed a number of open attempts from long range.  Defending the three will be critical for the Kings tonight, especially in the corner.  Only Houston has attempted more corner threes this season than San Antonio, who shots better than 40 percent from that particular zone on the floor.

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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.