Game 78 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz

Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay against the Memphis Grizzlies. (Photo: Tobin Halsey)


Game time: 6:00 p.m. PDT

Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)


Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (27-50)

PG: Ray McCallum
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Omri Casspi
PF: Carl Landry
C: Jason Thompson

Utah Jazz Probable Starters (35-42)

PG: Dante Exum
SG: Rodney Hood
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Rudy Golbert


Three things to ponder

1. Second chances

In their home loss to the Jazz on Sunday, the Kings handed Utah 34 extra possessions by turnovers and offensive rebounds. With DeMarcus Cousins out (sore right foot), Sacramento needs its bigs to muscle up against Utah’s burly frontcourt and its backcourt to avoid forcing passes in traffic.

2. Focus on the line

The Kings still lead the NBA in free throw attempts per contest with 28.9, but their aim has recently taken a nosedive. Sacramento has shot 61.9 percent in their last six contests, which includes a 14-for-24 effort against Utah on Sunday. Fatigue plays a factor this late in the season but throwing away points remains painful.

3. Clamping down

The last four games, the Kings allowed an opposing shooting guard to net over 20 points. Teams shot 43 percent from behind the arc in that span. It’s easy to blame the young backcourt, but all Sacramento players are responsible for closing out and being aware of the situation.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.